Amazon Prime Now Has an Exclusive Credit Card
Membership often has its rewards, and Amazon hopes that its new Visa card will entice people to sign up for its Amazon Prime service. Now members of Amazon Prime can now apply for a new Amazon Visa card that's just for them--and offers rewards of its own.
This week, Amazon announced the launch of its new Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, issued by Chase. This card is only available to members of Amazon Prime, a $99 a year shopping club for the popular Internet retailer that offers free shipping, music and video streaming, and specials on Kindle books.
The card offers a tiered cash back percentage on purchases, with Prime members receiving five percent back on all Amazon.com purchases, two percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and one percent back on all other purchases.
"We are adding even more value to Prime by offering rewards on Amazon and everywhere else you shop," said Max Bardon, vice president at Amazon, in a statement.
Chase also issues Amazon's other Visa card, which is available to any consumer, regardless of whether they have Amazon Prime service. That card has no annual fee and is a rewards card that offers three percent back on Amazon.com purchases, two percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and one percent back on all other purchases.
Beyond the cashback bonus percentages, not much is different about the two cards. The APR on both cards is a variable 14.74 to 22.74 percent, and the cash advance rate is a variable 25.49 percent. Both cards have no foreign transaction fees and no annual fees. The cards also have Visa benefits, which include travel protection and 24/7 concierge service.
Cardholders earn rewards in the form of points and earn points for purchases. When they get 100 points, that equates a dollar that can be applied toward many shopping categories of Amazon purchases or be redeemed for cash back, gift cards and travel.
The main difference between the two cards is that you need to be an Amazon Prime member to get the higher level of rewards, so in a sense, you could say that the card has a fee attached to it, since Amazon Prime costs $99 year; however, that fee exists whether or not you have an Amazon credit card. Also, Prime membership offers much more than just the ability to pay with a branded credit card.
Still, this card is really geared toward heavy users of Amazon.com and is a way to get them to spend more of their dollars at the website. Casual shoppers at Amazon or those who don't want to pay for Prime service may not reap much in the way of rewards, considering that many other rewards cards offer similar percentages for non-Amazon purchases.
Amazon also has a store card issued by Synchrony Bank. This card also has no annual fee and offers special financing terms. For any purchase over $149, there are no interest charges if the balance is paid off in full within six months. Purchases over $599 receive a longer grace period of 12 months, and select items can have a 24-month interest-free period, if they're paid off within that time frame. The APR on this card is higher though, coming in at 26.24 percent.
Amazon Prime members who currently have an Amazon Visa or Amazon store card will automatically be upgraded to the Amazon Prime Visa. Amazon also offers a gift card to new approved applicants. New cardholders of the standard card receive a $50 Amazon.com gift card, and new cardholders of the Amazon Prime card will receive a $70 Amazon.com gift card.