SimplyCash Card from American Express Review

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The SimplyCash Card from American Express is one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada. It has no annual fee, and you earn 2% cash back on gas and grocery purchases. All other purchases earn you 1.25% cash back. Interestingly enough, the base earning rate for this card is better than many cards that come with an annual fee.

Many people like this card because you get access to American Express Experiences. That said, there aren’t many additional benefits cardholders get. Read my SimplyCash Card from American Express review now for the full details.

SimplyCash Card from American Express

  • No annual fee
  • Spend $300 each month and get a $10 statement credit for 10 months ($100 total)
  • 2% cash back on groceries
  • 2% cash back on gas purchases
  • 1.25% cash back on all other purchases
  • Buyer’s assurance
  • Purchase protection

Welcome bonus and earn rate

The American Express SimplyCash Card typically has a welcome bonus of up to $100 in statement credits. You’ll earn a $10 statement credit each month for the first 10 months when spending $300. That means you must spend at least $3,000 in the first 10 months to get the full welcome offer.

As for the earning rate, you’ll earn 2% cash back on gas and grocery purchases. All other purchases earn you 1.25% cash back. Note that there is an annual spending cap of $15,000 for gas and grocery purchases. This applies to each category. Once you reach that limit, you’ll earn 1.25% cash back.

Benefits and perks

It’s time to go over the benefits in my SimplyCash Card from American Express review. Since this is a no fee card, you only get basic perks. Fortunately, some of these benefits are better than what other no fee cards offer.

Travel accident insurance

In the event of accidental death or dismemberment while travelling, you’re entitled to up to $100,000 in coverage. You obviously never want to make a claim with this, but I suppose it’s good to have if you have no other insurance. Note that you must pay for your travel with your American Express SimplyCash Card for this insurance to be valid.

Buyer’s assurance

Whenever you make a purchase with your American Express SimplyCash Card, your manufacturer’s warranty is doubled by up to one additional year. To make a claim, you’d have to provide a receipt and the statement in which the purchase was made.

Purchase protection

Your purchases are covered from theft, loss, and damage for 90 days. You can claim a maximum of $1,000 per occurrence. This benefit is highly underrated as you can replace your purchase for any relatable reason in the first 90 days.

American Express experiences

As an American Express cardholder, you get access to American Express Experiences, which includes the following:

  • Front of the line presales – American Express has partnerships with some of the most sought-after concerts, theatre products, restaurants, and more. You’ll be able to purchase tickets to these events before they go on sale to the general public.
  • Reserved tickets – You’ll get access to exclusive tickets or seats at select venues during regular ticket sales.
  • Entertainment – Occasionally, you’ll get offers for special entertainment packages, such as advance movie screenings, theatre packages, and more.
  • Dining – Throughout the year, American Express offers cardholders dining experiences at restaurants and food festivals. These events are exclusive and have limited tickets.
  • Retail – You’ll get access to special retail shopping deals where you can get exclusive offers or private offers.
  • Offers – American Express regularly has retail, travel, and dining offers with select partners. That’s where you’ll get a statement credit when spending a minimum amount with the partner.

When your cash back is paid out

Any cash back you earn with American Express cards is paid out as a statement credit in September. While it’s nice that your rewards are paid out automatically, getting it once a year is disappointing. Many cash back cards now allow you to redeem your cash back earned monthly or when you’ve accumulated a minimum amount in cash back, so the yearly payout from Amex feels a bit dated.

American Express SimplyCash Card eligibility

  • You’re a Canadian resident.
  • You have a Canadian credit history.
  • You’re the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

Despite the fact that American Express states that you need a Canadian credit history to be approved, they don’t list a specific credit score that’s required. That said, it’s recommended that you have a credit score of at least 660 before applying. You’ll also notice that there’s no minimum income requirement to be considered for this card.

How the American Express SimplyCash Card compares

Overall, the American Express SimplyCash card is strong since it offers a good earning rate and has no annual fee. However, it’s still worth comparing the card to others before you apply.

American Express SimplyCash Card vs. Tangerine Money-Back Card

The Tangerine Money-Back Card is a popular no fee, cash back card since it allows you to choose up to three categories where you can earn 2% in cash back. However, all other purchases only earn you 0.5% cash back, which is significantly lower than what the American Express Card offers. In addition, the Tangerine Money-Back Card has a minimum income requirement of $12,0000, whereas there’s none with American Express.

American Express SimplyCash Card vs. Rogers Mastercard

The Rogers Mastercard is arguably the best no fee, cash back card. If you have an eligible service with Rogers, Fido, or Shaw, you’ll earn 2% cash back on all purchases. In addition, you get five free Roam Like Home days a year and a 30% bonus if you redeem your cash back earned on Rogers services. This effectively gives you an earn rate of 2.6%. Simply put, there’s no other no fee, cash back card that gives you this kind of return.

American Express SimplyCash Card vs. Wealthsimple Cash Card

First, the Wealthsimple Cash Card is not a credit card but a prepaid card. That means you need to load funds onto your card before you can use it, and it doesn’t help you build your credit score. That said, this card is still worth comparing since you’ll earn 1% cash back on all your purchases, and you’ll get interest on any funds you have deposited to the card. In addition, the card has no foreign transaction fees, so you’ll save 2.5% compared to the American Express Card on any purchases charged that aren’t in Canadian dollars.

Final thoughts

My SimplyCash Card from American Express review is positive. This no fee, cash back card is ideal for people in the following situations:

  • You don’t want to pay an annual fee – There’s no monthly or yearly fee to worry about with this card.
  • You want simple cash back – You’ll earn 2% cash back on gas and grocery purchases. All other purchases earn you 1.25% cash back.
  • You want access to American Express experiences – You get front of the line access, dining experiences, exclusive offers and more just for being a cardholder.

Overall, this card is excellent since it has low eligibility requirements and offers a decent earning rate for a no fee card. That said, the one major downside is that your cash back is only paid out once a year.

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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