Short Answer: The Amazon Prime Store Card is probably your best bet for Amazon purchases, but only if you’re already a Prime member and you have a ‘real’ credit card for everyday purchases.
If you are one of the estimated 304 million consumers that shop at Amazon, you probably have heard about Amazon’s credit cards: Amazon Rewards Visa and Amazon Prime Store Card. They are hard to miss, with the ads all over the website and a final reminder at checkout.
It makes sense for frequent Amazon shoppers to earn rewards by getting one of these cards, but which one is best for you? A lot depends on how often you shop at Amazon and what you plan to do with the card.This in-depth comparison will help you determine which one is the best fit for you.
Amazon Prime Store Card
The Amazon Prime Store Card actually is not a real credit card. It’s a paper punch-out card you can only use at Amazon. Prime members receive 5% cash back and, for a limited time, a $50 Amazon gift card. You also can use the card to get no-interest financing on Amazon purchases paid in full within six, 12 or 24 months. The card is issued by Synchrony bank.
Careful with the ‘free’ financing
The card’s purchase annual percentage rate (APR) is high, 26.24% as of December 2016. To benefit from the 0% APR, you must pay off your purchases within the introductory period. You will be charged interest from the purchase date If you don’t pay the entire purchase within the introductory period or you miss a payment. The total purchases must total $149 or more and $599 or more to qualify for six-month or 12-month financing, respectively. The 24-month financing is only available on select items sold by Amazon.com
- No annual fee (although you need to be an Amazon Prime member, which costs $99 a year)
- 5% cash back for Amazon Prime members
- $50 Amazon Gift Card (limited time offer)
- 0% APR financing (as long as paid in full within the promotional period)
- Zero fraud liability
- Only accepted at Amazon.com
- You must be a Prime member ($99 a year) to earn rewards
- High interest rate
Who should get an Amazon Prime Store Card?
The Amazon Prime Store Card is a good option for people who are already Prime members and frequently shop at Amazon.com. Don’t bother with this card if you are not a Prime member. The 5% cash back is probably not enough to justify a $99 annual fee, but it is an easy way to earn rewards for existing members. If you spend $2,000 or more a year – in 2015, the average Prime member spent $2,147 – the rewards alone will pay for the annual Prime free.
Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card
The Amazon.com Rewards Visa is issued by Chase Bank and can be used wherever Visa is accepted. It’s a straightforward cash back credit card with no annual fee that offers 3% back on Amazon.com purchases, 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores; and 1% on all other purchases. You don’t need to be a Prime member to earn rewards on your Amazon.com purchases. The 3% cash back only applies to Amazon.com purchases, not to purchases made at Amazon’s affiliates or subsidiaries. Notice that many of the products on Amazon’s marketplace are sold by affiliates.
There is also an instant signup bonus of $50 (sometimes $70). Interest rates range from 14.49% to 22.49% APR depending on your credit. Late and returned payments incur fees of up to $37.
- No annual fee
- $50 immediate signup bonus
- Accepted everywhere Visa is accepted
- Cash back of 3% on Amazon purchases
- You don’t need to be a Prime member to earn bonus rewards
- Cash back of 2% at gas stations, restaurants and drugstores
- You can start using it immediately after approval
- Only items sold directly by Amazon.com qualify for 3% cash back
Who should get an Amazon Rewards Visa Card?
Frequent shoppers at Amazon looking for a straightforward cash back credit card with no annual fee should consider the Amazon Rewards Visa Card. The $50 immediate signup bonus (no minimum purchase requirement) helps to sweeten the deal. Remember the 3% cash back only applies to items bought directly from Amazon.com.