Review of the Amazon.com Store Card

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Nov 27, 2018 | Updated Nov 28, 2018

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The Amazon.com Store Card is issued by Synchrony Bank, and offers special financing plans for large Amazon purchases.

Cardholders get deferred interest financing on eligible Amazon purchases of $149 and up. Deferred interest plans are different than 0% introductory APRs; with deferred interest, if you make a late payment or fail to pay back the balance on time you’ll immediately be charged interest on the full starting balance for the entire length of the term. This makes them a bit risky to use, but as long as you pay them back correctly they’ll work out fine.

There are also Equal Pay financing offers for select merchandise of $300 and more. These are a better bet because they don’t use deferred interest.

If you have an Amazon Prime membership you’ll be given the Amazon Prime Store Card, which earns 5% cash back on all Amazon purchases unless a special financing plan is chosen. But if you don’t have a Prime membership you won’t earn any rewards with this card.

As a retail store credit card, the Amazon card will be relatively easy to qualify for, compared to general-use reward credit cards. This could make it a good option for people with fair or average credit.

This card can be useful for frequent Amazon shoppers, but take note that we’ve received quite a few complaints about Synchrony, the card issuer. Most of these are about sending in payments, so if you use this card be sure that your payment information is up to date and try to send in payments a bit early.

The Amazon.com Store Card has no annual fee, and can only be used at Amazon.com. If you want to earn rewards at Amazon with a card you can use anywhere Visa credit cards are accepted, check out some different cards in our Review of the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature.

Amazon.com Store Card
Apply Now

Amazon.com Store Card

For People with
Fair Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 27.99% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • 5% cash back at Amazon for Amazon Prime members when declining special financing
  • Special no interest financing deals from 6 months to 24 months for eligible purchases
  • Equal Pay offers for eligible merchandise of $300 and more
  • $10 Amazon gift card when approved
  • No annual fee

Our Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

We give the Amazon.com Store Card 3 out of 5 Stars because it offers rewards and special financing, but the rewards are limited and the financing offers are usually deferred interest.

Why We Like It

  • 5% cash back at Amazon for Amazon Prime members
  • Special deferred interest financing plans for qualifying purchases
  • Equal Pay financing plans for qualifying purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Relatively easy to qualify for people with less-than-great credit

Why It Could Be Better

  • Deferred interest financing plans will charge retroactive interest if you don’t pay them off correctly
  • No rewards if you don’t have a Prime membership
  • No Amazon perks or special offers
  • Synchrony Bank, the card issuer, is known for having poor customer support and payment processing

The Amazon.com Store Card can be useful in some situations, but there are other cards that might serve you better. Check out some alternative cards below.

Insider Advice: Getting The Most Out of Your Card

  • Prime members earn rewards at Amazon: If you have a Prime membership you’ll be given the Amazon Prime Store Card, which earns 5% cash back on Amazon purchases when you don’t use a special financing plan.
  • Finance expensive purchases, but be cautious: The deferred interest financing plans allow you to pay off large purchases over time at no interest, but if you make a late payment or fail to pay back the full balance on time you’ll be charged interest on the full starting balance for the entire term. The Equal Pay offers are better because they don’t use deferred interest.
  • Set up an appropriate repayment plan: When using deferred interest plans, divide your balance by the number of months you have to repay it. This is the amount you should pay each month to ensure the balance is paid off on time. Consider dividing by one less than the number of months to make sure you pay it off early.
  • Allocate your payments correctly: Things can get a bit tricky if you have a special financing balance and then you make more regular purchases. Be sure that your payments are being allocated correctly between special financing balances and purchase balances.
  • Make payments early: Many cardholders have reported issues when making payments to Synchrony Bank, the card issuer, so make your card payments early to help avoid any problems.
  • Redeem cash back for statement credits: Redeem your cash back for statement credits, rather than using it to pay for Amazon purchases. When you pay with rewards you won’t earn any additional rewards on those purchases, so it’s better to use your card as normal to earn cash back.

Where Can I Use the Amazon Store Card?

The Amazon.com Store Card can only be used for purchases from Amazon, both at Amazon.com and at physical Amazon locations. There are also some restrictions on the types of purchases you can make with the card.

Currently, as of 11/26/18, the following items cannot be purchased with the Amazon.com Store Card:

  • Rentals
  • Digital and Print + Digital subscriptions (including newspapers and magazines)
  • Digital add-on Subscriptions (e.g. Starz, Hulu, GameFly, etc.)
  • Cell phones associated with a plan
  • Purchases on Amazon subsidiaries
  • Amazon Restaurants items

Amazon also provides two other consumer credit cards, which can be used anywhere Visa credit cards are accepted:

And there are also two Amazon business cards, which can be used anywhere American Express credit cards are accepted:

Upgrading to the Amazon Prime Store Card

The basic version of this card is the Amazon.com Store Card. If you have an Amazon Prime subscription you should be automatically upgraded to the Amazon Prime Store Card.

If you have a Prime membership but you’re not automatically upgraded, go to www.amazon.com/storecard, log in, and click “Upgrade Now” to get the Amazon Prime Store Card.

The Amazon Prime Store Card is identical to the Amazon.com Store Card, except for one big difference: It earns 5% cash back on Amazon purchases when you decline the special financing offers. This is explained more in the sections below.

The Rewards

For cardholders with an Amazon Prime membership, this card provides 5% cash back on Amazon purchases if you decline the special financing offers.

Earning

Spending Rewards

Amazon Prime Store Card Only

  • 5% cash back on eligible purchases from Amazon
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $10 Amazon.com gift card instantly upon account approval

If you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership, you will not earn any cash back rewards with this card.

If you do have a Prime membership you’ll be given the Amazon Prime Store Card, and you’ll automatically earn 5% cash back on any Amazon purchases under $149. For purchases of $149 or more, you’ll earn 5% cash back unless you choose a promotional financing offer, described below.

5% cash back at Amazon is pretty good, although you can get that same rate from the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, which also requires a Prime membership but can be used anywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. There’s the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card as well, which does not require a Prime membership and provides 3% cash back at Amazon. Neither of these cards have promotional financing or 0% intro APR periods, however. You can read more about them in our Review of the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature.

You’ll get the $10 Amazon.com gift card upon account approval whether you’re a Prime member or not.

Redeeming

The cash back rewards you earn can be redeemed in two ways:

  • Statement credits (recommended)
  • For Amazon purchases (not recommended)

We recommend always redeeming for statement credits with this card, which will simply reduce your account balance. You can set up automatic statement credit redemptions when your reward balance reaches a certain amount. Automatic statement credits will usually be redeemed during the second billing cycle after you earn those rewards.

We do not recommend using your cash back to pay for Amazon purchases, because you won’t earn any additional rewards on those purchases. Instead, we suggest using a rewards card, like the Amazon Prime Store Card, to make purchases and earn 5% cash back. Then redeem the rewards you earn for statement credits.

Benefits

Deferred Interest Financing Offers

Amazon purchases of $149 or more made with the Amazon card are eligible for special deferred interest financing. Certain purchases may not qualify for special financing, at Amazon’s discretion.

These special financing plans allow you to pay over time without being charged interest — the larger your purchase, the more time you’ll have to pay. But take note that these are deferred interest offers, which means if you make a late payment or fail to pay back the entire balance by the due date you’ll be charged interest on the starting balance for the entire length of the term, going back to the purchase date.

There are three special financing options, depending on how much you spend (the amount you spend is referred to by Amazon as the “promotional balance”):

Promotional Balance Term Length
$149–$598.99 6 months
$599–$798.99 12 months
$799+ 24 months

The promotional balance will include all of the eligible items in your Amazon shopping cart. When it comes to taxes and shipping charges, however, it gets a bit tricky. The subtotal of your shopping cart, which does not include taxes and shipping, is used to determine whether or not the purchase qualifies for special financing. But your actual promotional balance will include any taxes and shipping charges you paid. So taxes and shipping are not included when determining your eligibility for special financing, but they are included in the actual balance that you end up financing.

There are a couple exceptions to those rules. When you use Pay With Amazon to make Amazon purchases from third party merchants, the total order amount, including taxes and shipping, is used to determine eligibility for special financing plans. And your first Subscribe and Save order is eligible for special financing, but subsequent Subscribe and Save orders are not.

You will not earn rewards on any purchases for which you choose a deferred financing plan. Deferred financing plans can’t be combined with Equal Pay financing offers, which are a bit different and a better option overall. They’re explained below. If a shopping cart qualifies for multiple deferred financing or Equal Pay offers, you’ll be shown the offers with the longest durations.

Deferred interest financing may sound great, and you might take these offers expecting to get some breathing room for payments. It will work out fine as long as you make every payment on time and pay off the full balance by the end of the term. But if you mess up, you’ll end up paying quite a bit more than was necessary.

Follow these three instructions to stay safe with deferred financing plans:

  • Divide the total balance by the length of the term (in months) to find the payment amount you should make each month
  • Always make that monthly payment on time, or preferably early (set up autopay to make this easier)
  • Pay off the entire balance by the end of the financing term (this should happen automatically if you make that payment every month)

You’ll see a minimum required payment on your statement, but if you only pay this minimum amount you probably won’t pay off the full balance by the end of the term. Don’t assume that the minimum payment is all that’s necessary to correctly fulfill the terms of the offer.

Instead, figure out the appropriate monthly payment by dividing the total balance by the number of months in the term. This is the amount you should send for your monthly payments.

To be on the safe side, we suggest dividing your total balance by one less than the number of months in the term. With this strategy you’ll pay off the balance one month before the term runs out, which could give you some peace of mind. If something goes wrong, you’ll have a bit of extra time to sort it out. Set your payments to be sent before the actual due date as well, to give yourself (and Synchrony Bank) more time for payment processing.

If you’re using a deferred financing offer and you won’t be able to finish paying it back on time, consider transferring your balance over to a different card with a 0% APR for balance transfers. That will let you avoid the retroactive interest charges, giving you more time to pay off the balance at no interest.

Deferred interest plans are not as good as what you’ll get from cards with true 0% introductory APR periods for purchases, because you run the risk of having interest applied to the full starting balance for the entire term length. This does not happen with 0% intro APR periods. Instead, once a 0% intro APR period runs out you’ll only be charged interest on any balance that remains unpaid. General-use rewards cards with 0% APR periods can also be used anywhere, for purchases of any size, and you’ll earn cash back or points on those purchases as well.

However, these deferred interest plans have an advantage over cards with 0% APR periods because they will activate whenever you make a qualifying purchase. You can use them over and over again for different purchases, as long as you have the card. But 0% APR periods, in contrast, are only active for a specified number of months when you open a new account. Once they’re over, they’re over. (You may occasionally be offered promotional 0% rates later on, but these are special offers that you may or may not get.)

There’s nothing inherently evil about deferred interest financing, and it often works out great with no problems. But we want to stress the importance of understanding the terms and following them exactly, because many people wind up quite upset after being charged interest without knowing why.

Some people will just pay the minimum required amount on their statements, thinking they’re on the right track because they’re paying exactly what is asked for. Then they’re surprised when the term ends and they still have a balance remaining, which triggers the retroactive interest on the starting balance, going all the way back to the purchase date. And just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in.

Here’s an example of how deferred interest financing can go wrong.

Say you buy a sweet new camera on Amazon, the Nikon D7200 24.2 MP DSLR Camera, which has all sorts of fancy (and expensive) features. It currently costs $1,099, with free shipping, and after tax (8% in NY) that comes to $1,186.92. You decline the four-year warranty, because this is deferred interest financing and you’re living dangerously.

This purchase would qualify for deferred interest financing for 24 months, with a regular APR of 27.99% (current as of 11/26/18). The subtotal ($1,099) is used to determine whether or not the purchase is eligible for special financing; but the final total after tax ($1,186.92) is the actual promotional balance that will be financed.

To figure out the monthly payment you should make, divide the promotional balance ($1,186.92) by the number of months in the term (24). The result is $49.46 per month. This is the amount you’ll need to pay each month to pay off the full balance by the end of the term. If you take our advice and aim to pay off the balance one month early, you’d divide by 23 months instead, which would result in payments of $51.61 per month. That’s only a small increase from the 24-month repayment plan, and it can help you feel more secure taking this offer.

But now, imagine that you don’t pay off the balance correctly. Say you make your first month’s payment just fine, but your second month’s payment comes in a few days late. Even though this might seem like a minor oversight, this “little” mistake will trigger interest charges for the full starting balance, over the entire term of the plan.

That means you’ll instantly be charged 27.99% interest on the $1,186.92 balance for 24 months, even though you already made one month’s payment. That comes to $664.48 in interest!

That’s extra money you didn’t need to pay, and you’ll end up spending a total of $1,851.40 on that camera. If you thought it was expensive before, how would you like paying over 50% more than the original price? Paying more won’t make it take better pictures, but every click might remind you of this failed adventure in deferred interest. Say cheese!

The moral of this hypothetical story (which is all too familiar for some people) is that if you use a deferred interest plan, you should be damn sure that you’ll make every monthly payment on time, and will finish paying off the full balance by the end of the term.

What If I Make More Purchases During a Deferred Interest Plan?

It’s possible to have both a deferred interest financing balance and a regular purchase balance on your card at the same time. This will happen if you accept a deferred financing deal and then make regular, non-financed purchases with the card.

Warning: This is about to get complicated.

When you have multiple balances there are three possible payment allocation options, shown below. When you make card payments, your payments will be applied to those balances according to your chosen payment allocation option. You can click or tap the image below to get a better view of the options.

Amazon.com Store Card payment allocation options.

Amazon.com Store Card payment allocation options. Big thanks to Nelson Strinko in the comments below for sharing this image!

You want to pay off your deferred interest plan over time, but you also don’t want to carry a regular purchase balance on the card, because it will accrue interest every day. Since you’ll be carrying a special financing balance you’ll lose your card’s grace period, which means that interest will begin to accrue on purchases as soon as you make them.

The third option, “Allocate Payment to Non-Promotional Balances First,” will probably be the most effective for most people. When using this option you should pay off your purchases as soon as possible after making them, because they’ll start to accrue interest immediately. Don’t wait for the billing period to end and your statement to be generated; pay off your purchases as soon as you can after making them to minimize the amount of interest they accrue. If you pay them off within a day or two the interest charges will be pretty negligible. There may be some lag time between when you make purchases and when they post to your account, but try to pay them off ASAP.

After paying off your current purchase balance, you’ll need to make the required monthly payment for your deferred interest plan, as described above. Take note that if your payment is enough to pay off a promotional balance during the final month, it will be applied to that promotional balance instead of your purchase balance. This is a good thing because it means you’ll finish paying off a deferred financing balance, but remember to pay off your purchase balance that month as well.

If you’re in a jam and you don’t have enough money to pay off both the regular purchase balance and the promotional balance on time, you should pick option two, to make sure the deferred interest plan is paid off on time. It would be better to incur a month or two of interest on your purchase balance, rather than fail to pay back your deferred financing plan and get charged interest on the initial balance for the full length of the term.

We recommend only charging as much with your credit cards as you’ll be able to pay off by the due date, and to always pay your statement balance in full (unless you’re using special financing or a 0% APR). This lets you avoid interest, as well as a growing spiral of credit card debt.

An obvious danger with this payment allocation system is that you may set it to a particular option and then forget it. If you have it set to option one but you think it’s on option two, you might think you’re paying off your deferred interest balance when you’re actually paying your purchase balance, triggering a heap of retroactive interest charges later on. Or, if you’re set to option two but you think it’s on option one, you might accrue interest unnecessarily month after month on your purchase balance.

Equal Pay Financing Offers

Amazon designates a selection of merchandise to be eligible for Equal Pay financing offers. You’ll be able to see if a particular item is eligible for an Equal Pay offer during checkout. If a shopping cart qualifies for multiple deferred financing or Equal Pay offers, you’ll be shown the offers with the longest durations.

Equal Pay financing offers provide 0% APR for 12 months for select purchases of $300 or more, as long as you make 12 equal monthly payments to pay off the balance in full. You’ll be given a required monthly payment, which will be 1/12th of the total cost. Amazon may provide Equal Pay offers with different terms in the future as well.

Your Equal Pay balance will be the total cost of the order, including taxes and shipping charges.

Amazon doesn’t publicly disclose exactly what happens if you make a late payment or otherwise fail to pay off the balance in full by the due date. But we believe you’ll only be charged interest on the remaining balance, rather than being charged retroactive interest on the entire balance like the deferred financing plans above.

Your required Equal Pay monthly payments will be included in your overall minimum required monthly payment, which you can find on your billing statement. You can pay more than the required minimum to pay off the balance more quickly.

That makes Equal Pay offers better than the deferred financing plans. Equal Pay financing plans are basically the same deal that you get from cards with 0% introductory APR periods, but you can only use them for certain purchases. However, they also activate whenever you make a qualifying purchase, making them more flexible than a 0% APR intro period, which only lasts for a certain amount of time after the card is opened.

If you choose an Equal Pay offer you won’t earn any rewards on that purchase. Equal Pay offers can’t be combined with deferred financing plans, and are not available for 1-Click orders, Subscribe and Save orders, or purchases from physical Amazon locations.

For an Equal Pay example, say you buy a new 65″ Samsung Smart TV for $997.99, which comes to $1,077.83 after tax (8% in NY). Shipping is free on this item. (We don’t know if this TV actually qualifies for Equal Pay financing, we’re just using it as an example).

You’ll be required to make 12 equal payments to pay off the TV, and if you do so you won’t be charged interest. That means your required monthly payment for this plan will be $89.82. That amount will be added to your regular minimum required payment for any other charges you make with the card.

As long as you make that payment on time each month, everything will work out fine. If you fail to make the required payment, you’ll be charged interest on the remaining balance at a very high rate, currently 27.99% Variable. You’ll want to avoid this, but it’s better than being charged interest on the starting balance for the entire length of the term, which is what would happen with the deferred interest plans.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
27.99% Variable Not Available Not Available
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
$0 Not Applicable Not Applicable Not Applicable
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None Up to $35 See Terms

The Amazon credit card has no annual fee. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, currently $119 per year, you’ll be given the Amazon Prime Store Card. And if you ever cancel that membership you’ll drop back to the basic Amazon.com Store Card.

Purchases made with the card will accrue interest at the relatively high APR shown above, unless you’re using a special financing plan. Or, if you’re not using a financing plan, you can completely avoid interest charges on purchases by paying off your statement balance in full each month.

This card does not allow balance transfers or cash advances.

Customer Support

Synchrony Phone Support 1-866-634-8379

The Amazon.com Store Card is issued by Synchrony Bank, which is known for having relatively poor customer service (this is par for the course for most retail store credit cards).

We’ve received several complaints about this card, mostly centering around problems and confusion with making payments. We recommend making sure your payment information is always up to date, and to consider making payments a few days early to avoid potential issues.

If you need to speak with customer support about anything important, we suggest trying to get the results of your interaction in writing.

The Bottom Line

The Amazon.com Store Card could be a good option if you’ll be spending a lot of money on Amazon, and want to pay off those purchases over time. If not, there will be better cards for you.

5% cash back is a good reward rate for Amazon, especially because you won’t find many cards with Amazon as a bonus category. And the fact that you can get special financing on any qualifying purchases for as long as you hold the card makes it quite flexible if you need to pay over time.

This card’s best feature is probably that you can activate these financing offers whenever you make a qualifying purchase. Compare that to a typical card with a 0% introductory APR period, which only lasts for a certain amount of time after opening the account.

But the Amazon.com Store Card can only be used at Amazon, while those other cards can be used anywhere credit cards are accepted. And the special financing offers will usually be deferred interest, so you run the risk of paying extra if you make a mistake. Only select items will qualify for Equal Pay financing offers, and, with a threshold of $300, most people probably won’t make a lot of qualifying purchases.

You might like using the Amazon.com Store Card, but you should consider some other cards as well. Take a look at some alternative credit cards for shopping at Amazon and related merchants below.

Applying for the Amazon Store Card

You can apply for this card by clicking the Apply Now button below, and you’ll be taken to Amazon’s website to enter your information.

You’ll be asked to sign in to your Amazon account, or to create one if you haven’t done so already. Then you can finish applying for the card.

If you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership, if approved you’ll be given the standard Amazon.com Store Card. If you do have an Amazon Prime membership you’ll be given the Amazon Prime Store Card, which offers 5% cash back for Amazon purchases when you decline special financing.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must have or create an Amazon account
  • Must be 18 to apply
  • Personal identifying information, including birth date, Social Security number, and phone number
  • Total household income and source of income
  • Monthly mortgage/rent payment
Amazon.com Store Card
Apply Now

Amazon.com Store Card

For People with
Fair Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 27.99% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • 5% cash back at Amazon for Amazon Prime members when declining special financing
  • Special no interest financing deals from 6 months to 24 months for eligible purchases
  • Equal Pay offers for eligible merchandise of $300 and more
  • $10 Amazon gift card when approved
  • No annual fee

Alternatives to the Amazon Store Card

The following cards are good for Amazon purchases but they can also be used anywhere credit cards are accepted, so they’re much more versatile. Several of them have 0% APR periods as well, making them good for carrying balances.

These cards are also provided by some of the major card issuers in the U.S., and in general they have better customer support than you can expect to get from Synchrony Bank, the issuer of the Amazon.com Store Card.

 

The Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card (Review) is another co-branded card from Amazon. But it’s issued by Chase, and is more like your typical rewards card. It offers cash back for a variety of purchases, although it doesn’t include any special financing plans.

Just like the Amazon.com Store Card, there’s another version of this card for Prime members: the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card (Review), which is slightly more rewarding than the basic version.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 3% cash back at:
    • Amazon.com
    • Whole Foods Markets
  • 2% cash back at:
    • Restaurants
    • Gas stations
    • Drugstores
  • 1% cash back for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $50 Amazon.com gift card instantly upon credit approval

So, even if you’re not a Prime member, the Amazon Rewards Card earns cash back in a decent selection of bonus categories. 3% cash back probably doesn’t seem like much overall, but it’s pretty standard for a no annual fee card like this.

2% cash back is definitely on the low end, but if you don’t have a different reward card to use for those purchases this one would come in handy. Drugstores are actually a pretty rare find as a bonus category, so this could be your go-to option for Band-Aids and Listerine.

This card gets a step up in value if you’re an Amazon Prime member, because you’ll earn 5% cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods instead of just 3%. That increase can make quite a difference over time for frequent Amazon shoppers — on a $500 purchase you’d earn $10 more in rewards with this card as a Prime member, and shipping is often free as well.

Prime members who are approved for this card also receive a $70 Amazon.com gift card rather than $50.

Benefits

The Amazon Rewards Card comes as a Visa Signature, which includes some decent perks and protections to cover you against unforeseen circumstances. The Amazon.com Store Card is not a networked card, like a Visa card or Mastercard, so it doesn’t come with a similar set of protections.

  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection: At eligible hotels you’ll get a $25 food and beverage credit, automatic room upgrades when available, VIP guest status, and more.
  • Visa Signature Concierge: Call any time for non-emergency assistance, like help making dining or travel reservations.
  • Shopping Protections: Eligible purchases are covered by Purchase Protection and Extended Warranties.
  • Travel Protections: Like Auto Rental Collision Damage Waivers, Lost Luggage Reimbursement, Roadside Dispatch, and several more.

Terms & Fees

The Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card has no annual fee, and there’s no fee on foreign transactions either.

You won’t get a 0% introductory APR with this card or any special financing, so it won’t be good for paying off balances over time. It will be best to just pay off your statement balance in full each month to avoid interest.

The Prime version of this card, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature, also has no annual fee but it requires a Prime membership, at $119 per year for a standard subscription.

Read more in our Review of the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature

 

The Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card (Review) has rotating 5% bonus categories that change every three months, and Amazon is usually included for the holiday quarter. This card earns double cash back in the first year and comes with a good intro APR offer, making it one of the better options for Amazon shopping.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back on the first $1,500 spent per quarter, then 1%, in categories that rotate throughout the year (see calendar below)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • Cashback Match: Earn double cash back in your first year with the card, awarded at the end of the first year

The 5% cash back calendar for 2019 is:

Quarter 5% Cash Back Category
January – March Grocery Stores
April – June Gas Stations, Uber, Lyft
July – September Restaurants
October – December Amazon.com

5% cash back is already pretty good, but Discover will double that to 10% in your first year, making this one of the most rewarding cards available. The bonus categories are limited to the first $1,500 spent per quarter, meaning you can earn a maximum of $150 cash back per quarter at the 10% rate during your first year, and $75 at the basic 5% rate afterward.

To earn 5% cash back with the Amazon.com Store Card you’d need a Prime membership, but you don’t need that membership for the Discover it. Amazon is only included for three months out of the year, but if the online retailer is one of your go-to’s for holiday shopping it could work out very well for you.

You could also use the following strategy, which will allow you to earn plenty of rewards and shop at Amazon all year long:

  1. Use the Discover it to purchase Amazon gift cards or Amazon credit from October to December, earning 5% cash back (or 10% in your first year).
  2. Use the gift cards or credit whenever you shop on Amazon.

This will let you tap into the value of your bonus category all year long. You can spend as much on gift cards or credit as you think is necessary, up to $1,500. If you expect to spend significantly more than $1,500 at Amazon throughout the year you should probably consider a different card for those purchases, like the Amazon.com Prime Store Card or Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card.

You can use this gift card strategy to maximize your reward potential in the other quarterly categories as well.

Benefits

Discover cards don’t offer many benefits. Their real value lies in the rewards they offer. But you will get a few perks, more than the Amazon.com Store Card provides:

  • Free FICO Credit Score: Cardholders can check their FICO Score 8 credit scores, based on their TransUnion credit reports.
  • Social Security Number Alerts: Discover will provide notifications if your SSN is found on any thousands of risky websites.
  • Cash at Checkout: Discover cards allow you to get cash at checkout at participating retailers, just like a debit card. The cash is counted as part of the purchase, rather than as a cash advance.
  • Refer a Friend: You’ll earn $50 for every friend you refer to Discover who is approved for a card, up to $500 cash back per year (your friends will each get $50 too, after making a purchase in the first three months).

Terms & Fees

The Discover it card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees (this is actually true for all Discover credit cards).

You’ll also get an intro APR of 0% for 14 months for both purchases and balance transfers, pretty good for a rewards card. After that your regular rate will be 13.99%–24.99% Variable.

You could use this card to both earn rewards and finance purchases, from Amazon or elsewhere. Unlike the Amazon Prime Store Card, the Discover it allows you to earn rewards on the purchases you finance. And you’ll get a true 0% rate starting from when your account was opened, rather than deferred financing.

Read more in our Review of the Discover it® Credit Card

 

We're currently unable to link directly to an application for the Chase Freedom Unlimited, but you can learn more here, on our advertising partner's website.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited (Review) is a simple but effective card. It provides the same flat-rate cash back no matter where you shop, along with a relatively long intro rate for purchases and balance transfers.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $150 cash bonus for spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months

So rather than being limited to Amazon, you’ll earn 1.5% back for every purchase you make, from any merchant. This makes the Freedom Unlimited less rewarding than the Amazon Prime Store Card but much more flexible.

You may opt for this card over the Amazon Store Card if you don’t have Amazon Prime, or if you don’t do much Amazon shopping.

If you’re just looking for flat-rate cash back and don’t care about the ability to finance purchases, take a gander at the best flat-rate card, the Citi® Double Cash Card (Review). It offers 2% cash back on every purchase you make, but doesn’t have an intro APR for purchases (although it does offer 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers, followed by a regular rate of 15.49%–25.49% Variable).

Benefits

The Freedom Unlimited card is available as either a Visa Signature or Visa Platinum. If you’re approved with a credit line of $5,000 or more, you’ll get a Visa Signature with upgraded benefits. Otherwise you’ll get a Visa Platinum, with more basic benefits.

  • $100 Cash Back Referral Bonus: You’ll get $100 cash back for every friend you refer who successfully applies for the Freedom Unlimited, up to $500 per year.
  • Shop through Chase: Earn extra cash back at select retailers via the Shop through Chase shopping portal, like Lowe’s, Macy’s, Staples, HP.com, and many more.
  • Credit Journey: Use your login details to access this comprehensive credit monitoring tool, which provides your VantageScore 3.0 based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Shopping Protections: Including Price Protection, Purchase Protection, Return Protection, and Extended Warranties.
  • Travel Protections: Such as Travel and Emergency Assistance Services, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waivers, and Lost Luggage Protection.

If you’re approved for a Visa Signature card, you’ll also get the following:

  • Travel Accident Insurance: Provides up to $100,000 in coverage against accidental death and dismemberment when traveling by common carrier.
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance: If your trip is cancelled or interrupted for a covered reason, like sickness or severe weather, you can be reimbursed up to $5,000.

Terms & Fees

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card has no annual fee.

Cardholders will get an introductory rate of 0% APR for 15 months for purchases and balance transfers, which is about as long as you’ll typically find on reward cards. After that your regular rate will be 16.99%–25.74% Variable

This card would be good for financing purchases from anywhere, not just Amazon, and there are no spending requirements. Your purchases will earn rewards and you’ll be able to pay over time at no interest too, which can’t be said for the Amazon.com Store Card.

Read more in our Review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

 

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card is currently the best option if you want to pay for purchases over time, with an intro APR period longer than any other credit card.

Rewards

There are no rewards for using this card.

Benefits

You’ll only get a few benefits with the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum. But that’s alright, because the main event with this card is the long introductory APR. The Cell Phone Protection is a nice perk that you don’t see very often, however.

  • Free Credit Score: Cardholders can check their VantageScore 3.0 credit scores for free, based on their TransUnion credit reports.
  • Cell Phone Protection: Provides up to $600 in coverage against damage or theft of cell phones, when you pay your phone bill with the card.
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Decline the rental company’s own insurance to get coverage against collision damage and theft of eligible rental vehicles.

Terms & Fees

The terms are where this card really shines. There’s no annual fee for the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card.

You’ll get the longest introductory period in the game, with 0% APR for 20 months for purchases and balance transfers. After that you’ll get a regular rate of 11.74%–23.74% Variable.

That gives you quite a long time to pay off any purchases or balances you have, almost as long as the longest deferred financing plan with the Amazon.com Store Card (which is 24 months). But this card has no spending requirements, and you can use it anywhere Visa credit cards are accepted, not just Amazon. You won’t earn rewards on those purchases, but you’ll have a comfortably long time to pay them off.

This card is also excellent for balance transfers. If you’re carrying a balance at a high interest rate, you could transfer it over to the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum to give yourself more time to pay it off without being charged interest. That would work for any balances under special financing from the Amazon.com Store Card as well — if you’re worried that you won’t pay off your deferred financing balance in time, you can transfer that balance to this card to avoid the retroactive interest charges.

Balances must be transferred within the first 60 days of account opening to be eligible for the introductory rate. There’s a balance transfer fee, but it will almost certainly be smaller than what you’d pay in retroactive interest.

Amazon.com Store Card
Apply Now

Amazon.com Store Card

For People with
Fair Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 27.99% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • 5% cash back at Amazon for Amazon Prime members when declining special financing
  • Special no interest financing deals from 6 months to 24 months for eligible purchases
  • Equal Pay offers for eligible merchandise of $300 and more
  • $10 Amazon gift card when approved
  • No annual fee

Was this review helpful to you? Go ahead and share it with a friend! And if you have the card, leave your own review of the Amazon.com Store Card here.

For some valuable credit card offers that are good for a variety of purchases, check out our picks for the Best Cash Back Rewards Credit Cards.
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The responses below are not provided or commissioned by bank advertisers. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers' responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

  • BillyBoy0823

    I have (had) excellent credit hovering at a FICO of 800. Haven’t missed a payment on anything in forever. I only used this card from time-to-time to take advantage of the 6,12 or 24 month 0% financing offers. I had one 6 month offer going until Feb, 2019 when all of a sudden I get a notice I am late on a payment. I had scheduled the payments equally. I never got a notice or warning. In fact, I never even got monthly statements. All I get is a this late notice, no warning, and they are trying to charge me a late fee when I haven’t missed a payment. They must have upped the minimum payment or something, but I was suppose to have til Feb and it was almost paid off. Now it’s probably going to ruin my perfect credit. HORRIBLE Card!!! I am paying this awful card off, closing the account and plan on posting negative reviews where ever I can, as often as I can. People need to be warned. Even if you have excellent credit, avoid Synchronicity Bank and this Horrible Card….

    • vacuumation

      If you want “perfect credit,” why would you pick up a huge recurring tab over a long period of time with a credit card? There’s no such thing as borrowing money for free from a corporation.

    • Jared Bryan

      Your story doesn’t add up. They’re required by law to provide monthly statements like any other bank, so you must have subscribed to electronic statements or had it mailed incorrectly. Additionally, if what you said is true about them saying that you were late and charging you for it when you weren’t actually late… then it’s illegal and could be taken to court. They’d correct that sort of mistake immediately prior to a lawsuit, so again that makes little sense. It sounds more like you made a mistake somewhere and are trying to blame someone else. Otherwise, post the evidence (or better yet, present it to a lawyer). Best of luck regardless.

    • James Grayson

      I agree with most everything you said, but closing the card could further damage your credit, with the lost of the credit limit. Just don’t use the card…cut it up or put it away.

  • BillyBoy0823

    I had written a 5 star review on this card. That is, until they recently screwed me over. I was assessed a late fee, even though I made a payment. I never got statements or a warning. Same as other payments. Only thing I can think of is they upped the minimum amount on me. Now I can see why throughout the internet Synchrony has such a terrible rating….

    • fmMD

      You realize that Amazon sets those terms, not the card issuer, right?

  • S Jones

    My card was just recently closed and I had never missed a payment, never carried a high balance , never used the card fraudulently and without ANY notification or warning! When I called them to see what was going on they gave me a generic “it was based on what was reported via my credit report” answer. They also said they will be sending out the reason via mail soon. At this point, you’ve already CLOSED it without so much as a warning!!! The ironic thing is I only signed up for the card because it said I would get a certain amount off an AMAZON order but when that didn’t happen I asked for them to close it and they WOULD NOT. They waited until it was reporting favorably on my credit report to do this which now impacts my credit report negatively!!!!! Horrible experience, I will NEVER, EVER recommend anyone to sign up for their card. HORRIBLE just HORRIBLE.

  • James Grayson

    If you are sure you will not use the card again, cut it up, but don’t close the account. Closing the account will hurt you more than them. Just don’t use the card, but keep the credit limit to your advantage. The credit limit on a card with no balance will help your credit score, which will help you get a better card. Also your beef is with Synchrony Bank, not Amazon.

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