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American Express Cash Magnet® Card Review

A flat-rate cash-back rewards card that features a healthy welcome offer opportunity of earning a $150 statement credit after meeting the spend threshold ($1,000 spend in the first three months) is always worth a second look.
By Brooklyn Lowery  CardRatings Senior Manager  | Updated

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American Express Cash Magnet® Card

American Express Cash Magnet® CardSponsored card
Our Rating:   
Good, Excellent
on American Express's secure website

CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons

  • Earn a $150 statement credit as a welcome offer after spending $1,000 in the first three months.
  • Enjoy the convenience of a flat-rate card that doesn't require you to keep up with categories or spending caps in order to earn your rewards.
  • Take advantage of an intro 0% APR on purchases and for the first 15 months (then, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable).
  • If you're willing to employ a little strategy when it comes to earning credit card rewards, you'll likely earn more cash back with a rotating categories or tiered-rate credit card option. Here are a few to consider.
Terms and Limitations Apply

AMERICAN EXPRESS CASH MAGNET® CARD BENEFITS

Cash-back credit cards are, of course, great for the rewards that they offer, but when deciding which card is best for you it's also important to consider all other features associated with the card, such as purchase APR, annual fees and the extra perks. The great thing about the American Express Cash Magnet® Card is that it offers an intro 0% APR on purchases for 15 months (then, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable), has no annual fee and, on top of that, comes with decent rewards. Specifically, earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more on your new card in the first three months of card membership and rake in an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases made, with no spending thresholds or categories to worry about. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser. See Rates and Fees.

Some of the most notable features of the American Express Cash Magnet® Card include:

  • Earn a $150 statement credit as a welcome bonus after you spend $1,000 with the card within three months of account opening
  • Earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases made
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months, then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance coverage

While it's true that you could potentially earn more cash back per $1 spent with some other credit cards, we like that the American Express Cash Magnet® Card is a flat-rate credit card, meaning there are no categories or spending limits to think about when it comes to earning rewards. Simply every $1 spent on the card earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back, which isn't a bad earning rate especially considering the fact that many cards offering higher percentages on certain categories offer just 1% on everything that isn't in one of the bonus or higher tier categories.

Additionally, your cash back is recorded as Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as statement credit, which means it can directly help you keep your card balance down and avoid interest payments on a higher balance. You can also redeem your rewards for merchandise and gift cards.

Thanks to its easy-to-grasp rewards structure, plus a new card member offer that's better than many similar no-annual-fee cash-back credit card offers out there, the American Express Cash Magnet® Card is a solid option for anyone looking to hold a cash back credit card in their wallet, especially those looking to finance a large purchase over time. 

Top Features

 Cash Back on Gas
1.5%
 Cash Back on Groceries
1.5%
 Cash Back on Other
1.5%

POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES OF THE AMERICAN EXPRESS CASH MAGNET® CARD

If you're willing to keep track of tiered rewards or rotating bonus categories, and depending on your spending habits, it's possible that you could earn more cash back with a card that isn't a flat-rate credit card. Chase Freedom Flex℠, for example, offers users 5% cash back on different purchases each quarter, such as at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, up to $1,500 spent in those categories that quarter. If you already spend a lot of money in these categories, you might want to think twice about if a flat-rate credit card is the best option for you. However, these categories rotate, so you'll have to plan your spending accordingly, and then another thing to consider is that purchases made outside active categories will usually only earn users 1% cash back. If you're not the type of credit card user who likes to think about where and when you should use your credit card, or if you just want a consistent reward no matter the purchase, you're likely better off sticking with a flat-rate card, such as the American Express Cash Magnet® Card.

Or, if you're willing to use two different cards, consider combining the American Express Cash Magnet® Card with a rotating categories card so that you can earn 1.5% cash back on all your purchases outside of the other card's bonus categories.

Another important thing to note is that the American Express Cash Magnet® Card charges a 2.7% foreign transaction fee for every purchase made outside of the United States, which means this card might not be an ideal choice for frequent international travelers. See Rates and Fees.

AMERICAN EXPRESS CASH MAGNET® CARDHOLDER SCORES

CardRatings conducts a survey annually to learn what actual cardholders think of their cards. Here are the results:

2020 Scores 2019 Scores
Overall Score 83.1 Did not survey
Rewards Program Satisfaction 8.3 n/a
Customer Service 8.4 n/a
Website/App Usability 8.2 n/a
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 8.7 n/a
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 8.1 n/a

HOW THE AMERICAN EXPRESS CASH MAGNET® CARD COMPARES TO OTHER CARDS

American Express Cash Magnet® vs. Blue Cash Everyday®

Unlike the Cash Magnet® card which earns flat-rate rewards, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express earns rewards in tiered categories: earn 3% on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 spent annually, then 1%), 2% at U.S. gas stations, and 1% on everything else. The decision between which of the two offers is right for you will boil down to how you plan to use your card. The Everyday® can help you earn more if you spend heavily in the bonus categories, but remember, it only earns 1% on all other purchases, so if you don't spend heavily in its bonus categories you may be better off with the Magnet®, which earns 1.5% on all purchases.

The Blue Cash Everyday® does not have an annual fee, and it offers new cardholders a $100 statement credit once spending $1,000 in purchases on the card within the first six months of account membership. Additionally, new Everyday® cardholders also have the opportunity to earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases during the first six months of card membership, up to $200 cash back.


American Express Cash Magnet® vs. Capital One Quicksilver

These two cards are very similar in that they both earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, but the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card has some important differences that are important to point out. For starters, its welcome offer to new cardholders is a bit more lucrative: new cardholders can earn $200 cash back once spending just $500 in the first three months of account membership. This card also doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, so it's likely a better fit for those who frequently travel abroad. Otherwise, these two cards are about the same. Neither charge an annual fee, both earn 1.5% back on all purchases, and they both have a 15 month intro 0% APR period on new purchases. After the intro period, regular APR applies: 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable) for Quicksilver and 13.99% - 23.99% Variable for Magnet®.

If deciding between these two cards, questions to ask yourself are if you plan to frequently use your card abroad, and which issuer you prefer: Capital One or American Express?

American Express Cash Magnet® vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

A no-annual-fee credit card that earns new cardholders a $200 bonus once spending $500 within the first three months of opening an account, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants, 3% at drugstores and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases, with an introductory 15-month 0% purchase APR offer (before it goes to 14.99% - 23.74% Variable), Chase Freedom Unlimited® is another worthwhile card option for those looking for a good no-annual-fee cash-back credit card.

The biggest thing that varies between these two cards is the new cardholder welcome offer. With the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, new users have the opportunity to earn a $150 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months, versus Chase's threshold of $500 to earn $200. If you're more of a casual spender, Chase Freedom Unlimited®'s lower threshold might be a more appealing, and realistic, option for you.

IS AMERICAN EXPRESS CASH MAGNET® A GOOD CARD?

Thanks to an easy-to-grasp rewards structure and a nice new cardholder offer, the American Express Cash Magnet® Card is a solid option for anyone looking to make a large purchase thanks to no interest to worry about for 15 months (then, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable), all while earning some extra money in the process. And, perhaps most importantly, you can do all of this with no-annual-fee.

Survey Methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September and October 2020 to conduct surveys among 1,746 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2020-Aug. 31, 2020 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were added to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents' scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to "How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?" was double weighted.

To see the rates and fees for the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, please visit the following link: See Rates and Fees.

American Express Cash Magnet® Card Compared to Other Cash back Cards

Apply online for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Apply online for Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Apply online for Citi<sup>®</sup> Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer
Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer
Cash Back on Gas
1.5% 
Cash Back on Gas
3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more). 
Cash Back on Gas
1.5% 
Cash Back on Gas
1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay 
Cash Back on Gas
1.5% 
Cash Back on Groceries
1.5% 
Cash Back on Groceries
6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) 
Cash Back on Groceries
N/A 
Cash Back on Groceries
1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay 
Cash Back on Groceries
1.5% 
Cash Back on other
1.5% 
Cash Back on other
1% cash back on other purchases 
Cash Back on other
1.5% 
Cash Back on other
1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay 
Cash Back on other
1.5% 
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Terms and Limitations Apply
Apply Now
Terms and Limitations Apply

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