American Express Cash Magnet® Card
vs. Discover it® Chrome

Updated: July 17, 2024

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Both the American Express Cash Magnet® Card and Discover it® Chrome offer enticing cash back rewards and introductory APRs. The Amex Cash Magnet edges ahead due to its longer 0% introductory APR period on purchases and balance transfers and its generous statement credit offer.

However, the Discover it Chrome offers a unique first-year cash back match, which can be highly rewarding.

While neither is a co-branded or store card, both are solid choices for their respective strengths in cash back and balance transfer benefits.

Credit Card logo for American Express Cash Magnet® Card
American Express Cash Magnet® Card
Credit Card logo for Discover it® Chrome
Discover it® Chrome
MoneyGeek Rating
3.8/ of 5
MoneyGeek Rating
3.8/ of 5

  • Regular APR
    19.24%–29.99% variable
    18.24% - 28.24% variable
    0% APR Offer
    0% introductory APR for the first 15 months
    0% for 6 months on purchases
    Intro Offer
    $150 statement credit
    Cashback Match
    Rewards Summary
    Unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases
    Earn 1%–2% cash back
    Balance Transfer Offer
    0% introductory APR for the first 15 months
    0% for 18 months on balance transfers
    Balance Transfer Fee
    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
    5% of the amount of each transfer after intro fee
    Annual Fee
    $0
    $0
    Recommended Credit
    670–850 (Good to Excellent)
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
    Penalty APR
    29.99%
    None
    Not sure?

Which Card Is Better for You?

You might prefer the Amex Cash Magnet if you value simplicity in your rewards program. It offers a flat rate of 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Its longer 0% introductory APR on purchases can be particularly beneficial if you plan to make large purchases you want to pay off over time without accruing interest.

You might prefer the Discover it Chrome if your spending aligns with its bonus categories. You can earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Its longer introductory APR period on balance transfers and lack of foreign transaction fees make it a strong contender for travelers and those looking to transfer and pay down existing debt.

Head-to-Head Comparison: Card Details and Features

Evaluating APRs, fees, credit requirements, rewards and other features will clarify which card aligns with your financial landscape. For instance, if you frequently dine out or spend on gas, Discover it Chrome's 2% cash back on gas and dining could be lucrative. Conversely, consistent spenders across all categories may find Amex Cash Magnet's unlimited 1.5% cash back more beneficial.

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    Regular APR: Discover it Chrome

    For regular APR, Discover it Chrome is better, offering a slightly lower APR range of 18.24% to 28.24% compared to the Amex Cash Magnet's 19.24% to 29.99%.

    annualFee icon

    Annual Fee: Tie

    Both the Amex Cash Magnet and the Discover it Chrome have no annual fee, making them equally attractive for users looking to save on yearly costs.

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    Introductory 0% APRs: Tie

    Both the Amex Cash Magnet and Discover it Chrome offer valuable introductory 0% APR periods but for different uses. The Amex Cash Magnet provides a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers, with a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the transfer amount. In contrast, Discover it Chrome offers a 0% APR for six months on purchases and extends this to 18 months for balance transfers. Discover it Chrome has a higher balance transfer fee of 5% after the introductory period. Depending on whether you prioritize purchases or balance transfers, one card may suit your needs better than the other.

    coins icon

    Rewards: Discover it Chrome

    Discover it Chrome is better for rewards. It offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, plus an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. It also matches all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year, effectively doubling your rewards for that period.

    rewards icon

    Welcome Offers: Amex Cash Magnet

    The Amex Cash Magnet offers a better welcome bonus, providing a $150 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months. This translates to a higher return on investment than Discover it Chrome's Cashback Match offer.

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    Recommended Credit Score: Tie

    Both the Amex Cash Magnet and the Discover it Chrome cards require a credit score range of 670 to 850, making them equally accessible to individuals with good to excellent credit.

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    Penalties and Fees: Discover it Chrome

    Discover it Chrome is better for penalties and fees, offering no penalty APR and no foreign transaction fees, compared to the Amex Cash Magnet's 29.99% penalty APR and 2.7% foreign transaction fee. Additionally, Discover's first late fee is waived.

    points icon

    Issuer Satisfaction: Amex Cash Magnet Card

    In terms of issuer satisfaction, the Amex Cash Magnet leads with a rating of 5.0 for American Express, compared to Discover Bank's rating of 4.5. This indicates higher satisfaction among American Express cardholders.

    airplane icon

    Other Features & Perks: Tie

    Both the Amex Cash Magnet and Discover it Chrome offer unique perks. Amex Cash Magnet provides car rental loss and damage insurance, a Global Assist Hotline, the Plan It feature and exclusive Amex Offers. Discover it Chrome offers free overnight card replacement, the option to use cash back at Amazon.com and PayPal and a service to help reduce personal information exposure online.

Rewards Comparison

The Amex Cash Magnet keeps things simple with an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. This flat rate is appealing for its ease of use and consistent reward structure across all spending categories.

The Discover it Chrome caters to those who frequent gas stations and restaurants, offering 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter in these categories. All other purchases earn an unlimited 1% cash back.

While the Amex Cash Magnet offers a good return on all spending, the Discover it Chrome may be the better choice for those who can maximize the bonus categories. The table below details bonus categories to help you compare the rewards programs of both cards at a glance.

Category
Amex Cash Magnet
Discover it Chrome

Gas Stations

Unlimited 1.5%

2% for the first $1,000 each quarter/1% thereafter

Restaurants

Unlimited 1.5%

2% for the first $1,000 each quarter/1% thereafter

All Other Purchases

Unlimited 1.5%

Unlimited 1%

Redeeming Rewards

With the Amex Cash Magnet, you can redeem your cash back as a statement credit, for merchandise or gift cards. You don't have to worry about expiration or earning caps.

Discover it Chrome allows redemption for statement credit, direct deposit, Amazon payments and more. Rewards also have no expiration.

Methodology

MoneyGeek evaluates credit cards like the Amex Cash Magnet and Discover it Chrome using a tailored scoring system for different use cases. For instance, the Amex Cash Magnet scores highest for cash back rewards, while Discover it Chrome is top-rated for balance transfers. Four major factors influence these scores: the value of rewards, the cost of annual fees, customer satisfaction and penalties. For a deeper understanding of our ranking process, you can explore our ranking methodology.

FAQ: Amex Cash Magnet vs. Discover it Chrome

What are the cash back rewards for each card?
Do either of the cards have an annual fee?
What are the introductory APR offers for each card?
Are there foreign transaction fees for either card?
What is the penalty APR for late payments?

For rates and fees of the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, please click here.

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
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