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Update: This offer for The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is expired, but there’s currently an opportunity to earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Learn more about the special offer here.
Update: This offer is expired. Please check out the current list of the best current travel credit cards.
Increased sign-up bonus
American Express is offering an increased sign-up bonus on what I consider to be their best no annual fee business card, the SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express. They’re offering a $250 statement credit after spending $5,000 on qualifying purchases within the first six months of card membership. This card often has no sign-up bonus at all, so that’s quite a good sign-up bonus for a card without an annual fee.
1-5% cash back on everyday spend
But what primarily makes this card worth considering isn’t even the sign-up bonus, but the fact that it has no annual fee and a great rewards structure.
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
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% rebates at select merchants.
One of my favorite partners of the program is Hyatt, as they offer a 5% rebate through this program at a majority of Hyatt properties in the US. For me this is one of the biggest selling points of Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express and The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, which I have also used to save money on Hyatt stays.
Receive a 5% rebate at the Park Hyatt New York
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.
Also keep in mind that the savings are capped at $10,000 per year per card, so if you have both an SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, for example, that raises your “cap” to $20,000.
Since I live in hotels, that’s something that’s incredibly valuable to me. On $10,000 of Hyatt spend I’d be earning $800 cash back on the SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express — that’s crazy good!
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:
- $95 annual fee
- 5 points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year
- 2 points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel each account anniversary year
- 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn
- 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 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 in conjunction with the Ink Plus 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 to the Ink Cash on the basis of both being “true” cash back cards, the SimplyCash is certainly worth considering and in some aspects more lucrative.
This is an extremely compelling card given the lack of an annual fee, nice sign-up bonus, and earning power on everyday spend.
It’s especially intriguing since it gets you access to the OPEN Savings Program — being able to save 8% on Hyatt stays for up to $10,000 of spend per year, without an annual fee, is pretty awesome!
Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card has been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.