Ink Cash or AMEX SimplyCash: Which Is the Better Cash Back Card for You?

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The Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card and the AMEX SimplyCash are 2 business credit cards that have cash back rewards.

Ink Cash Or AMEX SimplyCash Which Is The Better Cash Back Card For You
Put Some Cash Back in Your Pocket! The Chase Ink Cash and AMEX SimplyCash Both Have Cash Rewards. But Which Is Better for Your Situation?

Some folks like to get cash back for their purchases.  I’ll explain the differences between the 2 cards.  And help you decide which 1 (or if both!) might be right for you!

Ink Cash Vs. AMEX SimplyCash

Both the Chase Ink Cash and and AMEX SimplyCash are business cards.  That said, you might qualify for a business card even if you don’t realize it!

Do you sell items online or at flea markets?  Or maybe you help folks with home repair, do freelance design or photography, or write articles for a publication?  Even if you’ve just opened a business, you could be eligible for a business credit card.

Note:   You’re NOT required to have a business EIN (Employer Identification Number) to qualify for a business card.  You can apply as a sole proprietor using your Social Security Number.

1.   Sign-Up Bonus and Annual Fee

Link:   Chase Ink Cash

Link:   AMEX SimplyCash $250 Sign-Up Bonus 

Link:   My Review of the Chase Ink Cash

Link:   My Review of the AMEX SimplyCash Card

When you sign-up for the Chase Ink Cash, you’ll get $200 cash back when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of account opening.  There is no annual fee on the card.

The Chase Ink Cash earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  You can redeem them for statement credits, cash, or gift cards.

There’s a promotion right now for the AMEX SimplyCash card.  Through June 23, 2015, September 21, 2015 January 25, 2016 April 27, 2016, the sign-up bonus has been increased to $250 cash back when you spend $5,000 on purchases within the 1st 6 months of opening the account.  There is no annual fee on the card.

You can redeem points for statement credits on anything you purchase.

2.   5% Bonus Categories

You’ll earn 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (5% cash back) with the Chase Ink Cash on the 1st $25,000 in combined spending per card year at office supply stores and on cell phone, landline, internet, and cable TV service.
Ink Cash Or AMEX SimplyCash Which Is The Better Cash Back Card For You
Watch a Lot of TV? The Chase Ink Plus Gives You 5% Cash Back on Your Cable Service
AMEX SimplyCash gives you 5% cash back at office supply stores in the US and on your US wireless phone bill.

The maximum you can spend to earn 5% cash back in 1 card year (this means 12 billing cycles, NOT a calendar year) is $25,000.  After that, the rebate on these categories drops to 1%.

3.   3% Bonus Categories

Within your 1st 2 months of having the AMEX SimplyCash card, you can choose a 3% rebate category.  You can change it once per year during the “annual selection period” from December 1 to January 31.

You’ll get 3% cash back on the 1st $25,000 you spend on eligible purchases in 1 of the following categories:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • Hotel stays purchased directly from the hotel
  • Purchases made directly from the car rental companies listed here.  (Includes Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Payless, Thrifty, etc.)
  • Purchases at US gas stations
  • Purchases at US restaurants
  • US purchases for shipping
  • US purchases for advertising in select media.  (This includes placing ads on Google & Facebook)
Ink Cash Or AMEX SimplyCash Which Is The Better Cash Back Card For You
Ship a Lot of Boxes? The AMEX SimplyCash Will Give You 3% Back on Shipping When You Select It as Your 3% Bonus Category

The Chase Ink Cash does NOT have a 3% cash back category.

4.   2% Bonus Categories

You’ll get 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (2% cash back) with your Chase Ink Cash card on the 1st $25,000 you spend each card year at restaurants and gas stations combined.

Ink Cash Or AMEX SimplyCash Which Is The Better Cash Back Card For You
Get 2% Cash Back at Gas Stations With the Chase Ink Cash
Amex SimplyCash does NOT have a 2% cash back category.

You’ll get 1% cash back on all other purchases on both cards.  There is NO cap on the 1% cash back you can earn on either card.

Which Card Is Better for You?

1.   If You Need a Lower Minimum Spend Requirement

For anyone who has difficulty meeting large minimum spending requirements, the Chase Ink Cash is the better card.  That’s because AMEX SimplyCash requires $2,000 more in order to get a sign-up bonus that’s $50 higher.  Remember you have 2 months longer to make purchases on the AMEX SimplyCash.

2.   If Minimum Spending Isn’t a Problem

For folks who can manage the minimum spending requirement for either card, figure out the categories where you spend the most money.

If you’re NOT going to spend the maximum of $25,000 per card year at office supply stores, then consider how much you spend on cable TV, internet, and landline phones.

Because those are 3 categories where you’ll get 5% cash back with the Chase Ink Cash but NOT with AMEX SimplyCash.

3.   Do You Advertise?

Professionals such as freelancers, designers, and attorneys who advertise their services using Google and Facebook ads will benefit from saving 3% with their AMEX SimplyCash card.

Ink Cash Or AMEX SimplyCash Which Is The Better Cash Back Card For You
Do You Advertise Your Services? Get Cash Back for It!

To counter, when you enroll in the Visa SavingsEdge program, the Chase Ink Cash card gives you 5% back when you advertise on the Yahoo Bing Network.  (More on Visa SavingsEdge in a bit!)

4.   If You Dine Out Often

Restaurants can be a considerable expense each year, and the advantage goes to AMEX SimplyCash (if you choose that as your 3% category).

Otherwise, you’ll get 2% cash back with the Chase Ink Cash.

5.   For Paid Hotel Stays

Paid hotel stays get 3% cash back with AMEX SimplyCash (when you select it as your 3% category) while Chase Ink Cash gives you the 1% cash back.

And when you stay at a Hyatt, Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Andaz, or Grand Hyatt hotel, you’ll save an additional 5% when paying with your SimplyCash card thanks to the AMEX OPEN program.

Saving a total of 8% at Hyatt hotels is a good cash back deal.

Ink Cash Or AMEX SimplyCash Which Is The Better Cash Back Card For You
AMEX SimplyCash & Chase Ink Cash Can Save You Money at Different Hotels

But when you enroll your Chase Ink Cash card in the Visa SavingsEdge program, you’ll save a total of 6% at hotels including:

  • Days Inn
  • Hawthorn Suites
  • Howard Johnson
  • La Quinta
  • Ramada
  • Super 8
  • Travelodge
  • Wyndham

6.  When You Rent a Car

If you choose car rentals as your 3% cash back category with AMEX SimplyCash, you can rent from any of the car rental companies listed here.

Although you’ll only receive 1% cash back on the Chase Ink Cash, it comes with primary auto rental insurance when you rent for business purposes.  This is a great benefit to have on a no annual fee card!

Ink Cash Or AMEX SimplyCash Which Is The Better Cash Back Card For You
The Chase Ink Cash Comes With Primary Auto Rental Insurance to Cover Damage to the Car

This means their insurance will cover costs without you having to submit a claim to your own insurance company first

Other Discounts and Considerations

1.   The Visa SavingsEdge Program

Because the Chase Ink Cash card is a business Visa, you’ll be eligible to enroll in the Visa SavingsEdge program.

You’ll receive discounts on:

  • Business services
  • Car rentals
  • Computers and electronics
  • Dining
  • Gas
  • Hotels
  • Shopping

It’s free to sign-up.  And some of the discounts appear automatically as a statement credit.

Anyone with a business Visa card should sign up for Visa SavingsEdge!

2.   AMEX Offers, OPEN Savings, Small Business Saturday, and ShopRunner

The AMEX SimplyCash is an American Express business card that you can use to save money with AMEX Offers, AMEX OPEN, and on Small Business Saturday.

Ink Cash Or AMEX SimplyCash Which Is The Better Cash Back Card For You
I Love to Use My AMEX Cards on Small Business Saturday!

You’ll also be eligible to sign-up for ShopRunner shipping, which is a value of $79 per year.

You can save a lot of money when you combine all the extras that AMEX cards offer!

 3.   Get Big Travel With the Chase Ink Cash + Other Chase Cards

When you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned from the Chase Ink Cash to these cards.  Then you can move the points to airline and hotel partners.

Chase Adds New Transfer Partner More Options To Europe
If You Also Have the Chase Ink Plus, Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Sapphire Preferred, You Can Transfer Your Points to Airline and Hotel Partners

If your spouse or domestic partner has a Chase card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can combine your points with theirs!

Remember you can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for 1.25 cents each when you book flights or hotels through the Chase Travel Portal.  But this will only work if you have the Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold cards.

4.   Foreign Transaction Fees

Both cards have foreign transaction fees of ~3% so they are NOT good cards to take overseas.

Bottom Line

Each of these no annual fee business cards offers great perks and bonus categories.

The card best for you depends on which bonus categories you’ll spend more money.

Of course, you could get both!

Although, the limited-time $250 sign-up bonus for AMEX SimplyCash ends June 23, 2015September 21, 2015 January 25, 2016 April 27, 2016.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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