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[ANALYSIS] American Express SimplyCash Preferred Card

Right when American Express decided to cancel its cash back credit card, they come out with a new product. There is now the American Express SimplyCash Preferred Card. Below are the highlights of the credit card:

  • $79 annual fee
  • No annual fee for supplementary cardholders
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases for the first 6 months (up to $400 cash back or $8,000 on purchases)
  • Earn 1.5% cash back after your first 6 months (on the first $100,000 annual purchases)
  • Earn 1.25% cash back thereafter (on purchases above $100,000 in annual purchases)

This can be quite lucrative. First of all, if you manage to maximize $8,000 in purchases for the 6 months period to get 5% cash back for a total of $400. Had you only earn 1% cash back, that would have been only $80 ($8,000 x 1%). Therefore, the $79 annual fee can easily be worth it, because you are netting $321 ($400 – $79) instead of only earning $80 in cash back.

The question is whether the $79 is worth it beyond the first year. Let’s say you earn 1.5% on a maximum of $100,000 in purchases, that’s a maximum of $1,500. Quite a significant difference from the 5% on $48,000 in spending.

I really like the 5% cash back on all purchases for the first 6 months, but beyond the first year, I’m not certain the $79 is that worth it. If you’re looking for a good cash back credit card with an annual fee to keep beyond the first year, I would go with the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card instead.

There is also a no annual fee version of the credit card which I think is very valuable. The American Express SimplyCash Card has the following highlights:

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 5% cash back on all gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants purchases (up to $250 cash back or a maximum of $5,000 in purchases) for the first 6 months
  • Earn 1.25% cash back on all other purchases and thereafter

The 1.25% is higher than many other credit card that offer only a 1% return, so this can be a good credit card to use on items that you are not already getting more than 1% cash back on. Since there is no annual fee, it doesn’t hurt to keep it around.

Either way, I believe that both new credit cards mentioned above are far better than the recently cancelled American Express Gold Cash Back Credit Card.

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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