American Express Cash Magnet® Card Review
American Express Cash Magnet® Card
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.
American Express Cash Magnet® Card Essentials
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.
Whether it's a big renovation project, a new washer and dryer, or maybe something else exciting like a backyard pool or a home entertainment system installation, if you can't pay your bill all at once or need to finance a major purchase, the American Express Cash Magnet® Card will give you some breathing room to pay the balance off over time with no interest to worry about for an introductory 15 months (then, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable).
Most Notable Features of the American Express Cash Magnet® Card
- 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
- For a limited time American Express is offering $5 back for every $10 spent at an eligible small business, up to 10 times. Enroll your eligible card by August 23, 2020 to get $5 back after you make a purchase of $10+ when you Shop Small by September 20, 2020, up to 10X.
- Terms apply
- Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
- Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
- Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
- No annual fee.
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
- No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
What Our Editors Like Most About the American Express Cash Magnet® Card
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.
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® (This card is not currently available on CardRatings) (The information related to this credit card has been collected by CardRatings and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card.), 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, combine 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.
How the American Express Cash Magnet® Card Compares to Other Cash-Back Credit Cards
American Express Cash Magnet® Card vs. Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer
The Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer (ongoing APR is 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)) is unique in that it earns users 1% cash back on all purchases when you make them, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases in full or over time (just make sure you're paying at least the minimum balance due each month, and on time). (Citi is a CardRatings advertiser).
Similar to the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, this Citi card has no annual fee and users can earn unlimited cash back with no categories or spending thresholds to worry about.
Two major things that vary between these two cards, though, are the bonus rewards – the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer offers none – and the intro APR offer – this Citi card does not include a 0% APR on purchases, but does offer an intro 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months. With the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer, users can take advantage of a 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months (then, 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)), which makes this card a great choice for anyone looking for a little extra time to pay off a high balance on another card.
American Express Cash Magnet® Card vs. Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
What makes the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card unique is that cardholders have the opportunity to choose a category from among a list of six in which they will earn the highest percentage of cash back. Once each calendar month, cardholders can choose whether gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings purchases will earn them the top tier of cash back: 3% with this card. In addition, cardholders earn 2% cash back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases (up to $2,500 spent quarterly in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases) and 1% back on all other purchases. This opportunity to choose your category makes this card a bit of a hybrid – it isn't a rotating categories card like Chase Freedom® card mentioned above, but it does offer a savvy credit card user the opportunity to earn top cash back in a variety of categories.
In addition to the unique cash-back rewards structure, this card offers a welcome offer bonus opportunity of $200 online cash rewards after you spend $1,000 on your new card within the first 90 days.
While this can certainly be a good option for credit card users who are willing to plan their purchases around those optional categories, it's important to be aware that the 3% earning rate only applies to the first $2,500 spent quarterly in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases. After that, the rewards rate drops to 1%. Furthermore, you can only update your category once each calendar month, so you'll want to do your best to think about your anticipated purchases for the month before making that decision.
Between these two, the best card for you will really just depend on what type of credit card user you are and what you'll be using your credit card for. If you'd rather not have to think about when and where you use your card, something like the American Express Cash Magnet® Card might be the better way to go.
American Express Cash Magnet® Card 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 flat-rate credit card. Additionally, it goes a step further by offering 5% cash back on up to $12,000 spent at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) during your first year as a cardholder.
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.
Who Should Get this 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 on a no-annual-fee card.
To see the rates and fees for the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, please visit the following link: See Rates and Fees.