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News recap from last week. For faster updates, follow me on Twitter or check my feed on the right side of the blog.
1) American Express recently came out with several versions of Amex SimplyCash card. Here is the one that makes the most sense for a regular family:
SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express
- Limited Time Offer: Earn a one-time $250 statement credit after you spend $5,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership
- To be eligible for this offer, your application must be received by August 3, 2016
- No Annual Fee. Plus, more buying power and more cash back
- 5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores
- 3% on the category of your choice from a list of eight and 1% cash back on other purchases
- 5% and 3% apply to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1% thereafter. Cash back received is automatically credited to your statement
- This offer pays me commission.
A big deal? Well, the sign-up bonus isn’t spectacular. However, if you are looking for a decent long-term business card, it’s not bad at all. Basically, Amex SimplyCash is meant to compete with Chase Ink Plus, and in many ways, it’s superior to the latter. First, there is no annual fee. Also, you get 3% cash back in certain categories.
Of course, you are also eligible for Amex offers which can be quite lucrative. The biggest difference is that you earn cash back, not points. With Chase Ink Plus there is a possibility to leverage Ultimate Rewards and get greater value on some redemptions.
Overall, I would have to say that Amex SimplyCash is superior to Chase Ink Plus for most normal folks who don’t charge a ton of business expenses on credit cards. The fact that there is no annual fee is a huge plus. Obviosuly, it does depend on your goals. I probably need to do a more detailed comparison at some point.
Speaking of Chase Ink Plus, there are reports of spotting an offer of 70K points in-branch. If you’ve recently applied for a lower bonus, message Chase and ask for a match.
2) A very interesting card came out from PNC bank, and it’s meant to compete with Barclaycard Arrival Plus (read about the latter here). The sign-up bonus is $300 after spending $3,000 in 3 months. You can apply it toward travel expenses and gift cards. When you redeem for statement credit, you’ll only get $150.
Before you get too excited, there are geographic restrictions. It’s only available to residents of these locations: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Washington D.C.
Florida residents are eligible, yay! I think I just found my new victim, but will have to forego Amex Mercedes-Benz as a result. Read the details on this card at DoC
3) Get 700 AAdvantage miles for a few minutes of your time. I’m bad at this, but I recommend you always participate in this type of schemes. You never know when the miles will come in handy.
4) Check your Amex profile for some decent offers on Petco etc, and make sure to save them.
5) A quick follow-up on my post from Wednesday. If you are thinking about buying Diamond resorts package, make sure to read Erik’s comment on it.
6) I was honored to be asked to contribute to an article on CreditCardForum Check it out, it’s a fun read: How Rewards Maximizers are Teaching their Kids about Credit
7) This falls into “random drivel” category, but I thought those of you with kids might appreciate it. Here is a picture that my daughter drew of our family:
Notice how mom (me) is bigger than dad, which is not true in real life. Hmm, sort of like “large and in charge”? Also, on my husband’s shirt she wrote: “Look busy. Vader is coming.”
Enjoy your weekend with family!
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.