The American Express Cash Magnet® Card is an uncomplicated card with 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase and an attractive introductory offer of 0% APR for your first 15 months. While you will need to a good-to-excellent credit score to qualify, the card isn’t just restricted to Americans. If you’re a newcomer to the United States, you can also apply. Through Nova Credit, you can use your international credit history in your application for this popular card. Read more below to figure out if the American Express Cash Magnet® Card is the right card for you.
All about the fees
Not only does the Cash Magnet have no annual fees, but it also has a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening. Balance transfers, however, are subject to a $5 fee or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Cardholders must pay the regular APR, after the first 15 months of card ownership, which is determined by factors like your credit history, income, age, existing loans and more.
Cash advances carry a 26.24% variable APR and there is a 5% (minimum $10) fee for each withdrawal. American Express also charges 2.7% for every foreign transaction, which may disappoint frequent travelers.
Late payments and returned payments have a fee of up to $40, while cardholders may have to pay a penalty APR of up 29.99% after one or more late or returned payments. Payments are due within 25 days of each billing period.
American Express Cash Magnet® Card benefits
American Express offers new cardholders the opportunity to earn a statement credit if you spend at least $1,000 within three months of card ownership. That equates to 15% cashback on the first $1,000 spent on the card, a very generous sign-up bonus.
The deal is sweetened by the 0% intro APR that applies to both purchases and balance transfers and lasts for 15 months. Cardholders who are thinking about spending money on big-ticket items may find the Amex Cash Magnet® Card appealing, as it allows you to pay off those expensive purchases within 15 months without accumulating interest charges.
Cardholders may also wish to save money on their existing credit card debt by shifting their balance to the Cash Magnet® Card to benefit from the 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months.
American Express offers 1.5% unlimited cash back on every purchase made with the Cash Magnet® Card. Because cashback comes in the form of Reward Dollars, you can redeem them simply in the form of statement credits, gift cards or by purchasing items at participating stores.
The travel perks are where this particular card falls a bit short. While other Amex cards such as the Gold® Card offer baggage protection, airline purchase discounts, travel accident insurance, and no foreign transaction fees, the Cash Magnet® Card isn’t the best for frequent travelers.
There are, however, two benefits for travelers that may be useful if you occasionally find yourself away from home: car rental loss and damage insurance as well as access to the Global Assist Hotline access.
Car rental insurance is very helpful if you ever need to rent a car in another city. This benefit allows cardholders to decline the collision damage coverage offered by the rental company, which is usually very expensive. The perk is valid everywhere, but Australia, New Zealand and Italy.
The Amex Global Assist Hotline kicks in when cardholders travel at least 100 miles from home. This 24/7 emergency hotline providers cardholders with assistance on any travel-related, medical, legal or financial emergencies.
Shopping and entertainment perks
Aside from 1.5% cash back on every purchase, the Cash Magnet® Card also includes membership in the Shoprunner service. Shoprunner offers free two-day shipping on purchases from more than 100 online stores including major retailers like Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Banana Republic, and more.
Being an American Express cardholder also offers early access to purchase tickets for sports games, concerts, theater shows, and other major events. Many ticketing companies allow Amex cardholders to buy tickets a few days or hours before they go on sale to the general public.
The Pay It Plan It perk from Amex is offered to Cash Magnet® cardholders. This payment program allows you to pay off more expensive items for a set monthly fee and no interest.
Cardholders can also receive access to special rewards at the places where they shop or dine most frequently. Offers are available on the American Express app, while redemption happens through statement credits.
The American Express Cash Magnet® Card also provides fraud protection on every purchase. If you notice a charge on your statement that you did not make, contact Amex and they will take care of the problem with no deductible or out-of-pocket charge.
Is the Amex Cash Magnet® Card right for you?
The American Express Cash Magnet® Card is a great card for two main types of customers:
- Individuals who plan to make big-ticket purchases or pay off their balances on other credit cards without interest.
- Those who are seeking a straightforward credit card that provides cash back rewards on every purchase.
Financing the big-ticket item
This card excels in both of those areas, especially the first. The low intro APR of 0% on purchases and balance transfers is very generous—as is the $150 statement credit earned after spending $1,000 on the card within three months.
The Cash Magnet® Card also shines with its regular cashback offer of 1.5% on all purchases. An individual who spends $1,500 a month on their Cash Magnet® Card would earn $22.5 in cash back during that period or $270 in one year.
Simple rewards program
Many credit card applicants enjoy cards that have complex and unique rewards programs. Others, however, prefer knowing they are earning a straightforward reward with all their spending.
If you lead a busy life and want a credit card that provides that simplicity, the American Express Cash Magnet® Card is an excellent option. There is no annual fee, the 1.5% cashback rate is on par with competing cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the generous welcome bonus is geared towards big purchases or balance transfers.
Where the American Express Cash Magnet® Card falls short
The American Express Cash Magnet® Card is not the most appealing cashback card on the market. The Citi Double Cash Card effectively provides 2% cashback on all purchases, as it gives 1% when you make the purchase and 1% after it is paid off.
Amex also requires a minimum of $25 before redeeming cashback, which cannot be applied towards your minimum monthly payments. These statement credits only apply to the total balance.
The intro APR offer on the American Express Cash Magnet® Card makes it very appealing to individuals who are planning a significant purchase or wish to save money on interest payments on existing credit card debt.
Earning cashback of 1.5% on all purchases is another excellent perk, especially for those who do not want to spend too much time thinking about how to maximize the rewards from their credit card. The Cash Magnet® Card is all about simplicity.
Individuals who want to maximize their rewards in a particular area, such as travel or shopping, may find other credit cards more appealing. The American Express Cash Magnet® Card, however, is a fantastic option with its welcome offer, intro APR, and unlimited cashback rewards.
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