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New Simplii Card
November 4, 2018
9:35 am
User230
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https://www.simplii.com/en/credit-cards/cash-back-visa.html

First seen on Reddit and RFD.

It's okay.

10% cash back first 4 months on restaurants up to 500 spend. Promotion

4% after up to 5000 dollars spend.

1.5% drugs, grocery, gas and reoccurring payments. Up to 15,000 dollars spend.

0.5% after limits and purchases on other things.

Has purchase security and Extended Protection.

Apple, Samsung and Google pay are coming.

The bad:

Fx 2.5%, the styling of the card is bland and not very nice looking, statement credit is once a year in December, very niche (as not for heavy restaurant spender or light restaurant spends but a mid level spender on restaurants), it's new (could have hiccups), Annual income needed is 15,000, 19.99% interest rate and 3 additional card holders (I thought others allow more).

I'm not getting this card. It's a niche card. With only one benefit that is limited. It's primarily targeting a certain type of person and I'm not one of those people. It's also one of the worst looking cards I've seen in a while.

What it does:

It makes those that have the AMEX Cobalt and Costco Mastercard re-consider having those cards. As Simplii is a no fee card and make these cards less desirable because they have a membership fee or an annual fee associated with them. The math is much harder for keeping those two cards.

I personally will be using my Tangerine card with 2% restaurants and hotels. As sometimes hotel restraints are labelled as hotel and not restaurants. I don’t need to worry about that with the Tangerine card.

The math.

I spend about 1,000 a year on restaurants. Which is about 20 dollars more a year if I use Simplii (not factoring I can redeem Tangerine right away).

To me 20 dollars is not worth the hassle of another card to baby sit. Also, it might drop in the future like Tangerine did with there card after they have a good base of customers.

Max return benefit is:

100 dollars a year over the Tangerine card (not factoring everything i.e. Tangerine is redeemed monthly and Simplii yearly).

It does beat the Costco card by far.

Math is needed to see if the Cobalt is still viable.

If you spend under 5,000 a year at restaurants get Simplii.

All else being equal (which it isn't) you'd only get 50 dollars more with Cobalt and that alone does not cover the 120-annual fee.

Over 5,000 it becomes a different ball game and most scenarios would likely favor Cobalt as it would be 0.5% compared to 5%

I.e. an additional 1,500 spend (6,500 total spend) is 117.5 which still doesn't alone justify the annual fee of 120.

Basically, just looking at restaurant spend. One needs to spend over 6,500 to justify Cobalt over the Simplii card. The exact number is 70/.045 = 1,555.5555555 repeating which is 6,555.555 repeating to break even with the annual fee of the Cobalt. So, one needs to spend over that on restaurants to justify having the Cobalt everything else being equal (it's not all equal).

Fees and Rates:

https://www.simplii.com/content/dam/simplii-public-assets/documents/pdf/credit-cards/L12658EINT.pdf

Edit:

Another negitive is you have to bank with Simplii. Which means one has to baby sit two accounts.

As Loonie said in the post below it is a Visa which is a positive for most people.

It is okay if you have WE no fee cards. As the 4% catagory is the only one that matters to you probably. Or you have annual fee cards.

It is a good combo card if you dont have the WE no fee cards and don't want annual fee cards.

A good 3 card combo in this situation would be

Simplii for the 4% catagories and 1.5% catagories up to the limit.

Everywhere else AMEX Simply cash at 1.25% as has insurances.

Everywhere else that doesn't take AMEX use Rogers Fido card at 1.25%. Which doesn't have insurances.

Edit 2:

For a bit more value:

Add Tangerine 2% categories and HT VISA for no fx fee.

Those 5 cards are a very strong no fee combo.

Cards I currently use:

Wallet: Tangerine (hotel, restaurants, taxi), PC Financial WE (grocery), Rogers WE (everywhere else) and HT Visa (Fx purchases).

Online use: AMEX Simply Cash (good customer service available all day).

November 4, 2018
11:42 am
Loonie
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Thanks for the detailed review.
Perhaps also worth mentioning that it's a VISA card. Costco's is MC. Some might have a preference. AMEX has its own limitations.
There is also the question of what credit limit they would actually give you. I think there were some complaints from those who got the Home Trust card? If you try to use this card for restaurants, drugs, grocery, gas and recurring payments, you could easily exceed the credit limit.

I won't be applying for it either. I think there is zero chance that they will maintain a 4% cashback on restaurants, even with a cap, on a free card. They might also reduce the number of categories that qualify. If I'm wrong, well, there's always next year. Also, the most I would get out of it would be $75/yr extra, which is not worth it to me to justify having another card. It's OK for lower income, low-ish spenders.

To extend the cashback on restaurants, each adult in a household could apply for their own card.

November 4, 2018
11:53 am
Save2Retire@55
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You did a great analysis of the card. Thanks for taking the time and posting it here.
I am happy with my Rogers and MBNA. The only card I am considering to apply is the new Canadian Tire card (just so I can use their roadside :))

November 4, 2018
11:56 am
User230
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Loonie said
thanks for the detailed review.
Perhaps also worth mentioning that it's a VISA card. Costco's is MC. Some might have a preference. AMEX has its own limitations.  

Edited it into OP post. That is a good point. It can be used at Costco USA. Also, there are very few competitive VISA cards. As you mention it also means Costco Canada will not accept it.

This is a competitive VISA worth considering for most.

My post is detailed because I was seriously considering it and I had to run numbers and look at supporting details. I thought I would share it with others. Also, see if I missed something that others could bring up. Like you did. Thanks.

November 4, 2018
12:08 pm
Loonie
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I made a few edits too. You're all too quick for me! lol

I also think that VISA has been running behind the MC competition, and perhaps this is an effort to regain ground. Because of that, it might take a while before they lower their cashback rates.

November 12, 2018
12:33 pm
Top It Up
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Loonie said

I also think that VISA has been running behind the MC competition ...  

The last numbers I've seen, the race ain't even close ...

Payment Cards in Canada by Purchase Volume - 2017

Visa - 41%

Interact - 30%

MasterCard - 25%

AMEX - 4%

In Europe, the spread is even greater

Visa - 62%

MasterCard - 34%

AMEX - 4%

Diner's - <1%

November 12, 2018
2:42 pm
Save2Retire@55
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So Europeans don't pay by debit at all? Doesn't sound realistic specially for Eastern Europe.

November 12, 2018
4:26 pm
Top It Up
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The problem when citing data is being able to gather similar data. All I could find regarding debit card usage in the EU was from the European Central Bank with the following quote

Card payments accounted for 52% of the total number of non-cash payments in the EU, while credit transfers accounted for 24% and direct debits for 19%.

November 13, 2018
1:07 am
Peseta
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Save2Retire@55 said
So Europeans don't pay by debit at all? Doesn't sound realistic specially for Eastern Europe.  

They do, of course, especially in nordic countries. But, unlike Canada where all debit transactions are processed through Interac network, European debit cards tend to be Visa or MasterCard branded.

Re: Simplii. Every time a bank comes up with a new revolutionary credit card, it's always more of the same. Do Tangerine or Simplii make so much money on forex that it's worth defying their (supposed) fee-free philosophy and not differentiating themselves from others for a change?

November 13, 2018
3:43 am
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Peseta said

They do, of course, especially in nordic countries. But, unlike Canada where all debit transactions are processed through Interac network, European debit cards tend to be Visa or MasterCard branded.

Further to @Peseta's point - from the Nilson Report -

Global Cards in Circulation Credit & Debit 2016

Visa cards generated 54.06% of all purchase transactions worldwide on global brand general purpose cards last year. Visa brand debit cards accounted for 34.82% and Visa credit cards accounted for 19.23%. Mastercard debit cards had a 13.30% share, overtaking Mastercard credit cards, which had a 12.87% share. UnionPay credit cards had a 7.59% share, and UnionPay debit cards had a 7.32% share. American Express had a 2.81% share, followed by JCB cards with 1.15% and Diners Club/Discover cards with 0.91%.

UnionPay cards had the largest percentage increase in purchase transactions. Combined, UnionPay credit and debit card purchase transactions at merchants grew by 32.0% in 2016. Debit and prepaid cards accounted for 55.44% of purchase transactions, up from 54.64% in 2015. Visa purchase transactions were 64.42% debit, up from 63.91%. Mastercard purchase transactions were 50.82% debit, up from 49.99%. UnionPay purchase transactions were 49.08% debit, up from 46.90%.

The total volume of consumer and commercial purchases at merchants added to cash advances and withdrawals obtained using credit and debit cards reached $26.044 trillion last year, up 6.4% — $1.560 trillion more than in 2015. Mastercard and Visa cards combined generated 57.41% of total volume, up from 56.55%.

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