American Express SimplyCash Review

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If you’re looking for a no annual fee cash-back card, then the American Express SimplyCash card will likely appeal to you. You’ll earn 2.5% cash-back on purchases (up to $150) for the first 3 months and 1.25% in cash-back when the promotional rate ends. In addition, there’s an optional 1.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months if you’re looking to reduce your debt.

In case you’re not familiar with cash-back cards, you earn a fixed amount based on your purchases. This is a great benefit to have if you’re not as interested in travel rewards which are offered by the best travel credit cards in Canada. Cash-back rewards are easy to understand, but read my American Express SimplyCash review now for my full thoughts on the card.

American Express SimplyCash Review

American Express SimplyCash Benefits

  • No annual fee
  • 4% cash back (up to $200 cash back) for the first 6 months of Cardmembership
  • 1.25% cash back on purchases after the first 6 months (no limit)
  • 1.99% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months
  • $100,000 Travel Accident Insurance
  • Buyer’s Assurance & Purchase Protection

For a no fee card, the American Express SimplyCash card (referral link) comes with a good amount of features and benefits. For those looking to earn cash-back without having to worry about different categories, the 1.25% cash-back on all purchases will appeal to you. There is a promotional rate of 4% cash-back on purchases for the first 6 months (up to $200) is pretty incredible when you consider the fact that this card has no annual fee.

Your cash-back rewards are issued as a yearly statement credit. If you happen to charge a lot to your credit card, it’s worth considering the American Express SimplyCash Preferred card since it gives you 2% in cash-back on all purchases but it comes with an annual fee of $99.

The included optional balance transfer with an interest rate of 1.99% for the first 6 months is great if your goal is to reduce your debt, but note that interest rate goes up to 22.99% if you don’t pay off the full balance by the time the promotional rate ends. Balance transfers must be done at the time of application and there is a 1% fee that is applied. Some people may not like paying a fee for balance transfers, but paying 1.99% interest is much lower than the 19.99% that many other credit cards charge.

$100,000 for travel accident insurance is nice, but it only pays out in the event of death, so this is a benefit you never want to use.

Buyer’s Assurance & Purchase Protection are much more useful benefits since it doubles your manufacturer’s warranty (up to one year) and protects your purchases from being lost, stolen, or damaged.

How the American Express SimplyCash card compares to others

Overall, the American Express SimplyCash card is strong since it offers 1.25% cash-back on all purchases, but there are other cards out there that offer higher rewards for specific categories.

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card (referral link) allows you to choose up to three categories where you can earn 2% in cash-back with all other purchases giving you 0.50% in cash-back. Read my Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card review now for the full details.

There’s also the Rogers Platinum Mastercard which gives you 2% cash-back on Rogers products and services and 1.25% cash back on all other purchases. You even get 3% cash back on purchases made in foreign currencies which is why it’s one of the best credit cards without foreign transaction fees. Read my Rogers Platinum Mastercard review now to find out what else you get included with the card.

As you can see, the competition is tough, but neither the Tangerine or Rogers card has a balance transfer option so you need to take that into consideration if debt reduction is one of your priorities.

Final thoughts

My American Express SimplyCash card review is positive. For a straightforward no-fee, cash-back card, you really can’t complain too much about it. If you want to reduce your debt, then you should consider using the optional balance transfer.

American Express SimplyCash Review

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

2 Comments

  1. Brian So on July 17, 2018 at 4:23 PM

    I’ve had it for a few years now since they first offered a $50 gift card for signing up. I still use it for purchases in the ‘other’ category because of the extra 0.25% it has over my other cards. It’s a pretty good card, no complaints about it for a free card.

    • Barry Choi on July 17, 2018 at 7:44 PM

      Brian,

      For a no-fee card, it gets the job done.

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