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August 18, 2018

Cash Magnet Review: Is 1.5% Attractive Enough?

Read more about American Express Cash Magnet™ Card from American Express, a CreditDonkey advertiser
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.
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American Express Cash Magnet™ Card gives you unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases with no annual fee. How does it stack up? Read on.

Cash Magnet
Apply Now

Overall Score

4.0

Rewards

4.5

Interest Rates

3.0

Fees

4.0

Benefits

4.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • 1.5% unlimited cash back
  • Intro APR
  • No annual fee
  • Not a Visa/MasterCard
  • Foreign transaction fee

Bottom Line

Great all-around cashback card

With 1.5% cash back, a welcome bonus, long intro APR, and no annual fee, the new AMEX credit card is looking very attractive.

For a long time, AMEX has lacked a good all-around cashback card. So the Cash Magnet is an exciting addition to the American Express lineup.

But there are some downsides, so it may not be for everyone.

And how does it compare to other popular cashback cards?

Keep reading.

Who the Cash Magnet Is Good For

  • If you want a simple cash back card. This card gives you 1.5% cash back on purchases. You don't have to keep track of different spending categories.

  • If you have varied spending. You tend to spread your spending between gas, groceries, movies, shopping, dining out, etc.

  • If you're planning on making large purchases. This card has an intro APR, so you'll have time to pay off large purchases interest-free.

Why We Like the Cash Magnet

© CreditDonkey

  • Earn up to $250 bonus. You get the chance to earn up to a $250 bonus. First, earn a $150 statement credit after you spend at least $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

    Then earn another $100 statement credit after you spend an additional $6,500 in purchases within your first 12 months.

    Keep in mind - in total, you need to spend $7,500 on your card within the first year (or an average of $625/month). Do you usually spend that much on credit cards in a year?

  • Get unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. You get automatic 1.5% cash back on purchases. Your cash back is earned as Reward Dollars, which can be redeemed for statement credit, gift cards, or merchandise at top-brand retailers.

    You can redeem for statement credit whenever you have accumulated $25 in rewards.

  • Long intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. There is a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers (then a 14.99% - 25.99% Variable APR). This is great if you have large purchases coming up or if you have debt on another credit card.

  • No annual fee.

  • Payment plan options. There is a "Plan It" feature that allows you to set up a payment plan for individual large purchases of $100 or more. You can create up to 10 active payment plans. There will be a fixed plan fee that's charged each month the plan is active.

    This is a good feature if you need more time to pay off a large purchase. You can still pay off the other charges so you don't get charged interest.

Other AMEX Benefits

You'll get all the standard AMEX benefits as well, including:

  • Extended Warranty. Extend the warranty for 1 additional year on eligible purchases with a U.S. manufacturer's warranty of 5 years or less.

  • Return Protection. If within 90 days of purchase, you want to return something and the store won't take it back, you can be reimbursed up to $300 for each eligible item, for a maximum of $1,000 per year.

  • Purchase Protection. You can be reimbursed up to $1,000 if an eligible purchase is damaged or stolen within 90 days from purchase, up to $50,000 per year.

  • ShopRunner. Get a complimentary membership to ShopRunner. You get free, 2-day shipping on eligible purchases with over 140 retailers.

Reasons to Consider Other Cards

There are some downsides to this card. See if any of these reasons is a deal breaker for you.

  • You may not be eligible for the bonus. AMEX may consider how many AMEX cards you have opened and closed (as well as other factors) to determine whether you're eligible for the welcome offer. They will let you know if you're not eligible for the offer, so you can cancel your application.

  • There is a foreign transaction fee. There is a 2.7% foreign transaction fee for purchases made outside of the U.S. So this is not the best card to take abroad with you.

  • There is a balance transfer fee. Although you get an intro APR on balance transfers, there is a balance transfer fee of 3% the amount you're transferring (or $5, whichever is greater). So the transfer is not free.

    If your goal is paying off debt, you may want to consider a card with a no balance transfer fee promotion.

  • You could earn more cash back with other cards. 1.5% cash back is decent, but you could get more than that with other cards. For example, Chase Freedom gives up to 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories, though you'll have to keep track of the categories and spend strategically.

How It Compares

Let's look at how the Cash Magnet compares against other popular cashback cards.

Compared to Chase Freedom Unlimited:
At first glance, the two cards are very similar. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is another card that gives 1.5% cash back on all purchases. It also has a 15-month intro APR.

The real difference is in the potential of the Freedom Unlimited. It's part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards family. If you eventually want to get one of the premium cards (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred), you can pool your points together. This will then allow you to use your points for higher value. You can either get a discount on the Chase travel portal or transfer to airline and hotel partners.

So if you're into travel rewards (or someday want to get into it), the Chase Freedom Unlimited will provide better value down the road.

 American Express Cash Magnet CardChase Freedom Unlimited
 Apply NowApply Now
 

American Express Cash Magnet™ Card

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

 

Summary

 
  • Earn up to $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.
  • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.99% to 25.99%.
  • With Plan It℠, you can set up a monthly payment plan for large purchases with a fixed monthly fee and no interest charges, all with the same rewards and protections you expect from American Express.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR on purchases for 15 months0% introductory APR for 15 months
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 15 months0% introductory APR for 15 months
Purchase APR14.99% to 25.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors16.99% to 25.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR14.99% to 25.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors16.99% to 25.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Cash BackIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn up to $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.
Introductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
Cash Back RewardsCash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.Cash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic!
 Apply NowApply Now

Compared to Capital One Quicksilver:
Capital One Quicksilver also offers 1.5% cash back and 15-month intro APR, although the sign-up offer isn't as big. However, one big pro point for the Quicksilver is that it has no foreign transaction fees. So this is the better card if you plan to travel abroad.

 

Cash Magnet

Capital One Quicksilver

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR on purchases for 15 months0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 15 months0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months
Purchase APR14.99% to 25.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.74% to 24.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR14.99% to 25.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.74% to 24.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Foreign Transaction Fee2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.No foreign transaction fee
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
Terms Apply. See Rates & Fees 
 

Benefits and Features

Cash Back DealIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn up to $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.
Introductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a one-time $150 bonus if you spend $500 on purchases within three months of account opening.
Cash BackCash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.Cash Back Rewards: Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase
 Apply NowLearn More

Capital One Quicksilver: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on June 28, 2018 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Compared to AMEX Blue Cash Everyday
Blue Cash Everyday gives you bonus cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. department stores. It also has a 15-month intro APR. It's better if most of your spending is on groceries and gas.

Since the Blue Cash Everyday also has no annual fee, it even makes sense to have both. You can maximize cash back by using the Blue Cash for groceries, gas, and department store shopping, and the Cash Magnet on everything else.

 American Express Cash Magnet CardBlue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
 Apply NowApply Now
 

American Express Cash Magnet™ Card

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

 

Summary

 
  • Earn up to $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.
  • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.99% to 25.99%.
  • With Plan It℠, you can set up a monthly payment plan for large purchases with a fixed monthly fee and no interest charges, all with the same rewards and protections you expect from American Express.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 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 and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.99% to 25.99%.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR on purchases for 15 months0% introductory APR on Purchases for 15 months
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 15 months0% introductory APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
Purchase APR14.99% to 25.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.99% to 25.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR14.99% to 25.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.99% to 25.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Cash BackIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn up to $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.
Introductory Bonus Cash Back: $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
Cash Back RewardsCash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.Cash Back Rewards: 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 and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
Gas Rewards Gas Rewards: 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations.
Grocery Rewards Grocery Rewards: 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
 Apply NowApply Now

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Bottom Line

We're glad that AMEX has introduced an all-around cashback card to their lineup. The Cash Magnet is good for those who want a simple cashback card without needing to keep track of categories. 1.5% cash back is above average, though there are other no-annual-fee cashback cards with better reward rates.

Next Step: View the issuer's official application, terms, and details

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. 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 American Express. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on August 18, 2018. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check American Express website for updated information.

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. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom and Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

More from CreditDonkey:


What's The Catch? Blue Cash Everyday Review


Chase Freedom Unlimited Review


Citi Double Cash Review: Too Good to Be True?

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American Express Cash Magnet Card
Apply for American Express Cash Magnet Card
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Earn up to $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.
  • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.99% to 25.99%.
  • With Plan It℠, you can set up a monthly payment plan for large purchases with a fixed monthly fee and no interest charges, all with the same rewards and protections you expect from American Express.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Introductory Bonus Cash BackCash Back Rewards$0 Fraud Liability
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% on purchases for 15 months
0% on balance transfers for 15 months
14.99% - 25.99% Variable
$0

Compare Cash Magnet to:

Compare AMEX Cash Magnet vs Blue Cash Everyday
Apply for Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 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 and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.99% to 25.99%.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Cash BackCash Back RewardsGas RewardsGrocery RewardsCar Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionReturn ProtectionTravel Accident Insurance $0 Fraud Liability
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% on Purchases for 15 months
0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months
14.99% - 25.99% Variable
$0

Compare AMEX Cash Magnet vs Chase Freedom Unlimited
Apply for Chase Freedom Unlimited
At Chase's Secure Site
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
$0

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