American Express Cash Magnet Review

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The American Express Cash Magnet isn’t a basic, easy-to-manage cash back credit card. If you’re looking to plan out your purchases to keep your debt under control, however, it could be a good option for you.

Cash Magnet® Card

Overall Rating
3.9
Cash Magnet® Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 1.5% cash back on your purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 2.7%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
3.1
for Fees
3.3
for Rewards
3.0
for Credit
3.7
Current Offer

Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
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    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver

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.

Pros
  • Pay It, Plan It feature

  • Competitive 0% APR offer

  • Simple, unlimited reward opportunities

Cons
  • No balance transfer offer

  • Limited redemption options

Pros Explained

  • 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.

Cons Explained

  • 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.  

Redeeming Rewards

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

Customer Experience

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. 

Security Features

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.

Next Steps
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CURRENT CARD
Cash Magnet® Card
overall rating
3.9
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 1.5% cash back on your purchases.
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. AMEX. "Cash Magnet Card." Accessed Nov. 21, 2020.

  2. AMEX. "Benefit Terms." Accessed Nov. 21, 2020.

  3. J.D. Power. “Customers Losing Faith in Credit Card Issuers as COVID-19 Pandemic Lingers, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed Nov. 21, 2020.

  4. AMEX. "Fees." Accessed Nov. 21, 2020.