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American Express Cash Magnet Card Review: What You Need to Know

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

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on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Intro Purchase APR
0% on purchases for 15 months
Intro BT APR
0% on balance transfers for 15 months
Regular Purchase APR
14.49%-25.49% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

American Express is plunging further into the cashback rewards credit card segment with the American Express Cash Magnet® Card. This card provides stiff competition for three other popular cashback cards: the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. All three offer cashback programs and don’t charge an annual fee. But what sets the new American Express Cash Magnet® Card apart from the pack? We’ll cover that and more in this review.

How the American Express Cash Magnet® Card stacks up

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Annual Fee

$0

$0

$0

$0

Regular Purchase APR

14.49%-25.49% Variable

14.49%-25.49% Variable

15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

16.74 - 25.49% Variable

Rewards

Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases

3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases.

Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.

1.5% cash back offer.

Welcome Offer / New Cardmember Offer

$150 back after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

$150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.

No bonus

$150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Foreign Transaction Fee

2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

3%

3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

What we like about the card

The Welcome Offer. Like many rewards cards on the market today, the American Express Cash Magnet® Card is looking to woo new cardmembers with a Welcome Offer — $150 back after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Simplicity. Earn a straightforward Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases Unlike rotating category cards, you don’t have to worry about remembering points in different spending categories, nor do you have to sign up quarterly to get higher rewards.

Good intro offers. The American Express Cash Magnet® Card comes with an intro 0% on purchases for 15 months on purchases and an intro 0% on balance transfers for 15 months on balance transfers (after, 14.49%-25.49% Variable APR).

Flexible repayment. The card offers access to the Plan ItSM feature, which gives cardmembers flexibility by allowing you to create up to 10 payment plans for purchases costing $100 or more. You’ll have a fixed finance charge each month a plan is active.

Some travel perks. It comes with the familiar rewards and protections you expect from American Express, including auto rental insurance, Global Assist® Hotline, purchase protection and access to presale tickets to events like concerts and sporting events.

What could be better

You get your cash back as a statement credit. You can’t redeem it on things like airline tickets, hotel stays, gift cards and merchandise. You also can’t transfer it to airline or hotel loyalty programs. However, the card may occasionally offer other ways to redeem reward dollars, like gift cards or merchandise.  Note: cash back cannot be used to pay your minimum due.

You can do better than 1.5% cashback these days. If you’re looking for a higher cashback rate, check out the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer as an alternative, where you Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.

Not the best for travel. If you travel regularly, this card doesn’t offer things like trip delay/interruption or baggage insurance like other travel credit cards. And you’ll pay a foreign transaction fee of 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars..

Check out our roundup of the best travel rewards cards.

Alternatives to the American Express Cash Magnet® Card:

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

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on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Regular Purchase APR
14.49%-25.49% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 15 months
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: If you’re looking for a flat-rate cashback card for supermarket spending, this is a hard one to beat. It also carries a $0 annual fee and a welcome offer that lets you $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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The information related to Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Regular Purchase APR
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent, Good
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer: The card doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus, but you have the potential to earn a higher cashback rate. It offers the same cashback rewards simplicity as the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, but at a better rate. Cash back can be redeemed for statement credits or credited to either your linked Citi savings or checking account, or to a checking account from which you have paid a card bill at least two times, among other options.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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The information related to Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Regular Purchase APR
16.74 - 25.49% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% Intro APR for 15 months
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1.5% cash back offer.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Chase Freedom Unlimited®: This card looks similar to the American Express Cash Magnet® Card. If you use the Chase Freedom Unlimited® in combination with your existing Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® card, there are opportunities to earn even more cash back. You can do this by combining the cash back on the Chase Freedom Unlimited® with points earned on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®. You can then use those points in the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, where you can get 25% to 50% more value when you redeem them for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises. You can also transfer those points to four hotel or nine airline partners.

The information related to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Our final take

For those who are loyal to American Express-branded cards, the new American Express Cash Magnet® Card could be a good proposition. It offers simple cashback rewards with a $0 annual fee. It has a limited time welcome offer that can put extra rewards in your pocket if you spend the amount required to get it.

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card comes with some travel and protection perks that aren’t offered by other credit cards in the no-annual-fee, cashback rewards category. And getting flexibility in how you make payments on the card is something not offered by competitors.

So if you want a simple cashback rewards card with decent perks, this is a good option. But if you spend more on things like travel and dining, and you don’t need the payment flexibility option, there are more robust card offerings out there.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Benét J. Wilson
Benét J. Wilson |

Benét J. Wilson is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Benét J. at [email protected]

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Credit Cards

6 Credit Card Perks You Should Know About

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Earning rewards is probably one of the most talked about benefits of using a credit card aside from being able to use it to increase your credit score.

While earning points and cash back that you can redeem for travel, gift cards, and other rewards is nice, that’s not the only benefit involved with choosing to use a credit card.

In many cases, a credit card can actually be safer than cash or a debit card or even provide you with additional savings. Here are six credit card perks you should know about if you want to make the most out of using your credit card(s).

Purchase Protection

If you need to purchase something valuable, you might want to do it on a credit card if the card offers purchase protection. Many credit cards offer purchase protection for items that are lost, damaged, or stolen as long as you paid for the item with the credit card.

Each credit card has different policies and may reimburse you up to different amounts. For example, Chases credit card holders can file a claim to report any eligible personal property that has been damaged or stolen, or involuntary and accidental parting with property within 120 days from the date of purchase. They can be reimbursed for the amount paid for the item up to $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per account.

Price Protection 

With credit card price protection benefits, you could receive a refund if the price drops on an item you purchased with your card. This can happen a lot around the holidays, so it’s a good benefit to have.

With most credit cards, there is a time limit to take advantage of price protection, which is usually anywhere from 30 to 90 days after you make the initial purchase. That being said, you won’t get price protection for an item you purchased last year that suddenly went on sale the other day.

With price protection, you can save quite a bit if you purchase a big item like an appliance or a TV on your credit card and the price suddenly drops. That’s why it’s best to hold onto your receipts for at least 30-90 days depending on your credit card’s price protection terms.

Extended Warranty 

An extended warranty offered by your credit card company can be very similar to a manufacturer’s warranty in that it can add up to a year of additional coverage for certain purchases.

With some purchases, getting an extended warranty is definitely worth it even if it costs a little extra money. However, if your credit card offers an extended warranty, you may not need to purchase one on your own.

Credit Monitoring 

Monitoring your credit is very important because it can help you know where you stand and help you avoid situations like identity theft. Monitoring your credit is a good habit to adopt so you can track your score and see how your spending and payment activity affects it.

Instead of having to pay a monthly fee to have your credit monitored by a third-party service, you can see if your credit card issuer provides this service as a courtesy to cardholders.

Select Citi credit cards also provide you with your FICO® score for free.

Rental Car Insurance

If you’re traveling and need a rental car, most credit cards offer free rental car insurance coverage as long as you pay for the rental car with your card.

The rental car insurance provided by your credit card can include coverage for collision damage or theft, but there may be some limitations to the coverage so don’t assume certain things are covered like the loss of items during a collision or personal injuries.

Some credit cards with rental insurance options may not even cover cars that aren’t standard, like large trucks or luxury car rentals, so it’s important to thoroughly read your credit cards terms if you’re thinking of taking advantage of this feature.

Airport Lounge Access 

Why pay to access an airline’s lounge when many credit cards provide you with this option for free?

Airport lounges are a great amenity to check out when you’re traveling or have a long layover. They tend to offer exclusive amenities including Wi-Fi, desks, comfortable seating, personal assistance, arrival recovery, and more.

The Platinum Card® from American Express card includes complimentary airport lounge access.

Final Word

It pays to read the fine print when reviewing your credit card terms because you could learn more about additional free benefits you can take advantage of.

Carefully review the card agreement details for any new or existing credit cards you have. You may not need benefits like rental car insurance or purchase protection all the time, but when you do, you’ll know how to access them for free with your credit card.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Chonce Maddox
Chonce Maddox |

Chonce Maddox is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Chonce at [email protected]

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Credit Cards, Reviews

American Express Gold Card: Good Travel Rewards for a Fee

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

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The American Express® Gold Card is an upgraded American Express charge card without a pre-set spending limit. It’s also a card that rewards cardholders with American Express Membership Rewards® Points for airfare, dining, gas, and grocery spending.

A charge card is one that you need to pay off completely each billing cycle, so there’s no interest. However, since there’s no pre-set spending limit either, you need to keep an eagle eye on spending activity to make sure you can pay off the statement in full at month’s end. Making a late payment can cause you to forfeit Membership Reward points earned during that billing cycle.

In this post, we’ll discuss the American Express® Gold Card terms and how to redeem points. Keep reading for an overview on:

  • American Express® Gold Card basics
  • How to redeem Membership Rewards points earned
  • The fine print details
  • The benefits and protections
  • The pros and cons

The basics of the American Express® Gold Card

3X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).

$100 airline fee credit.

You can get up to $100 airline fee credit on your statement each calendar year to cover incidentals charged by an airline of your choosing. Qualifying incidentals are charges separate from your airline ticket like baggage fees and not ticket upgrades.

American Express® Gold Card

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on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

American Express® Gold Card

Annual fee
$250
Rewards Rate
3X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

How to redeem Membership Rewards® Points earned

Through Membership Rewards®, cardholders can transfer points to participating travel and lodging loyalty programs or redeem points for travel bookings, gift cards, statement credits, and other rewards. The value of your points varies depending on how you choose to use them.

Flights, hotels, and vacations

You can pay with points for flights, hotels, and vacations on the American Express Travel site. Using points for flights offers excellent value.

Here’s the point value breakdown on travel and accommodations:

  • Flights: $10 per 1,000 points
  • Hotels, cruises, and vacation packages: $7 per 1,000 points

Transferring your Membership Rewards® Points

If you choose to transfer your points to another program, generally, 1,000 Membership Rewards® Points will transfer as 1,000 miles, points, or credits.

However, transfers that have a different value include (as of the publication date of this article):

  • British Airways and Iberia: 250 Membership Rewards points = 200 Avios
  • El AL Israel Airlines: 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 20 Matmid points
  • Hilton: 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,500 HHonors points
  • JetBlue Airways: 250 Membership Rewards points = 200 JetBlue TrueBlue points
  • Starwood Preferred Guest: 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 333 Starpoints
  • Virgin America: 200 Membership Rewards points = 100 Elevate points

Occasionally, there are transfer specials for participating loyalty programs.

Statement credit and gift cards

Using points to put a dent in your credit card bill won’t be the best use of your points. 1,000 points equals just $6 in a statement credit.

Several of the gift cards through Membership Rewards® will give you more in cash value. For example, 1,000 points can get you a $10 gift card at restaurants, retail stores, and hotels including:

  • Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
  • Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
  • Maggiano’s Little Italy
  • Seasons 52
  • Banana Republic
  • Crate and Barrel

There’s an entire list of the redemption values for gift cards on the Membership Rewards® site.

Other rewards

Using points for shopping, charitable donations, and entertainment are other redemption options. But, again, these options won’t give you as much value for your points as redeeming for flights and gift cards.

The value of 1,000 points ranges from $5 to $7 when shopping at retailers through Membership Rewards® or at Ticketmaster, Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, or Newegg.com.

The fine print

The American Express® Gold Card has an annual fee of $250. If you spend a lot of money on the card, the fee can be worthwhile. However, if you don’t spend a lot, you might want to consider a no fee option.

In addition – when you transfer points to a U.S. frequent flyer program, there’s a $0.0006 fee charged per point to compensate for the federal excise tax. Although this fee has a lot of zeros in it, the cost may still be impactful if you’re transferring a lot of points. For instance, 100,000 points transferred will cost you $60.

On the plus side, this card has no foreign transaction fee.

Benefits and protections

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

If you pay for a qualifying car rental with your American Express® Gold Card, the rental car is covered against damage and theft after declining the collision damage waiver. Rentals that won’t qualify for coverage are trucks, off-road vehicles, full-size sport vehicles, and exotic cars.

Purchase Protection

If an item you purchase is lost, stolen, or damaged within 90 days of purchase, you may be reimbursed for it.

Pros and cons

Pro: 3X points on travel. If you fly often for work or play, this card rewards you well each time you use it.

Con: The fee. The biggest con here is the annual fee. But, since there are several ways you can earn points in the 3X and 2X categories, you may be able to easily cover this fee throughout the year.

Pro: Membership Rewards. This card is enrolled in the Membership Rewards® Points program and gives you many options for point redemption. The Membership Rewards® site is also incredibly easy to navigate, and there’s no ambiguity in point value. The rewards portal shows examples of exactly what your points are worth for each redemption option.

Con: The fee to transfer points. The ability to transfer points to another program is a pro, but being charged for U.S. frequent flyer program transfers is a tiny gotcha in the fine print.

Pro: No foreign transaction fees. One area in the fees where you do catch a break is with foreign transaction fees. This aspect of the card is fitting since it’s one that rewards you for planning travel.

Who will benefit most from the American Express® Gold Card?

Your ability to earn enough points to surpass the fee will determine whether this is a good card for you.

And if you’re shopping around for a rewards program that will give you the most value for travel, Chase Ultimate Rewards® is an option you should compare to American Express Membership Rewards®.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card*, in particular, is part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program and allows you to transfer points to other travel partners as well. Plus, it has an offer that gives 1.25 cents per point for travel. This is slightly more value than what you get for flights with American Express Membership Rewards® since 1,000 points per $10 works out to 1 cent per point.

Before signing up for any rewards card, you should do this type of comparison shopping to figure out which offer will give you the most value for your spending habits.

*The information related to Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor here