American Express SimplyCash Business Credit Card

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Link: American Express SimplyCash Business Credit Card

Earlier this week American Express rebranded their SimplyCash Business Credit Card, and I have to say it’s one of the most compelling no annual fee business credit cards I’ve seen. A few of the details:

Sign-up bonus

The card offers a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on the card within the first three months of card membership. This offer is valid for approvals through April 28, 2014.

No annual fee

The heading says it all. There aren’t many rewarding business credit cards out there without an annual fee — this is a pretty big selling point, in my opinion.

Rewards for everyday spend

The card has a cash back based rewards system, with some nice bonus categories:

  • 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 (see below for that list)
  • 1% cash back on everything else

AmEx-SimplyCash-Rewards

For the 3% bonus category you can choose from the following:

  • 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 think this is a great option, and having the choice to customize a bonus category is smart for a card geared towards small businesses. Depending on your spending habits this could be a very lucrative category, so it’s nice to have the flexibility.

AmEx OPEN Savings Program

Since this is an American Express small business credit card it’s part of the OPEN Savings Program, which gives you up to 10% discounts at select merchants.

One of my favorite partners of the program is Hyatt, as they offer a 5% discount through this program at a majority of Hyatt properties in the US. For me this is one of the biggest selling points of The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card and The Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card, which I previously used to save money on Hyatt stays.

This is hands down the best no annual fee American Express business credit card, so if nothing else having a no annual fee card that qualifies for the program is extremely valuable.

Keep in mind that you can choose hotels as one of the 3% cash back options on the card, meaning you’d be earning a total of 8% cash back on Hyatt stays, up to $10,000 per year.

5% Cash Back on Hyatt Stays

Also keep in mind that the savings are capped at $10,000 per year per card, so if you have both an American Express SimplyCash Business Credit Card and Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card, for example, that raises your “cap” to $20,000.

AmEx-Open-Savings-101

Comparing this to Chase’s Ink Cards

In a way these cards seem to compete somewhat with Chase’s Ink Cards, which come with the following benefits:

Ink Plus® Business Credit Card and Ink Bold® Business Charge Card:

  • $95 annual fee (waived the first year)
  • 5x points on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
  • 2x points on the first $50,000 spent annually at gas stations and on hotels

Ink Cash® Business Card:

  • No annual fee
  • 5x points on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
  • 2x points on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and restaurants

So ultimately the Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus are more compelling for office supply and wireless phone spend, given that those points can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points, which are worth more than a cent each, in my opinion.

The Ink Cash® Business Card is a cash back card, so the return is the same on office supply and wireless phone spend. The one exception is that if you have the Ink Cash® Business Card in conjunction with the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card, Ink Bold® Business Charge Card, or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, those points can be converted into “premium” Ultimate Rewards points, rather than just being a straight cash back card.

However, if you’re comparing the SimplyCash Business Credit Card to the Ink Cash® Business Card on the basis of both being “true” cash back cards, the SimplyCash is certainly worth considering and in some aspects more lucrative.

Bottom line

This is an extremely compelling card given the lack of an annual fee, nice sign-up bonus (for a no annual fee card at least), and earning power on everyday spend.

It’s especially intriguing since it gets you access to the OPEN Savings Program. I’ll be picking up the SimplyCash Business Credit Card in my next round of applications not because of the sign-up bonus or because I’ll put a ton of spend on it, but because it’s a no annual fee option that has good return in some categories and also qualifies for the OPEN Savings Program.

Editorial Note: Neither this post, nor the comments, are provided by the Issuing bank, or any other advertiser. The comments below have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not the bank or advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Andrew says

    I downgraded from SPG Business to the SimplyCash Business card yesterday, so that’s an interesting option as well.

  2. Geoff says

    Husband and wife each get the card: each buys $3K Beans. $500($250+$250) back via statement credit(less cost of Beans)?

  3. DBest says

    I was very confused by this article until I got to the end. No worries though, I understand this blog is what you do for a living and if I hafta read an infomercial in order to fund the great trip reports, it’s all good.

  4. Nat Arem says

    I don’t really consider Lucky’s CC posts to be infomercials. They’re very useful analysis of the best CC value out there. The blog would be worse if he didn’t do them.

  5. Sean M. says

    Thanks Lucky! I’ve been looking at options for a business Amex card for a while but didn’t find any no-annual-fee ones that really caught my fancy. This one seems to tick all the boxes. Applied (using your link) and got it straight up – my first US Amex card in almost 15 years (I transferred my old US Amexes to Canada when I moved in 2002).

  6. says

    @ dino — Hmmm, that’s a good question. I know cards like the SPG Business AmEx can be, though I’m not sure about the Business Gold Rewards Card. That’s because this is a credit card while the Business Gold Rewards Card is a charge card. So I don’t believe so, but I could be wrong.

  7. Glenn says

    Might be worth mentioning you can stack further on Hyatt. Buy Hyatt Gift Cards at 10% off via Milepoint Membership and now you’re at 18% off. Or get 2% more by going through eBates to Hyatt for 10% ish. No corporate codes though.

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