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American Express Cash Magnet Card Credit Card Review

American Express Cash Magnet Card Credit Card Review

*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.

This article was last updated Aug 14, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card is a simple $0 annual fee flat-rate cashback rewards card with good benefits and a welcome bonus that’s relatively easy to earn.

However, know that there are other cashback cards that offer higher rewards earning rates, which can put more cash back in your pocket.

We take a look at the pros and cons of the American Express Cash Magnet® Card and compare it with another flat-rate cashback card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, to help you decide which card may be the better choice for your spending.

 

American Express Cash Magnet® Card pros

Annual fee. This card comes with a $0 annual fee.

Simple rewards structure. While there are cashback cards that earn higher rates on purchases, they may require you to opt into rotating categories throughout the year and set a limit on the amount you can earn at the higher rewards rate. That’s not the case here, as you earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases, which can be redeemed as a statement credit.

Easy-to-earn welcome offer. Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership.

Intro APR offer on purchases. If you’re looking to finance a large purchase, the American Express Cash Magnet® Card offers an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for 15 months (after which an APR of 13.99%-23.99% variable will apply).

Flexible repayment options. With the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, you can choose between two repayment options, called Pay It, Plan It. The Pay It option allows you to pay for small purchases under $100 throughout the month, while with the Plan It option, you can split up payments for purchases over $100 for a fixed monthly fee and no interest charges. Both options can be accessed through the American Express app.

Additional card benefits

  • Free shipping through complimentary ShopRunner membership (enrollment required)
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Global Assist® hotline
  • Entertainment access to concerts, sporting events
  • Guaranteed low hotel rates if booked at amextravel.com
  • Terms Apply

 

American Express Cash Magnet® Card cons

Low cash back rate. There are other cashback cards that offer a more generous cashback rates on purchases for no annual fee.

Foreign transaction fee. There is a fee of 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars. If traveling abroad, it’s best to use a card that doesn’t assess you a fee for purchases.

Excellent/Good credit required. If your credit score isn’t in solid shape, the odds of being approved for this card are low.

Limited rewards redemption options. You can’t spend your rewards on travel, gift cards or merchandise, unless American Express runs a promotion for card members allowing additional redemption options. You also can’t spend them at the American Express Membership Rewards® website. Your rewards only come back as a statement credit.

Compare it with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

  • 14.99% - 23.74% Variable

Highlights
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.

See additional details for Chase Freedom Unlimited®

More Info

Another $0 annual fee cash back rewards credit card to consider is the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. It offers a more generous and easy-to-meet welcome offer, as well as a higher cash back rate on U.S. supermarket purchases.

Here’s how the two cards stack up side by side.

American Express Cash Magnet® Card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited

 American Express Cash Magnet® CardChase Freedom Unlimited®
Annual fee$0$0
Welcome bonus$200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
Rewards ratesEarn unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases.Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
Purchase intro rate0% on purchases for 15 months0% Intro APR for 15 months
Purchase APR13.99%-23.99% variable14.99% - 23.74% variable
Foreign transaction fees2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

In addition to the elevated rewards rate, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® also offers the following benefits:

  • DoorDash membership. Complimentary three-month membership to DashPass from DoorDash, which must be activated by Dec. 31, 2021.
  • Cash back with Lyft. Earn a total of 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2022.
  • Purchase and warranty protections. New purchases are covered against damage or theft for 120 days, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. Plus, receive an additional year of protection beyond the original manufacturer’s warranties of three years or less.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® rewards can be redeemed for cash, gift cards, travel or products and services. You can also use your points to pay for all or part of purchases at participating Chase Pay merchants.

Which card is best for me?

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® both have a similar unlimited cashback rewards rate on purchases for a $0 annual fee, as well as generous interest-free intro purchase offers.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has a more enhanced rewards-earning scheme that can help save you more — plus, the Chase Freedom Unlimited®’s spending requirement is much less to earn a higher sign-up bonus.

However, if you also have the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Expresss, which offers a higher cash back rewards rate in different categories, it may sense to pair that with the American Express Cash Magnet® Card to use for all other purchases. Cash back earned with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, as with the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, can be redeemed as a statement credit.

  • Earn up to $350 in statement credits. Terms Apply.

  • Earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms apply.

  • 0% on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then 13.99%-23.99% Variable

Highlights
  • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.
  • Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

More Info

To see rates & fees for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express please click here.

The information related to the American Express Cash Magnet® Card has been independently collected by CompareCards 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.


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*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and 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.