Choose Your SimplyCash 3% Cash Back Category

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Choose Your SimplyCash 3% Cash Back Category

Million Mile SecretsChoose Your SimplyCash 3% Cash Back CategoryMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Update:   This offer is no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

If you have an AMEX SimplyCash card, choose your 3% cash back category by January 31, 2016.

Choose Your 3% Cash Back Category by January 31, 2016

AMEX SimplyCash cardholders get 3% back in 1 of 7 spending groups.  I’ll explain which you should choose and what happens if you don’t choose a category!

AMEX SimplyCash Card

Link:   AMEX SimplyCash $250 sign-up bonus 

Link:   My review of the AMEX SimplyCash card

Link:   How to fill out an American Express business card application

I applied for the American Express SimplyCash the last time they offered a $250 statement credit sign-up bonus.  The $250 sign-up bonus after spending $5,000 within the first 6 months ends on February 24, 2015September 21, 2015 January 25, 2016 April 27, 2016. 

As always, terms and limitations apply.  

Now You Get a $250 Sign-Up Bonus With AMEX SimplyCash

The AMEX SimplyCash is 1 of my favorite business cards because it’s a no annual fee card which helps you increase your credit score.

But you should NOT use it outside of the US because you’ll pay a 2.7% foreign transaction fee!

Do you know the 3 ways you might qualify for a business card?  And some of your activities could also qualify you for a business credit card!

Here are some ways you can meet the minimum spending requirement of $5,000 in 6 months.  

Cash Back With AMEX SimplyCash

With the AMEX SimplyCash you get 1% cash back on all your purchases which is great for folks who want a lot of flexibility.  You can also get 5% cash back at US office supply stores and US wireless phone services.  And you can choose from 1 of 7 categories where you’ll earn an additional 3% cash back.

1.   5% Cash Back at US Office Supply Stores and US Wireless Phone Services

You get 5% cash back (up to $25,000 in purchases in a card year) at US office supply stores and US wireless phone services.

Office supply stores sell everything from printers, toilet paper, candy, and gift cards.  It’s like a 1-stop shop, great for folks who aren’t fond of shopping like me!

Choose Your SimplyCash 3 Cash Back Category By January 31 2015
Earn up to $1,250 a Year Shopping at Office Supply Stores, Like Staples

Although I like cash back, you can get 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on these categories with the Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Bold cards.  And I prefer Chase Ultimate Rewards points because you get more value transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel partners:

 Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partners 
Aer LingusBritish AirwaysFlying Blue (Air France/KLM)
IberiaJetBlueSingapore Airlines
SouthwestUnited AirlinesVirgin Atlantic
 Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners 

2.   3% Cash Back in 1 of 7 Categories

You can choose to earn 3% cash back (up to $25,000 in spending each card year) in 1 of these categories:

  • Airfare purchased directly from the airlines (so online travel agencies like Expedia do NOT count)
  • Hotel rooms purchased directly from hotels (so do NOT use discount sites like TravelPony)
  • Car rentals purchased from select car rental companies
  • US gas stations
  • US restaurants
  • US purchases for advertising in select media
  • US purchases for shipping
Choose Your SimplyCash 3 Cash Back Category By January 31 2015
You Can Earn 3% Cash Back at Hotels, like the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort

Choosing Your 3% Cash Back Category

You should choose your 3% cash back category within the first 2 months of getting your AMEX SimplyCash card by calling the number on the back of your card or at

Otherwise it defaults to US gas stations, which is great if you fill your tank often, or your gas stations sell gift cards.  However, if you selected a category last year, it will stay the same.

After you’ve chosen your 3% cash back category, it will be applied retroactively back to the 1st day of the billing period when you made your selection.

I chose restaurants as my 3% cash back category.  That’s because it’s 1 of a few business cards that earns a spending bonus on restaurants.  Folks who have the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card can earn 2% cash back at restaurants.  But you should do what works best for you.

Choose Your SimplyCash 3 Cash Back Category By January 31 2015
My Favorite Thing About Eating Out Is Getting 3% Cash Back!

Pick your 3% category based on your spending habits.  And consider the points you already earn with your other cards.

For instance, I won’t select car rentals because I’d rather use my Chase Sapphire Preferred to get 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points and primary rental car insurance.

Changing 3% Cash Back Categories

Each year, between December 1 and January 31, you can change your 3% cash back category.

So you aren’t locked into a 3% cash back category, and can change it based on your spending habits.

Note:  If you don’t change your 3% cash back during the annual selection period, it will remain the same as the previous year.  So folks who want to change their category need to do so between December 1 and January 31.

Choose Your SimplyCash 3 Cash Back Category By January 31 2015
You Can Change Your 3% Cash Back Category Each Year Between December 1 and January 31

Bottom Line

You have until January 31, 2016, to change your 3% cash back category on your AMEX SimplyCash card.

Folks interested in a cash back card might consider applying for the AMEX SimplyCash card before the $250 sign-up bonus ends on February 24, 2015 September 21, 2015 January 25, 2016 April 27, 2016. 

The AMEX SimplyCash gets you 1% cash back on all purchases, 5% cash back at US office supply stores and US wireless phone services, and 3% cash back on 1 of 7 categories of your choice.

With no annual fee, it’s become 1 of my favorite business cards.

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Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

More Info

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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How about fulfilling the promise of the article–telling people what category they should choose. I would have thought you’d have some kind of simple flow chart, like if you rent from Hyatt (and not Hyatt House or Hyatt Place, and don’t pay with gift cards), pick Hotels, since with the 3% back option you’ll get both the 5% Open savings and 3% back. And of course 3% back at other hotels, which you might want to use if you’re not staying at a hotel you have the appropriate credit card for…


Maybe this is not the place to ask, but I do want to know if ANA charges fuel surcharges with PEK-ORD-PEK route on United?



do you know if the 3% back on advertising works for online advertising on Google Adwords, Twitter, Facebook and the like?