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Cash-back credit cards often come with confusing rewards programs. Tracking cash-back earnings and spending categories can be tedious at times. The American Express Cash Magnet® Card solves that problem with its simple rewards structure.
While there are some similarities between the Cash Magnet Card, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, there are key differences as well. The Cash Magnet Card is a flat-rate card that has no annual fee and a decent welcome offer. But with all of its benefits, is it really a good credit card to add to your wallet compared to other cash-back cards with higher rewards rates? Let’s find out.
American Express Cash Magnet Card Pros & Cons
- No annual fee
- $200 welcome offer after spending $1,000 in the first three months
- Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all spending
- Introductory 0% APR for 15 months on balance transfers and purchases
- Car rental loss and damage insurance
- Foreign transaction fee
- Limited cash-back redemptions
- 3% balance transfer fee
Cash Magnet Card Benefits
American Express Cash Magnet Card Rewards start with a nice little $200 welcome offer after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. All eligible purchases earn 1.5% cash back for every dollar spent. There are no spending categories to track. You earn rewards every time you use your Cash Magnet Card.
Redeeming Cash Back
One drawback is the limited Cash Magnet Card redemptions options. Cash-back rewards come in the form of Reward Dollars, which you’ll redeem for statement credits. That’s the only redemption choice, and there’s a minimum redemption amount of $25.
Occasionally American Express offers other ways to redeem Rewards Dollars, such as for gift cards or merchandise, but for the most part, statement credits are the only available option.
Introductory APR Offers
Another benefit of the American Express Cash Magnet Card is its introductory APR offers. This Amex card offers introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, with the current APR offer after that.
The purchase APR offer allows you to make large purchases and pay them off over time without interest fees.
Balance transfers are subject to a 3% fee, but this isn’t as bad as it seems. If you transferred over $3,000 of existing credit card debt, you would pay $90 in fees. If you were to pay that balance off over the same 15-month period, but at 21% APR, you would end up paying $437 in interest. Transferring the balance, even with the fee, leads to significant savings.
The Cash Magnet Card also has another payment option called Plan It, which offers you a chance to create up to 10 payment plans to finance qualifying purchases of $100 or more. Each payment plan is subject to a plan fee of up to 1.17% per purchase. There’s no interest charged on Plan It purchases.
American Express Cash Magnet Card Credit Limit
As with many issuers, the American Express Cash Magnet Card credit limit is often based on a couple of factors, like your credit score and monthly income.
American Express Cash Magnet Card Credit Score
While most issuers don’t share specifics about qualifying scores, typically, the American Express Cash Magnet Card credit score is thought to require good to excellent credit. A good FICO score is one in the 670-739 score range.
Cash Magnet vs. Blue Cash Everyday Card
American Express has another no annual fee cash-back card called the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Similar to the Cash Magnet Card, it comes with a $200 sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months. It also has the same introductory 0% APR offers for purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
While they seem like almost the same credit card, there’s one significant difference — its reward structure. Instead of a flat cash-back rate, Blue Cash Everyday offers a tiered rewards program with higher earning potential in key spending categories:
- 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
- 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations & select U.S. department stores
- 1% cash back on other purchases
If you’re more likely to spend your money in the categories listed above, you may be better off getting the Blue Cash Everyday Card. Another option is to pair these cards together to earn higher rewards for most of your spending and 1.5% cash back for everything else.
The Final Word: Cash Magnet Card Review
The Cash Magnet Card is for people who are looking for a no annual fee credit card that consistently earns cash-back rewards. Its simple rewards program is easy to understand, use and redeem.
It’s also a great card choice if you have any large purchases coming up or want to pay off existing credit card debt over time without annoying interest charges.
People who are not interested in using rewards for statement credits should turn to more versatile rewards credit cards that allow you to redeem points for travel, gift cards and more.
The 1.5% cash back per dollar spent on all purchases is a good cash-back rate, especially considering the American Express Cash Magnet Card has no annual fee. If most of your purchases fall into popular spending categories, you might be able to earn more rewards using a card with higher rewards rates for specific categories, like groceries or dining.
Although American Express is more widely accepted around the world now, this card isn’t a traveler’s friend because it does charge foreign transaction fees for international purchases (any spending outside of the U.S.).
If you’re looking for a credit card with straightforward rewards earning and no annual fee, you can’t go wrong with the American Express Cash Magnet Card. Although redemptions are limited to statement credits, the value of this cash-back credit card is impressive, especially since it has no annual fee. If you would rather apply cash-back rewards towards travel or transfer to a partner rewards program, pass on this card in favor of a good travel credit card.