Cash Magnet™ Card review | finder.com

American Express Cash Magnet™ Card Review October 2018

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A simple cash back card with no rotating categories, no cap on cash back and no annual fee.

30-second take

  • Get this card if you want to earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases and you don’t want to pay an annual fee.
  • Pick something else if you want higher cash back on specific categories or if you want travel rewards.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.
Product NameAmerican Express Cash Magnet™ Card
Card TypeAmerican Express
Annual Fee$0
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases14.99% to 25.99% variable
Introductory Purchase APR0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate27.24% variable
Foreign Transaction Fee2.7% of the transaction value
Cash Advance Fee$5 or 3% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Interest Free PeriodUp to 25 days
Late Payment FeeUp to $38
Returned Payment FeeUp to $38
Rates & FeesRates & Fees
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome Offer$250 Back. Here’s how: Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Plus, earn an additional $100 statement credit after you spend an additional $6,500 in purchases within your first 12 months.
Reward Value per Dollar1.5% cash back

The basics

The American Express Cash Magnet™ Card is a simple cash back credit card that offers unlimited 1.5% in reward dollars on all purchases. While a card like the Chase Freedom® credit card may offer a larger reward return of 5%, its rewards are applied to different categories each quarter and with a cap of $1,500. With the American Express Cash Magnet™ Card you don’t have to worry about that — whatever you buy, you earn the same 1.5% back.

Another perk is the 0% intro APR period you get for purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. After, it reverts to a variable APR of 14.99% to 25.99%. This can certainly help you out if you want to make a large purchase or if you want to transfer your balance from a non-Amex account.

The perks

  • Welcome offer.

    Get $250 as statement credit after you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months after opening your account. Get an additional $100 after you spend $6,500 more during your first 12 months. Basically, spending an average of $625 a month for the first year will get you the $250 reward. In addition, you’ll earn $112.50 in cash back. All totalling to $362.50 for $7,500 spent.

  • Cash back.

    For every purchase you make, get unlimited 1.5% in reward dollars — which you can redeem for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise once you reach at least 25 reward dollars.

  • Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.

    Get one of the longest 0% intro APR periods on purchases and balance transfers. You won’t pay interest for the first 15 months after your account opening. After that, a variable APR of 14.99% to 25.99% applies. Just be sure to make your balance transfer within 60 days from when you opened your account.

  • No annual fee.

    You get all these perks with a card with no annual fee.

You’ll also like

  • Plan ItSM

    When you make purchases larger than $100, you can choose to pay in several monthly increments with a fee, instead of paying interest. You can make up to 10 active payment plans, but American Express decides the exact number. This feature is only available on the Amex mobile app.

  • Travel insurance.

    When you travel, you’re covered by accidental death and dismemberment insurance, and your rented car is insured against theft and damage.

  • Roadside and global assistance.

    If you blow out a tire, your car battery dies or if you need a tow, call roadside assistance and they’ll send help. When traveling 100 or more miles from home, get access to 24/7 legal, medical or any other emergency service you may need. But, you’ll be on the hook for any third-party service costs.

  • Purchase protection.

    Don’t stress if you bought an item and want to return it but the merchant won’t take it back. For purchases made within 90 days and worth up to $300, Return Protection may give you a refund. Also, get protection for accidental damage or theft on eligible items up to $1,000 per item and up to $50,000 per year.

  • Fraud protection.

    You won’t be held liable for fraudulent charges made on your card.

What to watch out for

  • Foreign transaction fees.

    You may want to avoid using this card while you’re outside the country. Every time you make a transaction when traveling abroad, you’ll pay a 2.7% fee.

  • Welcome offer eligibility.

    When you apply for the card, you’ll get a pop-up message informing you whether you’re eligible to get the welcome offer before Amex makes a hard pull on your credit. Some of the factors considered by the issuer are whether you canceled or downgraded from another card in the last 12 months, or whether you applied for multiple cards to get the welcome offer.

  • Balance transfer limits.

    To get the 0% intro APR for balance transfers, you’ll have to make a balance transfer request within 60 days from when you opened your account. Also for every balance transfer you make, you’ll pay a transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater. Balance transfers less than $100 won’t be processed, but you can transfer up to $7,500 or 75% of your credit limit, whichever is lower. You can’t make a transfer from another American Express account.

Consider other cards if …

  • You want a similar cash back card but from a different bank.

    Consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card. It’s basically the same card with a few slight differences. For example, it’s a Visa card, it has 3% foreign transaction fee instead of 2.7% and it has a lower sign up bonus.

    Another similar card is the QuicksilverOne® Rewards by Capital One. The main difference is that it has no foreign transaction fees.

  • You want higher cash back.

    For those who spend up to $6,000 on groceries per year, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express could be a better choice. You’ll get 6% cash back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, and 1% after that. For purchases at US gas stations and select US department stores you’ll earn 3% cash back. For all other purchases, you’ll get 1% cash back.

  • You want a hotel card.

    Consider the Hilton Honors American Express Card if you often stay at Hilton properties. It has a $0 annual fee, a decent welcome offer and you get to earn Hilton Honor points. Redeem your points for complimentary benefits when staying at Hilton hotels and resorts.

  • You want an airline card.

    The Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express could be a great choice for those who want to earn Delta miles with a no-annual-fee card.

    For occasional American Airline flyers, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard® may be worth considering. And for those who prefer United Airlines, the no-annual-fee United TravelBank Card could be more useful.

Compare cash back credit cards

Name Product Credit Score Min. Annual Fee Intro Balance Transfer APR Reward Value per Dollar Secured or Unsecured Annual Fee APR for Purchases (Purchase Rate) Intro APR for Balance Transfer
680
0%
1.5
Unsecured
$0
14.99% to 25.99% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Earn up to $250 back. Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn an additional $100 back after you spend an additional $6,500 in purchases within your first 12 months. You will receive the cash back in the form of a statement credit. Rates & Fees
680
0%
1
Unsecured
$0
14.99% to 25.99% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
680
95
0%
1
Unsecured
$95
14.99% to 25.99% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
680
0%
1.5
Unsecured
$0
14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable)
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
680
99
1
Unsecured
$0 to $99
19.74% to 25.74% variable
Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchase, terms apply.
720
0%
1
Unsecured
$0
15.24% to 25.24% variable
0% for the first 18 months (then 15.24% to 25.24% variable)
Earn 1% cash back for payments on purchases, on top of the 1% cash back on purchases. No annual fee.
720
0%
1
Unsecured
$0
14.99% to 24.99% variable
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable)
Earn more cash back for the things you buy most.
680
1
Unsecured
16.99%, 22.74% or 25.74% variable
Get 4 points back on dining, 3 on travel, 2 on Uber rides and online shopping and 1 on other purchases, and redeem points for Uber credits, gift cards or cash back.

Compare up to 4 providers

What should I know before I apply?

Eligibility requirements

To apply, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old.
  • A US citizen or permanent resident of the US.

Required information and documents

  • Name and address.
  • Email and phone number.
  • Social Security number and date of birth.
  • Annual income and income sources.

What credit score do I need?

You can apply with a 680 credit score, but to get a high credit limit and a lower APR on purchases and balance transfers, apply with an excellent score. American Express usually pulls your credit report from Experian.

What do customers say about the American Express Cash Magnet™ Card?

Consumers generally like the card for what it offers, but claim that if the 1.5% cash back was bumped to 2% they’d be more inclined to get it. Many mention that compared to other cards, they weren’t impressed with the cash value amounts, especially compared to cards that offer the same perks and are accepted in more places, like Visa and Mastercard. However, customers love the long intro APR period for balance transfers and purchases.

The Better Business Bureau rated American Express with an A+. As of this writing, 172 customers rated American Express 3.78 out of 5 stars. Most of their complaints revolve around poor customer service and issues with products and services.

How to apply for the American Express Cash Magnet™ Card?

  1. Click apply now.
  2. Complete the form with the requested information.
  3. Review your application and submit it.

How long will it take to get my American Express Cash Magnet™ Card?

American Express can approve your application within a few minutes with its automated system. If additional information is required it could take a few business days up to a few weeks for a decision. Once you’re approved, you’ll get your card in 7 to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Set up autopay. Sign up at the American Express site or download the Amex mobile app and set up automatic payments. This will help you pay on time and avoid unnecessary fees.
  • Create a Plan It transaction. In your Amex mobile app you can create long term payments for eligible purchases of more than $100. With this perk, you’ll pay a fixed fee instead of interest, potentially saving you money.
  • Avoid late payments. You may be charged $38 fee for late payments. For one or more late or returned payments, you’ll end up with a 29.99% penalty APR for at least six months.
  • Enroll in ShopRunner. Get free two-day shipping at more than 100 online retailers. And if you’re not happy with any of your items, you can return them for free.
  • Customer service. For any questions, call American Express customer service at 800-528-4800. You can also chat with customer service online through the American Express site.

Bottom line

For those who want a simple, no-annual-fee card, the American Express Cash Magnet™ Card could be a good choice. You could earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and you get one of the longest intro APR periods for balance transfers and purchases.

If you want to earn higher cash back on groceries, gas and select department stores, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express may be more useful.

Apply for this card or compare other credit cards to find the best one to suit your needs.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

Images: AmericanExpress.com

Kliment Dukovski

"Kliment Dukovski is a writer for finder.com. He specializes in global financial markets and personal finance, with a focus on credit cards. His main goal is to deliver honest and accurate information that will help you make the right financial decision. When he's not writing about finance-related subjects he writes sci-fi stories."

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