Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

American Express Cash Magnet Card Review

overall rating
4.3

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The American Express Cash Magnet card is an exceptional card for easy cash back earnings, without an annual fee. The 15-month 0% APR purchase offer is also a nice feature.

Cash Magnet® Card

overall rating
4.3
Cash Magnet® Card
On American Express' Secured Site.

Current Offer:

Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 1.5% cash back on your purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Balance Transfer Fee If eligible, either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 2.7%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

Currently rated one of our

Full Review of American Express Cash Magnet Card

Pros
  • Competitive bonus offer and no annual fee

  • Cash back without having to remember categories

  • 15-month 0% APR introductory purchase offer

Cons
  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Penalty APR

  • Limited acceptance

Pros Explained

  • Competitive Bonus Offer and No Annual Fee: The $150 bonus offer, on a card without an annual fee, is a great value. After spending $1,000 in the first three months of card membership, you’ll receive a $150 statement credit. 
  • Cash Back Without Having to Remember Categories: You can get 1.5% cash back on nearly all of your purchases, no matter what category the spending is in.
  • Introductory 15-Month 0% APR Purchase Offer: New purchases accrue no interest for the first 15 months the account is open. After that, you will be charged a variable interest rate based, according to American Express, on your "creditworthiness and other factors." The APR will also vary based on changes in the Prime Rate.

Cons Explained

  • Foreign Transaction Fee: The American Express Cash Magnet card's 2.7% fee on purchases made outside of the U.S. isn't ideal, though it is slightly less than a lot of cards that charge 3%, such as the Citi Double cash card. Some rewards cards, like those issued by Capital One, waive foreign transaction fees, which is worth keeping in mind if you plan to do a lot of foreign travel. 
  • Penalty APR: Your APR may increase dramatically for six months or more if you make even one late payment or your payment is returned by your bank. You’ll also face late payment or returned payment fees. Because the penalty and fees are severe, you’ll want to pay extra attention to due dates and make sure you have an adequate cash cushion in your bank account around that time. 
  • Limited Acceptance: While American Express cards are accepted worldwide, they still aren’t accepted at as many locations as Mastercard and Visa cards.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Cash Back Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
    Cash Back Strategist
  • Avatar for Minimalist Persona
    Prefers uncomplicated rewards with single rate for all spending
    Minimalist
  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse

The American Express Cash Magnet card is for the kind of person who wants to earn a decent amount of cash back without putting too much effort into it. It’s best for people who aren’t frequent travelers or who already have another card for earning mileage or travel rewards—and for avoiding foreign transaction fees.

American Express Cash Magnet Card One-Time Offer

Spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening the account, and you'll earn a $150 statement credit. This is a decent bonus and relatively easy to obtain, compared with some other cards' bonus spending requirements.

Rewards Earning Details

You'll earn 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases. There are no caps on how much you can earn, and all categories earn the same amount.

As with many other rewards credit cards, eligible purchases are defined as purchases of goods and services minus returns and other credits. They do not include "fees or interest charges, cash advances, purchases of travelers checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, or purchases of other cash equivalents," according to American Express.

Rewards Redemption Details

You can redeem your rewards for statement credits in increments of $25 or more, although you can’t use them toward your minimum due. They may also be redeemed for occasional special offers, such as for merchandise or gift cards. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

Maximizing rewards is fairly simple with 1.5% cash back. If this is your only credit card, just charge your everyday expenses on it and pay your balance off in full each month.

However, if you have another rewards card that earns extra rewards (like 3% - 6%) in particular spending categories like groceries or gas, you’ll be better off using that card for those purchases.

American Express Cash Magnet Card's Outstanding Benefits

  • Global concierge services 
  • Travel accident insurance, covering up to $250,000 for accidental death or dismemberment if you charged your travel to the card
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership for free two-day shipping and free returns at more than 100 merchants

Standard Benefits

  • Fraud and return protection
  • Extended warranties
  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Roadside assistance hotline
  • Sports, music, and event ticket presales, plus VIP access at some events
  • Travel and emergency hotline

Cardholder Experience

American Express, the nearly 170-year-old company behind this card, has a longstanding reputation for customer service. It ranked second out of 11 major credit companies for customer service in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. 

American Express cardholders get a host of free credit tools. That includes weekly access to their Vantage Score from TransUnion, a competitor to the better-known FICO credit score. The company also offers MyCredit Guide. a free credit score simulator that you can use to see how your credit score might be affected by actions like paying down debt or opening a new credit account. The MyCredit Guide is available to non-customers as well.

Customers can access the company's help center on its website or its mobile app for inquiries about their card. There they'll also find lists of frequently asked questions and how-to videos. 

The customer service call center is available 24/7 at 800-528-4800. Members can also log into their account on the website or app and chat with a representative. 

Security Features

Credit cards from American Express come with a variety of useful security features, including encrypted card numbers for online purchases. 

This card also has pre-purchase verification to confirm that certain transactions are authentic and provides customer alerts for irregular account activity. If you suspect that you’ve been a victim of fraud, you can notify the company by phone or online chat. 

If you lose your card, American Express will replace it for free. Your new card will be delivered within a few days, and sometimes the next day. 

Our Verdict

The American Express Cash Magnet Card is a good card for a simple cash back option, with no annual fee. It also has a relatively generous one-time offer and a nice 15 month introductory 0% APR on purchases. However, it is not an ideal card to use outside the United States, given its foreign transaction fees.

Apply Now
For Cash Magnet® Card
on American Express' Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Cash Magnet® Card
overall rating
4.3
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 1.5% cash back on your purchases.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.