If you have good credit and would like to earn something on your purchases but don’t want to fuss, the American Express Cash Magnet is a good choice. The rewards rate—1.5% cash back on everything you buy—could be bigger, but at least it’s simple. You won’t have to keep up with rotating categories, spending caps, or complex redemption options.
This is also a reasonable option if you want time to pay off a large purchase. New cardholders can get 0% interest on purchases, and the promotion lasts for 15 months—a pretty good stretch.
Pay It, Plan It feature
Competitive 0% APR offer
Simple, unlimited reward opportunities
No balance transfer offer
Limited redemption options
- Pay It, Plan It feature: You can enroll purchases greater than $100 into a payment plan. This comes with a set monthly fee and no interest rate, which could be cheaper for you.
- Competitive 0% APR offer: This card’s introductory 0% interest offer is good for purchases, and lasts 15 months—as long or longer than many offers you’ll find.
- Simple, unlimited reward opportunities: You can earn an unlimited amount of cash back with this card, and you’ll never have to think about using the right rewards card for the right store. This can help you keep your rewards game carefree.
- No balance transfer offer: This card previously offered a 15-month, 0% APR balance transfer offer, but that’s since gone away. You can still find a dual 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers with some other cards, just no longer with this one.
- Limited redemption options: Your cash back is typically redeemable only as a credit to your card statement, and only if you’ve earned at least $25. American Express notes that it may offer other options, like gift cards or merchandise, from time to time, but a statement is generally the only option. Other cash back cards have more redemption choices as a standard option and without a minimum.
American Express Cash Magnet Welcome Offer
The American Express Cash Magnet offers new cardholders $200 cash back if they spend $1,000 on their cards within three months of account opening. This bonus is comparable to what many other cash-back cards offer. The $200 will be issued in the form of a statement credit.
Earning Points & Rewards
There’s nothing complicated about earning rewards on this card, and that’s precisely the draw. You’ll earn a flat 1.5% cash back for every $1 you spend, with no limits on how much you can earn. There are several competing cards that offer the same 1.5% cash back, and in fact, you can even find 2% back in some cases, though there may be some hoops to jump through to get that rate.
If you spend $24,000 on your credit card in a year, or an average of $2,000 per month, you would earn $360 with a 1.5% cash-back card or $480 with a 2% cash-back card.
The cash back is redeemable as a statement credit as long as you have accrued at least $25 in rewards. American Express may offer additional redemption options, including gift cards or merchandise, but there’s no guarantee of that.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
If you have a big upcoming purchase, use this card to avoid interest on those buys for 15 months. Amex also offers its Pay It, Plan It feature with this card. The “pay it” part allows you to pay off small charges (less than $100) immediately to keep your balance from growing, but it’s not that special since you can do that with any card.
The “plan it” feature could be really useful though if you want to make a big purchase and pay it off quickly after the 15-month 0% APR offer is over. You can use a calculator to see what a monthly payment might be to pay it off within a certain number of months. You won’t be charged any interest, although there is a pre-set fee.
This can help you plan your purchases around what your budget can afford. It can also save you money and help you pay off your debt sooner than if you just make minimum payments.
As far as rewards go, make sure to get the $200 welcome offer by spending at least $1,000 within your first three months. For many people, this can be done by paying routine bills on the card and then paying it off immediately to avoid raising your credit utilization for too long. From there, rack up as much cash back as you can by using your card wherever you go.
American Express Cash Magnet’s Other Features
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Travel and emergency hotline
- Free shipping through ShopRunner membership
- Sports, music, and event ticket presales, plus VIP access at some events
American Express customers consistently report positive customer service interactions. The company ranked first out of 11 national credit card issuers in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. They earned 838 out of 1,000 possible points, and the industry average was 810.
American Express has a mobile app that can make tracking your purchases, paying bills, and staying on top of your rewards easier. You can even use the app to set up account alerts to track spending or remind you to pay your bill.
American Express credit cards come with industry-standard security features like account monitoring and transaction alerts.
American Express Cash Magnet’s Fees
The fees are pretty standard fees for a cash-back credit card, although you should be aware of the 2.7% foreign transaction fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.