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UPDATE: This offer is expired.
American Express has just upped their sign up bonus for the SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express to a limited time offer of a $250 statement credit after you spend $5,000 on qualifying purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. This is a new-ish card from American Express that came out last February and for awhile now has had no sign up offer. I am glad to see that a sign up offer is back and is valid for applications received by April 27, 2016. This card also comes with no annual fee.
While this card is by no means for everyone, it is doing a nice job competing against the Chase Ink Business cards. With this card, you get 5% back at US office supply stores and and wireless phones purchased directly from the U.S. wireless provider. This is up to the first $25,000 spent and then goes down to 1% cash back. Office supply stores include, for example, Staples, Office Depot, etc., which sell gift cards for many other merchants.
This card also offers 3% cash back on a category of your choice. You can select one out of the seven given categories to receive the 3% back, up to $25,000. These 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
- U.S. purchases for shipping
I personally like the option of being able to get 3% cash back on airfare, hotel rooms, and gas stations. Remember though, you can only select 1 category and cannot change it again until the following year (December 1 – January 31). The airfare and hotel room options are great for those business travelers that are spending a hefty amount on these expenses.
Other perks of the card: With this card you also have 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. This includes, for example, 10% back at Hertz and 5% back at Hyatt. There are stipulations to each program, so make sure to look at the prior post about the certain caveats. If you were to stay at Hyatt hotels often, for example, and selected the 3% cash back at hotel rooms, this would end up giving you 8% cash back. You can read more about saving money at Hyatt with an Amex OPEN card here.
Is this card valuable? While the sign up bonus is slightly less than some of the other cash back credit card sign ups (compared to the Barclaycard Arrival card), the fact that this has no annual fee is great. Getting 5% back at US Office Supply stores is very valuable. For example, you can get 5% cash back on your entire purchase at Staples, Office Depot, etc. Also, 5% back on your monthly cell bill can add up. I know my parents pay close to $400/month, so getting $240 back over the course of the year can add up.
While this is valuable for those that would prefer cash right away, I still prefer to use my Chase Ink Bold or Chase Ink Plus on these 5% back purchases. With the Chase Ink Bold and Plus card you are earning Chase Ultimate Reward points not tangible cash. I value my Chase Ultimate Reward points at at least 2 cents per point, so my 5x points at office supply stores can be thought of as 10% back – giving me twice the value then using this Amex SimplyCash card. But remember, points can always devalue, and having cash in the pocket now is preferable to many.
Using this card with American Express Sync offers. Remember, since this is an American Express credit card, you’ll be eligible to take advantage of more American Express Sync offers. This means you can earn statement credits at many merchants without paying an annual fee!! If you partake in these offers then you are already ahead!
- SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express: Limited time offer – $250 statement credit after you spend $5,000 on qualifying purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership; No annual fee; Your application must be received by April 27, 2016. Earn cash back with the following rewards structure:
- 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at US office supply stores and wireless phone providers
- 3% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at your category of choice (select one out of seven categories)
- 1% cash back on other purchases
*Terms and limitations apply
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