American Express Cash Magnet™ Card Review
The American Express Cash Magnet™ Card is chock-full of useful features and bonuses. See how this card can earn you cash back and save you money on interest.
Great for: One-card wallet American Express Cash Magnet™ Card
- Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.
- Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 15.24% to 26.24%.
- $0 plan fees for plans set up during your first 15 months of Card Membership with Plan It®, a feature that lets you split up big purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
- Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
- No Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
American Express has built a strong lineup of cash-back cards, and one of its best all-purpose options is the American Express Cash Magnet™ Card. You get one cash-back rate that will apply to all your purchases, a low intro APR that you can use for financing expenses or balance transfers, and not one, but two generous welcome bonuses.
Best of all, these perks come with no annual fee attached. Let’s take a deeper dive into the benefits to see whether you should apply for it or go with something different.
What I like about the card
Unlimited 1.5% cash back -- You earn this flat rate on all your spending, making the American Express Cash Magnet™ Card a smart pick if you’d rather not spend your time carrying cards with different bonus categories and matching them to specific expenses.
Cash bonus - $150 for spending $1,000 within the first three months.
No annual fee -- If you’re looking for a no-annual-fee card, this one fits the bill.
0% intro APR offer -- This intro APR lasts for the first 15 months and applies to purchases and balance transfers. Note that American Express states in this card’s terms that it will only approve balance transfers you make within the first 60 days.
Why you can trust me
As a personal finance writer and someone who uses multiple credit cards to maximize my rewards, I’ve done quite a bit of research on the many cards and rewards programs available. Over the past two years, I’ve earned over 400,000 points (a number that keeps growing), saved over $1,000 through credit card perks, and maintained an excellent credit score the entire time.
What could be improved
Balance transfer fee -- You’ll pay 3% of the amount transferred every time you do a balance transfer. That’s a standard amount, but you can occasionally find cards with $0 transfer fees among the best balance transfer cards.
Foreign transaction fee -- Using this card internationally will cost you 2.7% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars.
How to redeem your cash back
With the American Express Cash Magnet™ Card you can redeem your cash back as a statement credit. The minimum redemption amount is $25, but you can’t use this to make a minimum payment.
American Express occasionally provides other redemption options, such as products or gift cards. Cash back will typically be the best value, but you may find gift cards available at a discounted rate.
What to look for in a cash back card
The usual goal when shopping for a cash-back card is to find the one that will earn you the most money. To figure that out, you’ll need to look at three details:
- Cash-back rates -- This determines how much money you can earn from a card year after year.
- Welcome bonuses -- This only affects how much the card can earn you in the first year, but since some cards have large bonuses, it’s an important factor to consider.
- The annual fee -- If a cash-back card has an annual fee, that will cut into how much you earn from it.
The American Express Cash Magnet™ Card gets high marks in all three areas. It earns a solid 1.5% back, provides a $150 welcome bonus, which is on par with other cash-back bonus offers, and you won’t have to worry about an annual fee.
What to look for in a 0% intro APR card
The American Express Cash Magnet™ Card may have also caught your eye because you’re looking for a 0% intro APR offer. If that’s the case, you’ll want to check out:
- The length of the intro period
- What’s covered by the intro offer (purchases, balance transfers, or both)
Some 0% intro APR cards only cover purchases or balance transfers, but the card covers both for the first 15 months. When choosing a balance transfer card, make sure you also check if there’s a window of time you need to do balance transfers for the intro APR rate and what the balance transfer fee is. In this case, it’s a 60-day window for 0% APR and a standard 3% balance transfer fee.
Cash Magnet™ Card vs. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
For a no-annual-fee cash back card with bonus categories instead of one flat rate, there’s the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Its key features include:
|American Express Cash Magnet™ Card||Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express|
On American Express' Secure WebsiteRead Full Review Rates & Fees
On American Express' Secure WebsiteRead Full Review Rates & Fees
|Bonus: Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.||Bonus: $150 statement credit after spending $1,000 within three months|
|Rewards Program: Unlimited 1.5% cash back||Rewards Program: 3% Cash Back At U.S. Supermarkets (on up to $6,000 of spending per year), 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on all else|
|Intro APR: Purchases: 0%, 15 months Balance Transfers: 0%, 15 months||Intro APR: Purchases: 0%, 15 months Balance Transfers: 0%, 15 months|
|Regular APR: 15.24%-26.24% Variable||Regular APR: 15.24%-26.24% Variable|
|Annual Fee: $0||Annual Fee: $0|
|Show More||Show More|
Both cards are equally matched in terms of their 0% intro APR offers. Since the American Express Cash Magnet™ Card gives you the opportunity for a second bonus, that could earn you an extra $100 in the first year if you spend enough.
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has those higher cash-back rates on some popular spending categories but a lower base rate of 1%, so it could earn you more, less, or the exact same amount year after year as the American Express Cash Magnet™ Card. Here’s an example to illustrate this point, assuming $20,000 in annual spending that includes $4,000 on groceries and $2,000 at gas stations and department stores:
|Card||$4,000 at U.S. supermarkets||$2,000 at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores||$14,000 on all other spending||Total annual cash back|
|American Express Cash Magnet™ Card||$60||$30||$210||$300|
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express||$120||$40||$140||$300|
In that budget scenario, you’re getting the same result no matter which card you choose. I recommend going over your usual monthly expenses to see how much you spend in each category.
If you’re spending $400 to $500 per month at U.S. supermarkets, gas stations, and qualifying department stores, then the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express could earn you more back. If your spending is spread out across all different categories, then the consistency of the American Express Cash Magnet™ Card is better for you.
Suggested credit score
The American Express Cash Magnet™ Card is aimed at consumers with good credit, so a credit score of 670 or higher will help your chances at approval. That number isn’t set in stone, as applicants have reported approvals with scores in the low- to mid-600s. American Express looks at many factors in its decision-making process, not just your credit score.
This card is right for you if...
You should think about applying for the American Express Cash Magnet™ Card in these situations:
You want a no-annual-fee cash-back card.
You prefer flat-rate cash back because you don’t have a lot of expenses in any particular spending category.
You need financing and/or balance transfers at a 0% APR.
There’s one caveat if your primary concern is transferring balances. You could apply for the Amex Everyday® Credit Card instead, which offers the same 15-month 0% intro APR and no balance transfer fees (you must make those transfers within 60 days). That card earns points, not cash back, and has smaller bonuses, but free balance transfers could save you a lot of money.