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American Express Cash Magnet Card review: Not quite the cash-back king

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

American Express Cash Magnet® Card Overview

If simplicity is your thing, the American Express Cash Magnet® card is one of the easiest cards to wrap your head around, with its flat 1.5% cash back earning rate on everything purchased. There are no bonus categories to remember or points to figure out how to redeem. However, there are better options for truly maximizing your spending. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐

*Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

It’s great when credit card rewards come easily. Spend money on anything under the sun and see the bonuses roll in. That’s the case for many cash-back cards, including the Amex Cash Magnet. If you want a one-card wallet where you don’t have to think too hard about the card you’re using, the Cash Magnet can make a lot of sense. However, this isn’t the most lucrative cash-back card, so it might pay to look at other options.

It has no annual fee and a recommended credit score of 670.

Let’s take a closer look at the Amex Cash Magnet.

The information for the Amex Cash Magnet Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.    

Amex Cash Magnet pros and cons

Pros Cons
  • 1.5% back on all purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Purchase protection, car rental insurance, Global Assist Hotline
  • Outclassed by other no-annual-fee cash-back cards
  • Limited redemption options

Amex Cash Magnet welcome offer

New Amex Cash Magnet cardholders will receive a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 within the first six months of account opening. That’s not a bad welcome bonus for a card with no annual fee.


Besides the statement credit, the Amex Magnet also has a 0% introductory APR that lasts for the first 15 months. That’s helpful if you really need to purchase larger-ticket items and need the time to pay the cost off in full. Of course, those who use credit cards to earn rewards should always aim to avoid carrying a balance and incurring interest charges.

Amex Cash Magnet benefits

This card also comes with a variety of benefits as part of the American Express card network. For no annual fee, cardholders are eligible for a solid number of benefits, including:

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: You’ll receive secondary coverage for a rental car when you decline the collision damage waiver at the counter and pay for the entire rental with your card.
  • Global Assist Hotline: Available to assist you in travel planning 24/7
  • Amex Offers: Earn additional rewards on some purchases with targeted Amex Offers
Earn 3% back shopping online (Getty Images / Roberto Westbrook)

Additionally, as an Amex cardholder, you’re eligible for the Plan It® program, which allows you to pay off purchases of $100 or more in monthly installments. To use this feature, you must first be deemed eligible per your credit history. You’ll manage your plan via the American Express app if you qualify.

Related: Best credit cards with purchase protection

Earning cash back with the Amex Cash Magnet

The Cash Magnet’s most notable feature is its unlimited cash-back component. With this card, you’ll receive 1.5% cash back on every purchase, with no limit.

There are no bonus categories to keep track of or spending caps to remember.

Young casually clothed woman online shopping from her domestic kitchen

On the downside, bonus categories offered on other cards can allow you to earn much more cash back than earning the same percentage on every purchase.

This card is best for those looking for a straightforward cash-back experience, but you likely won’t maximize your value on every purchase.

Redeeming cash back with the Amex Cash Magnet

Cash Magnet cardholders are rewarded with cash back called “Reward Dollars” that can be used toward statement credit, merchandise and gift cards.


Reward Dollars can be used toward your paying your credit card balance.

Note that you cannot earn or redeem Amex Membership Rewards points with this card — a downside if you’re looking to redeem your rewards for travel like TPG editor Emily Thompson.

Which cards compete with the Amex Cash Magnet?

While there is something to be said for simplicity, there are better cash back options out there.

  • If you want a better earning rate: The Citi Double Cash® Card (see rates and fees) takes center stage with a whopping 2% cash back on all purchases (1% when you make purchases, 1% when as you pay your bill). Cardholders can also convert the cash back they earn to ThankYou Points via another qualifying Citi card. For more information, read our full review of the Double Cash.
  • If you want bonus categories: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers the same 1.5% cash back on purchases, plus 5% back on travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal and 3% on dining and drugstores. Cardholders can also convert their cash back to Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the right card pairing. For more information, read our full review of the Freedom Unlimited.
  • If you’re willing to pay an annual fee: Consider the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card. With this card, you’ll earn 4% cash back on dining, entertainment and on popular streaming services, 3% at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target) and 1% on everything else. If dining and entertainment are your most-used categories, you could easily make up for the $95 annual fee. For more information, read our full review of the Capital One Savor.

For additional options, check out our full list of the best cash-back cards.

The information for the Capital One Savor card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: The best time to apply for these Chase cards based on offer history

Is the Amex Cash Magnet worth it?

The Amex Cash Magnet is a decent option if you want to earn cash back on purchases you’d be making anyway. However, there are many better options out there for a cash-back credit card, so be sure to research your options before deciding on a cash-back card.

Bottom line

While the Amex Cash Magnet’s simplicity is nice for some, its earning rate is disappointing compared to direct competitors.

You can still get some substantial value from this card, but if your goal is simply to land a no-annual-fee general cash-back card, you can do better than the Amex Cash Magnet.

Related: Best American Express credit cards