AmEx Cash Magnet Review: No-Fuss 1.5% Back on Your Purchases

The flat cash-back rate on everything you buy matches the industry standard, but optimizers might be able to find more attractive options.
Chanelle BessetteSep 24, 2021

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Our Take

4.8

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: A solid option for those who prize simplicity in a rewards card. Just keep in mind that the redemption options are a bit limited.

American Express Cash Magnet℠ Card

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Recommended Credit Score

Quick FactsView rates and fees

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Bonus offer for new cardholders
  • Intro APR period on Purchases

Cons

  • American Express isn't accepted at as many merchants as Visa or Mastercard

Alternate Pick: 5% cash back

Discover it® Cash Back
NerdWallet rating 

Discover it® Cash Back

Supersized rewards for those who optimize

This card pays 5% cash back in quarterly categories that you activate (on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter) and 1% on everything else. Categories in recent years have included such things as restaurants, gas stations and Amazon.com. The annual fee is $0.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

American Express Cash Magnet℠ Card

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

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Full Review

The  is a relative newcomer to the issuer's family of cash-back products. But unlike its siblings, it's a simple, flat-rate card: You get 1.5% back on all eligible purchases.

On the upside, that guarantees you'll earn solid, uncomplicated rewards on everything you buy. On the downside, you can find plenty of cards — even within the AmEx family — that earn higher rates, if you're willing to keep track of tiered rewards or bonus categories.

The does offer a welcome bonus, among other benefits, and it's a good option for someone seeking simplicity in a rewards credit card.

All information about the has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The  is no longer available through NerdWallet. 

Card type: .

Annual fee: .

Welcome bonus:

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on purchases. As with the  and the , the cash back you earn with the takes the form of "Reward Dollars" that can be redeemed as statement credit once you’ve earned $25 or more.

Interest rate: .

Foreign transaction fee: 2.7%.

Travel perks: Cardholders get access to American Express’s roadside assistance hotline, car rental loss and damage insurance, travel accident insurance and global assist hotline.

Consumer benefits: Purchase protection, extended warranty, return protection.

» MORE: 

Straightforward rewards: 1.5% back on all purchases  for cash-back credit cards, and it's the same rate as that offered by popular cards like the . As with those cards, the will also cost you nothing to carry each year, assuming you don't rack up interest charges.

Welcome offer: The card's bonus offer for new cardholders is on par with what you'll find with many other cash-back credit cards, although it does come with a higher-than-typical spending threshold. The offer: 

Good 0% intro APR period: The card offers . That's a decent window of time to finance a big-ticket purchase without interest charges.

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Limited earning potential: While a 1.5% flat rate is a decent return on purchases, you can do better with cards that earn elevated rewards rates in popular spending categories. For example, the  gives you 2% cash back on everything (1% back when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay it off). You can also find cash-back cards that offer 5% bonus rewards on categories that change quarterly.

Limited redemption options: Reward Dollars can’t be redeemed as cash back to your bank account. They can be redeemed only for statement credit, gift cards or merchandise. Also, cardholders have to earn at least $25 in Reward Dollars to be able to redeem; other cards have no minimum redemption amount. And Reward Dollars can’t be used toward your minimum payment due.

Potentially limited acceptance internationally. American Express is not as widely accepted outside the United States as Visa or Mastercard. Even if your is accepted at your international destination, you'll be charged a 2.7%  for each purchase — and that could add up over the course of an overseas vacation. It's difficult, although not impossible, to find a cash-back card that charges . If you're looking for a credit card to use internationally, better options exist.

The  is a flat-rate cash-back credit card that also offers simplicity, except its rewards rate is higher, offering 2% cash back on everything (1% back when you make purchases and 1% back when you pay them off). Like the , it has an annual fee of . However, this offer includes neither a new-cardholder bonus nor a $0 intro APR period for purchases.

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The  offers yet another kind of rewards system. You'll earn 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter, and 1% back on all other purchases. You'll have to keep track of the categories and activate them each quarter to earn the bonus. The has an annual fee of , and it offers a unique sign-up bonus:

Visit our  page to find out more about possible cash-back alternatives.

If you're not interested in keeping track of rewards tiers or bonus categories and just want an uncomplicated cash-back system, the fits the bill. Just keep in mind that there's no shortage of cards on the market offering at least 1.5% back on all purchases — so evaluate your options to find the one that works best for you.

And if you think a little extra work is worth it in exchange for supercharging your cash-back earnings, you'll likely be better off with a different card.

All information about the has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The  is no longer available through NerdWallet.  To view rates and fees of the , see . To view rates and fees of the , see .