SimplyCash® Card from American Express Review

Annual Fee
$0
Base Rewards Earning Rate
1.25%
Purchase APR
20.99%
Min Personal Income Required
$0
Recommended Credit Score
740 850 670 739 580 669 0 579
Fair-Good
In your first 10 months as a new SimplyCash® Card from American Express Cardmember, you can earn a $10 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $300 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to $100 in statement credits in the first 10 months. Terms and conditions apply.

If you love the no-hassle nature of cash back and you’re allergic to annual fees, the SimplyCash® Card from American Express should definitely be on your credit card shortlist. Its 1.25% base cash back rate is nothing to scoff at, particularly for a no annual fee card with no minimum income requirement. The welcome bonus is competitive to boot, and its drawbacks are relatively minor all things considered (spoiler alert: it’s an Amex, and it won’t be accepted everywhere).

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee for primary or additional cardholders
  • Big welcome bonus

  • Solid regular cash back rate on all eligible purchases: Earn 2% cash back on eligible gas purchases in Canada, 2% cash back on eligible grocery purchases in Canada (up to $300 cash back annually), and 1.25% cash back on all other eligible purchases
  • No limit to the amount of cash back you can earn at the base rate

Cons

  • Cash back is only applied as a statement credit once a year

  • Amex cards aren’t accepted at every merchant

Check where Amex cards are accepted in Canada.

Welcome Bonus

In your first 10 months as a new SimplyCash® Card from American Express Cardmember, you can earn a $10 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $300 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to $100 in statement credits in the first 10 months. Terms and conditions apply.

Related: Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses and Promotions

Earning Cash Back

With the SimplyCash® Card from American Express, earn 2% cash back on eligible gas purchases in Canada, 2% cash back on eligible grocery purchases in Canada (up to $300 cash back annually), and 1.25% cash back on all other eligible purchases—the only stuff that won’t get cash back are non-purchases, like cash advances, balance transfers, etc.

1.25% is very respectable for a base earn rate. The good news is that there’s no limit to the amount of cash back you can accrue at the base earn rate.

Apply for the SimplyCash® Card from American Express

Redeeming Cash Back

The cash back you accumulate is applied as a credit against your card’s statement once a year, each September. This is less ideal than the cash back redemption policies used by some competing cash back cards, like the once-a-month credit with the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, or the uber flexible ‘redeem whenever you want’ policy for the BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*.

Related: Best Cash Back Cards in Canada

Insurance

Insurance perks for the SimplyCash® Card from American Express are limited, which is unsurprising for a card with no annual fee.

Manufacturers’ warranties on items purchased with the card are extended by up to one additional year, and items are insured with up to $1,000 in Purchase Protection if they’re damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase. The card also comes with $100,000 in travel accident insurance, but offers no other travel insurance of any kind.

Related: Which Credit Cards Offer the Best Extended Warranty and Purchase Protection?

Other Notable Perks

Amex cards are unusual in that a number of them come with a referral incentive. The SimplyCash® Card from American Express pays $50 for each friend or family member you successfully refer to the card, i.e. you’ll get the payout if you recommend the card to someone you know and their application is approved by Amex. This is valid for up to $750 in cumulative annual referral bonuses (15 referrals each year).

Another upside to being an Amex cardholder is that you’ll get access events and special offers curated for Cardmembers with American Express® Experiences.

Interest Rates and Fees

  • Purchase Interest Rate: 20.99%
  • Cash Advance: $2.75 charge per advance + 21.99% interest rate
  • Balance Transfer: N/A
  • Foreign Transactions: 2.5% charge per foreign transaction
  • Missed Payment/Late Payment: Purchase interest rate increases to 24.99% if you have two late payments in a 12-month period; or to 26.99% if you have three late payments in a 12-month period

Eligibility Requirements

The SimplyCash® Card from American Express is technically very accessible: you need to be the age of majority in your province or territory of residence, as well as a Canadian resident with some form of credit history. There are no publicly disclosed credit score or minimum income requirements, but we assume Amex will want to see at least an average credit score to approve you for the card.

How Does It Compare to the Competition?

 SimplyCash® Card from American ExpressBMO CashBack® Mastercard®Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Annual Fee$0$0$0
Welcome OfferIn your first 10 months as a new SimplyCash® Card from American Express Cardmember, you can earn a $10 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $300 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to $100 in statement credits in the first 10 months. Terms and conditions apply.Get up to 5% cash back in your first 3 months. Plus, a $50 cash back bonus - that's up to $175 in cash back in your first year*Apply by December 29th, 2022 and earn an extra 15% back* (up to $150) when you spend up to $1,000 in everyday purchases within your first 2 months.
Cash Back Rate(s)Earn 2% cash back on eligible gas purchases in Canada, 2% cash back on eligible grocery purchases in Canada (up to $300 cash back annually), and 1.25% cash back on all other eligible purchases3% on groceries; 1% on recurring bills; 0.5% on everything else*2% in 2–3 spending categories of your choice; 0.5% on everything else
Cash Back Redemption PolicyOnce annually each SeptemberOnce monthlyAnytime

*Terms and Conditions apply

Concerned that your Amex won’t be accepted everywhere you shop? Before you apply for the SimplyCash® Card from American Express check out some of the other no annual fee cash back options in Canada.

If groceries are your biggest monthly expense you should probably go with the BMO CashBack® Mastercard®, which earns 3% back on up to $500 spent on groceries per month*, i.e., up to $15 in monthly cash back. Or if your biggest expenses are in other categories, like gas or restaurants, you could pick the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card, which allows you to earn 2% back in two spending categories of your choice, or three categories if you deposit the cash back you earn into a Tangerine savings account.

Both alternatives are Mastercards, so they’ll be accepted at the vast majority of retailers. And some Canadian retailers, like Costco and No-Frills, *only* accept Mastercards, to the exclusion of Visa or Amex.

*Terms and conditions apply

Should You Apply for the SimplyCash® Card from American Express?

The SimplyCash® Card from American Express is an easy way to earn back on most of your spending. As with all Amex cards, its primary caveat is that it won’t be accepted in all stores, with particularly low acceptance rates in rural areas and at smaller mom-and-pop shops. That’s why it’s a wise idea to always have either a Mastercard or Visa handy as well, preferably one that complements your SimplyCash card’s earning rates. Read our guide to learn more about using credit card combinations to max out your rewards and cash back.

If you prefer to keep life simple and use only one credit card rather than a combo, the SimplyCash® Card from American Express is a good pick. But keep in mind that it might be worthwhile to upgrade to the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express, which has higher cash back earn rates at 2% base with accelerated earn rates on eligible gas and grocery purchases. The SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express’s $9.99/month (Equals a total fee of $119.88 annually) annual fee is offset by cash back earnings if you spend approximately $5,000 or more with the card each year. That extra earning can add up to a decent chunk of change over time!

American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.

Author Bio

GreedyRates is Canada’s go-to resource for all things personal finance. Our expert articles and videos cover every topic under the financial sun, including credit cards, credit scores, loans, bank accounts, budgeting, investing, RSPs, TFSAs, GICs, taxes, and more. Want our advice on a personal finance issue? Send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll gladly give you some free tips.

Article comments

46 comments
Avery says:

I got approved and have received my card during the 4% cash back promo in late August. However I can’t find confirmation that I will be receiving the 4% promo cash back rate for the first 6 months. Has anyone had success receiving their 4% cash back rate?

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Avery,
Your best bet will be to get in touch with customer service to confirm the promotional cash back rate and then check your first statement’s cash back balance to double check. Hope it works out.

Samia says:

Hi,
I have a credit score of 700 so if I apply Amex SimplyCash card, will they approve? Please let me know. Thank you

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Samia,
Our review of the Amex SimplyCash says you need a credit score of between 740-800, which translates to Good-Excellent. Your score is more like Fair-Good so I don’t think you’ll get approved. However, you never know (credit card approval is a mysterious alchemy of many factors, but the combination is a secret) so it never hurts to try.

DAVID says:

Hi,
My credit is “good” on credit karma, but I recently obtained 2 other credit cards (rbc westjet/Canadian tire) and i applied for this simplycashTM amex card today…so Will i be rejected because of my other two recent cards?

Thanks and all your info is of great help

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi David,
I can’t say for certain you will be rejected or that you will be approved. How credit applications are assessed and how credit scores factor into them is a mysterious alchemy and no one size fits all. I will say that getting approved for two credit cards in quick succession and then applying for another one will likely be seen as a red flag that may increase your chances of rejection. However, your credit is good and if your credit history shows you’re able to manage multiple lines of credit at once with no late payments, that may work in your favour. However, if your limits are also high on most of the cards you utilize (above 30%) that will also increase your chances of rejection.

Ben says:

Hi guys! I own this card since a few months ago and I wonder how can I redeem the BlueSky points, is website is kinda confusing in which cards can apply to redeem points 🙁

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Ben,

Thanks for coming to GreedyRates! We think you’ve accidentally confused the Amex SimplyCash and the BlueSky cards, as the former earns the points you want and the latter cash back. Basically, if you’re looking to earn BlueSky points then you can’t just go with any Amex card, you’ll need to find the card with BlueSky in its title. The one you currently have won’t ever earn these points and they don’t seem to have a conversion program either, so we’d call and ask an agent to switch if possible, or simply cancel and reapply for the card you want!

GreedyRates

Sam says:

The Rogers MasterCard gets 1.75% cash back on all purchases in Canada, and 4% on foreign purchases. That puts the 1.25% here to shame. Plus, you don’t have to wait until your anniversary date to cash out.

Nate Siegel says:

Hi Sam,

That’s a good observation—just the kind of critical and comparative thinking we like to see! Basically, you’re correct that Rogers’ World Elite Mastercard has a 0.50% higher cash back rate and more flexible redemption (through the Mastercard Pay with Rewards app) but it also has a $80,000 annual income requirement. Accordingly, it’s no surprise that it’s a bit better than this card, but we’d like to add the regular Rogers Platinum card and the Fido Mastercard into the mix as well.

With these two cards, you’ll earn 1.25% on cash back just like with the Simplycash card, but you’ll also be able to take advantage of Pay with Rewards. Just login online or via the Mastercard mobile app to redeem cash back in increments of as little as $20. If that’s important to you then these cards could be a good alternative, though be sure not to discount the advantage of having an Amex either!

GreedyRates

Peter says:

when is the cash back paid out?

Nate Siegel says:

Hi Peter,

Great question. If you’ve got a SimplyCash card from American Express then your cash back is applied to your account as an annual credit, meaning it gets added against your balance (now or a future balance). Remember in your first year, this amount will be larger because of the card’s valuable bonus of 2.50% cash back on all spending in the first 3 months, and you’ll also get more cash back for each friend you refer as well!

GreedyRates

Chi says:

Can I use this card at the airport, such as the priority security check or using a lounge fee of charge?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Chi,

Great questions. While you can certainly use this card at the airport and for booking flights, it doesn’t come with any airport-related benefits such as lounge access or priority boarding. What it does have, however, is a generous 1.25% cash back on all spending with no limits or caps, no annual fee, and a great balance transfer offer for new cardholders. Once you get into the upper-tier cards (which also require great credit and an annual income of at least $60,000) then you’ll start seeing airport privileges like the ones you want. The main cards we’re talking about here are those like the BMO World Elite Mastercard, or Scotia’s Passport Visa Infinite card. If you think you qualify, shoot off an application! Best of luck.

GreedyRates

Dustyjean says:

Does this card offer extended warranty protection

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Dustyjean,

Thanks for coming to GreedyRates. The Amex SimplyCash card does offer extensions when you purchase an item covered by a manufacturer’s original warranty. Your warranty is automatically doubled up to an additional year thanks to the Buyer’s Assurance perk listed in our article. It also comes with a Purchase Protection Plan, which insures your eligible purchases against accidental physical damage and theft. Good question!

GreedyRates

WC says:

Hi Guys,

I am interested in this card. I am a new immigrant so have a short credit history in Canada of only 3 months. I have a TD cash back rn.
What are the odds that I will be approved for this card?

Thanks,

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey WC,

Great question. First off, welcome to Canada, and second, we think that if you’ve been here for 3 months and have used your TD card in that time, you may have a mature enough credit profile here to obtain credit from other banks. Since the TD cash back is your first card, then we assume that TD was also the bank that got you set up with your first Canadian financial products. If so, then they also helped you start a credit report with Equifax or TransUnion, and so before you decide to apply for another card you should try to determine what your credit score is.

Though Amex cards don’t usually state credit requirements or income requirements, even one as basic as the SimplyCash card should only be applied for if you’re reasonably confident you’ll be approved. With only 3 months in Canada you don’t want to start with a hard check followed by an application denial. If you can’t get your hands on a credit report or don’t feel confident, you can always look for a similar TD card and ask your bank about it. They’re one of the few in Canada familiar with you, so you have a better chance of approval in this case.

GreedyRates

Tom says:

I believe there’s an important aspect that this site might be missing, which is the repayment system of different cards. I have recently applied for this simply cash AE and took advantage of the balance transfer, and the 5% rebate for first 6 months. Sadly, I found out that when you make payments, they don’t pay off your purchases balance first. An AE staff told me it’s around 80% (she doesn’t even know the exact amount) that goes to higher interest rate balance first, then the remaining payment portion goes to the lower “promotional” rate. As a result, if you are going to make purchases to take advantage of the promotional rebate like you guys advertise them here AND take the supposed low interest rate balance transfer, you will end up not receiving ONLY the advertised low interest rate. I’m not sure how other cards’ repayment system works, but this drawback from AE card is certainly something one should carefully consider before applying.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hello Tom,

We appreciate your comment about balance transfers, and the best balance transfer deals around currently. If you’ve already reached an agent about how they split the payment of your statement between high and low interest, then you know exactly how to optimize the situation to your advantage! We recommend in many of our articles to only use balance transfer cards as a tool for “parking” your debt, and to put purchases on these cards with extreme caution. It’s not just because you’ll distract yourself from your primary goal, it’s because with two “tiers” of debt on the same card, the bank might not allocate your payments in your best interest.

Regardless, thanks for bringing this issue to attention again for readers who haven’t yet encountered it. This is always a relevant question for your bank representative if you plan on using your balance transfer card as a primary card as well (“What portion of my monthly maximum payment is put towards my low-interest promotional balance, and what portion towards my monthly purchases balance?”).

GreedyRates

Swimstuff says:

Right now I have a student credit card and an income lower than $10,000 if I apply will they approve me for one?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Swimstuff!

We’re glad that you like the Amex SimplyCash card and we think that you have a shot at getting approved, pending a few items. Though Amex didn’t publish any information regarding a minimum income requirement for eligibility, it’s because they put a greater emphasis on credit than income. You should make sure that your credit is in good shape before applying, and we know you have credit (even as a student) because you have a student credit card already. If you used it responsibly, it will demonstrate to other lenders that you’re ready for an upgrade. In these circumstances, your chances are better than they would be otherwise, but we can’t say for sure whether you’ll be approved, as we have no administrative association with the banks and issuers we discuss on our site. Thanks!

GreedyRates

GreedyReader says:

How much time should I give before applying for this card? I last applied for credit in February 2018 (Home trust preffered visa. I only recieved the card awhile ago). Prior to that, I haven’t applied for credit since 2016.

Thanks!

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi GreedyReader!

First of all, awesome username! We’re glad you like the site. If you’re interested in the Amex SimplyCash card, there’s no reason to wait for an application. You should apply for it as soon as you’re ready, and because Amex is one of the most organized worldwide credit card networks, you’ll be processed and receive the card in a matter of weeks. We know you experienced a long wait with Home Trust, but you probably couldn’t come up with a better example of “little vs big” or “inefficient vs efficient” than Home Trust and Amex. In other words, don’t expect your application to take months, or use Home Trust as a measuring stick for your expectations, because they’re abnormally slow (but getting better). Good luck!

GreedyRates

Faizan Farooqi says:

I have a balance for my SimplyCash cash back. What can I do with it?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Faizan,

Do you mean that you have an outstanding, unpaid balance on your Amex SimplyCash card? If you’re having difficulty paying off a balance and it’s accruing interest charges every month, you should transfer the debt to another credit card. Many great card options have the added benefit of reducing interest significantly for extended periods of time, much like the SimplyCash card itself.

If you’ve just now received the SimplyCash card and need to do a balance transfer to it from another bank, then this is possible by logging into your Amex membership account online. You can request a balance transfer here, or simply call Amex on the phone and talk to a representative about it. Amex has the best customer service in the world, bar none, and they’d be happy to walk you through the process in minutes, and at the rate you expect.

Finally, we also suspect you may be talking about a pool of cash back rewards that you’re looking to use. Amex Membership Rewards is the web portal to everything you want, including merchandise, tickets to the best events, travel, gift cards and more. If you’re logged in while browsing the catalogue, you’ll see your Rewards total at the top of the page and can freely order items as though you were shopping online. Enjoy!

GreedyRates

mary says:

i am totally confused about this credit card. is it a card that you transfer other balances from other credit cards you have so that there is 0 percent interest for 12 months so that you can pay them off. or is it a credit card with a limit and you can user to pay off your other credit cards. I dont have high amounts on my two credit cards due to my credit score being 601. so both cards i have are 200 eacb. However i am about 6000 in debt according to my credit bureau . Now having a credit card you could use to pay that stuff off and 12 months no interest so that at the end you could rebuild your credit. Now that would be a help. People arent alwayd in debt due to credit cards. 75 percent of people todays bad credit isnt due to credit cards. make a card to help people like me out and your truly helping canadians

GreedyRates says:

Hi Mary, thanks for your question. Basically, you’ve described two sides of the same coin. A balance transfer can either be used as an interest-free loan, which you’ll use to pay off your debts by depositing it into other bank accounts, or as a credit card that lets you transfer debt to it from other sources. The former strategy is called a deposit transfer, while the latter is called a balance transfer, and theMBNA Platinum Plus allows you to do it either way. Either way you choose, the result is the same. Your various balances will all merge under one label and you’ll have 12 months to pay them off at whatever pace you like, without incurring interest during this period whatsoever. You’re right: it’s a huge help for Canadians with unmanageable debt, but it’s only for those who are willing to work hard at reducing or removing it within a year. Best of luck!

GreedyRates Staff

Danny says:

Hi (awesome greedy rates staff) ,is there relation between this card and Scotiabank Amex card ?
There is questions in application for “New simply cash ” -“are you an existing American express cardholder ” ?I am not sure how to answer since i have Scotiabank Gold Amex card.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Danny,

There is no relation between the two credit cards. You can answer no, since the Scotia Amex gold card, does not make you an American Express Card member.

This is a confusing one. American Express is both a credit card issuer (like RBC, CIBC, Capital One, etc…) and a payment network (like Visa and MasterCard). Scotia’s Amex Gold card uses the American Express network, but Scotia is the issuer / lender. Scotia is currently the only non-Amex issuer, to use American Express this way in Canada. In the United States it is more common.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Mib Garcia says:

How do u redeem the cash back amount?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Mib,

Good question. You cash back earned is applied as a statement credit to your account annually.

Hope that helps!

GreedyRates Staff

Inna says:

What is expiry day for SimplyCash offer? It would be better for me to apply in January-February, after I’ll use up the 4%-cash back period on Tangerine card 🙂

Another question: (I am curious about churning) if you get the second AMEX card ( or, generally, the second TD or any other credit card) do you get the same account for miles/points as the one for the first card or the different account so you would need to transfer the miles/points from one account to another? and it would probably be not for free? I guess they need to fight churning somehow?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Inna,

There is no published expiry date for the Amex SimplyCash offer. That said, it could be withdrawn at any time, although unlikely in the next 2 months. As such, looks like a good idea to use up the 4% cash back period on the Tangerine card, and the subsequently use the 5% cash back promo on the SimplyCash card.

One question number 2, if the rewards programs are the same, two Aeroplan cards or two Amex Rewards cards, the answer is typically yes – both credit card accounts will fund the same loyalty account. For example, if you get the TD Aeroplan Infinite and the TD Aeroplan Infinite Privilege cards, they will both fund the same Aeroplan loyalty account. As a result you will not need to transfer points from one card to another.

However, if the rewards programs are different, for example, Amex Gold Rewards versus Amex SimplyCash, then the rewards accounts will be separate.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Ravi says:

How to use cash back ??

GreedyRates says:

Hi Ravi,

There are many different forms of cash back rewards. In the case of the Amex Simply cash card, you accumulate cash back earnings on each dollar you spend. The cash back earnings are then applied as a statement credit at the end of the year.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff

Bakht says:

Does it keep offer additonal promotional balance transfer rates even after the 6 months promotion expires or is this just a one time thing?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Bakht,

Actually it’s only available at time of online application. American Express may offer you another balance transfer promotion once you have your account with them, but there’s no guarantee it will be available or available at the same terms. That said, you can always take a look at some of our other balance transfer cards if you were looking for additional opportunities.

GreedyRates Staff

Joan Snow says:

Can you tell me the rate for balance transfer

GreedyRates says:

Hi Joan,

The New SimplyCash card from American Express does not come with a standard balance transfer offer. American Express does make special offers on a targeted basis to select customers, typically at 0% for 6 months. You will only know if you’re eligible for the promo offer after you apply.
The best balance transfer credit card with an open offer to all cardholders we see on the market today is MBNA’s Platinum Plus card, which offers 0% for 12 months, with a 1% balance transfer fee.

Hope that helps.

Ken Anderson says:

Hello,

How do i receive my cash back from the new simply cash card. Thanks Ken

Vox says:

I can’t seem to find any information on how I actually get my cash back, back now that I have accumulated some. Does anyone know?

GreedyRates says:

Hi Vox,

You’ll get a statement credit applied to your account each September of every year.

GreedyStaff

Jeremy Johnson says:

Would you know whether there’s a “cheque” option for the cash back, instead of a statement credit? That’s what the Costco Amex card did, and what I’d prefer as a customer.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Jeremy,

Unfortunately the Amex Simply Cash card only offers cash back redemptions as a statement credit. If you want a cash back card that gives you the choice of redeeming for cash back with a check, a deposit into your checking account or a statement credit, take a look at the no fee MBNA Smart Cash card or the Cash Back page.

Hope that helps.

GreedyRates Staff

rizal talicuran says:

I need 2000 limit only.