AMERICAN EXPRESS SIMPLYCASH PREFERRED CREDIT CARD REVIEW [UPDATED 2019]
With 2% cash back on all purchases and no limit to the amount of cash back you can accumulate, the American Express Simplycash Preferred is one of the best cash back rewards credit cards available in Canada.
- Ability to earn 5% cash back on all purchases for the first six months
- You earn 2% cash back on all purchases after the introductory offer expires
- No limit to the amount of cash back you can stockpile
- An annual fee of $99
- Amount of cash back you can earn in the first six months is capped at $300
- Penalty interest is high at up to 26.99%
CASH BACK REWARDS
The American Express Simplycash Preferred credit card places very few restrictions on how the cash back rewards are earned, the amount of cash back that can be accumulated, or how and when that cash back can be redeemed.
Cardholders simply have to use the credit card and they earn cash back rewards. It’s just that simple. And 2% on any and all purchases is a decent amount that will enable the rewards to pile up quickly.
The American Express Simplycash Preferred credit card comes with a nice introductory signup bonus in the form of 5% cashback earned on all purchases for the first six months – up to a maximum of $300.
That’s more than double the 2% cash back earned on purchases once the introductory offer expires after six months. So be sure to take advantage of that 5% cash back bonus just for signing up for this credit card.
It’s too bad that the cash back rewards that can be earned in the first six months is capped at $300, but you should still take advantage of the promotion and make hay while the sun shines.
In addition to the 5% cash back provided during the first six months, cardholders also get a special 1.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months if you transfer your other credit card balances to this American Express card.
Eligible cardholders can transfer 50% of their assigned credit limit, up to a maximum of $7,500, to the Simplycash Preferred credit card. Also, there’s no balance transfer fee for this introductory offer. Taken together these are decent signup bonuses that enable cardholders to earn rewards and save interest.
There’s an annual fee for the American Express Simplycash Preferred credit card. It will cost you $99 a year to own and use this particular card. That’s not nothing, but it’s less than the $120 or more charged as annual fees on other American Express credit cards.
If there’s a silver lining here it’s that there’s no annual fee charged on supplementary credit cards taken out. So you won’t pay more to have another credit card for your spouse or children, for example.
In terms of the interest charged, the American Express Simplycash Preferred card charges an annual percentage rate (APR) of 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances. With the higher rate, you’ll want to keep an eye on taking cash off this credit card.
Also, worth noting is that the penalty interest charged in the event that you miss a payment or make one late ranges from 23.99% to 26.99%. So keep an eye on the calendar and know when a payment needs to be made.
The American Express Simplycash Preferred card comes with some approval requirements attached to it, including that you’re a Canadian resident and have a Canadian credit file, and that you’re at least 18 years old in the province or territory where you reside.
These requirements are pretty standard within Canada. And if you don’t meet these basic requirements, there’s no point in applying for the Simplycash Preferred credit card as American Express will reject you.
The Simplycash Preferred card comes equipped with a number of additional features:
- Premium access to live entertainment and sporting events
- Insurance against fraud and theft
- Out-of-country emergency medical insurance coverage
- The ability to earn a bonus of $200 cash back for each approved referral to this credit card.
Taken together, these additional features are a nice complement to the credit card and should both entertain you and provide you with peace of mind in the event of an emergency.
WHO SHOULD NOT GET THIS CARD
If you dislike paying annual fees and prefer travel rewards over cash back, then the American Express Simplycash preferred credit card may not be for you.
This is a credit card for people who want to earn cash back rewards quickly and use them to make a wide range of purchases. If you’d rather collect points that can be redeemed for a sun destination, then you had better move on from this card.
ALTERNATIVE CARD: THE AMERICAN EXPRESS COBALT CREDIT CARD
The American Express Cobalt credit card is a straightforward merchandise rewards credit card that offers fairly low interest rates and lots of ways to earn points. The highlights of this card include:
- The ability to earn up to 30,000 bonus points during the first year
- You also earn five rewards points for every $1 spent at eligible restaurants, bars, cafés and food delivery
- Introductory interest rate of 7.99% for six months
- Special offers on sports and entertainment events
On the downside, the annual fee on the Cobalt is higher at $120 a year and the interest rates charged are the same as on the Simplycash Preferred credit card.
The American Express Simplycash Preferred credit card is great in that it enables people to earn rewards quickly and there are few restrictions on how cash back rewards can be earned or used. There’s also no limit on how much cash back you can collect with this card.
For Canadians who love cash back rewards, the American Express Simplycash Preferred is one of the best credit cards you can own. Just remember that there is an annual fee and high interest with this particular card.