American Express Cash Magnet® Card: A simple way to earn cash back rewards

Two young backpacking women look out over the balcony in Spain, glad they used their Amex Cash Magnet credit cards to help them pay for their trip. Image:

In a Nutshell

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card offers a simple way to earn and redeem cash back. Plus, the introductory 0% purchase APR for 15 months from account opening means you can finance big purchases without paying a lot in fees. After that, the card offers a purchase APR of 14.49% - 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness.

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Pros Cons
No annual fee Foreign transaction fee
Simple cash back rewards structure Limited cash back options
Introductory purchase APR offer

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American Express Cash Magnet® Card

From cardholders in the last year

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What you should now about the American Express Cash Magnet® Card

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card could be a great option for someone who wants a simple cash back card that rewards them for their everyday purchases. Here are some of the card’s highlights.

1. Simple 1.5% cash back rate

Hate keeping track of reward categories? With the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, earning and redeeming cash back benefits is simple and straightforward. The card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases. The cash back will accrue as Reward Dollars, which can then be redeemed as a statement credit — as long as you have a minimum of $25 in your rewards dollar balance.

2. Limited options for redeeming cash back

While simplicity is a key benefit of this card, it can also be a drawback for some cardholders. The card comes with limited options for redeeming cash back. The Reward Dollars you earn can be redeemed only in the form of a statement credit — unless American Express is offering a special promotion to redeem them for gift cards or merchandise. You won’t be able to redeem the Reward Dollars for cash that you can deposit into your bank account, and it also can’t be used to pay your minimum amount due.

3. Finance big purchases with an intro purchase and balance transfer APR and Plan It®

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card offers two features to help you pay for big purchases. The first is an introductory 0% APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.49% - 25.49% for each. To take advantage of the balance transfer offer, you must request it within 60 days of account opening. The balance transfer fee is 3% (minimum $5), whichever is greater.

There is another option available if you need to finance a large purchase once that introductory APR period is over: the Plan It® feature, which offers you the ability to create up to 10 payment plans to finance qualifying purchases of $100 or more. With each payment plan, you’ll pay a plan fee of up to 1.19% for each purchase, which you’ll pay in lieu of interest.

4. $150 welcome offer

If you’re looking for a more immediate cash back reward, the American Express Cash Magnet® Card comes with a welcome offer that may be easy to reach. When you spend at least $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership, you’ll receive a statement credit of $150. While there are cards that come with a bigger welcome offer, they often require a higher spending level to reach it.

Other things you need to know

Here are some other key features offered by the American Express Cash Magnet® Card.

  • No annual fee.
  • Leave this card at home for international travel. It comes with a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.
  • Remember to make payments on time. If you don’t, you could be charged a penalty APR of 29.99%.

Who this card is good for

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card is a great card for someone who wants a very basic and straightforward cash back rewards card. The simplicity of 1.5% cash back for all purchase categories makes it an easy choice for someone who doesn’t want to keep track of rewards categories. Plus, no annual fee means you don’t have to worry about earning enough cash back to make up for the cost of the annual fee.

The card also has features that are helpful for someone who is looking to finance large purchases. Aside from the introductory 0% APR on purchases — and balance transfers initiated within the first 60 days from account opening — for 15 months from account opening (a variable APR of 14.49% - 25.49% afterward), the Plan It® feature helps you finance large purchases for a low fixed fee.

But the simplicity comes with drawbacks. The primary way to redeem your cash back — earned in the form of Reward Dollars — is through a statement credit. If you want to use a credit card rewards to pay for other benefits, like travel, this might not be for you.

And while 1.5% is a good cash back rate for a card without an annual fee, if your regular purchases fall into popular spending categories, you could earn more points with a different card. For example, if you primarily use your card when you eat out, you could be missing out on points by not using a card that offers a higher rewards rate in the dining-out category.

Not sure this is the card for you? Consider these alternatives.