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If you’re one of the millions of frequent Amazon shoppers, you should probably be using one of their no-annual-fee Visa Signature rewards cards for all your purchases, especially if you have Amazon Prime.
This review covers the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card and the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature issued by Chase. There’s also the Amazon.com Store Card (Review) issued by Synchrony Bank, but the two in this review are probably the ones you should consider, unless you want to pay for a large Amazon purchase over time.
You can use these cards anywhere Visa cards are accepted, and you’ll earn rewards when you do, but you’ll get the most rewards value from these cards when you’re shopping on Amazon. Another nice touch is that these cards have no foreign transaction fees, so they won’t cost you more to use abroad.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences:
If you shop on Amazon, there’s no reason not to get one of these cards, as long as you have excellent credit and use the card responsibly by paying on time, in full, every month to avoid interest.
Since there’s no annual fee, you may as well get one of these Amazon rewards cards just for your Amazon purchases. It might also be a top pick for other types of spending, depending on what other cards you have.
There’s a rare chance you could earn more rewards value with other cash back cards, but it’s unlikely you’ll find other cards that can consistently earn you more for Amazon spending.
This card will earn you:
This card will earn you:
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature is almost the same as the non-Prime version, but it’s only for Prime subscribers. It earns 5% back instead of 3% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, and comes with a bigger bonus when you’re approved.
The rewards show up on your statement and when you log into your Chase account as points that are worth 1¢ each. So, for a $100 gas purchase you’d get 200 points, which are worth $2.00.
The $50 or $70 Amazon.com Gift Card you get when you’re approved is a great sign-up bonus. It gets added to your account immediately and automatically when you’re approved for your new card, so you can start spending it right away. The card itself will also be automatically added to your Amazon account upon approval, so you can start using it right away, before it arrives in the mail.
There aren’t many other cards that can consistently earn you 3% cash back equivalent value when shopping at Amazon and Whole Foods, let alone 5%. The Discover it (Review) has a rotating 5% category, and sometimes that category includes Amazon purchases. That card may be able to earn you the same rewards value, or more, on Amazon, but only for one or maybe two quarters of the year. Discover also doubles the cash back rewards for the fist year, so it could effectively earn 10% cash back on Amazon for 1–2 quarters in the first year, but not consistently.
When it comes to non-Amazon purchases, 2% cash back equivalent on restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores is pretty good, but you may be able to do better with another card. For example, if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred (Review) or Chase Sapphire Reserve (Review) you could earn a lot more rewards value on spending at restaurants.
For purchases where you would earn 1%, you can probably earn more rewards value with another card. For example, there are plenty of cards that earn at least 1.5–2% on all purchases, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited (Review) or Citi Double Cash (Review).
There are several ways you can redeem your rewards on this card, and we recommend redeeming for statement credits or depositing rewards to a checking account.
Once you start using the card and paying your bill, you’ll start to see rewards points when you check out on Amazon that you can apply to your purchase. We don’t recommend redeeming your rewards this way, because then you won’t be earning rewards on the amount you’re redeeming.
For example, let’s assume you are making a purchase on Amazon for $100, and you already have 2,000 points ($20 worth) that you’ve earned in previous statement periods. You could apply those points at checkout, and that would reduce the amount you need to pay for the purchase to $80, which you could charge to your Amazon card. Assuming you have the Prime Rewards Visa Signature, you’d earn $4 in rewards value on that purchase ($80 x 5%).
If you had put the full $100 purchase on your card, you would have earned $5 in rewards value ($100 * 5%). So, by cashing in your rewards points at checkout you’re missing out on that extra $1 of rewards value. That may not sound like much, but over time the difference could add up.
By always charging the full amount of the purchase on your Amazon card instead of redeeming points at checkout, you’ll be able to earn rewards on your entire purchase, then reduce your bill later by redeeming the points for statement credits.
When you sign into your account on the Chase website, you’ll see your rewards points balance.
By following a few simple steps, you can cash in those points at a value of 1¢ each for statement credit, or you can deposit the rewards value into a bank account.
This redemption method is possible any time you have at least 2000 points. You don’t have to redeem in any specific increments, though, so you could do this every time you hit the minimum while still getting the full rewards value on every Amazon purchase you make as long as you pay for the whole order with your card.
Once you’re in the Chase rewards portal for this card, you can choose to redeem points for gift cards. Last we checked, most gift cards were valued at 1¢ per point, so it’s not a bad redemption option, but redeeming for a statement credit or depositing rewards to a bank account gives you more flexibility.
|Card||Annual Fee||Regular APR||Regular Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card||$0||16.49%–24.49% Variable||16.49%–24.49% Variable||27.24% Variable||None|
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||$0||16.49%–24.49% Variable||16.49%–24.49% Variable||27.24% Variable||None|
|Card||Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card||None||Up to $39||Up to $39|
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||None||Up to $39||Up to $39|
Neither card has an annual fee, which is great for options with such high rewards potential.
You’ll want to pay your balance in full and on time every month to avoid interest fees, which will quickly eat up any rewards value you earn.
The cards allow balance transfers and cash advances, although they don’t provide competitive balance transfer offers. If you’re looking to transfer a balance, it’s likely you can find a card with no balance transfer fee.
Frequent Amazon shoppers are likely missing on lots of rewards value by not using one of the Visa Signature cards, especially Amazon Prime customers. These card offers are hard to beat, since they offer great rewards for no annual fee for the card.
If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, it seems like an easy decision to apply for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature, use it for all Amazon purchases, and pay off the balance in full every month to avoid interest.
Depending on what other cards you have, either one of these Amazon Rewards Visa Signature cards be you most rewarding card for spending on restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores.
If you don’t want to pay the yearly fee for Amazon Prime, but still want to earn rewards on Amazon, the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature is a surprisingly rewarding card with no annual fee. You’ll get that 3% back when you shop at Amazon, and you can use the card elsewhere when you don’t have another card that will earn you more in rewards.
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