Review: American Express SimplyCash Business

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Can a credit card without an annual fee offer superior rewards? It might.

I review dozens of credit card offers each week to find the best deals. Check out more on our credit card page

Reward credit cards almost always come with an annual fee. Sure, there are a few marginal products out there that will return a mere 1 percent cash back with no annual fee, but the card that offers valuable cash back bonuses and no annual fee is extremely rare. American Express offers its SimplyCash Business card with up to 5 percent cash back and no annual fee.

Advantages

  • Earn cash back. Five percent cash back is earned for spending at office supply stores and on U.S. wireless telephone service providers. Three percent cash back is earned from spending on gasoline at U.S. stand-alone gas stations, and 1 percent cash back is earned on all other purchases. Purchases over the $12,000 annual limit in each eligible category only earn 1%. There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.
  • No annual fee. This card costs nothing the first year, and nothing after that.
  • Save money with the OPEN Savings program. This program allows businesses to save up to 10 percent on purchases from vendors like FedEx, OfficeMax, and Hertz. You can see a list of participating vendors, along with discounts, here.
  • Extended warranty protection. American Express will add one additional year to your warranty on eligible purchases up to $10,000.

Disadvantages

  • Foreign transaction fees. American Express charges a 2.7 percent foreign transaction fee on all purchases processed outside of the country. Other competing cards, such as the Chase Ink Plus, do not have this fee.
  • No sign-up bonus. Other cards promise new applicants points or miles worth hundreds of dollars, but this card has no such offer.
  • Fewer perks than other American Express cards. As a no-fee card, it makes sense that American Express would not throw in benefits like lost luggage insurance or return protection.

Bottom line

Get it if: You want to earn a lot of cash back, but you don’t want to pay an annual fee.

Forget it if:  You don’t mind paying an annual fee to earn travel reward points instead of cash back.

This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. Also note that any terms, rates or other features described in this article can change without notice. Always double-check everything with the issuer before applying for any credit card.

Stacy Johnson

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