American Express Cash Magnet Card: It’s Not Your Typical AmEx Credit Card

Marcy Bialeschki
July 6, 2020

What makes the Magnet card attractive to consumers is its unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

This card has no annual fee. The American Express Cash Magnet card is not the only free AmEx credit card. However, American Express cards are known for their membership fee, so having free options is a vast improvement.

Incentives and rewards

The incentives and rewards are not exceptional on this card, but they are simple and easy to track. New cardholders are eligible to receive $200 statement credit for spending $1000 in the first three months. Pair this perk with a 0% purchase APR for 15 months, and the American Express Cash Magnet card is looking pretty good.

How do I get this card & will it drop my credit score?

The American Express Cash Magnet card requires good credit with a 700+ credit score. Not sure if your credit score is high enough? Don't risk the hard pull on your credit without going to American Express's prequalifying page. Completing this step will let you know if you qualify by using a soft pull on your credit, which does not affect your credit score.

Be advised that actually applying for this card requires a hard pull on your credit, so you will see a drop in your credit score. With responsible use, however, you can recover those points in a few months.

Card specs

Let’s take a look at some of the specific details before you decide to apply for the American Express Cash Magnet card.

No annual fee

$200 statement credit for spending $1000 in the first three months

Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases

0% purchase APR for 15 months after opening a new account

13.00% - 23.99% APR variable after introductory APR

2.7% foreign transaction fee

$40 late payment fee

Max penalty APR = 29.24%

Cash advance APR = 25.24%

Cash advance fee = 5% (min. $10)

$0 fraud liability

Travel features

The improvements made by American Express addressing acceptance makes it a satisfactory choice for travel. The only negative is the 2.7% foreign transaction fee. Unfortunately, this is a huge negative for international travelers. These other features, however, make your American Express Cash Magnet card a decent travel companion, especially within the United States.

Cash wires

Passport replacement

Global concierge service

Missing luggage insurance

Up to $250,000 travel accident insurance if you purchase your travel with your card

Rental car theft and collision secondary insurance (if you waive other insurance)

Roadside assistance hotline

Access to the Global Assistance Hotline 24/7 if you are more than 100 miles from home:

Medical assistance

Legal assistance

Financial assistance

Other emergency coordination

Pay It / Plan It

Only American Express has the Pay It / Plan It options to make flexible payments that fit your budget and time-frame. One of the best features of these plans, other than the flexible payments, is you still earn rewards for your purchases. These payment options are easily set-up and managed using the American Express app.

The Pay It option allows you to pay off smaller purchases of under $100 throughout the month. These amounts are applied to your minimum monthly payment. Many people like this option because they can check off items as they get them paid. Additionally, many people on this plan end up paying more than their minimum, keeping interest down.

The Plan It option is designed to pay off larger purchases of over $100 with a set amount each month, with no interest added. Plan It customers can have up to 10 plans at a time. These plans have a fixed monthly fee that is shown upfront, so you know your exact payment. American Express has a handy Plan It Calculation link on their website that helps you customize this plan.

Security features

A credit card should make you feel secure, and the American Express Cash Magnet card delivers with the following features:

Encrypted card numbers for online purchases

Pre-purchase verification for specific amounts

Account alerts for irregular activity

Fraud hotline access

Free card replacement

$0 Fraud Liability

Points to consider The American Express Cash Magnet card has a lot going for it as a reliable, no-fuss everyday credit card. However, no credit card is perfect for everyone, so make sure you ponder these possible "cons."

The AmEx Cash Magnet card has limited rewards options. All rewards come as statement credit.

Even though a 2020 Nilson report found the AmEx Cash Magnet card to have a 99% acceptance rate, some cardholders report world-wide acceptance is still not as good as Visa or MasterCard.

So, who needs this card? If you have good credit and want a hassle-free everyday card, the American Express Cash Magnet card is a solid option. While there are no bells and whistles with this card, there are no messy downfalls, either. It sits firmly in the middle of the pack of basic credit cards with no specialties and no catches.

However, there are certainly better cards for travel, perks, and rewards if those things are important to you.

All in all, American Express has overcome two of its major turn-offs by making the Cash Magnet card more accepted and by not having an annual fee or membership fee. These improvements alone make this card worth a second look.

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