Both of these no-fee cash back cards offer cardholders the opportunity to earn cash back on their everyday spending, with higher earning rates in a few select categories. In this article, we’ll compare how the two cards stack up against each other in key areas, including the earning rates and the perks and benefits on offer.
We’ll start by looking at some of the most important factors used to choose a new credit card: welcome bonuses, annual fees, and earning rates.
The Rogers Mastercard offers new cardholders 10% cash back for the first three months of card membership on up to $1,000 (all figures in CAD) spent, for a total cash back value of up to $100.
Comparatively, the SimplyCash Card from American Express provides a welcome bonus of $10 cash back in each of the first 10 months in which you spend $300 or more, allowing for a total return of up to $100 if you meet the spend requirement.
Verdict: Both cards are essentially offering an opportunity for $100 in return, but we’re giving this category to Rogers since their offer can be earned within three months and for a spend of only $1,000 versus Amex’s requirement to spend at least $3,000 spread over 10 months.
Neither of the cards charge an annual fee, so this one’s pretty straightforward.
Verdict: This category is clearly a tie.
Now, let’s take a look at the earning rates offered by each of these cash-back credit cards to see which one comes out on top.
The Rogers Mastercard offers the following earning rates:
- 2% cash back on all US dollar purchases
- 2% cash back if you’re an eligible Rogers, Shaw, or Fido customer
- 1% cash back if you’re not a Rogers, Shaw, or Fido customer
As we can see, the Rogers Mastercard offers a higher earning rate to cardholders who also have at least one qualified service with Rogers, Shaw, or Fido.
As a further incentive for eligible customer, the Rogers Mastercard also offers 1.5x the value for your accumulated cash back if you redeem it against your Rogers, Shaw, or Fido bill.
For example, when you redeem $100 of your cash back for an eligible bill, you’ll actually be credited $150, giving an effective earning rate of 3%.
The SimplyCash Card from American Express offers a fairly simple earning rate structure, as follows:
- 2% cash back on eligible gas station purchases
- 2% cash back on eligible grocery store purchases in Canada (up to $300 cash back annually)
- 1.25% cash back on all other purchases
Verdict: The winner here depends on whether or not you’re a Rogers, Fido, or Shaw customer. If you are a customer, the Rogers Mastercard offers the opportunity to receive a cash back value of 3% if you redeem cash back against eligible Rogers, Fido, or Shaw bills, and a base earning rate of 2% on all eligible everyday purchases.
However, if you’re not a Rogers, Fido, or Shaw customer, the SimplyCash card provides an incrementally better base earning rate, plus 2% back in key spending categories.
Ease of Redeeming
Next, let’s explore how easily cardholders can access and redeem the cash back credits that they accumulate.
The cash back earned on the SimplyCash Card can only be redeemed annually and only through one avenue. Regardless of how much credit you earn each year, the full amount is always issued automatically on your September statement, as a credit to your account.
Comparatively, the Rogers Mastercard has much more flexible rules around how cardholders can use their accumulated cash back credits.
First, the card allows cash back to be redeemed as soon as the account has accumulated at least $10 in value. The cash back can then be used to offset any purchase made in the last 90 days.
Additionally, as mentioned above, if you want more bang for your buck, you can use the cash back to pay for a Rogers, Fido, or Shaw bill and receive 50% more value.
That means you’ll get $1.50 for every cash back dollar applied towards your Rogers, Fido, or Shaw bill, effectively giving you a 3% cash back rate on all spending that’s redeemed in this manner.
Verdict: This category goes to the Rogers Mastercard. Even if you don’t apply the cash back credits to your eligible Rogers, Fido, or Shaw bill, the card still allows you the option to redeem the accumulated value more than once per year.
Perks and Benefits
First, as a Rogers Mastercard cardholder, you’ll receive five free Roam Like Home days each year, worth up to $75.
Roam Like Home lets Rogers’ subscribers use their mobile plan’s call, text, and data allocations in 185 destinations abroad for daily fee of $12 when travelling in the US or $15 when travelling globally.
Second, cardholders of the Rogers Mastercard, also have the opportunity to purchase a new phone with a 0% interest rate through the Equal Payment Plan.†
To take advantage of this perk, you’ll need to pay for a new device that costs at least $250 using your Rogers credit card at a Rogers, Shaw, or Fido store, and afterwards, you’ll be able to set up financing for a 36- or 48-month term.†
Finally, between November 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023, Rogers Mastercard cardholders can get five free transit rides on the TTC in the Greater Toronto Area when they use their card to pay using their mobile wallet.
This promotion is to celebrate the new 5G network that now exists within Toronto’s subway system.
Now, looking at the other contender in this head-to-head: the SimplyCash Card by American Express offers all of the standard perks of being an American Express cardholder.
This includes Front of the Line event presale tickets, which can help you snag hard-to-get event tickets, and exclusive invites for American Express Experiences.
The card also provides periodic Amex Offers for additional rebates and rewards on everyday spending.
Additionally, the SimplyCash Card from American Express provides purchase protection and extended warranty protection on eligible purchases made on the card, and, most notably, it also provides $100,000 in Travel Accident Insurance coverage when you charge your full common carrier fare to the card.
Verdict: This category is a bit of a toss-up. While the SimplyCash Card’s Amex Offers can be quite valuable, the perks on the Rogers Mastercard may provide more immediate and obvious value if you’re a Rogers customer.
There is no fee for adding additional cardholders with either of our contenders.
Verdict: This one’s a tie.
Ease of Getting Approved
Verdict: It’s a tie here as well.
In terms of appearance, both cards present fairly simple visuals.
The Rogers Mastercard uses a vertical layout with the company’s signature red and the Rogers logo.
Meanwhile, the SimplyCash Card from American Express has a traditional horizontal layout presenting a card done up in blue with white accents and the brand’s centurion logo.
Verdict: This category is definitely personal preference, but we’ll give it to the Rogers Mastercard for its bright and clean look.
Determining which card is right for you depends on whether or not you’re a Rogers customer, and on whether you see value in the perks offered by American Express.
If you’re a Rogers customer, the Rogers Mastercard may be the better choice as it offers upwards of 3% value on cash back when it’s redeemed against an eligible bill, and it offers free Roam Like Home days and 0% financing on a new phone.
However, if you’re not a Rogers customer, the SimplyCash Card from American Express may be the better choice as it offers better earning rates, and you’ll have access to Amex Offers and other exclusive Amex cardholder benefits.
Regardless of which card you choose, you’ll enjoy earning cash back on your everyday purchases without the additional expense of an annual fee.