American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card Review

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Consider the American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card and let your Miles take you around the world in style.

19.99%

Purchase Interest Rate

$299

Annual Fee

1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)

Balance Transfer Rate

Details

Product NameAmerican Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card
RewardEarn 1 mile per $10 spent on eligible partners, groceries, gas stations and drug stores (up to $30,000 annually) and 1 mile per $15 on all other spending.
Welcome OfferReceive up to 3,800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles within first 3 to 6 months of membership. Conditions apply. Welcome offers end January 20, 2020.
Purchase Interest Rate19.99%
Cash Advance Rate22.99%
Balance Transfer Rate1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
Interest Free Period Up to 21 days
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30-second take

  • Get this card if you’re looking to pay a premium for travel rewards or you want to do a balance transfer.
  • Pick something else if you don’t want to pay an annual fee or want to earn cash back.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 650 or higher.

The basics

The American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card is both a travel rewards card and a balance transfer card. With a welcome offer of up to 3,800 AIR MILES® and the option to do a balance transfer with a low interest rate of 1.99% for 6 months, this card entices both frequent travellers and those looking to get their debt under wraps.

Unlike the charge card that is commonly offered by American Express, this card is a regular credit card, which means you don’t have to pay off your entire balance each billing cycle. If you don’t pay off the entire balance, you will face a 19.99% APR. Keep in mind there is also a hefty annual fee of $299 for the card.

Aside from earning Air Miles and dealing with your debt, the Reserve Credit Card offers a wealth of travel perks including Air Miles Onyx status, extensive travel insurance coverage and an annual companion flight.

The perks

  • 3,800 AIR MILES® welcome bonus offer.

To earn 3,800 AIR MILES®, you will need to do the following: Earn 1,400 Bonus Miles when you charge a total of $3,000 in purchases to your card in the first 3 months. Collect up to an additional 2,400 Bonus Miles in your first 6 monthly billing periods by earning 200 Miles for every $750 you spend in purchases in each monthly billing period (up to a maximum of 400 Miles per monthly billing period). Welcome bonus offers end January 20, 2020.

  • Receive one annual companion flight.

Each year, receive one companion flight for the same itinerary when you redeem for a round-trip economy flight (up to a maximum of 1,700 miles) within the AIR MILES®* Reward Program (excludes service charges if applicable and taxes).

  • Earn 1 mile per $10 spent on eligible partners, groceries, gas stations and drug stores (up to $30,000 annually) and 1 mile per $15 on all other spend.

Receive 1 mile per $10 spent on eligible partners, groceries, gas stations and drug stores (up to $30,000 annually) and 1 mile per $15 on all other spend such as gas stations, grocery stores, drugstores and eligible AIR MILES® Partners*. Earn 1 Air Mile for every $15 spent everywhere else.

You’ll also like …

  • Optional balance transfer.

If you have existing debt, you can move it over to your new Reserve Credit Card and get a low interest rate of 1.99% for 6 months. Transfer a maximum of $7,500 or up to 50% of your credit limit (whichever is less).

  • Travel insurance coverage.

Receive up to $100,000 Travel Accident Insurance, Emergency Medical Insurance, Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance, access to Flight and Baggage Delay Insurance, Lost and Stolen Baggage Insurance and Hotel/Motel Burglary Assistance.

  • FlexFly rewards.

Redeem your Air Miles and enjoy more freedom with the FlexFly program. You can now access additional airlines, destinations, departure times and economy, business and first-class seats on flights not available within the AIR MILES Reward Program.

  • Redeem your Air Miles to pay taxes and fees.

You can redeem your Air Miles to pay for taxes and fees including waived AIR MILES® flight administration fee associated with your flight bookings.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee.

The card’s annual fee is $299. However, if you use the rewards and perks, you may find the annual fee is worth the expense. Additional cards are available for $50 each annually, which means you can share them with your family members to rack up your Air Miles points faster. Remember that you will be responsible for all purchases made by additional cardholders.

  • The cash advance fee.

Cash advances will be subject to a 22.99% APR, which will be charged from the moment you withdraw the funds.

  • Not as widely accepted overseas.

Compared to Visa and Mastercard, American Express is much less widely accepted in locations across Canada, the US and around the world. This might provide you with less opportunity to use the card, and therefore less opportunity to reap the rewards.

  • It hurts to pay late.

If you pay off your balance late, you will incur an interest rate of 23.99% - 26.99% Variable.

Consider other cards if …

  • You don’t use Air Miles.

If you don’t collect and redeem Air Miles, a different card will likely suit your needs better. This card is tailored toward customers who frequently travel and take advantage of the Air Miles offers, as well as the host of travel insurances on offer. If you prefer to collect Aeroplan Miles or Amex Membership Rewards, a different American Express card may be a better fit.

  • You don’t want to pay an annual fee.

The American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card comes with an annual fee of $299. If paying an annual fee is not in your best interests, consider looking into a no annual fee credit card.

  • You want cash back.

If you’re looking to reap the benefits of cash back, you may want to consider a cash back rewards card. These types of cards typically offer anywhere from 1-5% cash back on purchases. If you spend frequently on gas, groceries and dining out, a cash back rewards card may be more beneficial for you than a travel rewards card, especially if you don’t travel often.

Compare other American Express credit cards

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Minimum Credit Limit
Earn 1 AIR MILES® for every $5 you spend at eligible sponsors, stores, drugstores and gas stations (up to $30,000 annually) and 1 Mile for every $10 you spend anywhere else.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
N/A
Receive up to 3,500 bonus AIR MILES®. Conditions apply. Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every dollar spent. Double your miles on purchases at over 150 Aeroplan partner brands.
N/A
N/A
$60
N/A
New cardmembers receive 5,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when spending $500 in the first three months of membership.
Get free annual partner ticket and unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges as well as Air Canada priority check-in.
N/A
N/A
$499
N/A
Get free annual partner ticket and unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges as well as Air Canada priority check-in. Receive 40,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. You can also earn an additional $150 Air Canada eGift Card after spending a total of $6,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.
Earn 3x the points on daily business spend including office supplies & electronics, rides & gas, and eats & drinks and 1x the points on all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
N/A
Earn up to 42,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year of card approval. Offers 30,000 Welcome Bonus points when you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of membership.
Earn 1.25 points for every dollar you spend with no limit to the number of points you can accumulate
N/A
N/A
$499
N/A
Receive 40,000 points when you spend $5,000 within first three months of membership.
Earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent and 1 additional point per $1 spent at three eligible AMEX merchants in Canada.
N/A
N/A
$250
N/A
Offers 30,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 within the first three months of card membership. Benefit from purchasing power that adjusts dynamically with your card usage and grows with your business over time when you maintain a good credit.
Earn 1 mile for every $15 you spend at official sponsors and 1 mile for every $20 you spend anywhere else.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
N/A
Offers 150 AIR MILES® when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
Earn 1 mile per $10 spent on eligible partners, groceries, gas stations and drug stores (up to $30,000 annually) and 1 mile per $15 on all other spending.
19.99%
22.99%
$299
N/A
Receive up to 3,800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles when you spend $3,000. Conditions apply. Offers 1.99% balance transfer for the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application
Earn 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every $1 charged on card purchases and 2 miles on eligible Air Canada purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$899
$60,000
Receive a bonus $200 in annual travel credit to use towards flights, car rentals, hotels and more. Also receive 50,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership and earn an additional $200 Air Canada eGift Card after spending a total of $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of card membership.
Earn 1 AIR MILES® for every $10 spent at eligible AIR MILES® Partners* and 1 mile for every $15 spent anywhere else
N/A
N/A
$180
N/A
Offers 2,000 bonus AIR MILES® when you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every dollar you spend up to $10,000 and 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every dollar spent over $10,000 per year.
N/A
N/A
$120
N/A
Offers 15,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $1,500 within your first 3 months of membership.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Minimum Credit Limit
Earn 1 mile for every $15 you spend at official sponsors and 1 mile for every $20 you spend anywhere else.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
N/A
Offers 150 AIR MILES® when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
Earn 1 AIR MILES® for every $5 you spend at eligible sponsors, stores, drugstores and gas stations (up to $30,000 annually) and 1 Mile for every $10 you spend anywhere else.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
N/A
Receive up to 3,500 bonus AIR MILES®. Conditions apply. Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Earn 1 mile per $10 spent on eligible partners, groceries, gas stations and drug stores (up to $30,000 annually) and 1 mile per $15 on all other spending.
19.99%
22.99%
$299
N/A
Receive up to 3,800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles when you spend $3,000. Conditions apply. Offers 1.99% balance transfer for the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application
Earn 1 AIR MILES® for every $10 spent at eligible AIR MILES® Partners* and 1 mile for every $15 spent anywhere else
N/A
N/A
$180
N/A
Offers 2,000 bonus AIR MILES® when you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months of membership.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Minimum Credit Limit
Earn 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every $1 charged on card purchases and 2 miles on eligible Air Canada purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$899
$60,000
Receive a bonus $200 in annual travel credit to use towards flights, car rentals, hotels and more. Also receive 50,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership and earn an additional $200 Air Canada eGift Card after spending a total of $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of card membership.
Get free annual partner ticket and unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges as well as Air Canada priority check-in.
N/A
N/A
$499
N/A
Get free annual partner ticket and unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges as well as Air Canada priority check-in. Receive 40,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. You can also earn an additional $150 Air Canada eGift Card after spending a total of $6,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.
Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every dollar you spend up to $10,000 and 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every dollar spent over $10,000 per year.
N/A
N/A
$120
N/A
Offers 15,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when you spend $1,500 within your first 3 months of membership.
Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every dollar spent. Double your miles on purchases at over 150 Aeroplan partner brands.
N/A
N/A
$60
N/A
New cardmembers receive 5,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when spending $500 in the first three months of membership.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Minimum Credit Limit
Earn 3x the points on daily business spend including office supplies & electronics, rides & gas, and eats & drinks and 1x the points on all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
N/A
Earn up to 42,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year of card approval. Offers 30,000 Welcome Bonus points when you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of membership.
Earn 1 AIR MILES® for every $10 spent at eligible AIR MILES® Partners* and 1 mile for every $15 spent anywhere else
N/A
N/A
$180
N/A
Offers 2,000 bonus AIR MILES® when you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
Earn 1.25 points for every dollar you spend with no limit to the number of points you can accumulate
N/A
N/A
$499
N/A
Receive 40,000 points when you spend $5,000 within first three months of membership.
Earn 1 mile for every $15 you spend at official sponsors and 1 mile for every $20 you spend anywhere else.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
N/A
Offers 150 AIR MILES® when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
Earn 5 Marriott Bonvoy™ points per dollar spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy™ properties, 3 points on eligible gas, dining and travel and 2 points on all other spend.
19.99%
22.99%
$150
N/A
Receive 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy™ points when you charge $1,500 in the first 3 months of card membership.
Earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent and 1 additional point per $1 spent at three eligible AMEX merchants in Canada.
N/A
N/A
$250
N/A
Offers 30,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 within the first three months of card membership. Benefit from purchasing power that adjusts dynamically with your card usage and grows with your business over time when you maintain a good credit.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Minimum Credit Limit
Earn 1 AIR MILES® for every $5 you spend at eligible sponsors, stores, drugstores and gas stations (up to $30,000 annually) and 1 Mile for every $10 you spend anywhere else.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
N/A
Receive up to 3,500 bonus AIR MILES®. Conditions apply. Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Get free annual partner ticket and unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges as well as Air Canada priority check-in.
N/A
N/A
$499
N/A
Get free annual partner ticket and unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges as well as Air Canada priority check-in. Receive 40,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. You can also earn an additional $150 Air Canada eGift Card after spending a total of $6,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.
Earn 3 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible dining, 2 points on eligible travel purchases and 1 point on all other spend
N/A
N/A
$699
N/A
Receive 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $3,000 within the first three months of membership. Experience worldwide lounge access as well as luxury travel and dining benefits.
Earn 1.25 points for every dollar you spend with no limit to the number of points you can accumulate
N/A
N/A
$499
N/A
Receive 40,000 points when you spend $5,000 within first three months of membership.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Minimum Credit Limit
Get 2% cashback after the Welcome Rate on all purchases. No cap and no limit.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
N/A
Receive 5% cash back (up to $300 cash back) and a 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
1.25% cash back rate on all purchases when your welcome offer ends. No cap.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
N/A
Earn 2.5% cash back (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months. Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months and no balance transfer fee upon application.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Minimum Credit Limit
Earn 1 mile for every $15 you spend at official sponsors and 1 mile for every $20 you spend anywhere else.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
N/A
Offers 150 AIR MILES® when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of membership.
1.25% cash back rate on all purchases when your welcome offer ends. No cap.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
N/A
Earn 2.5% cash back (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months. Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months and no balance transfer fee upon application.

Compare up to 4 providers

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What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old, or the age of majority in your province or territory.
  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident with a valid Canadian credit file.

What credit score do I need?

Having a good to excellent credit score of 650 or higher will give you a better chance of your application being approved. Also having a relatively high annual income or combined household income may be beneficial for approval.

Other factors that might affect your odds of approval include:

  • Few hard inquiries on your credit report. Having several hard pulls listed on your credit history can indicate to lenders that you’re desperate for credit or have trouble managing your current debt. The provider may be less likely to approve your application if this is the case.
  • Factors that tie into your credit score. Your credit utilization ratio can play a major factor in the approval of your application. Customers who have low balances relative to their credit limits are usually preferable to providers.

What do customers say about this credit card?

Positive things are generally said by customers who have the American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card. Cardholders are pleased with the welcome sign-up bonus, alongside the flexibility of the Air Miles points and the extensive suite of travel insurance offered. However, considering the high annual fee for the card, cardholders do feel that the complimentary lounge access should be extended to more than four per year.

Customers of American Express usually complain of the companies inflexible policies. However, positive reviews are usually about the customer service team, who are said to be prompt and helpful when it comes to dealing with issues.

How to apply for the American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card

  1. Click Go to site on this page to be directed to the American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card page, and click Apply Now Securely.
  2. Complete the application with information including your full name, home address, income and financial details.
  3. Review and submit your application.

How long will it take to get my American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card?

Pre-approval for an American Express credit card is automated on the website, which means you may get a decision on your application within just 60 seconds. If there are issues with your application, such as missing information, it may take within 10 days to hear back.

Once your application has been approved, you’ll typically receive your card in the mail within 5 to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make your repayments.
    Register for an account on the American Express website to pay your balance online and enroll in autopay. Since this card is a regular credit card, you are not obligated to pay off your balance in full each month. If you don’t pay the full balance each month however, you will face a 19.99% APR.
  • Avoid fees.
    Late and returned payments will incur fees, so be sure to pay on time. If you’re enrolled in autopay, be sure to have enough funds in your account to pay off your balance each billing cycle.
  • Contact American Express.
    If you’re not able to find what you need on the American Express Canada website, call 1-800-268-2639 and speak to a customer service representative.

Bottom line

The American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card is worth exploring if you’re a frequent traveller and a spender of AIR MILES®. With comprehensive insurance, a great point to dollar earn ratio, an enticing bonus offer and an annual companion flight, this credit card can be a powerful travel companion.

If you’re not looking to pay a hefty annual fee for your credit card, the $299 annual fee for the Reserve Credit Card may be too pricey. There are plenty of other travel rewards credit cards on the market that have similar features for less, so be sure to compare your credit card options before you apply for one.

Frequently asked questions about the American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card

Pictures: americanexpress.com/ca

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