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American Express Essential Credit Card Review

Get a low everyday interest rate and a suite of AMEX-exclusive benefits with this fee-free credit card.

Get access to special offers for music, dining, entertainment and exclusive events offered by American Express.

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12.99%

Purchase Interest Rate

$0

Annual Fee

Details

Product NameAmerican Express Essential Credit Card
RewardEnjoy an ongoing low fixed interest rate including a range of insurance related benefits and exclusive entertainment deals.
Welcome OfferOffers a 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Purchase Interest Rate12.99%
Cash Advance Rate12.99%
Balance Transfer RateN/A
Interest Free Period Up to 21 days
More Info
The American Express Essential Credit Card is a low-interest credit card that comes with no annual fee. It offers a 12.99% interest rate for purchases and cash advances, along with basic insurance such as purchase protection and extended warranty. The downside of this card is that you won’t earn points or cashback when you spend money.

30-second take

  • Get this card if you want a low interest rate and you don’t want to pay an annual fee.
  • Choose something else if you want to earn rewards or you’d like more comprehensive benefits.
  • There are no minimum income requirements listed for this card.

The basics

If you want a low interest rate for no annual fee, then the American Express Essential Credit Card could be the right choice for you:

  • No annual fee. You won’t have to pay an annual fee to maintain this card.
  • Low interest rate. You’ll only have to pay 12.99% interest for purchases and cash advances (which is around 7% less than a typical credit card).
  • Purchase protection. Get 90-day purchase insurance to protect the items you buy on your card against theft or physical damage (up to $1,000).
  • Extended warranty protection. Automatically extend the manufacturer's warranty by up to a year for consumer goods you purchase on your card.
  • Common carrier insurance. Take advantage of up to $100,000 in accident insurance when you travel on public transportation such as buses, planes, ferries and trains.
  • Free additional cards. Order up to 9 extra cards on your account for no additional annual fee.

The perks

  • Amex benefits. Get access to special offers for music, dining, entertainment and exclusive events offered by American Express.
  • Installment payments. Choose to pay a portion of your credit card balance with monthly installments to automatically stay on top of your payments.
  • Fraud protection. Rest easy knowing that you won’t be responsible for fraudulent purchases on your account with the Amex Fraud Protection Guarantee.
  • 24/7 support. Call American Express at any time of day or night to troubleshoot issues with your account or request an emergency card replacement.
  • Easy to qualify. You’ll need to be a resident of Canada over the age of majority in your province to qualify for this card.

What to watch out for

  • No rewards or cashback. You won’t earn any rewards or cashback when you spend money on your American Express Essential Credit Card.
  • No travel insurance. This card doesn’t come with any form of travel medical, trip cancellation or baggage insurance to cover you when you travel overseas.
  • No additional benefits. There are no supplementary benefits such as mobile device insurance, roadside assistance or car rental insurance included with this card.
  • No balance transfer offer. Unlike many low interest cards, the American Express Essential Credit Card doesn’t come with an introductory balance transfer offer.

What should I know before I apply?

Eligibility requirements

To apply for an American Express Essential Credit Card, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is at least 18 years old (19 in some provinces)

You will also need to provide the following documents and information:

  • Your name, residential status and contact information
  • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and date of birth
  • Your email address and phone number

How to apply

  1. Visit the American Express website to access the online application for the American Express Essential Credit Card.
  2. Complete the application, which includes providing your name, email address, Social Insurance Number and birth date.
  3. Review and submit your application.

Bottom line

The American Express Essential Credit Card is a low-interest credit card with no annual fee. It comes with a 12.99% interest rate and basic benefits such as purchase protection and common carrier insurance. Just be aware that this card doesn’t let you earn rewards or cashback, and you won’t get any travel insurance or airport perks when you sign up.

Frequently asked questions about the American Express Essential Credit Card

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