Full Review of American Express Cash Magnet Card
Competitive bonus offer and no annual fee
Cash back without having to remember categories
15-month 0% APR balance transfer and introductory purchase offer
Foreign transaction fee
- 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 Balance Transfer and Purchase Offer: As long as you make your balance transfers within the first 60 days of opening your account, you won't pay interest for 15 months after the transfer takes place. You will, however, incur a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater. New purchases also 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.
- 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
Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
Prefers uncomplicated rewards with single rate for all spending
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Primarily responsible for household grocery and other major purchases
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, balance transfers, 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
- 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
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.
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.
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 balance transfer offer. However, it is not an ideal card to use outside the United States, given its foreign transaction fees.