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Published October 25, 2022

American Express SimplyCash Preferred Card Review

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Best for shoppers who want cash back on every purchase without having to manage spending limits or categories.

SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express rating: 4.5/5.0 stars

View star rating methodology.

SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express

SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express
  • Annual Fee
    $119.88
  • Interest Rates
    20.99% / 21.99%
  • Rewards Rate
    2%-4%
  • Intro Offer
    Up to $400
  • Our Take
    Why we like it

    Get rewarded at the gas station and grocery store with 4% cash back, plus enjoy a high ongoing flat-rate of 2% cash back on everything else.

    Pros
    • The unlimited 2% cash-back earn rate is among the highest we evaluated.
    • You can earn up to $400 in the first ten months.


    Cons
    • The bonus rewards rate on gas and groceries drops down to 2% after a $30,000 annual spend.
  • Product Details
    • In your first 10 months as a new SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express Cardmember, you can earn a $40 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $750 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to $400 in statement credits in the first 10 months.
    • Earn accelerated earn rates on eligible gas and grocery purchases.
    • Earn 4% cash back on eligible gas station purchases in Canada, 4% cash back on eligible grocery store purchases in Canada (up to $1,200 cash back annually) and 2% cash back on all other purchases.
    • Access events and special offers curated for Cardmembers with American Express® Experiences.
    • Extensive insurance coverage and 24/7 Customer Service.
    • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.

SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express pros and cons

Pros:

  • The unlimited 2% cash-back earn rate is higher than most other cards.
  • You can earn up to $400 in statement credits in the first 10 months.
  • Earn a maximum annual bonus worth up to $1,500 cash back for approved referrals.

Cons:

  • Other cash back cards offer a higher earn rate on specific spending categories.
  • Doesn’t provide the travel rewards associated with some other Canadian cash-back credit cards.

SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express full review

The SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express is a cash-back credit card. With no spending limits to adhere to or rewards categories to track, the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express provides cardholders with a reliable, straightforward way to score cash-back benefits on every purchase.

Benefits of the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express

The SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express currently offers the ability to earn a $40 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $750 in purchases on the card. This could add up to $400 in statement credits in the first 10 months. This introductory off can make the card especially worthwhile for new American Express customers.

Earn accelerated earn rates on eligible gas and grocery purchases.

Eligible cardholders who refer approved friends and family members can earn up to $1,500 in annual referral bonuses, which can give a legitimate jolt to your cash back earnings.

The SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express also offers an extensive suite of insurance coverage, and access to memorable experiences and events.

Drawbacks of the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express

The SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express charges a $9.99 monthly fee, for a total of $119.88 annually.

The bonus rewards rate on gas and groceries drops down to 2% after a $30,000 annual spend.

The SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express also lacks some of the intriguing travel rewards offered by other cash-back credit cards, though those cards charge a slightly higher annual fee.

Is American Express reliable and secure?

With American Express being one of the world’s biggest credit card issuers, their products typically provide a secure way of making purchases in person and online.

If someone steals your credit card information or makes fraudulent purchases with your card, American Express’s Fraud Protection Guarantee ensures you won’t be held responsible for any of the charges.

There have been minor security scares involving American Express customer information in recent years that were either the result of security breaches at third-party sites storing American Express customer data or the work of disgruntled former employees.

American Express customer satisfaction ratings

American Express ranks third (and above industry average) in customer satisfaction with credit card issuers, according to J.D. Power’s 2022 Canada Credit Card Satisfaction Study, a survey of 6,478 cardholders in Canada [1]. Card issuers were rated on their benefits and services, communication, card terms, customer support and rewards. The credit card issuers with the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the survey were Tangerine Bank and Canadian Tire.

American Express had a Trustpilot rating of 1.7 out of a possible 5 stars, based on more than 2,500 reviews, at the time of this writing.

American Express had a 1.07 out of a possible 5 stars, according to nearly 300 customer reviews on the Better Business Bureau website, at the time of this writing. American Express is accredited and has an A+ rating by the BBB itself.

American Express had a Customer Service Scoreboard rating of 36.48 out of a possible 200, based on over 300 ratings, at the time of this writing.

American Express SimplyCash Preferred

Get rewarded at the gas station and grocery store with 4% cash back, plus enjoy a high ongoing flat-rate of 2% cash back on everything else.

SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express details and eligibility

Who qualifies for the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express?

To apply for the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express, you must:

  • Be a Canadian resident and have a Canadian credit file.
  • Be the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

Approximate credit score needed for approval

Canadian credit card issuers rarely disclose required credit scores, which makes it hard to know your chances of approval when comparing credit cards. It also means any score suggestion we make would be our best guess — which may not be accurate and could result in card application rejections. We don’t want that.

Suggesting that you’d need a “good” or “excellent” score is also confusing, because the meaning of those terms can vary depending on the rating system card issuers use.

Instead, we’ll tell you what we do know: higher scores have better chances of approval — that’s true no matter what type of credit you’re applying for.

Want to learn more? Visit our “What Credit Score is Needed for a Credit Card?” page.

» MORE: How to Check Your Credit Score 

Income requirements

There is no publicly available income requirement for the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express

Who should get the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express?

The SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express should satisfy consumers looking for a straightforward cash-back credit card that has an earn rate higher than 1%.

How to know if the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express is right for you

If you typically use a credit card to pay for most of your day-to-day expenses, you should have no problem recouping the monthly fee and earning a decent amount of cash back from the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express.

Value of the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express’s intro offer

In your first of having a SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express, you can earn a $40 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $750 in purchases on your card. This could add up to $400 in statement credits in the first 10 months.

The total monetary value of the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express will depend on how often you make use of its 2% cash back earn rate — essentially $0.02 for every dollar you spend.

Is the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express worth it?

Considering the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express’s modest annual fee of $119.88, elevated cash-back earn rate of 2% on all purchases, and extensive insurance coverage, frequent users should be able to get their money’s worth — if they consistently pay off their balances every month.

How to apply for the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express

The application process for the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express is fairly straightforward:

  1. Visit the American Express Canada home page.
  2. Select the card you wish to apply for.
  3. Read the product information, then read and agree to the card’s requirements.
  4. Provide your personal information, including your name, address and date of birth. Entering your Social Insurance Number is optional but encouraged.
  5. Enter your employment and income details.
  6. Confirm your information.
  7. Read and agree to the terms and conditions.
  8. Submit your application.

How to maximize the benefit of the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express

Maximizing the benefit of your SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express means using it as much as possible without carrying a balance that results in interest charges. Interest can make short work of cash-back benefits.

You’ll also want to take full advantage of the card’s welcome offer in the first 10 months. Earning up to $400 in a relatively short period of time will be a boon for your wallet, especially if you’d be making those purchases anyway.

Alternatives to the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express

Reasons you might want a different card

  • You’re looking for the ability to earn unlimited cash back on gas and groceries.
  • You’d like a few more perks to round out the value of your card.

SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express vs TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card

 Amex SimplyCash Preferred CardTD Cash Back Visa Infinite
Annual fee$119.88$120 (waived first year)
Cash-back earn rateEarn 4% cash back on eligible gas station purchases in Canada, 4% cash back on eligible grocery store purchases in Canada (up to $1,200 cash back annually) and 2% cash back on all other purchases.Earn 10% on all purchases for the first 3 months (ends May. 28, 2023).
Earn 3% on eligible grocery and gas purchases, and on regularly recurring bill payments set up on your account.
Earn 1% on everything else.
Additional perksAccess to American Express Experiences.
Insurance coverage.
Complimentary access to Visa Infinite Concierge services.
Insurance coverage.
Minimum income requirement.Not known.$60,000 (individual) or $100,000 (household).

SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express facts

Card Type

The SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express is a cash-back credit card. Every purchase you make with the card earns cash-back rewards that will be applied to your account as an annual statement credit.

Interest Rate

Regular APR

The annual percentage rate charged by the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express is 20.99%, but if you miss two payments in a 12-month period, your interest rate will increase to 24.99%. If you miss three payments in a 12-month period, your interest rate will increase to 26.99%.

Purchase APR

The SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express’s purchase APR, also known as the regular APR,  is 20.99%.

Balance Transfer Intro APR

The SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express doesn’t offer an introductory APR on balance transfers.

Fees

Annual Fee

The SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express’s annual fee is $119.88.

Balance Transfer Fee

The SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express charges up to 3% of the amount of each balance transfer.

Cash Advance Fee

Each cash advance made with the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express costs $2.75. That’s in addition to the interest rate of 21.99% charged on cash advances.

Foreign Transaction Fees

You’ll be charged a conversion commission of 2.5% for each transaction not conducted in Canadian dollars.

Reward Earn Rates

Introductory earn rate

For the first four months of membership, you’ll earn 10% cash back on all purchases made with your SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express, to a maximum of $400.

Rewards & Benefits

Main Reward

The SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express’s primary reward is cash back, which is paid out as a credit on your account once a year in September.

Other Perks

  • Access to American Express Experiences, including exclusive dining, retail, and entertainment events.
  • Access to Front Of The Line reserved tickets and presales.
  • Savings on everyday purchases through Amex Offers and on travel purchases through American Express Travel Online.

Insurance Coverage

Travel Insurance

The SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express offers several forms of travel insurance, including:

  • Up to $5 million in out of province/country emergency medical insurance for an insured person under the age of 65, for the first 15 consecutive days of a covered trip.
  • Up to $500 in flight delay insurance to cover eligible expenses incurred within 48 hours of a flight that’s been delayed at least four hours. Available only to cardholders who charge the full cost of their airline tickets to their SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express.
  • Up to $500 in baggage delay insurance for eligible purchases made within four days of arrival if checked-in baggage is delayed for six or more hours. Available only to cardholders who charge the full cost of their airline tickets to their SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express.
  • Up to $500 in hotel burglary insurance against the loss of most personal items if an accommodation is burglarized. Available only to cardholders who charge the full cost of their accommodations to their SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express.
  • Up to $500 per trip in lost or stolen baggage insurance for checked or carry-on baggage. Available only to cardholders who charge the full cost of their airline tickets to their SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express.
  • Up to $100,000 in accidental death and dismemberment insurance. Available only to cardholders who charge the full cost of their common carrier (plane, train, ship or bus) tickets to their SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express.

Extended Warranty

Charging the full cost of eligible items to the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express can automatically extend the manufacturer’s original warranty up to one additional year.

Purchase Protection

Eligible items charged to the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express can be insured for up to 90 days against accidental damage or theft for up to $1,000 per occurrence.

Mobile Device Protection

No mobile device protection is currently offered by the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express.

Rental Car Theft & Damage

Coverage for theft, loss and damage of rental cars with a retail price of up to $85,000 for rentals that last 48 days or less, when the full cost of the rental is charged to the SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express.

Rating Methodology

NerdWallet Canada rates credit cards according to overall consumer value and their suitability for specific kinds of consumers. Factors in our evaluation include annual and other fees, rewards rates, the earning structure (for example, flat-rate rewards versus bonus categories), redemption options, bonus offers for new cardholders, introductory and ongoing APRs, and other noteworthy features such as airline or hotel perks or the ability to transfer points.

  • Frequently asked questions about the SimplyCash® Preferred from American Express

    • How is American Express different from Visa and Mastercard?

      Unlike Visa and Mastercard, who issue their cards through banks, American Express issues its credit cards both directly and through banks, like Scotiabank. Another difference is that American Express offers charge cards, while Visa and Mastercard do not.

    • How do I get my American Express SimplyCash cash back rewards?

      Once a year, in September, the cash back you’ve earned with your SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express will appear as a credit on your monthly statement.

Article Sources

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