angle-up angle-down
American Express Cash Magnet℠ card review

American Express Cash Magnet℠ card review

Published: June 15, 2018
Published: June 15, 2018
Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
3.7 rating
3.7 rating
3.7 / 5
Introductory Offer: 4.1
Net Value: 2.5
Features: 3.0

In a Nutshell:

With a long 15-month 0-percent introductory period on balance transfers and new purchases, the American Express Cash Magnet card is a good candidate for transferring a balance as well as keeping around in the long term for its cash back rewards.

0% Introductory Balance Transfer Period
15 months

Transfer Fee
$5 or 3% (whichever is higher)

Introductory Purchase APR
0% for 15 months

Regular APR
14.49-25.49% (variable)

Annual Fee
$0

Other Notable Features: Plan It, Pay It, car rental insurance, roadside assistance, travel accident insurance, extended warranty, return protection, purchase protection, ShopRunner, presale tickets, $0 liability, Destination Family, lowest hotel rates guarantee, car purchasing program, year-end summary

Cash Back Rating:
3.9 rating
3.9 rating
3.9 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.3
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.8
Rewards Flexibility: 3.7
Features: 3.0

In a Nutshell:

The American Express Cash Magnet card’s flat rate of 1.5 percent cash back is par for the course, but its introductory offer of $300 cash back is worth your consideration.

Rewards Rate
1.5% cash back on every purchase

Introductory Bonus

  • $150 if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  • Additional $150 if you spend an additional $6,500 in first 12 months
  • Offer expires July 18, 2018
  • Terms apply

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$338

APR
14.49-25.49% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Rewards don’t expire
  • No rotating categories or enrollment required
  • Redeem rewards for statement credits, merchandise or gift cards
  • Unlimited 1.5 percent cash back

Cons

  • Minimum $25 redemption threshold

Other Notable Features: Plan It, Pay It, car rental insurance, roadside assistance, travel accident insurance, extended warranty, return protection, purchase protection, ShopRunner, presale tickets, $0 liability, Destination Family, lowest hotel rates guarantee, car purchasing program, year-end summary

No Annual Fee Rating:
3.5 rating
3.5 rating
3.5 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.1
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.8
Rewards Flexibility: 3.2
Features: 3.0

In a Nutshell:

While the American Express Cash Magnet card is but another in a long list of 1.5-percent cash back cards, the $300 introductory offer is especially rich for a no-annual-fee card.

Rewards Rate
1.5% cash back on every purchase

Introductory Bonus

  • $150 if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  • Additional $150 if you spend an additional $6,500 in first 12 months
  • Offer expires July 18, 2018
  • Terms apply

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$338

APR
14.49-25.49% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Rewards don’t expire
  • No rotating categories or enrollment required
  • Redeem rewards for statement credits, merchandise or gift cards
  • Unlimited 1.5 percent cash back

Cons

  • Minimum $25 redemption threshold

Other Notable Features: Plan It, Pay It, car rental insurance, roadside assistance, travel accident insurance, extended warranty, return protection, purchase protection, ShopRunner, presale tickets, $0 liability, Destination Family, lowest hotel rates guarantee, car purchasing program, year-end summary

Rewards Rating:
3.2 rating
3.2 rating
3.2 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.3
Annual Percentage Rate: 2.2
Rewards Flexibility: 3.2
Features: 3.0

In a Nutshell:

The 1.5 rewards rate on the American Express Cash Magnet card is nothing special, but the introductory offer is generous if you can manage to meet the spend threshold.

Rewards Rate
1.5% cash back on every purchase

Introductory Bonus

  • $150 if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  • Additional $150 if you spend an additional $6,500 in first 12 months
  • Offer expires July 18, 2018
  • Terms apply

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$338

APR
14.49-25.49% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Rewards don’t expire
  • No rotating categories or enrollment required
  • Redeem rewards for statement credits, merchandise or gift cards
  • Unlimited 1.5 percent cash back

Cons

  • Minimum $25 redemption threshold

Other Notable Features: Plan It, Pay It, car rental insurance, roadside assistance, travel accident insurance, extended warranty, return protection, purchase protection, ShopRunner, presale tickets, $0 liability, Destination Family, lowest hotel rates guarantee, car purchasing program, year-end summary

The new American Express Cash Magnet card is a little less of a draw for cash back than its name might imply. The card is a simple 1.5 cash back card in a market already flooded with 1.5 percent cash back cards. However, for cardholders who apply for the card by July 18, 2018, there is one very noteworthy feature: An industry-leading introductory bonus amounting to $300 by the end of the first year.

Yet another 1.5 percent cash back card

The Cash Magnet card offers a flat rate of 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase. At this point, there are so many cards with 1.5 percent cash back rates, including the Chase Freedom Unlimited card which leads the trend, that this new card barely merits an eyebrow raise, unless you were yearning for an American Express card that offers 1.5 cash back.

If you’re looking for a great flat-rate card, you’re probably better off with the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, which is far more versatile and allows you to transfer rewards to other Chase cards, or with the Citi Double Cash card, which offers up to 2 percent cash back on every purchase – 1 percent when you make the purchase and 1 percent when you pay your bill on time.

Industry-leading introductory offer

On the other hand, the American Express Cash Magnet card’s introductory offer blows the competition out of the water. You can earn up to $300 in the first year if you meet all the spending thresholds. However, the spending requirements are stiff.

You have to spend $1,000 on the card in the first three months to earn a $150 statement credit, and, if you spend an additional $6,500 in the first 12 months, you can earn another $150 statement credit.

For the average spender, this probably entails using the card for the majority of your spending for a few months, which could pose a problem if you’re trying to juggle cards or if you’re trying to earn bonuses on other cards.

If you’re interested in applying for the card, now’s the time to sign up. The offer expires July 18, 2018.

Simple rewards scheme

The Cash Magnet card not only keeps things simple for you by offering the same rate on every purchase, but makes it fairly easy to redeem your cash back. Your cash back never expires, and, as soon as you collect $25 in cash back, you just log in to your account and redeem your rewards for statement credits.

As a drawback, the card has a rather limited range of redemption options, including cash back, merchandise and gift cards. As mentioned, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers far more versatility, allowing you to redeem your rewards for a large variety of options, including travel rewards, and to transfer your points to other cards.

Also, if you are aiming for ultimate simplicity, the Capital One Quicksilver card allows you to redeem any amount of cash back and to set your account to automatically redeem your rewards once you reach a certain threshold (and, it doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee).

American Express benefits

On the plus side, as an American Express card, the Cash Magnet card comes with the standard set of American Express benefits, which means: It offers above-average benefits for a no-fee cash back card. You get a full set of protections, including car rental insurance, extended warranty, purchase protection and return protection. You’re also entitled to some unique services from American Express, such as free roadside assistance, ShopRunner membership and the American Express car purchasing program.

Why get the American Express Cash Magnet card?

  • You want a simple cash back card that doesn’t require enrollment or keeping track of bonus categories.
  • You want to cash in on an exceptionally large introductory bonus.
  • You can quickly meet the $7,500 threshold for the full introductory bonus, or you are OK with using the Cash Magnet card as your primary card over the next 12 months to meet the threshold.
  • You are looking for a good flat-rate card to pair with your American Express Blue Cash Everyday or Preferred card.

How to use the American Express Cash Magnet card:

  • Use the card for every purchase to earn a high rate of 1.5 percent cash back.
  • Plan to use it as your go-to card in the first year to earn the full introductory bonus.

Our reviews and best card recommendations are based on an objective rating process and are not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy

All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

Responses to comments in the discussion section below are not provided, reviewed, approved, endorsed or commissioned by our financial partners. It is not our partner’s responsibility to ensure all posts or questions are answered.