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American Express Cash Magnet Card Review
Our American Express Cash Magnet Card review goes into detail about the pros and cons of the credit card, as well as who should and shouldn’t apply for it.
Onto our American Express Cash Magnet Card review!
- Introductory APR: 0% on purchases for 15 months
- Variable APR (beyond introductory period): 13.99% – 23.99% on purchases
- APR on Cash Advances: 25.24% (Variable)
- Penalty APR: 29.24% (Variable)
- Annual Fee: $0
- Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
- Cash Advance Fee: 5% of the transaction amount; minimum $10
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7% of the transaction amount in USD
- Late Payment Fee: Up to $40
Pros vs. Cons of American Express Cash Magnet
- No cap on cashback rewards
- Rewards do not expire
- $150 sign-up bonus
- 0% introductory APR on purchases
- Pay It, Plan It feature
- No offers on balance transfers
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- High minimum spending for earning the welcome bonus
Who Should Get The American Express Cash Magnet Credit Card?
The American Express Cash Magnet is a no-fuss cashback credit card that offers 1.5% category-independent cashback and charges no annual fee. As an American Express Cash Magnet cardholder, you will also benefit from perks like rental car insurance coverage, insurance coverage on purchases, and entry to cardmember-only events.
This card is a good fit for individuals who do not travel frequently or have a separate card for accumulating travel rewards. If you spend more than $1,000 within 3 months of account opening, you will also receive a $150 welcome bonus in the form of a statement credit.
It also offers some breathing room if you are planning a big-ticket purchase in the near future with its 15-month long introductory 0% APR period for purchases. After this period ends, you will be charged a variable APR of 13.99%-23.99% depending on your credit score.
While there are other cards like Chase Freedom Unlimited that offer a larger welcome bonus, an equally long 0% APR period, and increased cashback rate on several categories—you may want to stick to American Express Cash Magnet if you want to keep things simple. If you thrive on optimizing rewards and have a spending pattern that can earn you more cashback on some categories, you may want to look elsewhere.
American Express Cash Magnet Card Benefits and Features
- Uncapped cashback (1.5%)
All purchases made using an American Express Cash Magnet earn the cardholder a flat 1.5% cashback. There is no cap beyond which the cashback rate decreases or ceases altogether. If you do not like spending time looking at categories and optimizing your spending pattern to maximize your cashback rate, the American Express Cash Magnet is an excellent fit that requires no optimization efforts.
- A welcome bonus for new cardholders ($150)
If you spend in excess of or equal to $1,000 using your American Express Cash Magnet credit card within 3 months of account opening, you will earn a $150 welcome bonus in the form of a statement credit.
This is a great feature to have on your card, but the bonus to spending ratio is quite lower than others like Chase Freedom Unlimited that offers $200 back on spending $500 within 3 months of account opening.
- 15-month long introductory 0% APR period
This feature is particularly helpful for individuals aiming to finance a big-ticket purchase for the short-term without burdening themselves with an interest expense.
Once the 15-month period ends, however, the outstanding amount will begin to attract a variable APR of 13.99%-23.99%. For this reason, it is important that you plan out your payment schedule such that you end up paying out the entire amount before the 16th billing cycle commences. If you reckon you may not be able to do that, you may want to read through the next benefit.
- Pay It Plan It
If you are unable to pay off your credit card balances by the end of 15 months, the American Express Cash Magnet simplifies things a little with its “Pay It Plan It” program.
Cardholders can pay off purchases of less than $100 immediately using the American Express app. If the purchases amount to over $100, cardholders can avail the option to pay it in monthly installments for a fixed fee.
However, the availability of the program depends on your credit history. To access the program or check for eligibility, cardholders will need to download the American Express app.
- No Annual Fee
This is a common, but welcome feature. You pay no fees to own the American Express Cash Magnet card.
- American Express Experiences
As an American Express Cash Magnet cardholder, you will have access to presale events and concert tickets, members-only events, and more.
- Car rental loss and damage insurance
To avail of this benefit, you must pay the full cost of car rental using your American Express Cash Magnet card and reject the collision damage waiver offered by the rental company.
The coverage will kick in if the rental vehicle is stolen or damaged in covered countries and territories, and provided the coverage on any other auto insurance policies you have has been exhausted.
- Global Assist Hotline
The Global Assist Hotline is handy for when you require assistance for lost luggage or passport, translation services, emergency medical or legal assistance, among other things. While the Global Assist Hotline will provide assistance for availing these services, the cost will be borne by the cardholder.
What Makes Other Cards Better Than The American Express Cash Magnet?
- Fee on foreign transactions (2.7%)
Cardholders pay a 2.7% fee on foreign transactions. While a lot of cards charge a slightly higher (3%) fee on foreign transactions, cards from an issuer like Capital One waive them entirely. If you travel overseas often, this is something you should consider while making your decision.
- Limited international acceptance
Most destinations will accept American Express. However, some locations accept only Visa or Mastercard.
- Late and returned payment fees and penalty APR
American Express Cash Magnet cardholders will need to practice extra caution with due dates. Cardholders are charged up to $40 for late payment or returned payment. What’s more, a late or returned payment will also trigger a penalty APR for the next six or more months.
- Relatively lower earning potential
While the flat 1.5% cashback rate is great if you have little time to optimize your spending or choosing categories on a quarterly basis, you may be giving up a lot of benefits in exchange for convenience.
For example, Citi Double Cash offers 2% cashback on all purchases (1% while making the purchase, and 1% while paying off your balance). Even better, cards such as Chase Freedom Unlimited offer 5% cashback on travel bookings made through Chase, and 3% on amounts spent on dining at restaurants and drugstore purchases.
American Express Cash Magnet vs. Other American Express cards
- American Express Cash Magnet vs. Blue Cash Everyday from American Express
Unlike the Cash Magnet, the Blue Cash Everyday from American Express earns category-wise rewards: 3% on purchases at U.S. Supermarkets up to $6,000 annually (1% thereafter), 2% at U.S. gas stations, and 1% on all other purchases. While the card that suits you best will depend on which categories you choose to spend heavily on, owning both cards offers more benefits.
The $0 annual fee allows for owning both cards at absolutely no cost. When you spend at U.S. supermarkets and gas stations, use the Blue Cash Everyday from American Express. On all other categories or when you breach the $6,000 cap on the Blue Cash Everyday, use the American Express Cash Magnet to maximize the benefits.
- American Express Cash Magnet vs. Wells Fargo Propel American Express
The Wells Fargo Propel is a points card, unlike the Cash Magnet that offers a flat cashback. Both cards charge no annual fees, but the Wells Fargo Propel offers the additional benefit of no foreign transaction fees.
The Cash Magnet offers a longer 0% introductory APR on purchases (15 months) compared to Wells Fargo Propel’s 12 months. However, Wells Fargo Propel’s 0% introductory APR period also applies to balance transfers, while the Cash Magnet’s does not.
Getting to the rewards structure, the Wells Fargo Propel earns 3 points for each dollar spent on a broad range of categories like hotels, flights, gas stations, dining, rideshares, take out, homestays, and a few streaming services and 1 point for each dollar spent on other categories. The Cash Magnet, on the contrary, eliminates the complexities of a category-wise rewards structure and offers a flat 1.5% cashback on all purchases.
American Express Cash Magnet vs. Competitors’ Cards
- American Express Cash Magnet vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited
The most striking difference between the two cards is their welcome bonus to spending ratio. The Cash Magnet offers a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 within 3 months of account opening. The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers $200 as a welcome bonus after you spend $500 within the first 3 months. Chase Freedom Unlimited is the clear winner here.
Chase Freedom Unlimited also has several other benefits. It offers 5% back on travel booked through Chase, 3% on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, and 1.5% on all other purchases. All this, at no annual cost. For most people, Chase Freedom Unlimited will offer a lot more benefits than the American Express Cash Magnet.
- American Express Cash Magnet vs. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
There are a lot of similarities between the two cards. However, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards is currently offering a $200 sign-up bonus once you spend $500 within the initial 3 months. Both cards offer the same rewards rate and don’t cost anything to own.
If you are a frequent traveler, though, you may want to consider the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards. The American Express Cash Magnet charges a 2.7% foreign transaction fee on amounts spent after conversion to USD. The fee can entirely, or at least substantially, wash away the rewards you earn by spending during your travel.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We answer some of the most common questions in our American Express Cash Magnet card review:
What is the usual American Express Cash Magnet card credit limit?
American Express has not revealed a minimum or maximum credit limit for the Cash Magnet card. The limit you are approved for will depend on several factors like your income, debt, and credit history. On average, though, most users report limits between $2,000 and $10,000.
How to do a balance transfer with American Express?
The American Express Cash Magnet card does not allow balance transfers. However, other American Express cards do.
After you receive your American Express card via mail, call 1 800 528 4800 and input your details to speak with a customer service representative. You can also transfer balances online by logging in to www.americanexpress.com, and navigating to the “Card Management” section under “Account Services.” Under “Card Management,” you will have an option to “Transfer Balances.”
What is the minimum American Express Cash Magnet card credit score requirement?
To qualify for the American Express Cash Magnet card, you need a minimum credit score of 700. If your score is above 700 and you want to see if you will qualify for the American Express Cash Magnet card, use their pre-qualification tool. This does not guarantee approval, though.
Is American Express Cash Magnet a good card?
This is a great card for those who don’t like keeping track of their rewards and are content with a flat 1.5% cashback on all purchases. The card is also a good choice for someone planning on financing a big-ticket purchase given the 0% introductory APR and the Pay It, Plan It feature.
The trade-off for simplicity is that you will be able to redeem your rewards only through a statement credit. Also, you potentially lose out on attractive rewards on popular categories offered by other cards.
Apply For Your AmEx Cash Magnet Card
Check out the American Express website to see if this credit card is a good fit for your needs.
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