Some of the best business credit cards in Canada are offered by financial institutions such as the Bank of Montreal, CIBC, TD Bank, and RBC. They feature cashback and rewards points, low annual fees, low purchase rates, insurance perks, and other beneficial features.
CIBC Aerogold® Visa for Business
CIBC Aerogold Visa for Business comes with travel benefits, extensive insurance coverage, and low interest rate. Customers are offered 35,000 bonus miles and 1.5 miles per $1 on purchases made at gas stations, travel agencies, car rental agencies, hotels, and airlines. All other purchases earn at 1 point per $1. Rewards points can be redeemed for merchandise, entertainment, car rentals, gift cards, and getaways. Rewards are offered across different categories such as sports and outdoor merchandise, home and garden, health and wellness, fashion and accessories, and activities and entertainment. The category of activities and entertainment includes SPA and gateways, attractions and parks, and events and dining. Examples of travel rewards are travel accessories, travel and cruise gift cards, and car rental certificates. Miles can also be used to pay expenses such as surcharges, fees, and taxes on airfare. CIBC Aerogold Visa also features extensive insurance coverage, including trip interruption and trip cancellation, common carrier accident, auto rental collision, and flight delay and baggage coverage. Mobile device and hotel burglary insurance are also available. Only customers with a minimum household income of $35,000 qualify.
- Cash interest rate: 50 percent
- Purchase interest rate: 12.99 percent
- Annual fee: $180
TD Business Travel Visa Card
Toronto-Dominion offers a travel credit card with a selection of automotive, travel, and everyday benefits. Customers earn 3 points per dollar on business-related purchases, 6 points on booking travel through Expedia by phone, and 9 points on booking travel online. The card also comes with insurance perks such as lost and delayed luggage, common carrier travel accident, trip/flight delay, and travel medical insurance. Automotive benefits are also offered, including low base rates at Budget Rent a Car and Avis Rent A Car and auto rental collision/loss damage coverage.
Under the Visa SavingsEdge Program, customers qualify for generous discounts of up to 25 percent which apply to business-related purchases.
When applying, clients are asked to provide documents such as articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, or master business license, depending on the type of business (corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship). Customers may also be asked to present their business financial statements and notice of assessment. They may apply by phone, at a local branch, and by booking an appointment.
- Cash advance rate: 22.99 percent
- Purchase rate: 19.99 percent
- Annual fee: $149
- Additional cards: $49
- Minimum credit limit: $1,000
Scotia Momentum® for Business VISA
Also a premium business card, Scotia Momentum for Business features up to 3 percent cashback on business expenses. Cash back is also offered on recurring payments such as gym memberships, insurance coverage, telecommunications, and subscriptions. Expenses that qualify for cash back include purchases made at office supply stores, restaurants, and gas stations. Supplementary cards also earn cash back. Business customers also benefit from insurance perks such as rental car collision and travel emergency medical insurance. The travel emergency medical insurance, for example, covers expenses such as surgeons’ and physicians’ fees, licensed ambulances, hospital stays, prescription drugs, medical supplies and services, and nursing care.
An added benefit is the fact that Scotiabank offers a low introductory rate of just 2.99 percent which is applicable to balance transfers made during the first six months. The credit limit is between $500 and $100,000. Visa SavingsEdge is also a useful feature available to qualifying businesses which allows them to get access to discounts and thus reduce costs. Customers are offered discounts on business purchases at participating merchants such as Blue Mountain, Sage 50, The UPS Store, Umbra, National Car Rental, and more. Discounts are offered on items in different categories, including entertainment and travel, telecommunications, and electronics, computer, and retail. Merchants offering discounts also operate in industries such as hotels, business software and publications, and business services and products. Discounts are in the range of 3 – 10 percent and up to 25 percent. To enroll in the program, cardholders are asked to fill in details such as postal code, business name, and industry (i.e. retail, real estate, manufacturing, transportation, construction, etc.).
- Annual fee: $49
- Supplementary cards: $29
- Interest rate: 19.99 percent
- Grace period: 25 days
No Annual Fee
BMO CashBack® Business MasterCard®
This is a good choice for customers looking for a no annual fee credit card, featuring a welcome bonus, money back, and optional employee cards. In addition to saving on annual fees, holders are offered 6 percent cash back on internet and phone bills, office supplies, and gas purchases during the first 4 months. Purchases made after the promotional period earn 1.5 percent cash back. Gas purchases at Shell locations earn at 1.75 points per dollar.
Additional benefits include extended warranty, automatic rebates at participating retailers, and pre-authorized payments. In addition to pre-authorized payments, bills can be paid at any BMO branch, online, by phone, and by mail. Customers are also offered emergency cash advances and replacement cards and assistance with stolen and lost cards.
Depending on the type of business, customers are asked to bring documents such as master business license, trade name registration, partnership agreement, and articles of association. Corporate customers must bring documents such as corporate profile report, articles of amalgamation, articles of amendment, and complete articles of incorporation. Business customers also provide details such as type of ownership, percentage ownership, nature of primary business, and occupation.
- Cash advances: 22.99 percent
- Purchase rate: 19.99 percent
- Annual fee: $0
Protection and Insurance
RBC® Avion® Business for Visa
This card comes with an extensive insurance coverage, including extended warranty, liability waiver, rental car, and trip interruption and trip cancellation insurance. There are added incentives such as 20,000 welcome points, fuel discounts, and travel rewards, including tours, cruises, car rentals, hotels, and packaged holidays. Customers are free to choose from different rewards such as gift cards, merchandise, and Apple accessories and products. Every dollar spent on purchases earns 1 rewards point. Cardholders also earn triple rewards points on travel experiences offered by Carlson Wagonlit Travel and double rewards points on truck and car rentals by Thrifty. There are also financial rewards and the option to donate to a charity, pay with points, or convert points.
- Cash advance rate: 22.99 percent
- Purchase rate: 19.99 percent
- Annual fee: $120
- Additional cards: $50
American Express® Business Gold Rewards Card
American Express also offers a rewards card that comes with a generous bonus of 25,000 points. Rewards points can be transferred to loyalty programs, used toward domestic or international airfare, or redeemed in the form of statement credit. Every dollar in travel purchases earns 2 points and so do purchases made at drugstores, grocery stores, and gas stations. Qualifying travel purchases include cruises, car rentals, hotel accommodation, and airfare. Every dollar in everyday purchases earns 1 point.
One of the main benefits for cardholders is the comprehensive insurance coverage. Customers are offered travel accident, baggage delay, flight delay, and hotel/motel burglary coverage. Car rental damage and theft, trip interruption, and stolen and lost baggage insurance are also available. Out of province/country emergency medical coverage is included as well.
This card also comes with a host of travel benefits, including complimentary room upgrades, vehicle upgrades, and hotel credit toward golf, spa, and dining.
Residents and citizens who have a Canadian credit file qualify provided that they are of the age of majority.
- Annual fee: $250
- Grace period: up to 31 days
- Additional cards: $50
Low Interest Rate
CIBC bizline® Visa Card for Small Business
This offer by CIBC is ideal for customers who wish to save on interest rates and still benefit from perks such as a high credit limit, additional cards, and insurance coverage. Holders are free to request up to 9 additional cards. The minimum annual income is $35,000. This credit card is also a good choice for business owners with revenues in the range of $35,000 – $5 million.
Cardholders are offered common carrier accident insurance and a spend manager solution to track and organize spending, set alerts, and develop customized budgets. The interest rate is based on the applicant’s credit score which makes this card a good choice for business owners with very good and excellent credit histories.
- Purchase interest rate: CIBC Prime + 1.5 percent
- Cash interest rate: CIBC Prime + 1.5 percent
- Annual fee: none
- Additional cards: no annual fee
There are plenty of premium business credit cards that feature low interest rates, introductory rates, no annual fees, extensive insurance coverage, and airmiles, rewards points, and cash back. Some cards also feature complimentary bonus points, complimentary concierge, free additional cards, and attractive discounts on office supplies, equipment, and other business-related expenses.
Marc S says
Just wondering if this card is good: Marriott Bonvoy Business Card from American Express? Didn’t see it mentioned here.
Hi Marc, this card is a good option if you travel frequently on business and stay at any of the Marriott hotels (network includes – Sheraton, Marriott, Westin, St. Regis, Ritz-Carlton),
When you book at Marriott properties you’ll get 5 points per $1.
The CIBC bizline seems really tempting, as you can actually use it to borrow money to start a business. The rest of the cards have very high interest rate to actually borrow money on them – you can use the for the perks as long as you pay your balance in full every month.
I friend of mine has the RBC Avion card and she is very happy with it. The yearly fee is a little steep, but it has great perks! My friend said that they waved the fee the first year which is also nice.
I actually have the RBC Avion for 3 years now and I’ve accumulated quite a few points, but I never used them. Maybe now is the right time to book something around Christmas 🙂
Jordan Yee says
Call me crazy, but I would never consider a credit card with an annual fee, so for me the two cards in your list are the BMO CashBack MasterCard and the CIBC bizline Visa Card . I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these 2 cards are offered by the smallest Canadian banks.
You do make a point Jordan. I also hate getting credit cards with yearly fees, but still people coming here need to be aware of several other choices that are available to them.
Have any of you guys actually used credit card to finance your business idea/venture? I’m asking because it seems awfully expensive to do so, and I think borrowing on a secured credit line will always be much cheaper. If you have an asset to secure the loan against of course.
You are right Henry – starting a business on a credit card is not easy. Unfortunately not everybody has assets to get a secured loan against, so in some extreme cases you can start a business borrowing on your credit card.
I wouldn’t do it myself, Henry. What happens if my business doesn’t take off? I’ll be stuck with a hefty credit card bill to pay that comes with high interest rate, which makes it even harder to repay.
Richard, why so negative? You should ask yourself the right question “What is the business really takes off”? Now that’s a good attitude!
My business hasn’t been running for a year yet, can I still apply for the CIBC Bizline Visa Card?