American Express

Amex launches Cash Magnet card and Bonus Eligibility Tool

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In “nothing burger” news, Amex launched a new card product called the Cash Magnet. Thoughts on the name aside, there’s no reason at all to get this card.  The entire card is a simple 1.5% cash back card. You earn Amex “Reward Dollars” which means these are not transferable Membership Rewards points. Your 1.5% really means 1.5% back in cash.

So why am I so “meh” on this card? Because if you really want cash instead of miles or points, you should *never* accept less than 2%. That’s because there are a variety of cards that earn 2% back – or better.

I’ve previously written about that in this article: Should you even use a miles earning credit card?

There is a bonus on the Cash Magnet card of $150 when you spend $1,000 and an additional $150 if you spend an additional $6,500, but why bother? Your overall yield won’t beat a 2% card anyway.

And adding insult to injury, you’d be taking one of the 5 slots Amex allows you (you can only have 5 Amex credit cards, excluding charge cards, including both personal and small business). And they have recently started to deny people new cards based on how many past cards they have opened/closed.

Which brings me to my second bit of news: Amex is now telling you, before you apply for a card and do a hard credit pull, if you will be auto-declined for a new “welcome bonus” based on either 1) already having had that welcome bonus in your lifetime  (this is great, because someone could genuinely forget they held a card briefly 6 years ago) or 2) because Amex is labeling you a churner and you have, in their opinion, opened or closed too many Amex cards recently.  Unlike Chase’s 5/24 rule, this appears to be a rule solely based on your Amex dealings and not overall in the marketplace, but who knows how it will evolve. You’ll see this in action the next time you apply for an Amex card but only if you are going to be “bonus ineligible.” At this time, this is probably MOST useful for someone that is interested in the Hilton Ascend card and associated 100,000 point welcome bonus yet has previously held the Hilton Surpass card. Hilton has told us that one is not eligible in such cases yet many have reported receiving both bonuses. With this new tool, you won’t waste a hard pull and application if you aren’t going to get the bonus.  (Also see: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards).

Agree? Disagree?  Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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