For loyal Amazon shoppers, a credit card that will give you money back for spending only makes sense. There are now three options:
- New: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card (from Chase) – 5% back, and our top choice
- Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card (also from Chase) – 3% back
- Amazon Prime Store Card (from Synchrony, can only be used at Amazon) – 5% back
The good news: if you are an Amazon Prime member, it is easy to get 5% cash back from all of your Amazon spending all year long. And if you spend a lot of money at Amazon, the savings can be significant.
Note: The information related to the Amazon Prime and Rewards Visa Credit Cards has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.
You also earn 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores. And you will earn 1% back on everything else.
There is no annual fee, no earning caps and no foreign transaction fees.
How the points work
When you use your card, you will actually be earning points.
You would earn 5 points for every $1 you spend at Amazon.com, 2 points for every $1 spent at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores and 1 point for every $1 spent everywhere else.
You can choose to redeem those points at Amazon (during checkout) or through Chase.
When you check out at Amazon, you will see your point balance and would be able to apply those points to your purchase. Every 100 points = $1.
But you can also redeem those points through Chase and get cash back, gift cards or travel. If you want cash back or gift cards, the value is the same as using the points at Amazon to shop. Every 100 points = $1.
There is also a lucrative sign-on bonus of $70. You will receive a $70 Amazon.com gift card instantly upon approval. Unlike many other sign-on bonuses, you do not have to spend a certain amount of money in order to get the offer.
If you are already enjoying the benefits of Amazon Prime, this card is an obvious choice.
But if you are thinking about Amazon Prime, this card is a great way to try it out.
If you spend $99 for Amazon Prime membership and then apply for this card, you will immediately get $70 of it back in the form of an Amazon gift card. You can learn more about the card at Amazon.
Just like the Prime Rewards credit card, cash back is tracked with a point system. 1 point equals $0.01. For example, if you spend $100 on Amazon.com, you’ll get $3 in cash back, which equals 300 points. You can trade in points for statement credit, travel or gift cards. Points never expire unless your account is closed and there’s no rewards cap.
The card doesn’t have an introductory deal. As a rule of thumb, you should avoid transferring a balance to a card you want to use for rewards. This card has an exceptionally high balance transfer fee (5%) and no introductory deal; two major red flags for a balance transfer.
For a sign on bonus, the card gives a $50 Amazon.com gift card loaded to your Amazon.com account once your application goes through. The Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card has no annual fee and you can learn more here.
You can redeem cash back for statement credit until instructed otherwise. In the fine print, Amazon reserves the right to change the cash back program into a rewards program where you redeem points for products instead.
If you end your Amazon Prime Membership, your Amazon Prime Store Card will become a regular Amazon Store Card that doesn’t earn 5% cash back. There’s no annual fee on the card, but Prime membership does cost $99 per year.
Pros and Cons
Amazon.com Rewards Visa Cards
Pro: Multiple bonus categories. Sure, you shop on Amazon.com, but you probably shop elsewhere too. With this card you’ll get an extra bonus for shopping online plus cash back in other areas that fulfill everyday needs like filling up your gas tank. You also have flexibility to redeem cash back in multiple ways.
Pro: No annual fee. Earning cash back from each category is free, no annual fee.
Pro: A sign on bonus. When you get approved you’ll get either a $70 (Prime Rewards) or $50 (Rewards) gift card right away you can use to shop.
Pro: 3% or 5% cash back when you pay for Amazon Prime Membership. Amazon Prime Membership comes with free two-day shipping and unlimited TV and movie screening with Prime Video. What devoted Amazon shopper doesn’t want that? An added benefit with this card is double-dipping. You get the Prime perks and cash back for paying for them.
Pro: High cash back for Prime members. If you’re a Prime member, you can get 5% cash back. You likely won’t be able to beat that rate.
Con: No intro APR. Since most credit cards have some type of introductory interest rate, a card that doesn’t have one stands out. You’ll need to pay off the balance each month starting from the very beginning to benefit from rewards earned.
Con: Tougher approval. You may need better credit to get these cards from Chase than the Amazon Store Card from Synchrony, which has a much higher interest rate.
Amazon Prime Store Card
Pro: 5% cash back. This is a huge amount of cash back for faithful Amazon shoppers. You’ll get rewarded handsomely for spending. And the redemption process is easy; your cash back is used for statement credit. One thing to keep in mind is it may take up to two billing cycles for the money to appear on your account.
Pro: Easier approval. This is a store card limited to Amazon purchases, so you might find it easier to get approved for this card with less than perfect credit.
Pro: No annual fee. The Amazon Prime Store Card doesn’t have an annual fee.
Con: A very high APR for everyone: This card charges a 26.24% APR for everyone, regardless of credit score. Yes, even an 850 FICO would still get you a horrible 26.24% interest rate. Never borrow with this card.
Con: Fine print. The fact that you can’t use this card for software downloads on Amazon sticks out as a negative. Amazon sells software downloads including TurboTax, QuickBooks and Norton Security. These products aren’t cheap and purchases you would want to get 5% cash back on.
Con: Requires Amazon Prime Membership. To use this card you have to be an Amazon Prime Member so in some respects there is a fee involved even though it’s not an annual fee specifically for the card. Amazon Prime Membership costs $99 per year. If you’re not already a member and want to become one for the card, you must spend enough to pay for membership.
Con: Exclusive to Amazon. A gift and a curse. You’ll have to follow up with another card for cash back on other things like groceries, gas, dining or travel.
Other Cards for Amazon Spending
Chase Freedom is another excellent option.
With the Freedom, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. In the past, Amazon has been included as one of the 5% categories, typically around the holidays.
You’ll get 5% back in categories like gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
From January until March 2017, the bonus categories are gas stations, ground transportation and wholesale clubs
All other purchases get an unlimited 1% cash back. You can redeem cash back for gifts cards, statement credits, charitable donations, deposits to an account or merchandise.
Which Card Should You Choose?
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa is a good one to consider if you already have an Amazon Prime account. It’s not worth getting an Amazon Prime account just to get this card unless you plan on spending big in the future on the site. If you spend moderately throughout the year, the basic Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card is a better choice between the two. You’ll get rewarded for more diverse spending in addition to your online shopping.