Clear Card From American Express Review

A Simple Rewards Card for Worry Warts

Clear from American Express®
Credit: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/content/cardmember-agreements/clear.html

The Clear Card from American Express offers automatic rewards, plus no late or over-limit fees.

The AmEx Clear Card Basics

The Clear Card from American Express was designed for people who want to avoid late payment and over-limit fees but want rewards, too. As with most American Express card options, you will need fair to excellent credit (660+) to qualify.

The Clear Card offers 0 percent interest for six to 12 months on purchases, then the purchase APR, which ranges between 17.24 and 21.24 percent based on your creditworthiness.

If you are subject to the card's penalty fee, you'll be looking at a 27.24 percent penalty APR.

Perhaps the most compelling thing about the Clear Card is that it carries no credit card fees:

  • No annual fee
  • No balance transfer fee
  • No cash advance fee
  • No late payment fee
  • No returned payment fee

Pros and Cons of the Clear Card 

Pros

  • No late or over-limit fees
  • No balance transfer or cash advance fees
  • Automatic rewards, payable as American Express shopping card*
  • Extended warranty protection on purchases

*which includes 1 percent cash back on all purchases

Cons 

  • High Annual Percentage Rates (APRs).

Clear Card from American Express Review

Citi's Simplicity Card claims to be the no-worry credit card for people concerned about late fees and over-limit fees. But the Clear Card from American Express is clearly superior. Not only does it have many of the same features as Citi Simplicity, it also pays nice, automatic - simple - rewards.

Like Simplicity, there are no late or over-limit fees, although there is a 27.24 percent penalty APR if you're late with a payment. Amex also goes several steps better with no balance transfer or cash advance fees, although the APR is too high to recommend doing either of those things. There is a 0 percent introductory rate on purchases, but not balance transfers.

The biggest difference between this card and Simplicity is the rewards. While Simplicity has none, Clear pays 1 percent cash back, which is automatically sent to you in the form of an American Express shopping card after you earn $25 in rewards or after $2,500 in spending. Now that's simple. Most other cards require you to redeem your rewards yourself, or else you lose them.

AmEx also extends the warranty for up to one additional year on purchases you make with this card.

Recommendation

Compared to Citi's Simplicity card, this card is the "clear" favorite.

Credit card pricing, terms, and rewards are subject to change. Check the card issuer's website for the latest credit card deals.