Best Credit Card for Amazon Spending
If you shop around online, you’ve probably bought something on Amazon. But don’t worry, you’re not alone – as many as 86% of American adults have bought from the Prime shipping online giant. If you’re going to shop on Amazon, though, which credit card is your best choice?
There are many credit cards to choose from for your shopping, online or in-store. Deciding which one will offer you the best rewards and purchase protections is important, though, making it important to find the best credit card for your Amazon spending.
Shopping on Amazon with a Credit Card
In order to determine which credit card is the best one for your Amazon purchases, you need to ask yourself a few questions.
First off, how often do you shop with the retail giant? If you buy nearly everything through the site – from socks and vitamins to toiletries and snacks, thanks to Prime Pantry – you’ll certainly want a card that is truly optimized for Amazon spending. By contrast, if you only buy a couple things a month and do the bulk of your shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, you may be better served by a card that’s optimized for that type of spending.
Secondly, how much are you spending on Amazon? Even if you’re buying something small every day, you may still be better off with a grocery- or department store-specific credit card product, if you aren’t spending a large amount on the site each month.
How the Amazon Rewards Card Measures Up
You may have heard about the online giant’s branded credit card, the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card. For many who shop through the site on a regular basis, it may be an excellent choice for optimizing cash back each month. Let’s see how it compares to other highly-rated cash back cards, though.
The Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee. It offers 3% cash back for all Amazon.com purchases, as well as those made at Whole Foods Market (thanks to last year’s merger between the two companies). In addition, you’ll get 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations, restaurants, and drug stores, and 1% cash back everywhere else.
If you use your Amazon Visa to purchase travel (such as airfare or train tickets), you’ll be additionally protected. The card offers cardholders baggage delay insurance, travel and emergency assistance, lost luggage reimbursement, travel accident insurance, and even rental car collision coverage. Comparable to many excellent credit cards on the market today, the Amazon card also offers purchase protection and extended warranties on the products you buy.
Now, let’s compare that with some other popular cash back cards that offer comparable benefits.
Another no-annual-fee cash back credit card is the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card. By comparison, this card offers 2x cash back on dining and entertainment charges, as well as 1% cash back on everything else. While you don’t have the opportunity to earn 3% back at Amazon or Whole Foods with this card, it’s fairly comparable otherwise.
Another option is the Discover it. This rewards card has no annual fee and earns up to 5% in revolving rewards categories throughout the year. One of those categories? You got it, Amazon.com.
This means that you can actually earn more back on your Amazon purchases with the Discover it card than with the Amazon-branded card. However, this 5% back only applies when Amazon is part of the quarterly category for spending; otherwise, you’ll earn 1% back.
Welcome Bonus for the Amazon Rewards Visa
When you sign up for the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, you’ll automatically get a $50 bonus. This is given in the form of an Amazon gift card, which can be applied to purchases made through the site.
While this is considerably lower than many credit cards’ sign-up bonuses, it also doesn’t have ay strings attached. This is beneficial for those who only plan to use the card for Amazon purchases or who don’t spend much in a given month. For instance, the Chase Freedom Card offers new cardholders a $150 welcome bonus, in the form of a statement credit. However, this is only granted once you’ve spent $500 in the first 3 months of holding the card.
The Amazon card, by contrast, doesn’t have a minimum spend requirement. You will receive the $50 bonus gift card whether you spend $30 or $3,000 in the next few months. It’s not the biggest bonus out there, but it is one of the few that comes without a purchase caveat.
Amazon Rewards vs. Cash Back or Miles
If you spend with the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, you will earn rewards points on every purchase. You can later redeem these through Amazon or Chase.com for any number of items.
For instance, you can automatically view and use your accrued rewards on your Amazon purchase, directly through the website. There’s no minimum to redeem, either; if you have $3.75 earned, you can use that. There’s no need to wait until you have, say, $25 earned before redeeming.
The great thing about this card is that if you don’t want to spend your points on Amazon, you don’t have to. You can choose your reward of choice through Chase, redeeming them for statement credits, gift cards, and even travel expenses (like hotel stays, cruises, flights, or rental cars). The redemption rate is 1-to-1, as well. The only downside is that you will need to hit minimum accruals before redeeming points (2,000 for a $20 statement credit, for instance). This card may be branded for Amazon, but you will still have plenty of flexibility for your rewards outside of the online retailer.
Choosing the Card That’s Right for You
If you’re considering the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, you have a few things to consider. That will help you decide if it’s the right credit card for your wallet, based on your spending habits.
First, how often do you buy from Amazon? If you only make purchases through the retailer a few times a year – such as buying a year’s worth of socks at the beginning of the school year or purchasing college books every August – you might fare just as well (or better) with a card that has Amazon as a quarterly category. However, if you are a frequent shopper with the online giant, their branded card will help you earn 3% on every purchase made, all year long. You also need to think about how much you spend, as this will determine whether the Amazon Rewards Card’s welcome bonus is right for you. If you only buy from the site on occasion, it makes sense to take their $50 instant gift card and enjoy it, no strings attached. You would fare much better than if you signed up for a card with a high minimum spend, in order to redeem a welcome bonus.
The Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card can be used anywhere, earning 1-3% cash back on everything you buy. Rewards can be redeemed through Amazon.com, as a statement credit or gift card, or even toward travel expenses. This makes it a very versatile card, especially if you’re part of the 86% of Americans who are accustomed to seeing Prime boxes on their porch.