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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. Is it a good card? Read on to see how it stacks up.

Cash Magnet
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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 (See Rates & Fees), 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 (See Rates & Fees), so you'll have time to pay off large purchases interest-free.

Check out the Cash Magnet's latest promotion.

Why We Like the Cash Magnet

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  • Earn a bonus. 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.

  • 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 credits.

    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 12.99% - 23.99% Variable APR) (See Rates & Fees). 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 is a fixed fee that's charged each month the plan is active (See Rates & Fees).

    This is a good feature if you need more time to pay off a large purchase.

Other AMEX Benefits

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

  • Purchase Protection. You can be reimbursed up to $1,000 if an eligible purchase is damaged or stolen within 120 days from purchase, up to $50,000 per year. (For residents of New York, Indiana, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Northern Mariana Islands coverage duration is 90 days.)

  • 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 (See Rates & Fees) 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) (See Rates & Fees). 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 Card
 Apply NowApply Now
 

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

 

Summary

 
  • 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.
  • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 23.99%.
  • 0% introductory plan fee on each purchase moved into a plan during the first 15 months from the date of account opening with Plan It®, a feature that lets you split up big purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee. After that, your plan fee will be up to 1.17% of each purchase moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase.
  • Don't wait for your Card in the mail. Start earning cash back before your Card even arrives, if eligible for Instant Card Number.
  • 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 for 15 months
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 15 months0% introductory APR for 15 months
Purchase APR12.99% to 23.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.99% to 23.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR12.99% to 23.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.99% to 23.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Cash BackEarn 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.Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
Cash Back RewardsUnlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
 Apply NowApply Now

Chase Freedom Unlimited: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on March 1, 2020 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Compared to Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card:
Capital One Quicksilver also offers 1.5% cash back and 15-month intro APR. 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 APR12.99% to 23.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors15.49% to 25.49% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR12.99% to 23.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors15.49% to 25.49% (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 DealEarn 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.Earn a one-time $150 bonus if you spend $500 on purchases within three months of account opening.
Cash BackUnlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase

Capital One Quicksilver: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on January 6, 2020 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's better if most of your spending is on groceries and gas.

Since the Blue Cash Everyday also has no annual fee (See Rates & Fees), 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 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.
  • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 23.99%.
  • 0% introductory plan fee on each purchase moved into a plan during the first 15 months from the date of account opening with Plan It®, a feature that lets you split up big purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee. After that, your plan fee will be up to 1.17% of each purchase moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase.
  • Don't wait for your Card in the mail. Start earning cash back before your Card even arrives, if eligible for Instant Card Number.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Earn a $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 from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 23.99%.
  • Don't wait for your Card in the mail. Start earning cash back before your card even arrives, if eligible for Instant Card Number.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • 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 APR12.99% to 23.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors12.99% to 23.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR12.99% to 23.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors12.99% to 23.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Introductory Bonus Cash BackEarn 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.Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
Cash Back RewardsUnlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.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 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations.
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.

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.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Cash Magnet card, please click here.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, 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?


American Express Cash Magnet Card
Apply for American Express Cash Magnet Card
At American Express' Secure Site
  • 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.
  • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 23.99%.
  • 0% introductory plan fee on each purchase moved into a plan during the first 15 months from the date of account opening with Plan It®, a feature that lets you split up big purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee. After that, your plan fee will be up to 1.17% of each purchase moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase.
  • Don't wait for your Card in the mail. Start earning cash back before your Card even arrives, if eligible for Instant Card Number.
  • 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
12.99% - 23.99% 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
  • Earn a $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 from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to 23.99%.
  • Don't wait for your Card in the mail. Start earning cash back before your card even arrives, if eligible for Instant Card Number.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Cash BackCash Back RewardsGas RewardsGrocery RewardsCar Rental InsurancePurchase Protection$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
12.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0

Compare AMEX Cash Magnet vs American Express Gold
Apply for American Express Gold Card
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus OfferAirline RewardsPoint RewardsGrocery RewardsNo Pre-Set Spending LimitDining RewardsEventsCar Rental InsuranceExtended Warranty Purchase ProtectionBaggage Insurance$0 Fraud Liability
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/ASee Rates & Fees
$250

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