American Express Cash Magnet® Card review
Best for no-hassle cash back
- Rewards rate: Earn unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases.
- Welcome offer: $150 statement credit for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Annual fee: $0
- Purchase intro APR: 0 percent for the first 15 months
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable
- Terms apply
The American Express Cash Magnet® Card is one of the best cash back credit cards. You’ll earn cash back on every purchase at a flat rate of 1.5 percent back, no matter what you buy. The card also carries a nice welcome bonus and no annual fee. Approval odds for the Amex Cash Magnet are better when you have good to excellent credit since this is an unsecured card that doesn’t require a security deposit.
Current welcome bonus
The current welcome bonus for the Amex Cash Magnet Card is $150 cash back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within the first three months of having the card. That equals just about $333 per month in purchases, which is a reasonable target for most cardholders to spend.
The Amex Cash Magnet Card has a straightforward cash back rewards program, allowing you to earn cash back at the same flat rate, no matter where, when or what you buy. This makes it an ideal choice for cardholders looking for a no-hassle way to earn cash back, without having to track spending or enroll in bonus categories.
Earning cash back
To earn cash back, simply make purchases on your Amex Cash Magnet card. You’ll get 1.5 percent back on every purchase. You can get additional cards for family members to accumulate more cash back for your account.
Redeeming cash back
The Amex Cash Magnet does not earn American Express Membership Rewards. Instead, you can redeem your rewards as cash back in the form of a statement credit, merchandise or gift cards. Your cash back never expires and there’s no limit to how much you can earn. Unfortunately, you’ll need to wait until you’ve earned at least $25 in cash back before you can redeem your rewards.
The main benefit of the Amex Cash Magnet Card is the cash back rewards you can earn on every purchase without paying an annual fee. The card also comes with some travel and entertainment benefits that other cash back cards may not have.
Intro APR on purchases
The Amex Cash Magnet Card offers a 0 percent intro purchase APR period for the first 15 months of having the card. After that, the APR is a 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR based on creditworthiness.
Pay It Plan It®
The American Express Pay It Plan It® feature enables cardholders to select qualifying purchases to pay off over a fixed time period for a set monthly fee, which could be useful if you want to finance a large purchase while minimizing extra charges.
American Express also gets you access to Amex Offers, a program that features deals on select purchases, including at popular retailers and on travel and dining purchases.
The Amex Cash Magnet Card provides car rental loss and damage insurance. When you use your card to pay for the entire rental and reject the collision damage waiver with the rental car company, you can be covered for theft or damage to a rental vehicle in a covered location.
The card also provides access to the Global Assist Hotline, which provides 24/7 access to financial, medical, legal and emergency assistance services, like missing luggage assistance and passport replacement.
Cardmembers may get access to exclusive ticket presales and cardholder-only events, for events like Broadway shows, concerts, sporting events and family events.
Rates and fees
The Amex Cash Magnet Card has no annual fee. There’s a 0 percent intro APR period on purchases for the first 15 months, after which the card’s ongoing APR of 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable applies, based on your creditworthiness.
The APR for cash advances is 25.24 percent variable and the penalty APR is 29.24 percent variable. The cash advance fee is either 5 percent of the cash advance amount or $10, whatever’s higher. There’s also a foreign transaction fee of 2.7 percent of each transaction, making this a less-than-ideal option if you need a card to use while traveling abroad. Penalty fees are up to $40 for late payments and returned payments.
How the American Express Cash Magnet Card compares to other cash back cards
If you’re looking for a cash back card, you might want to consider some other options. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is like an Amex Cash Magnet upgrade, with a higher cash back earning potential for cardholders who spend heavily at U.S. supermarkets. You earn 6 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in transactions each year. After that, you’ll earn 1 percent. You also earn 6 percent back on select U.S. streaming services, 3 percent back at U.S. gas stations, 3 percent back on transit and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.
Another cash back card you might consider is the Discover it® Cash Back credit card. This card has no annual fee and an intro APR period of 0 percent for the first 14 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, there’s an 11.99 percent to 22.99 percent variable APR. With this card, you can earn 5 percent cash back on rotating categories when they’re activated each quarter (on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter, then 1 percent). All other purchases earn 1 percent cash back. Discover also matches any cash back you earn within the first year.
|Card||Rewards||Welcome bonus||Annual fee||Intro APR|
|American Express Cash Magnet® Card||Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases||$150 statement credit for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening||$0||0% intro for the first 15 months on purchases (then 13.99%-23.99% variable APR)|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and at on select U.S. streaming services; 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit; 1% cash back on all other purchases||Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months.||$95||0% intro for the first 12 months on purchases (then 13.99%-23.99% variable APR)|
|Discover it® Cash Back||Earn 5% cash back on rotating categories when activated each quarter (on up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1%). All other purchases earn 1% cash back||Get a cash back match for all cash back earned within the first year of having the card||$0||0% intro APR for the first 14 months on purchases and balance transfers (then 11.99% to 22.99% variable APR)|
Best cards to pair with American Express Cash Magnet Card
You may want to pair the Amex Cash Magnet Card with a travel credit card with no annual fee so that you can earn additional rewards on travel purchases or to redeem for travel. Check out the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, which earns 1.25x miles per dollar on every purchase and a welcome bonus of 20,000 miles after spending $500 in the first three months of having the card. This card is also a good option to have because it charges no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, so you can use it when spending outside of the U.S. without worry.
Bankrate’s Take — Is American Express Cash Magnet Card worth it?
You can earn easy cash back by using your Amex Cash Magnet Card without having to worry about an annual fee, but you may want to consider your spending habits before getting this card. If you spend significantly in categories that could be rewarded at a higher rate with a different card, it may be worth getting a cash back card with rotating categories or one that requires an annual fee but rewards you more for specific purchases.
If you don’t want to pay an annual fee or worry about activating categories, the Amex Cash Magnet Card is a good option.
- No annual fee
- Automatic cash back on all purchases
- Straightforward cash back plan with no activation required
- Cash back rate is lower in some categories compared to other cards
- Welcome offer is lower compared to other cash back cards
- The card charges foreign transaction fees