Credit Card Review – SimplyCash Card from American Express

The SimplyCash™ Card

Among the ever-popular lineup of cash back credit cards, American Express offers two competitive daily spending-focused options. The SimplyCash™ Cards from American Express come with an intro bonus and rewards structure that rivals market leaders, but with a few key differences (think greater flexibility and plusher perks) that make it a unique option. Available in both a no-fee and Preferred version, consumers can choose between pure cash earnings, or pay a fee for additional features.

Card Details

  SimplyCash™ Card from American Express SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express
Annual fee $0 $99
Interest rate 19.99% 19.99%
Balance transfer rate 22.99% (1.99% for the first six months) 22.99% (1.99% for the first six months)
Cash advance rate 22.99% 22.99%
Supplementary card fee $0 $0 

Earning Potential: Good

During the Welcome Rate period, both iterations of the SimplyCash™ card offer one of the highest reward earning rates on the market, and include insurance and customer service features not usually offered in the cash back category.

Reward Breakdown:

SimplyCash™ Card from American Express SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express
·       Earn 5% cash back in your first six months of cardmembership on eligible gas, grocery and restaurant purchases (up to $250 cash back)·       Earn 1.25% cash back on all other purchases.

·       No cap on potential earnings after the initial six-month period.

·       Earn 5% cash back in your first six months of cardmembership on eligible gas, grocery and restaurant purchases (up to $300 cash back)·       Earn 2% cash back on all other purchases.

·       No cap on potential earnings after the initial six-month period.

It’s also worth noting that both cards come with access to American Express Front Of the Line entertainment perks as well as American Express 24/7 helpline and Emergency Card Replacement.

Point Redemption: Average

Cash back is awarded on an annual basis, and applied as a credit directly to your credit card balance.

This is a less flexible model than provided by similar cards on the market, which award monthly, or provide actual cash payouts on a regular basis. 

Insurance Features: Great

Cash back card features tend to be on the utilitarian side, forgoing plush perks to focus on earning potential. But this is an area where American Express, which has a reputation for pushing the customer service envelope, stands out with its travel insurance and purchase protection options.

  SimplyCash™ Card from American Express SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express
Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty x x
Travel Medical Insurance (out-of-country and province) N/A x
Travel Accident Insurance up to $100,000 x x
Flight Delay Insurance N/A x
Baggage Delay Insurance N/A x
Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance N/A x
Hotel/ Motel Burglary Insurance N/A x
Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance x x

 So… which one should you choose?

The insurance features are likely the culprit when it comes to the Preferred card’s $99 annual, making it a good hybrid option for those who travel often. For pure cash rewards, however, greater value is provided over time by the no-fee option, assuming all purchases are made at eligible retailers.

This post has been updated.

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