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If you count yourself as a loyal Amazon customer, you might be able to earn a nice chunk of your spending back or even finance your purchases with one of the Amazon credit cards.
There are four to choose from, so how do you pick which one is right for you? Here are a few questions to ask:
- What type of Amazon shopper are you (Prime or non-Prime)?
- Do you want the option to finance a large Amazon purchase or not? We’ll guide you through your four choices in this Amazon credit card review so that you can make the best decision for yourself.
- Are you a frequent Whole Foods shopper? As of February 2018, eligible Prime members will earn 5% back on Whole Foods Market purchases when using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. Cardmembers who aren’t eligible Prime members will now earn 3% back on Whole Foods Market Purchases when using the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card.
At a glance: 2018 Amazon credit card comparison
|Amazon.com Store Card||Amazon Prime Store Card||Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card||Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card|
|Sign-up bonus||$10 Amazon.com gift card||$10 Amazon.com gift card||$50 Amazon.com gift card||$70 Amazon.com gift card|
|Rewards||Zero-interest financing for various amounts and types of purchases.||Choose between the zero-interest financing for various amounts and types of purchases or 5% back as statement credit.||3% back on Whole Foods Market and Amazon.com purchases, 2% back on restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; and 1% back on all other purchases.||5% back on Whole Foods Market and Amazon.com Prime purchases; 2% back on restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; and 1% back on all other purchases.|
|Variable APR for purchases and balance transfers||26.99%. Not eligible for balance transfers.||26.99%. Not eligible for balance transfers.||15.24%to 23.24%||15.24 to 23.24%|
- Best Amazon card for sign-up bonus
- Best Amazon card for rewards points
- Best Amazon card for benefits
- Best Amazon card for annual fee
- Heads Up: What to consider when applying for an Amazon credit card
- Bottom Line: Which Amazon card is right for you?
The winner in this category depends on what kind of Amazon user you are. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, the clear winner is the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. You’ll earn a $70 Amazon.com gift card, which can go a very long way.
If you’re not an Amazon Prime user, the winner is the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card with its $50 Amazon.com gift card. Yes, you can get more with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, but it doesn’t make sense to pay a $99 annual fee for Amazon Prime membership just to earn a $70 Amazon.com gift card if you’re not already using the service.
Note that the Amazon.com Store Card and the Amazon Prime Store Card only offer a $10 gift card when you sign up.
You can earn the most rewards by using either the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card or the Amazon Prime Store Card, both of which allow you to earn 5% back on Amazon.com purchases if you have a current Amazon Prime membership. Watch out; you won’t be eligible for zero-interest financing if you select this option with the Amazon.com Store Card.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card now offers 5% back at Whole Foods, which may be a very tempting rewards rate if you’re a frequent Whole Foods shopper.
Note that with the Amazon Prime Store Card, you’ll get your 5% back as a statement credit. With the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, you have more redemption options, including Amazon.com purchases, statement credit or gift cards.
Grayson Bell of Debt Roundup earns $150 to $200 cash back every year with his Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. His secret? “Make sure it’s set as the primary card [in your Amazon account]. Rewards are also only good if the balance is paid in full each month,” since any interest you pay could negate any cash back rewards you earn.
How Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods helps Prime members
When Amazon purchased the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.4 billion in summer 2017, the company promised to bring “special savings and in-store benefits” for Prime members.
One huge benefit arrived in February 2018, when Amazon announced that eligible Prime members will now earn 5 percent back on Whole Foods Market purchases when using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. Cardmembers who are not eligible Prime members will now earn 3 percent back on Whole Foods Market purchases when using the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card.
This is in addition to the rewards they already receive elsewhere with the card.
The two Visa Signature® cards finish in a tie in the race between the Amazon cards with the best benefits. Both cards have a standard suite of Visa® benefits, including purchase protection and extended warranty, which extends any existing manufacturer’s warranties on a purchase you make with your Visa® card.
Both Visa Signature® cards also come with a great suite of travel benefits. There are no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad. You’ll be covered with enough protection to make any insurance salesman jealous: travel accident insurance, bag delay insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver (make sure to decline the rental agency’s voluntary auto insurance) and lost luggage reimbursement.
Lucky for you, none of the four Amazon credit cards come with any annual fee. That doesn’t mean they’re all totally free, however. The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and the Amazon Prime Store Card do require that you have a current Amazon Prime membership, which runs $99 per year, or $8.25 a month.
Although all four cards are credit cards, it’s important to know that two of these cards do not function like traditional credit cards — specifically, the Amazon.com Store Card and the Amazon Prime Store Card.
Most credit cards — including the Visa Signature® cards — will let you charge a purchase anywhere that particular card is accepted. The Amazon.com Store Card and Amazon Prime Store Card, however, can only be used to make purchases at Amazon and nowhere else.
With these two cards, you can select from three levels of interest-free financing: six months for purchases of $149 or more, 12 months for purchases of $599 or more, and 24 months for certain purchases like Amazon-sold HDTVs or video projectors.
John Ganotis, credit card expert and founder of Credit Card Insider, gives a warning to unwary consumers who take advantage of the special financing offers. He says to watch out for “deferred interest financing offers. They’re not the same as 0% introductory APRs on most credit cards.”
While you’re paying off these financed charges, the bank will be adding up all the interest charges. If you pay off your balance in full before the financing period ends, you don’t have to pay any interest.
But if you don’t pay off the full balance in time, you will retroactively be charged for all of that accrued interest — and an interest rate of 26.99% APR is not an interest rate you want to pay. So make sure you’re able to pay off the balance in time before signing up for the interest-free financing.
Your decision about which card to get ultimately boils down to how you want to use it.
Do you want a card that you can just use at Amazon in order to finance a purchase? Or, do you have poor credit? If so, the Amazon Prime Store Card or Amazon.com Store Card might be just the thing for you. Generally, it’s easier to be approved for a . Although you’ll only be able to use it on Amazon, you can use it to finance purchases.Learn why it's easier to get approved for a retail card.
If you want an Amazon card you can use anywhere, however, the next question is this: Are you currently an Amazon Prime member, or will you be in the future? If you are an Amazon Prime member, go with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. Otherwise, your decision is easy: Choose the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card.
Finally, it’s nice to know that these two Visa Signature® cards are somewhat interchangeable depending on your current Amazon Prime member status. If you have the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card and decide to spring for Amazon Prime membership, all you have to do is log into your account, click on Manage Payment Options, and follow the prompts to boost your rewards level to the higher 5% back rate.
Similarly, if you have the Amazon Prime Store Card and cancel your Prime membership, you card will automatically be converted into the Amazon.com Store Card. If you join Prime and have the Amazon.com Store Card, you’ll automatically be upgraded to the Amazon Prime Store Card.
Based on these facts, it’s a no-brainer: pick whichever card applies to your situation based on your Amazon Prime status and adjust accordingly if anything changes. You’ll be well on your way to earning great cash back rewards on your Amazon purchases.
At a glance: Other cash back rewards cards to consider
|Citi® Double Cash Card||High cash back earning potential on all purchases|
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express||High cash back earning potential on U.S. supermarket purchases|
|Discover it® Card||High-earning rotating-category cash back card|