This is a review of the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express.
This card offers low-cost way to pay for business expenses, at no annual fee. There are some good cash back rewards to be earned, and you can choose one of your bonus categories.
Read on to learn if this card might be a good choice to help fund your small business or LLC.
Our Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
We gave this card 5 out of 5 Stars, because it’s an inexpensive option for small business owners who want to earn cash back on typical business purchases.
Why we like this card
- Cheap to use because there’s no annual fee. It can be completely free if you avoid accruing interest on purchases.
- 5% cash back in two bonus categories, and your choice of one 3% bonus category. That’s quite a lot of cash back for a no-annual-fee card.
- You can spend a certain amount over your credit limit if necessary.
- Employee cards are free, and you can set individual spending limits.
This is a good low-cost choice. But there are other business cards with annual fees that come with better rewards and benefits. Check out some alternatives to the SimplyCash Plus below.
Why this card could be better
- The 5% and 3% bonus reward categories are limited to the first $50,000 in combined spending per year, and then you’ll earn 1% back. This might be a little too low for some businesses.
- There is no introductory bonus, although this may have something to do with balancing the lack of an annual fee.
- You can’t use this card for balance transfers. So you’ll have to look at other business credit cards with transfer offers if that’s a feature you need.
- There’s a foreign transaction fee of 2.7% with this card. And American Express has limited acceptance outside the U.S. as well.
Insider Advice: Using This Card as Part of Your Credit Card Strategy
- Use this card to earn 5% cash back on office supplies and wireless phone services up to $50,000 per year (then 1%).
- Pick an additional category to earn 3% cash back, out of eight possible choices. You’ll be able to change this selection once per year.
- Your cash back will be automatically redeemed for statement credits. So you’ll never forget to redeem or spend time figuring out how to get the most value for your rewards.
- If you have any sudden extra expenses, you can spend over your credit limit with this card by a certain amount. But you’ll need to pay that amount back along with your minimum payment due for that period.
- Positive activity with this card will improve your business credit, though not your personal credit. But negative activity, like late payments, will be reported on your personal credit reports as well.
- Get up to 99 free employee versions of this card. You can set individual spending limits for them. And you’ll earn rewards whenever they’re used.
This card provides:
- 5% cash back at:
- U.S. office supply stores
- Wireless phone services purchased directly from U.S. providers
- 3% cash back on your choice of 1 category:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- Hotel rooms purchased directly from hotels
- Car rentals from select rental companies
- U.S. gas stations
- U.S. restaurants
- U.S. purchases of advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases of shipping
- Purchases of hardware, software, and cloud computing services from select U.S. providers
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
The 5% and 3% categories for this card apply to the first $50,000 in combined purchases every year. After that, you’ll earn 1% back in those categories.
You can choose your 3% category within the first two months of your card membership. Then, you’ll be able to choose a new category during the annual selection period, which runs from December 1st to January 31st.
If you don’t choose an initial category you’ll receive 3% back at U.S. gas stations. And if you don’t change your category, you’ll keep whichever one you had previously.
The SimplyCash Plus card will automatically redeem your cash back in the form of a statement credit. You won’t need to do anything at all, it will simply be credited to your account.
The statement credit will appear two billing statements after the statement on which the purchases are recorded. So if purchases show up on your statement for March, you’ll get the cash back for them along with your May statement.
But you will not receive cash back for your purchases if you fail to make the minimum payment due. If your card is cancelled before the cash back is issued you won’t receive it either.
Check your card’s Guide to Benefits for details on the specific benefits available to you, and how to access them.
Expanded Buying Power
You can spend a certain amount over your credit limit each billing period. This amount will be determined by your credit history, financial history, use of the card, and other factors.
The amount you spend over your credit limit will need to be paid back in full along with your minimum payment for that period. If you don’t pay it back in full, then the high penalty APR will be applied to your entire account balance going forward.
Reports to Business Credit Bureaus
All American Express business credit cards will report your card activity to the credit bureaus in the same way. They let you improve your business credit, although there are also consequences for irresponsible behavior.
As long as your account is in positive standing, the activity will be reported to Small Business Finance Exchange. This is a large and commonly-used business credit reporting bureau.
But if your account enters a negative status, such as having unpaid collections or unpaid charge-offs, the activity will be reported to other bureaus. An account with a negative status will be reported to:
- Dun & Bradstreet
So your positive activity will be reported to one business credit bureau. But your negative activity will be reported to a different business credit bureau, plus the typical consumer credit reporting agencies.
This means you can use the SimplyCash Plus card to improve your business credit scores, but not your personal credit. However, you can still hurt your personal credit scores with it. For a different card that reports positive activity to more business credit bureaus, see the Capital One Spark Cash for Business (Review).
You can get a up to 99 employee cards for free. Individual spending limits can be set for the cards. Take note that there are certain purchases where the spending limit won’t apply, like restaurant tips and extended hotel stays.
The primary cardholder is responsible for all charges made to the account. The card activity will not affect the credit of employees using copies of the card.
Designate a trusted Account Manager to manage your account. Must be at least 18 years old.
American Express Business App
A tool to help manage your spending throughout the year. Allows you to add receipts and notes to transactions, making tax time easier.
Connect to QuickBooks®
Provides an easy way to label and transfer your transaction data into a QuickBooks account.
You’ll have access to discounts at a wide variety of merchants — currently there are about 80 different offers available, and the selection changes now and then.
You just need to head to the Amex Offers program and click ‘Add to Card’ for the deals you want. Then, just use your card as you normally would to make a purchase with that merchant. Your savings will appear as a statement credit later on, reducing your account balance. You may or may not earn additional rewards at the regular rate — this will depend on the particular offer.
Many of the deals can be quite valuable, saving you from $5 up through more than $100 for some of them. For most of them, you’ll need to spend a certain amount to get a certain discount. Some of the current offers include:
|Merchant||Need to Spend||Cash Back||Maximum Savings|
|Bumble and bumble||$75||$20||26.67%|
There are many fantastic deals waiting to be had here, though many other credit card issuers will offer a similar service. For example, Chase provides the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, Bank of America has its BankAmeriDeals offers, and Citi has the EasyDeals service. You’ll find a range of discounts in all of them.
Save 10% on Some Utilities
Occasionally you’ll be given the opportunity to save 10% on your cable, satellite TV, and/or cell phone bills. Just find the offer and click ‘Add to Card,’ and then use your card to pay for the utility as normal.
This benefit, also called Membership Experiences, provides pre-sale tickets to a variety of sports, music, and cultural events, as well as access to certain exclusive experiences. You’ll be able to search by interest, artist, event, or venue.
One offer for NYC that was available when this review was written is preferred seating to “Once On This Island: The Musical.” Another is in Boston, an exclusive invitation to the Boston Celtics VIP Play on the Parquet Experience. You’ll be able to play on Parquet Floor and attend a private pre-game dinner with Celtics players. That offer will cost $380.
American Express Personal Loans
Cardholders have the opportunity to apply for a loan through American Express (but only if they have been pre-approved). Loans are offered from $3,500 to $25,000, with fixed interest rates from as low as 6.90% up to 19.97%.
Other Benefits and Perks
We’ve only described some of the most valuable benefits here. But you’ll get some others with this card as well:
- Travel Accident Insurance
- Baggage Insurance Plan
- Purchase Protection
- Extended Warranty
- Fraud Protection
These aren’t the most interesting benefits, but if you need them they might be very handy. Check out the full set of benefits for the SimplyCash Plus Business card for more.
The Costs & Fees
|Intro Purchase APR||Regular Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|See Terms||See Terms||See Terms||None|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|See Terms||See Terms|
This card provides a cheap way to earn cash back because it has no annual fee. And the 0% intro APR gives you a while to pay off large business purchases at no interest.
Don’t forget to make payments as you go, though. Otherwise you will lose the 0% rate and incur the penalty APR. Try to get everything paid off before the period ends so you don’t end up accruing interest. You can avoid interest on purchases by always paying your bill on time and in full.
You can also spend over your credit limit with this card for no extra fee. The amount you can spend will change based on your card activity along with your credit and other financial resources. Any amount spent over the credit limit must be paid back along with the minimum payment due for that billing period. Make plans to be responsible with this card, because interest charges could quickly negate any rewards you earn.
You won’t be able to use the SimplyCash Plus for balance transfers or cash advances. It will also charge a fee when you make foreign transactions. Amex doesn’t have great acceptance outside the U.S. either. See some other business cards that are better for balance transfers and foreign transactions below.
|SimplyCash Plus Application Line||1-888-781-6736|
|Amex Business Customer Support||1-800-492-3344|
|Pay Bill by Phone||1-800-472-9297|
|Check Application Status||1-800-567-1085|
|Credit Bureau Unit||1-800-874-2717|
American Express has relatively good customer support compared to most other credit card companies. They usually do very well in consumer satisfaction studies. And they recently won J.D. Power’s annual U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study.
When we’ve called them we’ve been able to find the information we were looking for. Although sometimes we’ve had to speak to multiple representatives before getting a straight answer.
The SimplyCash Plus is an Amex business card. That means cardholders have access to a separate customer support team from the consumer cardholders, called the Relationship Care Service. This team is specially trained to deal with the needs of startups and small businesses.
Call the number on the back of your card to get account information or speak with an Amex rep.
You’ll usually be able to easily find what you’re looking for on American Express’ website. Or if you’re just browsing, their search functions are pretty good.
The pages for some cards have been redesigned recently. All of the information you would typically want to know is there. However, you may find the layout a bit odd. The features they choose to highlight may not be the ones you’re most interested in. But if you read through the page you should find out what you want to know.
The Bottom Line
The SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card can be a valuable reward credit card for startups, small businesses, and LLCs.
It provides a solid way to fund a business: At no annual fee, it won’t hurt you if you don’t end up making much use of it in any particular year.
This card is most rewarding for buying office supplies and wireless telephone services, at 5% cash back. But the ability to choose your own 3% category out of a fairly large list means you can get quite a bit more out of this card. And you can change it every year to keep up with new spending demands.
If you’re going to use the SimplyCash card to spend over the credit limit, be careful. Remember that you’ll need to pay back that entire amount, plus the minimum payment, by the next due date.
This card provides a valuable set of rewards and benefits for small businesses. But there are many other business credit cards, with different features that might work better for you. Or, they could work together with the SimplyCash Plus. Check out some alternatives to this card below.
How to Apply for the SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card
You’ll need to be an authorized officer of your company, responsible for managing finances, to apply for the SimplyCash Plus business card. You can apply securely on American Express’ website.
The application will require your own personal information, along with information about your business. For corporations and partnerships, you’ll also need to provide your Federal Tax ID (the same as your Employer Identification Number, or EIN).
Alternatives to the SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card
There are many business cards out there; find one that fits your typical or expected spending habits.
The information related to American Express® Business Gold Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.
Do you use this card? How do you like it? Leave your own review of the SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card below for other visitors.
The SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express was an impressive cash back business card that’s since been discontinued and replaced by the streamlined American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card (Review).
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The information related to Capital One Spark Cash for Business and American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.
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