Chase Ink vs. Amex SimplyCash

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Recently, American Express rebranded their SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express and the benefits are very similar to that of the Chase Ink no annual fee cards – Chase Ink Classic and Chase Ink Cash. Both are business credit cards that give you bonus points for business related expenses, i.e., US office supply stores, wireless phone providers, etc.

So if you have a decent amount of spend with the included categories, which card is best for you?

Annual fee:

  • Amex Simply Cash: No annual fee
  • Chase Ink Classic & Chase Ink Cash: No annual fee

Bonus points at US office supply stores: 

  • Amex Simply Cash: 5% cash back
  • Chase Ink Classic & Chase Ink Cash: 5x points (when cashed out with 1 point = 1 cent, it is the same as 5% cash back)
  • **all three cards are capped at earning the bonus on the first $25,000 spend annually

Bonus points with wireless phone providers (must be for purchases directly from U.S. service providers)

  • Amex Simply Cash: 5% cash back
  • Chase Ink Classic & Chase Ink Cash: 5x points (when cashed out with 1 point = 1 cent, it is the same as 5% cash back)
  • **all three cards are capped at earning the bonus on the first $25,000 spend annually

Bonus points with hotels:

  • Amex Simply Cash: If selected as one of your bonus categories you can earn 3% cash back
  • Chase Ink Classic: 2x points
  • Chase Ink Cash: 1x point

Bonus points at restaurants:

  • Amex Simply Cash: If selected as one of your bonus categories you can earn 3% cash back
  • Chase Ink Classic: 1x points
  • Chase Ink Cash: 2x point

Bonus points at US gas stations:

  • Amex Simply Cash: If selected as one of your bonus categories you can earn 3% cash back
  • Chase Ink Classic: 2x points
  • Chase Ink Cash: 2x points

Bonus points with airfare:

  • Amex Simply Cash: If selected as one of your bonus categories you can earn 3% cash back
  • Chase Ink Classic: 1x points
  • Chase Ink Cash: 1x point

Benefits of Amex SimplyCash over Chase Ink cards. With the Amex SimplyCash credit card you can…

  • Select one out of seven categories to earn 3% cash back – with the Chase Ink cards you do not get to decide and only get 2x points, although you receive two categories to receive the bonus points (with the Amex SimplyCash you can only select one). Categories include: Airfare purchased from airlines, Hotel rooms purchased from hotels, Car rentals purchased from select car rental companies, U.S gas stations, U.S. restaurants, U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, and U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • Gain access to the American Express OPEN Savings program. I wrote about this more here, but essentially you can get up to 10% back as a statement credit at participating merchants (for example, 10% back at Hertz and 5% back at Hyatt). I personally like the OPEN Savings program and have found it quite valuable. The Chase Ink cards do not come with a similar savings program.
  • Register your card for the Amex Sync offers. This card will allow you to take advantage of more American Express Sync offers and earn statement credits. I love Amex Sync, especially with a card that has no annual fee! The Chase Ink cards do not give you access to a similar statement credit opportunity like Amex does.

Benefits of Chase Ink cards over Amex SimplyCash. With the Chase Ink credit cards you can…

  • Transfer your points to another Chase Ultimate Reward account (if you have) and then transfer your points to a partner loyalty program. Through this transfer method your points can be turned into points at Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, United, British Airways, Korean Airlines, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, and Amtrak. Depending on how you use your points through this program you could potentially get a better value of your points then 1 point = 1 cent. I typically value my Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents per point at the minimum.

Keep in mind that the two Chase Ultimate Rewards cards are the no annual fee versions of the Chase Ink cards. There are two other Chase Ink Cards (the Plus and Bold), but they come with a $95 fee. The benefit of these two cards is that you can transfer the points earned directly to partner loyalty partner. They have a different sign up bonus and perks – you can read more about the differences of the four Chase Ink credit cards here.

So which card is better – Amex SimplyCash, Chase Ink Classic, or Chase Ink Cash? If you are looking to use the card primarily at US office supply stores or wireless providers, then they both give the same bonus. Being able to select your bonus category for the 3% cash back for the Amex SimplyCash card is a nice touch, especially since the Chase Ink cards only give 2x points. I also like that the Amex SimplyCash card allows you to take advantage of the OPEN Savings Program and to earn statement credits with the Amec Sync promotions (which I LOVE!).

However, after all is said and done, I value Chase Ultimate Reward points more then the 1% cash back. Since points earned from the Chase Ink Classic and Chase Ink Cash can be transferred to other select Chase Ultimate Rewards account, you could possibly get more value out of your points – but this only works if you have another Chase account. If you are purely looking at the two cards from a cash back perspective, then I think the Amex SimplyCash card offers more.

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Comments

  1. I recently got the AMEX simply cash but I am not sure if I like getting cash back. Do I have the option of selecting cash back or MR points.

  2. I think you might have overlooked that the Chase Ink offers 5% for internet and phone bills. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think the Amex SimplyCash offers 5% for these.

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