American Express SimplyCash® Card Review for 2022

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    The Amex SimplyCash® Card has consistently ranked among the best cash back cards in Canada. In fact, Hardbacon placed it at the top of our own list of best cash back cards, and for good reason. The Amex SimplyCash Card provides the same cash back rate on every single purchase. And it includes insurance protection, special perks, and a generous welcome bonus. The best part? You get all that with no annual fee.

    Now you can live well, earn more, and get the perks you love without buzz-killing card fees or squinting through annoying mental math to calculate your cash back.

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    The AMEX SimplyCash® Card Welcome Bonus

    The Amex SimplyCash Card offers a generous bonus to new cardholders.You can get a $10 statement credit for every month you spend at least $300 on your card. The offer is valid on the first 10 monhts you have the card. That adds up to a cool $100 off.

    Amex SimplyCash® cash back, rates, and fees 

    With the Amex SimplyCash® Card, you earn 4% back on grocery and gas purchases. You can earn up to $1,200 cash back annually. Otherwise, you earn 2% back on all other purchases.

    Cash advances, interest charges, balance transfers, Amex cheques, charges for traveller’s cheques, foreign transaction fees, and other applicable fees are not eligible for cash back rewards.

    The interest rate on the Amex SimplyCash® Card is pretty standard; 20.99% on card purchases, and 21.99% on cash advances. However, if you do not make the total minimum payment by the due date, Amex will increase the interest rate on your account.

    If you miss two payments within a 12-month period,  the rate will increase to 24.99% for the next 12 billing cycles. If you miss three payments within a 12-month period, the rate will increase to 26.99% for the next 12 billing cycles. The Amex SimplyCash Card offers a 21-day interest-free grace period on purchases. 

    The Amex SimplyCash® Card has no annual card fee. You can add up to 9 supplementary cards for authorized users at no additional cost. Purchases made by your authorized users will appear on your account and you are responsible for making the payments on time. The account balance and payment history will report to the credit bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax, and appear on your credit file. 

    In addition to cash back, you can also make money by referring your friends, family, or whoever will stand still long enough to hear your pitch. The Amex SimplyCash® Card will pay you if someone you refer is approved and activates their credit card. You can make up to $750 per year for approved and successful referrals. 

    Ditch the interest with PlanIt

    The Amex SimplyCash® Card includes an installment payment program feature called PlanIt. It can help you save money on pricey interest charges if you need to make a larger purchase, or can’t pay your balance off in full. PlanIt lets you convert all or a portion of your eligible credit card balance into an installment plan with equal monthly payments for a specific period of time. Instead of expensive monthly interest charges, you’ll be charged a flat fee added to each installment payment. 

    You’ll get a choice of three different installment plans to choose from based on the balance you want to convert and your account history with Amex. The fee is calculated as 0.9% of the balance you want to convert and added to each installment payment. The fee is disclosed upfront so you know exactly how much each repayment will cost before you confirm anything. For example, the fee to convert $500 into an installment plan would cost you $4.50 each month during the term, added to each monthly installment payment. 

    Wait, you can add your kids? 

    With the Amex SimplyCash Card®, you can add children as young as 13 to your account as authorized users with their own supplementary card. This might sound crazy but it is actually a great feature. You’ll earn cash back on all the purchases they make, and they’ll benefit from all the same card features and perks that you do. 

    Unfortunately, adding a child to your Amex SimplyCash® Card account will not help them build credit. You are simply allowing them to transact on your account. You are responsible for their charges, making payments, and keeping the account in good standing. 

    Parental controls!

    To keep track of who charged what, purchases made with each supplementary card are reflected in separate transaction summaries on your statement. Supplementary cardholders can have their own login credentials on the account, allowing them to keep track of their purchases and make payments. However, they do not have access to your account information, nor can they make any changes to it. Their login allows them to see only their own transaction history, not yours. 

    To control how much a supplementary cardholder, like your child,  can charge to the account, you can set spending limits as low as $200 per month. You can also set up text or email notifications to let you know when that spending limit has been reached. Other notifications you can activate include online purchases, individual transactions over a certain dollar amount, and unusual account activity. 

    Earning Cash Back with your Amex SimplyCash® Card

    While the earn rate may seem low compared to other no-fee cash back cards on the market, the flat cash back rate on all purchases actually gives you the opportunity to earn more money in the long run because spending categories are not segregated with different earn rates. That gives you the opportunity to strategically use this card in tandem with another cash back card that has a better earn rate in certain spending categories. 

    The downside is that your cash back balance is only paid out to you once a year in September. Other cash back cards pay out your balance monthly. You won’t immediately get to reap the benefit of your rewards. 

    Insurance and protection 

    Usually, no-fee credit cards skimp on features like travel insurance and other perks. But the Amex SimplyCash Card breaks from the pack to offer three complimentary credit card insurance benefits. Whether you’re mulling over an expensive purchase or planning your next getaway, you’re covered with:  

    Purchase protection 

    The Purchase Protection® Plan insures items you’ve purchased with your Amex SimplyCash® Card. If an item is accidentally damaged or stolen within 90 days from the date or purchase, you’ll be reimbursed the cost to replace or repair the item, up to $1,000. Conditions and restrictions apply. 

    The Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan extends the manufacturer’s warranty up to one additional year for items purchased anywhere in the world with your Amex SimplyCash® Card. To be eligible for coverage, items must be purchased in full with your card and the original manufacturer’s warranty must not exceed 5 years, and it must be valid in Canada or the US. Other conditions and restrictions may apply. 

    Travel Insurance

    Travel Accident Insurance will pay out a benefit of up to $100,000 for accidental death or dismemberment while riding as a passenger on a common carrier like a plane, ship, train, or bus.  To be eligible for coverage, you must charge the full cost of your common travel carrier to your card. Other conditions and restrictions may apply. 

    Other special Amex perks 

    Not only does the Amex SimplyCash® Card provide travel and purchase protection at no additional cost, but they also throw in additional perks too. Whether it’s a concert or the hottest restaurant in town, Amex SimplyCash® Cardholders get preferential treatment and special deals:

    American Express Front Of The Line Presales give you early access to tickets for things like concerts, restaurants, theatre productions, and more before they’re available to the general public. 

    Front Of The Line® Reserved tickets give you access to the tickets of better seats reserved exclusively for Amex cardholders during the public sale period, subject to availability. 

    Entertainment with American Express® Experiences gives cardholders access to exclusive special events like advanced blockbuster movie screenings and special theatre packages, to name a few. 

    Dining with American Express® Experiences curates food and dining experiences for foodies like special access to festivals, private samplings at the hottest restaurants, and other lip-smacking perks. 

    Retail with American Express® Experiences gives fashion lovers special access to private shopping events, exclusive online offers, and other shopping perks. 

    Wellness with American Express® Experiences gives cardholders exclusive offers or special access to health and wellness services such as quit-smoking retreats, fitness boot camps, spa packages, and more. 

    Wellness with American Express® Experiences gives cardholders exclusive access or priority entrance to various venues such as Budweiser Stage, American Express Lounges, The Royal Alexandra Theater, and more. 

    Amex Offers gives cardholders specialized offers through the Amex App or Online Services that are tailored to their preferences and shopping habits. Special offers include deals on shopping, dining, and more. 

    American Express Travel Online gives cardholders access to special deals on hotels, rental cars, and offers that can earn statement credits on eligible purchases. 

    Who is eligible for the Amex SimplyCas® Card? 

    With no minimum income requirement, the Amex SimplyCash® Card is easier to get than most rewards cards. Having said that, there is no specific minimum credit score indicated on the website or application. You’ll likely need a good credit score of about 660 and up in order to qualify. 

    It’s worth mentioning that many other credit cards require that you have not claimed bankruptcy within the past 7 years in order to qualify. There is no such disclaimer in Amex SimplyCash Card eligibility requirements, leading us to believe that post-bankrupts could qualify for this card, assuming they have re-established their credit.

    This is purely speculative and approval is never guaranteed. As always, you need to be the age of majority in your province or territory and a Canadian resident with a Canadian credit file. 

    Who is the Amex SimplyCash Card for? 

    The Amex SimplyCash® Card is for anyone who wants to earn cash back rewards the chill way, without doing mental gymnastics. You don’t need to worry about optimizing different spending categories with different cash back rates, spending caps, or cash back limits.

    The Amex SimplyCash® Card gives you a flat cash back rate on every purchase, and there is no limit on how much cash back you can earn. This card scores extra points for including purchase protection, travel accident insurance, and no annual fee. 

    This card is super easy to hack for even more cash back rewards by adding up to 9 supplementary cards at no additional cost. If you’re up for the challenge, you can strategically use this card in tandem with another cash back card that has a higher earn rate in certain categories to maximize your total cash back on all your purchases.

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    About The Author: Heidi Unrau
    Heidi Unrau is the senior Finance Journalist at Hardbacon. She studied Economics at the University of Winnipeg, where she fell in love with all-things-finance. At 25, she got her first bank job as an entry-level teller. She moved up the ranks to Credit Analyst, Loans Officer, and now a Personal Finance Writer. In her spare time, you'll find her hiding in the car listening to Freakonomics podcasts, or binge-watching financial crime documentaries with a pint of Häagen-Dazs. When she's not chasing after her two little boys, she's in the hot tub or arguing with her husband over which cash back card to use for date night. She’s addicted to coffee, crypto, and obsessively checking her credit score on Borrowell. Fun Fact: Heidi has lived in five different provinces across Canada, loves her free Tangerine bank account, and will never cut back on Starbucks. Like ever.

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