Jevtic / Getty Images

Cash Back

Why the Amex Blue Cash Preferred and Cash Magnet cards are the perfect pair

Two powerful cash back credit cards can earn you $576 in rewards each year


Pairing the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the American Express Cash Magnet® Card can give a cardholder more earning power.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

The following post has been sponsored by our partner, American Express. The analysis and opinions in the story are our own and may not reflect the views of American Express. Learn more about our editorial policy

When it comes to earning points and miles with rewards credit cards, there’s more than one school of thought. Some consumers prefer to use only one rewards card for all their regular spending, mostly because this strategy helps them keep things simple.

On the flip side, pairing certain rewards and cash back credit cards can give a cardholder more earning power. This is mostly because they use different cards in different ways, utilizing each one for their best benefits and bonus categories.

One pairing that works particularly well is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the American Express Cash Magnet® Card. While these two cards offer comparable consumer benefits like car rental loss and damage insurance, travel accident insurance, extended warranties and purchase protection, their earning structures are truly complementary.

You can easily earn $576 in cash back each year by rotating these cards to make the most of their spending categories.

Read on to see why the Amex Blue Cash Preferred and Cash Magnet cards are a winning combo:

Maximize bonus categories

Since the Blue Cash Preferred card offers superior bonus categories such as 6 percent back on up to $6,000 in U.S. supermarket spending each year (then 1 percent) and 3 percent back at U.S. gas stations, you’ll want to maximize these categories to the hilt.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Why apply?

Recent enhancements to the Blue Cash Preferred card – including bonus cash back on transit and U.S. streaming services, and a generous welcome bonus – make this popular supermarket card an even better value.

Read review

  • 6% cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases and select U.S. streaming services (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%)
  • 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas station purchases
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
  • $250 welcome bonus if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  •  $95 annual fee
  •  Terms Apply

By earning 6 percent back on $500 in U.S. supermarket spending each month, you’ll score $30 per month in rewards in this category alone. If you also spend $200 per month on gas, you’ll earn another $6 in rewards each month. That adds up to $36 in monthly cash back, or $432 over each 12-month period.

The main downside of the Blue Cash Preferred card is that it only gives you 1 percent back on regular spending, but that’s where the Cash Magnet card comes in. This card lets you earn an unlimited 1.5 percent back for every dollar you spend, making it ideal for regular purchases that don’t qualify for any bonus points.

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Why apply?

The Cash Magnet card is a great companion to the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card thanks to its steady rate of 1.5% cash back on every purchase.

Read review

  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • $150 welcome bonus if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • $0 annual fee
  • Terms Apply

If you spent $800 per month on the Cash Magnet card on your remaining purchases, you would earn $12 per month in cash back – or $144 over the course of a year.

With these two cards combined, you could earn $576 in cash back rewards (and that’s before you take the cards’ introductory bonuses into account).

Cash back strategy

Blue Cash Preferred card
Earn $432/year


Cash Magnet card
Earn $144/year
Total cash back earned = $576

Here’s how:

  • $500/month on groceries x 6% with the Blue Cash Preferred card = $30
  • $200/month on gas x 3% with the Blue Cash Preferred card = $6
  • $800/month on other purchases x 1.5% with the Cash Magnet card = $12
  • Total cash back earned per month = $48
  • $48 x 12 months = $576

Note, you do need to consider the Blue Cash Preferred card’s $95 annual fee. If you subtract the fee from the value of the card’s rewards, that brings your yearly earnings in our sample scenario to $409 – not a bad haul!

Redeem for flexible rewards anyone can use

You can’t go wrong with the ease and flexibility of cash back rewards. As soon as you reach a $25 threshold with either card, you can cash in your rewards as statement credits that cover any type of purchase made with your cards. Amex also gives you the option to redeem your rewards for gift cards and merchandise.

Redeeming cash back with Amex Cash Magnet and Blue Cash Preferred cards

Pay off a large purchase over time without interest

Finally, don’t forget that both the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express and the Cash Magnet card offer great introductory APR offers on balance transfers and purchases for a limited time. Having the ability to score a 0 percent APR on purchases makes it easy to cover a large expense like an appliance or a new roof and pay it off over time.

The Cash Magnet card offers the longest zero interest offer – 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable APR of 14.49 percent to 25.49 percent. You also receive the same 15 months at 0 percent APR for balance transfer requests made within the first 60 days of account opening, although a balance transfer fee of 3 percent (minimum of $5) does apply.

Bottom line

If you think one cash back credit card can help you earn meaningful rewards for each dollar you spend, consider how pairing cards could leave you even further ahead. But, make sure you get the right credit cards for your wallet – preferably ones with premium rewards and minimal fees.

The Blue Cash Preferred card and the Cash Magnet card are a powerful duo to consider. Thanks to their complementary earning schemes and the flexibility in how you can redeem your rewards, they can leave you hundreds of dollars ahead this year.

See related:  Enhanced Blue Cash Preferred Card adds bonus categories and $250 welcome bonusBlue Cash Everyday vs. Blue Cash PreferredHow to stack cards to get the most on your everyday spending

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

What’s up next?

In Cash Back

Undecided on taking a vacation? Here’s how cards can get you over the hump

Many Americans are not planning to take vacations this year, or even use all of their paid time off. If you’re undecided, read on to find out how credit cards can get you over the hump, whether you’re considering going out of town or having a staycation.

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: September 23rd, 2020
Cash Back

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.