American Express SimplyCash Plus Review: Rewards, Your Way

(NO LONGER AVAILABLE) This no-fee small-business credit card lets you customize which spending earns bonus cash back. It offers a great 0% introductory interest period, too.

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Our Take

4.4

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: A great option for small business, assuming that your spending dovetails with the bonus categories and that you're not dead-set on getting an upfront bonus.

American Express SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card Credit Card

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

14.49% - 21.49% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 15 months

Recommended Credit Score

Quick FactsView rates and fees

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • High rewards rates in certain categories
  • Intro APR period on Purchases

Cons

  • Complicated rewards program
  • Bonus categories can be changed only once a year
  • Requires good/ excellent credit

Alternate Pick: travel rewards

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Prefer travel rewards to cash back? This card offers 3X points on up to $150,000 a year in combined spending on travel and select business categories. Those points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed for travel booked through Chase. The sign-up bonus is one of the biggest in the business, too. Annual fee: $95.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

American Express SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card Credit Card

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$95

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

14.49% - 21.49% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

15.99% - 20.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 15 months

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

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Full Review

The is no longer accepting applications. American Express now offers the  

Small-business operators want to make every penny count, so a cash-back credit card can make as much sense for them as it does for consumers. The problem with many cash-back cards for businesses, however, is that their bonus categories often don't line up with a company's spending. Bonus rewards on travel or shipping, for example, don't do you much good if your small business never takes you out of your home office or you're a service provider who rarely ships anything.

The addresses that very problem by allowing you to customize some of your bonus rewards and earn extra cash back in the categories where you spend significant amounts of money. Combine that flexibility with the card's great 0% introductory APR period and an annual fee of , and you've got an outstanding option for small business.

Just about every business nowadays relies to some extent on cell phone service, and office supplies like paper, ink, pens and so on take a bite out of many businesses' budgets. So earning automatic 5% cash back on those expenses is welcome.

The ability to choose a 3% category is this card's distinctive feature. Choosing bonus categories can be a bit of a hassle, but you only need to do it once  year. And considering that you triple your cash back in the category of your choice, it's worth burning a little intellectual energy. Do a lot of entertaining? Choose the restaurant option. Operate a fleet of vehicles? Choose gas stations.

Your options for the 3% cash back category:

One downside to the reward structure on the : The amount of spending eligible for the bonus cash-back rates is capped. Still, the caps are pretty generous for a no-fee card.

If your business has a big purchase looming and you'd like to spread out the cost, the  has got you covered. Its 0% intro APR period is one of the longest on any business credit card.

Typical for American Express cards, the cardholder perks, protections for purchases and travel benefits are excellent. If your business requires a lot of auto travel, for example, you’ll get car rental loss and collision damage waiver coverage and access to a roadside assistance hotline. If you choose gas stations as your 3% cash-back bonus category, you’ve got a rewards credit card tailored to your needs.

If you want to give trusted employees credit cards to use on behalf of the company, the offers you free employee cards and lets you set spending limits for each card. With multiple cards to track, though, you might need some help. To manage your business expenses and reports, your card account can connect with QuickBooks and ReceiptMatch. You and your employees can take photos of receipts, and they will sync with QuickBooks. Nobody likes to spend their work time filing expense reports; these tools ease the burden.

Choosing credit cards involves trade-offs — you're not going to get everything in one card. With the , the big thing you don't get is a "welcome offer," as American Express calls it.

If starting out with some extra cash is important to you, consider the , a -annual-fee card with a bonus cash back structure similar to the (although without the customization aspect). Its sign-up bonus: 

Maybe your business's spending isn't concentrated in any particular category — or maybe you just have no appetite for keeping track of bonus categories. In that case, it's hard to go wrong with a card that offers a simple, flat rate on all pruchases. The  pays unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases. It offers a nice sign-up bonus, too: But it does charge an annual fee of .

Nerd note: The  is also a superior companion for international travel, if you're the globetrotting sort. It doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, and as a Visa card, it's more widely accepted internationally than American Express cards.

For a card without an annual fee, the offers some of the highest rewards rates for common business spending. If your spending lines up with those categories, this is a great option for a small business.