[Now Live] New Simon Malls Cash Back Card Offers Up To 5% Back

The no annual fee Simon® American Express® Credit Card.

We now have full detail on stores earning 5% back: JCPenney; Aeropostale; Brooks Brothers; Nautica; Forever21; Reebok; Eddie Bauer; Lucky Brand (brands earn 5% at Simon malls and online) as well as gilt.com, ruelala.com, and shoppremiumoutlets.com. 3% and 5% categories are capped at $10,000 spend annually.

1.5% is for in-store purchases using Apple Pay or Google Wallet, while other spend earns 1%.

Original October 18, 2022 discussion of the product follows:

Six years ago Simon Malls was looking at building a loyalty program. They were trying to solve a problem: shoppers in their malls aren’t the mall chain’s customers. They don’t usually even know who they are which means they couldn’t cross-market to the people coming into their malls. They couldn’t identify when someone had stopped visiting, in order to incentive them to come back. And they needed this data because improving sales at mall merchants means being able to charge higher rents.

At the time they considered since-defunct American Express Plenti as a solution, but customers would have had to submit store receipts for credit and Simon Malls wouldn’t have owned their customer data.

Ever since I’ve expected them to come out with a plan to address this, perhaps delayed somewhat by the pandemic. But it looks like a clever solution, in the form of a potentially lucrative new cash back credit card, the Simon American Express Credit Card from Cardless.

  • Initial bonus: $150 in statement credits after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days.

  • Earning: 5% at participating Simon destination retailers and on select online purchases; 3% on all other eligible purchases at Simon Malls, Mills and Premium Outlets; 1.5% on all other eligible purchases.

  • Amex Offers: Since this is an American Express card, cardmembers will have access to statement credits from purchases with participating, rotating merchants.

Approved cards are available instantly for use inside the Cardless mobile app, while a physical card follows by mail. However the card is not yet available for application.

This product is basically a no annual fee 1.5% cash back card, decent but not compelling on its own. But 5% back on Simon Malls retailer purchases and 3% even on online purchases can be interesting, though spend for gift cards is ineligible.

Cardless has an interesting business model for finding cardmembers. Instead of partnering with big brands to gain access to large numbers of customers, their brand new tech should be able to operate at a lower cost – so they can work with smaller brands. Their bet is they can aggregate a large number of small card programs in order to reach a lot of consumers.

Simon Malls is now an investor, and the Simon Malls card will be the first Cardless American Express card (Amex Ventures is also a Cardless investor). And they’ll at least have data on their customers who are engaged enough at a Simon Mall to acquire their co-brand.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Simon Malls is up against a lot of headwinds. There is nothing less cool than going to the mall. Circling the parking lot generates carbon emissions. The mall is a gigantic waste of real estate.

    Imagine how much richer our suburbs could be, if malls were converted into civic centers.

  2. @Olaf, certainly malls are a problematic replacement for walkable town centers and main streets that are actual public spaces belonging to everyone, but that’s an issue of land use that getting rid of malls alone won’t fix. If we’re going to have sprawling suburbia anyway, the malls aren’t going to ADD marginal carbon emissions to that ecological disaster–circling the mall to find parking is a tiny impact compared to having to visit 5 stores in 5 different locations instead of concentrated all in one place.

  3. The big question is…what are the ‘participating retailers’? The value of the card is going to completely depend on participation rates and the ease of finding out which ones are and aren’t part of the program. If it’s 5 stores in a mall of 100, and you have to read fine print to find out which ones, it’s a pretty dumb card.

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