American Express Cash Magnet® Card review

Published: June 19, 2019

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Published: June 19, 2019

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Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
4 rating
4 rating
4 / 5
Introductory Offer: 4.1
Net Value: 2.5
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 4.5

In a Nutshell:

With a long 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.

Learn more about this card

0% Introductory Balance Transfer Period
15 months (See rates and fees)

Transfer Fee
$5 or 3% (whichever is higher) (See rates and fees)

Introductory Purchase APR
0% for 15 months (See rates and fees)

Regular APR
15.24-26.24% (variable) (See rates and fees)

Annual Fee
$0 (See rates and fees)

Customer Experience

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:
2.9 rating
2.9 rating
2.9 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.7
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.6
Rewards Flexibility: 3.7
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 4.5

In a Nutshell:

The 1.5 rewards rate on the American Express Cash Magnet card is nothing special, but the introductory offer is a nice bit of extra pocket change.

See if you’re prequalified for the American Express Cash Magnet® Card with CardMatch™`

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate
1.5% cash back on every purchase

Introductory Bonus

  • $150 if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  • Terms apply

Annual Fee
$0 (See rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$288

APR
15.24-26.24% (variable) (See rates and fees)

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

Customer Experience

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

American Express Cash Magnet Card: More Details

The American Express Cash Magnet Card may be the best fit for consumers who yearn for the utmost simplicity. This cash back credit card offers 1.5  percent cash back for every dollar you spend – with no limits or earning caps. Plus, there’s no annual fee.

How much cash back you’ll earn with this card within a year – and how those earnings compare to what you might receive with competing cards – depends on your personal spending style.

Earning cash back

On the plus side, the Cash Magnet card offers the same 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase, no matter the type of purchase. This makes matters very simple for cardholders who hate having to keep track of bonus categories and spending caps.

On the downside, the Cash Magnet card’s cash back rate is low compared to many competitors. As you can see from our chart below, cards such as the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the Discover it® Cash Back can be more rewarding thanks to generous bonus categories:

The Cash Magnet card's rewards compared to other cash back cards

See related: Which 1.5 percent cash back card is right for you?

Introductory bonus

The American Express Cash Magnet Card offers a moderate introductory bonus with easy requirements – you can earn $150 after you use your card for $1,000 in purchases within three months of account opening. That’s only $334 per month in spending – an amount most people should be able to reach by charging groceries, gas and regular expenses to their card.

This bonus isn’t mind-blowing, but it is standard for cards that offer a flat rate of rewards.

Redeeming cash back

The first detail to note with this card is that it doesn’t let you earn points in the Membership Rewards program. Instead, you earn a flexible form of cash back that can be redeemed for statement credits, merchandise and gift cards.

Your cash back never expires as long as your account is open, and there are no limits to how much you can earn. Redemption options start once you accrue at least $25 in cash – you can’t cash in points in increments any smaller than that.

Cash Magnet redemption options

You can easily redeem rewards earned with the Cash Magnet Card online through your credit card’s account management page. The major downside of this card’s rewards program is the fact that redemption options are fairly limiting. You can’t transfer points earned with this card to airline or hotel partners, for example.

Balance transfer offer

The Cash Magnet card comes with a fairly standard introductory offer for balance transfers – you get a 0 percent APR for 15 months on balances transferred to the card, followed by a variable APR of 15.24 to 26.24 percent. Note that a 3 percent balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) also applies.

If you have high interest credit card debt you hope to consolidate, you can transfer it to this card and score 15 months with no interest after paying the balance transfer fee.

Keep in mind that some balance transfer credit cards extend their offers longer than this one, including the 21-month offer on the Citi Simplicity® Card (16.99 to 26.99 percent variable APR thereafter). If you have a lot of high interest debt to focus on, you may be better off forgoing rewards and choosing a card with a lengthier introductory offer.

See related: How to transfer a balance to an American Express credit card

0 percent APR for new purchases

Also a major plus – the Cash Magnet card offers a 0 percent APR on new purchases for the first 15 months (15.24 to 26.24 percent variable thereafter). If you need to pay for an expensive purchase such as kitchen appliances, new furniture or a vacation, you can earn cash back on the purchase and then pay down your bill without any interest during the first 15 months. Also, if you need to add to your balance after transferring a balance to the card, you can do so without accruing interest on your new balance during the 15-month introductory period.

Pay it Plan it feature

In case you need to finance purchases past the introductory period, the Cash Magnet card also offers a “Pay it Plan it” program that makes it easier to pay down credit card balances over time. This flexible financing program allows you to pay off small purchases (under $100) right away through the American Express app, but it also lets you pay down larger purchases (over $100) over several months via installment payments without any interest.

This program is available for consumers based on their credit history. You are required to use the American Express app to access this program. To find out if you’re eligible, download the American Express app and look for the “Pay It Plan It” icons.

Other benefits

The Cash Magnet card has a robust selection of perks, including travel-related perks, that go above and beyond the average cash back credit card:

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance – Receive up to $50,000 in coverage per rental agreement if your rental car sustains damage or theft or you’re on the hook for other covered charges.
  • Global Assist hotline – Call into this hotline 24 hours a day for help coordinating your travel plans.
  • Roadside assistance hotline – Receive 24/7 emergency roadside assistance in the event you have a flat tire, get locked out of your car or run out of gas.
  • Travel accident insurance – This coverage is good for up to $100,000 for loss of life or dismemberment if you pay for your trip with your American Express credit card.
  • Extended warranties – Covered items may qualify for an extended warranty that lasts beyond a standard manufacturer’s warranty. This coverage is good for the cost of the item or $10,000, whichever is less.
  • Return protection – Receive guaranteed refunds on qualified items, including up to $300 per item in coverage with an annual limit of $1,000.
  • Purchase protection – Qualify for $1,000 per incident (up to $50,000 per year) in purchase protection when an item you’ve purchased in the last 120 days (90 days for New York residents) needs to be repaired or replaced.
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership – Get free shipping with select online stores.
  • Access to exclusive entertainment – Qualify for limited access seating for concerts, sporting events and more.
  • Zero fraud liability – You’re not on the hook for fraudulent purchases made with your credit card.

These benefits make the Cash Magnet card considerably more valuable. However, you’ll want to pay for all major purchases – including travel – with your card to take advantage of most of these perks.

Approval odds

While minimum requirements can vary on rewards credit cards, most consumers with “good credit,” or FICO scores of 670 to 739 may be able to qualify for cash back and rewards credit cards. Consumers with scores over 740 are the most likely to get approved for this card and its competitors.

Achieving a credit score in this range typically requires several years of responsible credit use. Keep in mind that you’ll need to list your income and other financial details when you apply for this card.

Customer service

We give American Express a customer experience rating of 4.5 out of 5, mostly due to its excellent ratings with J.D. Power and its 24/7 customer service. American Express offers online chat in addition to their call center as well, meaning you don’t have to call in to their customer service line for help.

The American Express mobile app also gets solid ratings from both the Google Play Store and the Apple store.

Pairing with other American Express cards

The Cash Magnet card can be paired with a variety of American Express cards, but one of its best pairing options is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which gives you 6 percent cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, 1 percent thereafter) and select U.S. streaming services like Hulu and Netflix, 3 percent cash back on U.S. gas station and transit purchases (including ride-shares), and 1 percent cash back on everything else.

Having both cards in your wallet can help you earn 6 percent and 3 percent on bonus category purchases and 1.5 percent back on all your other purchases. You can also earn the introductory bonuses on both cards, meaning you’ll rack up even more cash back the first year.

How does the Cash Magnet card compare to other cash back cards?

While the Cash Magnet card is a solid option for earning a steady rate of cash back, it has a lot of competitors in the cash back space. Not only is it one of a slew of 1.5 percent cash back cards, but you can find plenty of cards – both with flat rates and bonus categories – that trump it in terms of earnings:

Citi Double Cash Card
Citi® Double Cash Card
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Discover it Cash Back
Discover it® Cash Back
Rewards rate

  • 2% cash back on all purchases – 1% when you buy something and another 1% when you pay it off
Rewards rate

  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Rewards rate

  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in bonus categories each quarter that you must enroll in (then 1%)
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
Sign-up bonus

None

Sign-up bonus

3 percent cash back on up to $20,000 in purchases in the first year

Sign-up bonus

Matches all your cash back in the first year

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Other things to know

  • Redeem rewards for checks or statement credits
Other things to know

  • Redeem rewards for statement credits, gift cards or merchandise
Other things to know

  • Redeem rewards for statement credits, gift cards or merchandise

Citi Double Cash Card

The Citi Double Cash is a smart cash back card for consumers who want to earn lucrative rewards but don’t want to pay an annual fee. This card gives you 2 percent back – 1 percent when you make a purchase and another 1 percent back when you pay it off. The fact you ultimately earn 2 percent back with this card makes it one of the most lucrative cash back credit cards on the market.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is another cash back credit card that lets you earn 1.5 percent back on all purchases. In the first year, cardholders have the opportunity to earn 3 percent cash back on up to $20,000 in purchases in the first year.

It has an edge over the Cash Magnet card in that you can transfer your points to certain premium Chase cards – such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – and redeem them for travel for a 25 to 50 percent redemption bonus. With the redemption bonus factored in, you can eke 1.9 to 2.3 cents worth of value out of every dollar spent with the card.

Discover it Cash Back

The Discover it Cash Back is another cash back credit card that doesn’t charge an annual fee, yet it has unique earning tiers that set it apart. This card will give you 5 percent back on up to $1,500 spent in rotating categories that you enroll in each quarter (1 percent thereafter), and 1 percent back on all other purchases. Also, Discover doubles all the rewards you earn the first year, which makes the card extremely rewarding for the first year of membership.

Who should get the Cash Magnet card?

  • Anyone who wants to earn a flat rate of rewards without enrollment or worrying about category bonuses or earning caps.
  • Consumers who want a cash back credit card with no annual fee.
  • Cash back enthusiasts, or anyone who wants to redeem rewards for merchandise or gift cards.
  • Consumers who want to benefit from consumer protections like zero fraud liability, extended warranties and purchase protection.

How to use the Cash Magnet card

  • Use it for all your regular purchases that don’t qualify for a higher category bonus with a different rewards credit card.
  • Make a large purchase and pay it down over 15 months with no interest.
  • Transfer high interest credit card debt to this card to get a 0 percent APR for the first 15 months (15.24 to 26.24 percent thereafter).
  • Pay your credit card in full each month to avoid debt and future interest charges.

Is the Cash Magnet card worth it?

If you want to keep things a simple as possible, the Cash Magnet card is a good way to go. You can earn more than the standard 1 percent back with the card, yet you don’t have to worry about earning caps or changing categories. With a fair introductory bonus and no annual fee, we also believe this is a card nearly anyone could benefit from. However, if you are willing to put in a little extra effort, you will find many cash back cards much more rewarding.

For rates and fees of the Amex Cash Magnet, please click here.

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