American Express Cash Magnet Review: Is It Worth Applying For?

American Express Cash Magnet Review: Is It Worth Applying For?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card is a great card for those who appreciate a simple cashback card. For those seeking to maximize rewards, however, other card options may be more favorable.

Citi is an advertising partner.

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card is a sensible, everyday card that earns cash back in the form of statement credits on every purchase. With its Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases, $0 annual fee and a generous welcome offer, this card is a dependable option for those who prefer a hassle-free, cashback card.

However, other comparable cards may offer better opportunities for maximizing rewards. Rewards with this card can’t be transferred or redeemed in other ways to stretch their value — they can typically only be redeemed for statement credits. Furthermore, some cashback cards, like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, offer stronger rewards rates.

Also, the American Express Cash Magnet® Card’s foreign transaction fees may be off-putting for some users.

Pros

  • Simple cashback rewards program
  • $0 annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases
  • Welcome offer in the form of a $200 statement credit

Cons

  • Limited redemption options
  • Other cashback cards offer better rewards
  • Charges foreign transaction fees
  • American Express isn’t as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard
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Quick facts:

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Welcome offer: $200 back after spending $2,000 or more in purchases with your card within the first 6 months of card membership.
  • Earning rate: Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases, redeemable for statement credits
  • Rewards redemption: Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit
  • APR: Intro APR of 0% on purchases for 15 months from the date of account opening, then an APR, 13.99%-23.99% Variable.
  • Other benefits: Pay It Plan It feature, car rental loss and damage insurance, Global Assist Hotline, purchase protection, fraud protection, Amex Offers, ShopRunner (enrollment required)
  • Terms apply

Welcome offer

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card offers a $200 back after spending $2,000 or more in purchases with your card within the first 6 months of card membership..

This is a large offer, on par with many competing cards. If you can afford the $1,000 spending requirement, it’s a good incentive to sign up for the American Express Cash Magnet® Card.

Do you qualify for a welcome offer from American Express?

If you've opened and closed a lot of credit cards in the past, you may be ineligible to receive the welcome offer on the American Express Cash Magnet® Card. The card’s offer terms state that Amex may consider the number of cards you've opened or closed as well as other factors before making a decision on whether you're eligible for the welcome bonus.

American Express has a strict once-in-a-lifetime-rule, which restricts cardholders from earning a welcome offer for a specific credit card more than one time. This prevents cardholders from canceling a card and reapplying just to earn the welcome bonus

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Earning rate

This card offers Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases, which means you won’t have to worry about using this card for specific spending categories, as you’ll get cash back no matter what.

This simple and all-encompassing earning rate (redeemable for statement credits) appeals to people who are looking for an easy way to earn cash back on everyday spending. The only downside is that other cashback cards tend to offer higher earning rates and more options for redeeming rewards.

Redeeming rewards

With the American Express Cash Magnet® Card you can earn "Reward Dollars", which can be redeemed for:

  • Statement credits: This is the simplest way to redeem your Reward Dollars. When you choose this redemption method, your cash back will show up as a statement credit on your account. There is a minimum of 25 Reward Dollars to redeem for a statement credit.
  • Merchandise: Though one of the less popular redemption options, you can redeem your rewards for merchandise from popular retailers.
  • Gift cards: Redeem your rewards for gift cards from any number of popular retailers.

Rewards Dollars have no expiration date as long as your card remains active. This redemption method is straightforward and simple to use. However, other cashback cards offer more complex redemption options that allow you to increase the value of your rewards points, so your choice in card will depend on what you’re looking to get out of it.

Other American Express Cash Magnet® Card benefits

One of the perks of the American Express Cash Magnet® Card is that it comes with all the benefits typical of American Express cards:

  • Pay it Plan It – To Pay It®, tap a purchase under $100 in the app to quickly make payments throughout the month. To Plan It®, select purchases of $100 or more and split them up into monthly payments with a fixed monthly fee and no interest. Enrollment required.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Global Assist hotline – Whenever you travel more than 100 miles from home, Global Assist Hotline is available for 24/7 medical, legal, financial and other select emergency assistance and coordination services, such as medical and legal referrals, emergency cash wires and missing luggage assistance.
  • Purchase protection
  • Fraud protection
  • American Express Experiences – Get exclusive access to ticket presales and Card Member-only events in a city near you.
  • Amex Offers – Amex Offers rewards you at places you like to shop, dine, travel, and more. You can redeem these rewards directly as a statement credit.
  • ShopRunner – Get free delivery in as little as two days at 100+ online stores (enrollment required).
  • Terms apply.

If you take proper advantage of these included benefits, the value of your American Express Cash card increases significantly.

Pairing the American Express Cash Magnet® Card with other cashback cards

You may be able to get more value out of your American Express Cash Magnet® Card if you pair it with another cashback card. If you like the rewards structure of the American Express Cash Magnet® Card but often travel internationally, consider adding the the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card to your collection — it doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee.

Another card that pairs well with the American Express Cash Magnet® Card is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. This card allows cardholders to earn a higher percentage of rewards points in specific spending categories like at U.S. supermarkets, gas stations and department stores. Use your Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express for purchases at these specific locations and your American Express Cash Magnet® Card everywhere else. Combined, the two cards will offer much better value than either card could provide on its own.

Sample earnings

American Express Cash Magnet® Card alone
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express + American Express Cash Magnet® Card
$15,000 x 1.5% = $225
  • $3,450 at U.S. supermarkets x 6% (Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express) = $207
  • $2,100 at U.S. gas stations x 3% (Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express) = $63
  • $9,450 other purchases x 1.5% (American Express Cash Magnet® Card) = $141.75
Total = $225Total = $411.75

Who should get the American Express Cash Magnet® Card?

People who are looking for a simple cashback card that will earn rewards on everyday spending will love the American Express Cash Magnet® Card. If you’d rather not put forth the effort to figure out how to maximize your rewards and just want to know that you’re earning cashback with every purchase, this is the card for you. However, if you’re looking for a card with a higher rewards rate and more options for maximizing and redeeming your rewards, you should consider another card, like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. Also, consider pairing this card with another that offers more opportunities for maximizing rewards.

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How does the American Express Cash Magnet® Card compare to other cashback cards?

In order to determine whether the American Express Cash Magnet® Card is the right card for you, you’ll want to compare it against other top cards on the market. Ultimately, the card you choose should come down to your personal spending habits and preferences.

American Express Cash Magnet® Card
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Annual fee$0$0$0$0 (See rates and fees)
APR0% on purchases for 15 months from the date of account opening, then an APR of 13.99%-23.99% Variable.0% intro on purchases for 15 months; 14.99% - 24.99% (Variable) APR after that0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers; after that, the APR will be 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)0% on purchases for 15 months from the date of account opening, then an APR of 13.99%-23.99% Variable (See rates and fees)
Welcome offerEarn $200 back after spending $2,000 or more in purchases with your card within the first 6 months of card membership.Earn a One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account openingNo bonusEarn $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
Earning rateUnlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchasesEarn unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every dayEarn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those 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% cash back on other purchases. Terms apply.

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card vs. the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • On Capital One's Secure Website

These cards are very similar, but the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is currently offering a One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. If you're a light-to-moderate spender, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card can be a great option. Major similarities with the American Express Cash Magnet® Card include the fact that both cards have a $0 annual fee and offer the same cashback rewards rate.

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a better option than the American Express Cash Magnet® Card for anyone who frequently travels internationally. This is because the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card has None foreign transaction fees while the American Express Cash Magnet® Card charges a 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Our pick: the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card vs. the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

  • On Citibank's Secure Website

The Citi® Double Cash Card allows cardholders to Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. That’s an additional 0.5% of cashback rewards on every purchase compared with the American Express Cash Magnet® Card. Excluding any bonuses, the Citi® Double Cash Card will always outperform the American Express Cash Magnet® Card in terms of rewards rate, regardless of how much you spend. However, the Citi® Double Cash Card doesn’t include any welcome offer whatsoever, while the American Express Cash Magnet® Card does.

Our pick: the Citi® Double Cash Card

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card vs. the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

For those who spend a lot of money at supermarkets, gas stations and department stores, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express may offer greater value than the American Express Cash Magnet® Card. This is due to the higher rewards rate in specific categories and the opportunity to maximize your rewards. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers cardholders 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% cash back on other purchases. Terms apply. Rewards are easily redeemed as statement credits toward your purchases.

For those interested in further maximizing their rewards, consider pairing the American Express Cash Magnet® Card with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. That way you’ll maximize rewards on Blue Cash spending categories while still earning the 1.5% rate on all other purchases with the American Express Cash Magnet® Card.

Our pick: The American Express Cash Magnet® Card with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Is the American Express Cash Magnet® Card worth it?

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card is worth it for anyone looking for a hassle-free cashback card that earns decent rewards on everyday purchases. If your intention isn’t necessarily to maximize your rewards but merely to enjoy whatever you earn, this will be a simple and rewarding card for you. You can also take advantage of the welcome offer, $0 annual fee and low intro APR to get the most value possible out of this card.

However, if you’re looking to earn more rewards in specific spending categories or prefer to redeem your points in a way that will amplify their value, you may consider other cashback credit cards that are more in line with your spending habits and preferences.

American Express Cash Magnet® Card FAQs

What is the American Express Cash Magnet® Card?

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card is a $0 annual fee cashback card that allows cardholders to earn Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases. Rewards are redeemable for statement credits, merchandise or gift cards.

What credit score do you need for American Express Cash Magnet® Card?

In order to be approved for the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, you’ll need to have a Excellent/Good credit score.

Is American Express Cash Magnet® Card metal?

No, the American Express Cash Magnet® Card is not metal. If you’re looking for a credit card that is metal, check out our list of the best metal credit cards of 2021.

What is the American Express Cash Magnet® Card credit limit?

Your American Express Cash Magnet® Card credit limit will depend on your creditworthiness, and you won’t be able to find out your card’s credit limit until after you are approved.

Is American Express Cash Magnet® Card a good card?

Yes, the American Express Cash Magnet® Card is a good card with decent cashback rewards on all spending. It’s best for people who are looking for a simple rewards structure and want to use the card for everyday spending. However, as we’ve outlined in this American Express Cash Magnet® Card review, the card isn’t quite the money magnet for those who want to earn a higher rewards percentage in specific spending categories or are looking for varied options for redeeming and maximizing their rewards.

How do you redeem your American Express Cash Magnet® Card rewards?

The most common way to redeem your American Express Cash Magnet® Card rewards is via statement credit, though you also have the option to redeem them for merchandise and gift cards.

For rates and fees of Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.

The information related to American Express Cash Magnet® Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).