Introduction to the American Express Cash Magnet
A relative newcomer to the stable of credit cards available from the folks at American Express, the Cash Magnet credit card has plenty of people excited about the opportunity to earn unlimited rewards on every eligible purchase – but is this card everything that it promises to be (and potentially then some)?
Yes, you are going to be able to earn unlimited rewards in the form of 1.5% back on all eligible purchases you make with this American Express card – but that’s a simple, flat benefit with no other wrinkles or extra rewards that some of the other more robust rewards cards on the market today bring to the table.
On the upside of things, you are guaranteed to earn a pretty decent chunk of rewards on every single purchase that you make with this card. This dramatically simplifies the rewards calculation process for you, and instead of having to figure out how each individual purchase breaks down according to the different tiers of points you may be eligible for you’ll instead get a “flat” reward rate that works across the board.
On the downside of things, that means that you are going to be staring down a pretty unexciting amount of rewards compared to some of the other more robust and multitier reward options out there – including those from American Express.
Some of the other cards offer better rates if you’re willing to track all kinds of rewards and bonus categories, but that’s going to involve quite a bit more “heavy lifting” on your end for sure.
American Express has a nearly legendary reputation in the world of credit cards and you are definitely going to be well taken care of should you decide to take advantage of this opportunity. This card comes complete with a pretty decent Welcome Bonus (and some other really cool benefits that other cards do not offer), so it is certainly well worth looking into.
That’s Welcome Bonus we just mentioned comes in the form of a $150 statement credit that you are granted automatically as soon you spend at least $1000 or more in purchases with your American Express card in the first three months of having the account open.
That’s a pretty decent chunk of rewards you get right off of the top and you also be able to enjoy that same 1.5% reward bonus on all of those purchases as well – really helping you to double dip a little bit.
Another great feature of the American Express Cash Magnet card is that you can take advantage of your rewards in the form of statement credits just as soon as you have earned at least $25 worth. This is a huge bonus that a lot of other cards out there will not offer, giving you the ability to pay down your balances with purchases that you’ve already made. That’s just like free money!
In the APR department you’re going to be looking at a 0% Introductory Rate on both purchases made and any balance transfers that are initiated within the first 15 months of your card being open and active. After that 15 month block of time, however, you will be looking at a variable APR interest rate that can bounce around anywhere between 15.24% and 26.24%.
As far as these kinds of reward cards are concerned that’s not a bad rate at all, though you usually have to have pretty rocksolid credit to receive ANY American Express card – and you’ll certainly find better APR options from other companies if you have a credit score good enough to land this particular card.
That brings us to another interesting little wrinkle with this Cash Magnet card and that’s the fact that you are going to have pretty decent credit to even be in consideration for this card from the folks at American Express. That won’t surprise anyone that has done their research and due diligence into numerous credit card opportunities out there, as American Express is routinely regarded as one of the hardest companies to get a card with unless your credit is really well taken care of.
Every now and again people with average credit are able to take advantage of these offers, however, so it may well be worth taking a stab at the application form for this opportunity. If you are able to take advantage of this card you are going to be set up pretty nicely when it comes to rewards.
Highlights of the American Express Cash Magnet card
The biggest highlight of this American Express Cash Magnet card absolutely has to be its simplified and straightforward reward rate calculation process.
Instead of making you jump through all kinds of hoops are figuring out all kinds of complex arithmetic on your own to know exactly how many points you are earning with any given purchase you’ll instead earn a flat 1.5% back on all purchases – pretty standard fare for these kinds of cashback credit card offers.
This definitely simplifies the process for those that are just looking for a cashback opportunity and you’ll be happy to know that there is absolutely no penalty whatsoever to carry these reward points over from one year to the next – so long as you aren’t racking up any interest charges along the way.
Secondly, the initial Welcome Offer you get of that $150 bonus statement credit as soon as you put at least $1000 worth on your credit card in the first 30 days is another major highlight you won’t find most anywhere else. This is fantastic for those that want to purchase things with “free money” right away and you’ll definitely be able to earn reward points on top of this bonus credit throughout this 30 day block of time, too.
Lastly, the 0% introductory APR is nothing to sneeze at – particularly since it stretches for as long as 15 months at a time. The ongoing interest rate after that is a little bit higher than you might expect with this kind of credit card (and the kind of credit score you need to land this credit card), but for the most part the long time introductory 0% APR offsets that slightly higher continuous APR by a decent chunk.
Because you are only going to be receiving a 1.5% flat reward rate on all of the purchases you make with your card you’ll find that other offers on the market today have sweeter deals in comparison. There are plenty of cards out there that offer up to 5% bonus cashback (offers that toll quarterly) in certain reward categories, but if you aren’t interested in those kinds of rewards you’re really not missing out much.
Another slight handicap you might bump into is the ability only to redeem these reward points in the form of statement credit, gift cards, or merchandise purchased directly through the American Express client portal.
This is somewhat limiting if you were hoping to have that cashback funneled directly to your bank account the way that some other popular cashback cards can, but again it isn’t all that much of an issue when you get to enjoy rewards in the form of credit on your statements.
We’ve made mention of the reward program set up by this particular American Express card a couple of times already, so we will keep things nice and neat for you right here.
You’ll get 1.5% cash back rewards on ALL eligible purchases you make on your card, without exception and without having to worry about fitting your reward points into specific categories or anything of that sort.
This is about as streamlined a rewards program as you are going to find coming from any of the major credit card companies out there on the market today. It’s a real joy to use in comparison with some of the more convoluted options out there.
Unlike some of the other American Express cards you could sign up for, you won’t have to worry about paying any annual fees one you choose to move forward with the Cash Magnet card.
This card is free to use on a year-to-year basis without exception.
The interest rate for the first 15 months of your cardholder membership is going to be 0% on both purchases and balance transfers. After that 15 month block of time things bump up to a variable APR of anywhere between 15.24% and 26.24%.
Balance transfer fees are assessed at either five dollars or 3% of the entire balance total, depending on which amount is greater. Foreign transaction fees come in at 2.7% as well, something to think about if you are a frequent traveler or purchase products and merchandise from overseas shops online.
All things considered, there’s a lot to really like about the American Express Cash Magnet card and not all that much to be disappointed in.
The simplified and streamlined rewards program is going to make a lot of people happy, especially those that have been dealing with complex and convoluted rewards programs from other companies (or even from American Express themselves with other cards).
Sure, the rewards might not look all that glamorous when stacked up against some of the specialty 5% cashback in certain categories from other cards. But 1.5% across-the-board (without exception) is certainly nothing to sneeze at, especially since some cards with specialty bonuses will pay you out any percentage in any other category.
At the end of the day, it’s all going to come down to whether or not you have the credit score necessary to land this American Express Cash Magnet card, the interest you have in a flat 1.5% cashback reward in all categories, and whether or not you are impressed by the top-tier customer service, support, and benefits that American Express cardholders enjoy.
This is very much a premium card and it certainly feels like it, too.
David is a financial expert who graduated from the University of Fordham (Master in Finance) in 2001. He has 10+ years of experience in private equity and wealth management. With strong expertise in senior-level financial planning, personal financial analysis, and mortgages, David knows his way around personal finance. Before working at CCR he used to be a financial analyst at McKinsey.
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