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For earning high, flat rate cash back rewards, there are 2 great sets of cards to consider:

In one corner, you’ve got Amex’s lineup of 2 SimplyCash cards.

And in the other, Brim Financial Mastercards, and their array of 3 credit cards.

But which ones are better? Are there times when some are better than others?

Let’s review these cards side-by-side and see how they compare.

Want the full details of these cards? You can find them for the SimplyCash cards here and Brim Mastercards here.

At a glance: Amex SimplyCash cards and Brim Financial Mastercards

Before getting into the card details, here’s a high level overview of what they have to offer.

Category American Express Brim Financial
Instant Approval Yes No
Rewards Up to 2% cash back Up to 2% cash back on the first $25,000 in annual spend
Rewards payout Once per year, in September On demand, as long as you have $1 worth of rewards built up
Benefits And Perks * Amex Offers
* Amex Invites
* Brim eStore and inCard offers
* No foreign exchange fees
Insurance coverage Up to 9 types Up to 15 types
Acceptance Can find limited acceptance at some merchants Accepted everywhere

Amex Simplycash vs. Brim Mastercard

Let’s start by comparing their 2 no annual fee credit cards – the and the .

Amex SimplyCash Brim Mastercard
Earn rate 1.25% 1%
Welcome Bonus 2.5% cash back for the first 3 months (terms) Earn up to $200 through first purchases at participating retailers (terms)
Other features Amex Invites and Amex Offers * Brim eStore and inCard offers for bonus rewards
* No foreign exchange fees
Rewards payout Once per year in September On demand, as long as you have $1 worth of rewards built up
Apply Now Apply Now Apply Now

Brim Mastercard summary

Let’s start with the .

On your purchases, you’ll earn 1% back on every purchase. And, you can redeem your rewards on demand, as long as you have $1 worth of rewards built up.

You also have the chance to earn bonus rewards on purchases at over 150 participating online retailers. Use the Brim eStore or inCard offers, and you can earn up to 40% back in rewards, depending on the retailer.

And, it has no foreign transaction fees, saving you the typical 2.5% most credit cards charge when you make purchases that aren’t in Canadian dollars.

It also includes 5 types of insurance, including rare mobile device and event ticket cancellation.

Amex SimplyCash summary

Now for the .

This card will earn you 1.25% cash back on every purchase made. This rate is doubled to 2.5% for the first 3 months. However, your rewards are only paid out once per year in September.

And even though it has no annual fee, it still has access to the usual Amex benefits, like Amex Offers, for extra savings at select merchants, and Amex Invites and Front Of The Line for access to advance ticket sales.

It also has every basic insurance, including 3 types of coverage. Just note that you will need good credit to be approved.

Where the Brim Mastercard is better

So where is the better?

For the frequent online shopper, you’ve got access to over 150 merchants where you could earn plenty of bonus rewards.

And if you also shop frequently in foreign currencies, you’ll also save an additional 2.5% as this card has no foreign transactions fees.

Even though Amex acceptance is better than you think, they’re not accepted at Loblaws or Costco. In fact, Costco only takes Mastercard, so the Brim Mastercard has Amex beat there.

Where the Amex SimplyCash is better

The has the higher base earn rate.

For every $1,000 you spend, you’ll earn an additional $2.50 over the Brim Mastercard. And while that may not seem like much, it will add up over time.

If you don’t shop online all that much, or you don’t make purchases in foreign currency, this is the better choice for you.

Can’t decide between the 2? Why not build a cash back combo?

Want the Brim bonus rates and no fx fees, while also enjoying the higher earn rate of the Amex card?

Consider pairing them together in your wallet. You’ll get the best of both worlds – use the Amex SimplyCash card for the 1.25% earn rate, and the Brim Mastercard for the online bonuses, no foreign exchange fees and wherever Amex isn’t accepted.

It’s a match made in heaven.

Related: Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards In Canada For 2020

Amex SimplyCash Preferred vs. Brim World and Brim World Elite Mastercards

Now let’s look at their premium cards.

Amex has the , while Brim has both the & .

Amex SimplyCash Preferred Brim World Mastercard Brim World Elite Mastercard
Earn rate 2% 1.5% on the first $25,000 in annual purchases, 1% afterwards 2% on the first $25,000 in annual purchases, 1% afterwards
Welcome Bonus 10% cash back for the first 4 months (terms) Earn up to $300 through first purchases at participating retailers (terms) Earn up to $500 through first purchases at participating retailers (terms)
Other features Amex Offers and Amex Invites * Brim eStore and inCard offers for bonus rewards
* No foreign exchange fees
* Brim eStore and inCard offers for bonus rewards
* No foreign exchange fees
Annual Fee $99 $99 $199, first year free
Apply Now Apply Now Apply Now Apply Now

American Express SimplyCash Preferred summary

Let’s start with the Amex card this time – the .

You’ll earn 2% cash back on every purchase you make, with no tiers to worry about. In your first 4 months, that’s increased to 10% on your first $4,000 in annual spend.

Like its no fee counterpart, you’ll be able to access the basic Amex benefits of Amex Offers and Amex Invites.

And, it comes with 9 types of purchase and travel protection:

Brim Financial World summary

For premium cards, Brim has 2 choices at your disposal. First is the , which has an annual fee of $99.

With this card, you’ll earn 1.5% back on your first $25,000 in purchases (1% afterwards).

And like its no fee brother, you’ll be able to earn bonus rewards for shopping at Brim’s 150+ retail partners, and you’ll never pay foreign exchange fees when using the card.

To top it off, it comes with 13 types of included insurance:

Brim Financial World Elite summary

Finally, we have the . It’s very similar to the World version, except for a higher cash back earn rate and it has even more insurance included.

For earn rates, you’ll earn 2% back on your first $25,000 in annual spending (1% afterwards).

And it comes with a whopping 15 types of insurance, more than any other credit card:

One point to note? It has a high annual fee of $199. However, that fee is currently waived for the first year.

Where the Amex SimplyCash is better

Among these cards, it has the highest earn rate for the lowest fee. And, the earn rate isn’t capped like Brim’s cards. No matter how much you spend, you’ll be earning 2% cash back.

Where the Brim World Mastercards are better

So where does that leave the Brim cards? There are still plenty of situations where they are better.

For the frequent online shopper, the Brim eStore offers plenty of opportunities to earn more than just the card’s base earn rate.

Since there are no foreign exchange fees, you’ll save an extra 2.5% anytime you need to make purchases in foreign currency.

And while Amex acceptance can be overblown (you can see where Amex cards are accepted here), for the Loblaws or Costco shopper, an Amex card won’t be of much use to you. However, either of these Brim cards will let you keep rolling up the rewards.

And finally, the insurance coverages are also better. On top of the superior number of coverages, both Brim cards offer rare mobile device coverage, and even rarer event ticket cancellation.

In summary

In short, there’s really no bad choice among these cards.

With the Amex cards, you’ll see higher earn rates on your purchases.

With the Brim cards, you’ll get more features, and the ability to earn even more cash back when shopping at select retailers.

Which card has the edge?

Let us know in the comments below.