Published on January 19th, 2016 | by William Charles13
American Express SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card Review (New Card)
American Express have just announced that they are launching a new business credit card called the ‘No Annual Fee SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card’. It’s not available for direct applications at the moment (available to the general public in Spring of 2016) but some selected businesses are being targeted for this card during the current testing phase.
- No annual fee
- No current sign up bonus (although when it officially launches there will be one)
- Hybrid credit/charge card
- Card earns at the following rates:
- 5% cash back on purchases made in the following categories combined: U.S. office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers (on up to $50,000 in purchases per year, then 1% on purchases made thereafter)
- 3% cash back on a category of choice from a list of eight categories including (on up to $50,000 per year then 1% thereafter):
- U.S. gas stations
- U.S. restaurants
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- Hotel rooms purchased directly from hotels
- Car rentals purchased from select car rental companies
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
Hybrid Credit/Charge Card
This card offers something they call ‘expanded buying power’, basically this means that this card is a hybrid between a credit & charge card. This is how it works, you have a regular credit limit and anything up to this limit can be carried as a balance (credit card). You can then put charges on the card above this limit, but they need to be paid in full at the end of each statement cycle (charge card).
This is not unlimited spending power though, each cardholder will have a maximum they can spend above the credit limit that is based on a variety of factors. Cardholders are able to view how much they can spend over their limit by using the Check Spend Ability or by calling the number on the back of their card.
Most credit cards offer this feature (called over the credit line/limit), although usually there is some sort of charge and you need to inform them before making a purchase over your limit.
I thought it’d be interesting to see how this card stacks up against other cards in the market, I decided to compare it against three other cards: American Express SimplyCash Business Credit Card, Chase Ink Cash & Cash Ink Plus.
|American Express SimplyCash Plus||American Express SimplyCash||Chase Ink Cash||Chase Ink Plus|
|Office supply stores||5% ($50,000 limit)¹||5% ($25,000 limit)¹||5% (25,000 limit)¹||5x ($50,000 limit)¹|
|Telecommunications||5% ($50,000 limit)¹||5% ($25,000 limit)¹||5% (25,000 limit)¹||5x ($50,000 limit)¹|
|Gas stations||3% ($50,000 limit)³||3% ($25,000 limit)³||2% (25,000 limit)²||2x ($50,000 limit)²|
|Hotel accommodation||3% ($50,000 limit)³||3% ($25,000 limit)³||1.00%||2x ($50,000 limit)²|
|Restaurants||1.00%||1.00%||2% (25,000 limit)²||1x|
|Advertising, Shipping, Airfare, Car Rentals||3% ($50,000 limit)³||3% ($25,000 limit)³||1.00%||1x|
|Computer||3% ($50,000 limit)³||1.00%||1.00%||1x|
|All other purchases||1.00%||1.00%||1.00%||1x|
¹ This is a combined limit for office supply & telecommunication purchases
² This is a combined limit for gas station & restaurant purchases
³ You can only pick one of these categories
This seems like a very odd card to offer, it’s basically the same as the regular SimplyCash Business card, except that it has higher spending limits on the 5% and 3% categories (and one additional category). I would have thought that it would make more sense to charge an annual fee on this card, let it earn Membership Rewards points and also have the increased cap on points (e.g the Chase Ink Cash/Plus model).
I don’t see why anybody would apply for the non-plus card, I assume American Express must make it more difficult to get approved for this card but it still seems like an odd choice. Let’s hope for a nice juicy sign up bonus when this card launches.