$250 Statement Credit (After Minimum Spending), up to 5% Cash Back & No-Annual Fee!

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Update:   The AMEX SimplyCash card is no longer available for new sign-ups. 

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You now get a $250 statement credit when you sign-up for the American Express SimplyCash card and spend $3,000 within 3 months!  $5,000 on purchases within the 1st 6 months of opening your account.

You have to be approved by April 28, 2014 September 21, 2015 January 25, 2016 April 27, 2016to get this offer!

Link:  AmericanExpress SimplyCash with $250 Credit (After Minimum Spending)

In my opinion, this is much better than the usual offer for NO sign-up bonus, and is quite good for a card with no annual fee.

American Express SimplyCash 

The American Express SimplyCash card is a cash back card, which is great for folks looking for flexibility!

You earn:

  • 5% cash back at office supply stores and wireless services
  • 3% from 1 of 7 categories (includes gas, airfare, hotel, etc.)
  • 1% cash back on everything else

You Can Choose Which Categories to Earn Cash Back!

Cash back cards are a good way to pay for travel expenses that aren’t covered by miles and points (i.e. dining, excursions, and tickets to attractions).

You aren’t restricted by airline or hotel availability when you use the cash back.

You can even use the $250 statement credit for non-travel expenses!

But This is a Business Card

Many folks often aren’t certain if they are eligible for a business card.  You may qualify for a business card if you own an existing business or are starting a business.

SimplyCash Card Benefits

1.   Sign-Up Bonus

You get $250 cash back, in the form of a credit on your billing statement, after spending $3,000 within 3 months $5,000 within 6 months on the SimplyCash card.

This is a very good sign-up bonus for a cash-back business card with NO annual fee!

Here are the 40+ ways to help complete the minimum spending requirement.

2.   Annual Fee

The SimplyCash card has NO annual fee.

Many business cards have annual fees of $50 to $175, so it is nice to see a card with no annual fee.

3.   5% Cash Back at US Office Supply Stores and US Wireless Providers

Here’s where it gets interesting!  It looks like American Express is targeting many of the same categories as the Chase Ink Cash and Ink Classic.

But is also letting folks choose which categories they would like to earn cash back in.

You get 5% cash back for spending at:

  • US Office Supply Stores
  • Wireless Service Purchases in the US

But note that you will only receive 5% cash back on your first $25,000 of spending in each category per year.

So that’s a total of $1,250 in cash back (5% cash back X $25,000 spending limit) for spending at Office Supply stores & for spending on wireless service.

You will only get 1% cash back after you cross $25,000 in each 5% category.

That said, I still prefer using my Chase Ink Bold or Ink Plus for Office Supply or wireless purchases because I like earning 5X Ultimate Rewards points.  I then transfer those Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt hotel points.

But the Ink Bold and Ink Plus have an annual fee after the 1st year.

4.   3% Cash Back in 1 of 7 Categories

You can choose 3% cash back in any 1 of 7 categories:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • Hotel stays (excluding timeshares, banquets and events)
  • Car rental companies listed at americanexpress.com/rewards-info
  • U.S. gas stations
  • U.S. restaurants
  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media

I like that you can get 3% cash back on gas, airfare, or hotel stays with a fee-free card!


Choose Which Category to Earn 3% Cash Back in!

Here’s a link which explains what is included in each category.  There are lots of restrictions so please read this carefully.  I wish that American Express wouldn’t have so many restrictions!

I also don’t like that you have to purchase the airfare directly from the airline and won’t earn points if you purchase via a third party such as Orbitz etc.  Similarly, you won’t earn the full 3% cash back if you prepay for your hotel through a travel site such as Hotels.com etc.

But you have to select a category within the 1st 2 months of getting the card.  After that, you can only change your selection once a year, during December 1 to January 31.

Also note that you will only receive 3% cash back on your first $25,000 of spending in each category per year.

So that’s a total of $750 in cash back (3% cash back X $25,000 spending limit) for spending in any of these 7 categories.

You will only get 1% cash back after you cross $25,000 in each 3% category.

5.   Foreign Transaction Fee

There is a 2.7% foreign transaction fee on this card.

So don’t use this card for purchases which are not in US dollars or which are made outside the US.

Bottom Line

It is nice to see American Express respond to the great offers by Chase!

A $250 statement credit on the American Express SimplyCash card may not seem like a lot, but it is a good deal for a no-annual fee card.  This offer ends on April 28, 2014, September 21, 2015 January 25, 2016 April 27, 2016, so you’ve got ~3 months to decide whether to apply or not.

If you apply for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, you will get another ~$420 in cash back which you can use for any type of travel expense!

I also like the 5% cash back on US Office Supply and US wireless purchases and being able to earn 3% cash back on any 1 of 7 categories including gas, airfare, and hotels!

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44 responses to “$250 Statement Credit (After Minimum Spending), up to 5% Cash Back & No-Annual Fee!

  1. I was just working on a similar post! If you read the fine print on this offer, you will notice that “eligible purchases do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of travelers checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, or purchases of other cash equivalents.”

    When I called to ask (twice, with 2 different reps), each informed me that gift cards would count as a “cash equivalent” and therefore not be eligible for the 5% cash back for Office supplies.

    But maybe you have different info?

  2. @Pixie I assume that’s if the vendor charges it as cash or requires debit… I didn’t think the cards are smart enough to itemize purchases… I could be wrong, though

  3. So I have had the existing SimplyCash card for about 4 years and it is still open. Is this a new product and would be qualified for the $250 bonus?

  4. I just think it’s always a good idea to read the fine print.

    It would be a huge bummer if someone got the card assuming that gift cards would count for a 5% rebate, and then it didn’t work out that way…

  5. Darius – have you tried to use this card to buy gift cards at office supply stores already? Did you get your 5% back?

  6. #1 rule: Do NOT Call

  7. Donna – You get cashback after 2 cycles, not in the current cycle.

    • @ched – The terms say “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months.” So you’re unlikely to get the get the bonus if you already have the card open.

      @Donna – I don’t have the card as yet, but others who do have got the 5% cash back for shopping at Office Supply stores.

  8. Newbie Miles Guy

    I rather use my card opening quota on the mileage or points cards. It’s better to have 50,000-100,000 points verus $250 of savings….I can book 1 or 2 airline tickets with the points but I can’t even buy 1 ticket with $250. I have too many cards and don’t want to cancel my other cards to open this just for $250. It’ll hurt my credit. Lets say they approved me on this one but in the future promotions I’ll get deny for a 50,000 points card, I would cry.

  9. $25K spending a year. Is it a calendar year or annual?

  10. @newbie mile guy Your explanation of greater sums having more value than smaller sums is correct. No one here is saying that you should value this over something more valuable. Some of us though, cannot apply for higher bonus cards right now due to timing and the fact that we already have these other cards. This post does have value though, even if you do not recognize it.

  11. I currently have 4 Amex credit cards and one charge card. Is this a charge card? If not, I have to cancel one in order to get this then I’ll pass.

  12. So that means this card would be off limits for me. I already have 3 credit and 2 charge. Isn’t there a limit to the number of credit cards?

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  15. Since it is s business card.. does it give Amex open benefits/ discounts?

  16. @Skudu,
    Yes – that is what I found..this card is eligible for OPEN saving discounts.

    Do you know what all office supply stores are included?
    Does it include all the standard stores? Staples, Office Depot, OfficeMax…and their websites?
    What about wireless services? Do you know if Comcast is considered for the 5% cashback?
    I tried looking on amex.com..but couldn’t find any specific info.

    Thanks in advance for your kind insights 🙂

  17. The rep said, this cards gives $250 statement credit(after minimum spend) and 1% of charges as membershiprewards points.
    But cannot believe that. does this card gives membershiprewards points?

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  19. With loss of lounge access, I am considering cancelling my AmEx Business Platinum but I have about 200K Membership rewards points. If I downgraded to Simply Cash would I retain these MR points?

  20. AMEX Cash Business Card-No chip and has foreign fees makes it a loser.

  21. I didn’t think I would but I just got approved for this card! Everything I need to maximize the return on this card (how to fill out the business credit card application, how to meet min. spending etc.) – all in one place. Great blog!

    I applied for this card mainly because I pay a $200 monthly wireless service bill (5% CB = $120 cashback a year; not bad) and I have been using Fidelity Amex 2% cashback card so far to pay the wireless bills. Wish they extend it to cable (Comcast, Verizon etc. 🙂

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  23. Like you mentioned in the post, there are numerous exclusions to reward purchases with AMEX. I just activated the card, and included in the exclusions appear to be gift cards:

    Eligible purchases are purchases for goods and services minus returns and other credits. Eligible purchases do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of travelers checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, or purchases of other cash equivalents. Additional terms and restrictions apply.

    This makes me a sad panda 🙁

  24. I got my $250 credit on 03/08/2014

  25. Kendra first alerted me to this card so I wanted to give her credit. When she only had a generic link, of course I came to you. Thanks for all your help over the years!

    Also @Benjamin, although this is stated, there is some evidence that you can still by gift cards at office supply stores. Above and in the points and pixie dust post. They may start to crack down though. Somehow.

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  28. Any update on status of GCs on this card? Two questions, really:
    1.) Do GCs at office supply stores earn 5% cashback?
    2.) Do GCs count towards $3,000 minimum spend, irrespective of 5% rebate?

    I’m hoping for at least #2, as that’s really the main reason I got the card. I’d use Ink for anything else otherwise.


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  30. I was intrigued, I spend a lot on shipping and online advertising per year. Unfortunately the 3% categories are capped at the first $25k per year of spend, then drop to 1% after that

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  38. I did an online chat with Amex customer service to check if Gift Cards bought at Staples / Staples.com qualify for 5% CB and he confirmed they do. Only gift cards bought at americanexpress.com do not qualify but Amex or any gift cards bought at Staples physical / online store do qualify for the 5% cashback up to 25K in purchase a year. And the year resets on Feb 1st.

  39. I applied for the SimplyCash and Amex Surpass on the same day. Surpass was approved and SimplyCash was pending status. I called and the agent told me that if 2 or more cards are applied on the same day, the system automatically puts the 2nd card on hold/pending for 5 business days.

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