American Express Cash Magnet Card Review
Why trust us? Investor.com has no financial relationship with any of the credit card providers whose products we analyze and review. Our opinions are based solely on data and our own extensive independent research — that means unbiased guidance for consumers. Rewards cards in our cashback credit card calculator are listed in descending order according to how much money they pay out annually based on the inputs.
A flat, category-agnostic, unlimited 1.5% reward rate? Boring can be beautiful, albeit potentially less lucrative in some spending categories.
The American Express Cash Magnet’s unlimited 1.5% cash-back rate on everything is serviceable for rewards newbies and big spenders who exceed caps elsewhere. Otherwise, big yawn.
The basics: Pays 1.5% cash back on purchases with no spending caps. Includes American Express card network perks. 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from date of account opening. Spend $2,000 or more on purchases within the first six months and get a $200 statement credit.
American Express Cash Magnet
American Express Cash Magnet pros and cons
- No rewards cap — at all!
- 1.5% cashback rate on every category, no tracking required
- $200 sign-up bonus
- No annual fee
- 0% intro APR on new purchases for 15 months
- Comes with Amex network perks
- No bonus categories = no extra earning potential
- Flat 1.5% rewards rate less generous than other Amex cards
- American Express not as widely accepted abroad as Visa and Mastercard
- Le yuck 2.7% foreign transaction fee
American Express Cash Magnet cashback rewards spending categories
The following table shows the cashback rewards rate per $1 spent in the six most common spending categories. The “Bonus Rate” refers to the amount you can earn in excess of the card’s standard rewards rate.
Some cashback cards limit the spending amount eligible for the bonus rate (a.k.a. the “Spend Cap”). Once you hit that cap (e.g. $1,500 spending in a particular category during a defined time period), the rewards rate on future purchases in that category reverts to the lower “Default Rate.”
|Category||Default Rate||Bonus Rate||Bonus Spend Cap||Bonus Spend Period (Months)|
What we like
Unlimited (!) 1.5% cash back. We like unlimited.
Card monogamists will appreciate the super simple rewards tracking: You know what you’re getting back with every swipe.
The first six months of membership are the best: Spend at least $2K (just $333 a month) on your American Express Cash Magnet card and you’ll earn a $200 statement credit.
The 15-month 0% APR on purchases offers some nice padding if you’re planning any big acquisitions.
Comes with Pay It and Plan It features (through the Amex app). Pay It lets you pay off small purchases (less than $100) right away, earning rewards and avoiding interest. Plan It allows you to create a payment plan on qualifying purchases of $100 or more in installments for a monthly fee that’s less than your APR. Eligibility is based on your creditworthiness and credit limit. (See Amex’s FAQ for more details.)
Attn travelers: If you’re 100 miles or more from home you can access Global Assist Hotline if you need a lawyer, help with lost luggage or a translator to get you through your Turkish rhinoplasty (which really is a thing).
Includes American Express card network perks, like car rental loss/damage insurance and purchase protection.
What we don't like
Flat 1.5% rate means there’s no opportunity to earn more. Sometimes the more complex tiered rewards cards are worth the extra hassle. Eventually you may want to play the rewards card field.
That 2.7% foreign transaction fee is slightly better than the standard 3% foreign transaction fee many cards charge. Thanks?
Just one redemption option. Cash back can be redeemed only for statement credits.
Sorry, no balance-transfer offer to see here. Move along if that’s what you’re looking for.
The bottom line
Is the American Express Cash Magnet the best rewards card for your wallet? The answer depends entirely on your spending patterns. Let the numbers speak for themselves: Use the investor.com Cashback Credit Card Calculator to see which credit card pays back the highest rewards based on how much you spend each month.
American Express Cash Magnet fine print
For some light reading, here’s the American Express Cash Magnet cardmember agreement.
Does the American Express Cash Magnet charge an annual fee?
No, there is no annual fee for the American Express Cash Magnet.
Roughly 14% of the consumer cashback cards we track in our database charge an annual fee. The average annual fee is $72.60, while the median is $95.
Does the American Express Cash Magnet offer a welcome bonus?
Yes, the American Express Cash Magnet has a welcome bonus of $200.
Of the more than 60 cashback credit cards in our database, 66% offer a welcome bonus. Currently, the average sign-up bonus on a new cashback card is $210.71, with the median being $200.
How much cashback can I earn with the American Express Cash Magnet?
The average American that spends $1000 per month will earn $180.00 in cash back per year using the American Express Cash Magnet. For comparison, the average annual rewards payout from the cashback credit cards in the investor.com database is $191.26, and $180 is the median.
These calculations are based on average consumer spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the reward payout rates from the providers we track. Of course, you’re so much more than an average data point (aka “consumer unit,” in BLS parlance). The amount you can earn in cashback rewards using the American Express Cash Magnet depends entirely on your unique spending habits.
Find out exactly how much you’ll rake in with the American Express Cash Magnet by tailoring the spending inputs in the calculator above.
The results of the investor.com Credit Card Rewards Calculator are based on the monthly spending amounts you enter and the annual dollar value of the rewards each credit card program pays per $1 spent. Credit card companies often express this payout amount as a percentage (e.g., 1.5% of every dollar spent) or on a points basis (e.g. ,1.5 points for every dollar spent). We converted all of them to a dollar amount (“Cash Back Per Year”) to make comparing offers easier.
To calculate the amount of cash back you could earn per year, we factored in:
- Spend category inputs: The default dollar values for each “Spend Category” in the Best Cashback Credit Cards tool — gas, groceries, travel, restaurant, entertainment, pharmacy, other — are based on average American spending data from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We also include additional spend categories (such as streaming services, online shopping, utilities, transit, Amazon and more) to help you see which rewards cards are most closely aligned with your actual spending patterns. We encourage you to customize the monthly spend inputs for the most accurate results.
- Tiered rewards rates: If a rewards credit card pays higher cashback rates on certain spending categories (also called “Bonus Rewards”), that difference is reflected in the total “Cash Back Per Year” tally.
- Rewards spending caps: Some cards impose category- or time-based limits (monthly, quarterly, annually) that affect the amount of rewards you can earn. For example, a card may pay 3% cash back on groceries on up to $1,000 of spending each quarter, then revert to the base/default rewards rate until the following quarter. We accounted for bonus spending caps and timeframe in the calculations.
- Default rewards rates: Purchases that exceed a spending cap are usually subject to a lower default rewards rate (e.g., 1% or 1.5%). We mathed that out too.
- Annual fees: If a rewards card charges an annual fee, we deducted that amount from the “Cash Back Per Year” total to provide a true accounting of a card’s annual rewards payout.
What’s not included in the “Cash Back Per Year” total is the cash value of any sign-up/introductory bonus. We highlight any Welcome Bonus separately. While sign-up bonuses can be the most lucrative part of getting a new cashback rewards credit card, not everyone will want or be able to do what it takes to earn the extra cash. (It usually requires spending a certain amount in a specified time period after the card is activated.)
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