Canadian AMEX Apple Pay Purchases Work for “Any Transaction Amount” [u]


Traditional contactless payments in Canada are limited to $100 purchases, and anything beyond that requires verification by signature or PIN. The move by Canadian issuers looks to protect themselves and customers by limiting a lost or stolen card.

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That has changed with the launch of Apple Pay and American Express here, as Touch ID can securely authenticate purchases. Cards added to Apple Pay require verification as well, via phone calls to Amex, for example. These added security measures mean transactions with your American Express within Apple Pay will work for “any transaction amount”, explains Apple, and is not limited to $100.

The iPhone maker explains this clearly in their updated support document regarding Apple Pay for merchants in Canada and the US:

Can I accept transactions over $100 in my shop in Canada?

Canadian customers can use American Express cards with Apple Pay for any transaction amount. International customers might need to insert their card if the transaction amount is over $100.

Of course, transactions are limited to your credit card limit, but if you’re rolling hard with a Black American Express, you don’t need to worry.

Update: American Express’ FAQ states transactions can also be limited by merchant terminal limits:

How much can I spend in an Apple Pay transaction?
  • You can use your Card in Apple Pay for transactions up to the limit determined by the participating merchant for contactless payments.

For merchants looking to accept Apple Pay, the company explains “Contact your payment provider so they can set up your terminal, and tell them you would like to accept Apple Pay.”

Existing merchants that accept Apple Pay are encouraged to download the mark and contactless payment symbol, available from Apple’s website here, so they can let customers know the future is here.


  • Nick Cameron Greene

    I think the big difference between our system compared to the states is that most of our terminals in store limit transaction amounts. Most places around Montreal have a 100$ limit on Tap to Pay terminals. Same result, slightly different systems.

  • Sly

    Amex canada didn’t put a $100 limit. The limits are set by the card issuers. So anywhere you can use Amex with apple pay there’s no limit. Enjoy! 🙂

  • Nick Cameron Greene

    I understand that. I’m just saying that regardless of who issues the cards, a lot of terminals (at least in montreal) have a transaction limit. (Maxi has a 60$ limit for example). So even if Amex doesn’t limit the transaction, the terminals in store will.

  • Mario Gaucher

    they do not have any reason to do it…
    before the secure chip&pin and “tap” payments, marchants were responsible for the transactions… they had to prove that they got the signature. Now with the newer method, issuers and/or credit card companies (visa/mc/amex) are responsible.
    If they do it right, there’s no reason to put any limit on “tap” payments like ApplePay.

  • Nick Cameron Greene

    Right, things will probably change as mobile payments become more popular, but as of right now, a lot of terminals I use on a day to day basis do have transaction limits. I don’t know about other places in Canada, but limits seem to be a common thing in Montreal. I’m not saying it’ll be like this forever, but that’s what it’s like in Montreal today.

  • VJ

    You’re right. When I paid via CC for my iPhone 6S Plus ($1k+ in cash) the store I was buying it from’s CC machine still allowed tap, but tapping my CC would obviously be rejected.

  • CC I think have a bigger upper limit than say Debit cards do. I know I have come up against a $50 limit at many places using debit cards. Never used the tap with a CC yet. As the guy at Walmart said trying to justify not having Tap to Pay, what if someone stole the card and just used it everywhere making small transactions? I had to roll my eyes at that since it was lame excuse for not updating their systems.