Sometimes the best things in life are simple. If you want to earn cash back on your credit card purchases—but don’t want to stress about remembering which card to use for which type of purchase or what your current bonus categories are—then you’ll appreciate the simplicity of the American Express Cash Magnet Card. This card provides a flat rate of 1.5% cash back on all purchases, making it easy to know exactly how much cash back you stand to earn whenever you use it.
The American Express Cash Magnet Card doesn’t have a lot of flashy perks, but the perks it does offer can really come in handy if you find yourself in a tight spot while traveling. Between secondary car rental loss and damage insurance and access to a global assist hotline, if something goes wrong while traveling, you can likely find the support you need.
Although using this card is a simple, no-frills way to earn rewards on your spending, it’s hard to see the appeal when there are nearly a dozen similar cards on the market offering 2% cash back on all spending. Any of these would likely be a better choice for pure earning potential.
Inside this article
American Express Cash Magnet Card basics
Annual fee: $0
Welcome bonus: Spend $2,000 within the first six months and receive $200 back as a statement credit
Rewards: 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases
Regular APR: 17.74% to 28.74% variable
Introductory purchase and balance transfer APR: 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and on balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening. Terms apply. After the intro period, a 17.74% to 28.74% variable APR will apply.
Balance transfer fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer (whichever is greater)
Perks and benefits: Car rental loss and damage insurance, global assist hotline, ShopRunner membership
Pre-approval tool: Yes
American Express Cash Magnet Card other details
American Express Cash Magnet Card rewards
With the American Express Cash Magnet Card, you earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limit to how much you can earn. If you have additional cardmembers on your account, whenever they make an eligible purchase, you’ll also earn cash back. Your cash-back rewards are distributed in the form of Rewards Dollars that you can redeem as a statement credit, with no minimum redemption amount. Terms apply.
You can earn additional cash back when you first open an American Express Cash Magnet Card by meeting the requirements for the welcome bonus. After spending $2,000 on purchases within the first six months of being a cardmember, you can earn $200 back.
American Express Cash Magnet rewards potential
Using government data and other publicly available information, Sound Dollar estimates that a household in the U.S. that would be in the market for this card has an annual income of $84,352 and $25,087 in expenses they are likely to be able to charge to a credit card. If someone were to spend $25,087 using the American Express Cash Magnet Card, they would earn about $376.31 per year in cash back rewards thanks to the 1.5% cash-back rate.
American Express Cash Magnet APR details
After opening an American Express Cash Magnet Card, you’ll get a 0% introductory APR on purchases and on balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening. After that introductory period ends, an APR of 17.74% to 28.74% will apply. Your specific APR will depend on factors unique to you, such as your credit score at the time of applying for the card.
If you use this card for a balance transfer, know that a balance transfer fee will apply: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer (whichever is greater).
American Express Cash Magnet Card benefits and perks
Auto rental insurance coverage: Secondary car rental loss and damage insurance when you use the American Express Cash Magnet Card to pay for the rental vehicle and decline the rental company’s coverage at the counter.
Global Assist Hotline: Access to 24/7 emergency assistance when you travel more than 100 miles from home—this includes emergency cash wires, missing luggage assistance and legal and medical referrals.
American Express Experiences: Gain exclusive access to ticket presales and cardmember-only events.
ShopRunner membership: Get a complimentary ShopRunner membership (enrollment required) which offers free two-day shipping on qualifying purchases from 100+ retailers’ websites when you make a purchase.
American Express Cash Magnet Card drawbacks
Lack of rewards flexibility: With this card, earnings can be redeemed for cash back in the form of statement credits. Some American Express cards earn Membership Rewards points, which can be used to book travel or transferred to airline and hotel partners.
No bonus spending categories: This limits your opportunity to earn more lucrative rewards in areas where you spend the most. For example, some credit cards offer elevated rates for categories such as grocery stores, restaurants or gas stations.
Other flat-rate cash-back cards earn more: There are multiple cards available that earn a flat rate of 2% on all your spending, making this card a lesser choice.
There’s a foreign transaction fee: Whenever you make an international purchase, you will pay a fee of 2.7% of the purchase amount.
Alternatives to the American Express Cash Magnet Card
American Express Cash Magnet Card vs. Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card
Unlike the American Express Cash Magnet Card, the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card doesn’t offer a flat-rate back on all categories. Instead, this card earns 5% cash back (when you activate) on up to $1,500 in categories that rotate quarterly, then 1%. You can also earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back at drugstores, 3% cash-back on dining and 1% on all other purchases. This is a more complex rewards structure, but some may find it to be more lucrative.
American Express Cash Magnet Card vs. Citi Double Cash Card
The Citi Double Cash card is also a flat-rate cash back card like the American Express Cash Magnet Card, but it earns up to an unlimited 2% cash back. You earn 1% cash back when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay that purchase off. This card also has a 0% intro APR period of 18 months on balance transfers, after which a 17.74% - 27.74% variable APR applies.
American Express Cash Magnet Card vs. American Express Gold Card
One area where the American Express Cash Magnet Card falls short is in regard to travel benefits. In exchange for an annual fee of $250, the American Express Gold Card offers much more lucrative travel rewards and perks, earning 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on dining worldwide, 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 in purchases per year, 3 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com and 1 point per dollar on all other spending.
The card also has no foreign transaction fees and comes with a $10 monthly dining statement credit up to a total of $120 annually when you use your card at participating vendors and an up to $120 Uber Cash credit each year as well (enrollment required). It also comes with secondary car rental insurance as well as baggage insurance.
Should you get the American Express Cash Magnet Card?
Since the American Express Cash Magnet Card doesn’t charge an annual fee, this card is an OK option for anyone looking to earn cash-back rewards. The card’s simple earning structure is also appealing as you can use the card for any purchase and earn the same rewards rate.
However, you can get the same simplicity with a card that earns 2% cash back, making the American Express Cash Magnet Card fall flat by comparison. Or, you may find that a credit card that comes with more perks, such as flexible rewards, travel transfer partners and no foreign transaction fees offers more value for your needs.
American Express Cash Magnet Card summary
|Welcome bonus||$200 when you spend $2,000 within the first 6 months|
|Rewards||1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases|
|Regular APR||17.74% to 28.74% variable|
|Introductory APR||0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and on balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening, after that 17.74% to 28.74% variable|
|Balance transfer fee||$5 or 3% of transfer amount (whichever is greater)|
|Perks/benefits||Secondary car rental loss and damage insurance, global assist hotline, ShopRunner membership (with enrollment)|