Amazon Rewards credit cards review

Our rating

3 stars 3/5

See explanation of our ratings system

See breakdown of these cards ratings

Should you consider applying for one the Chase Amazon Visa credit cards? Before you send off your application you should carefully consider the pros and cons.

After buying things on Amazon.com you have probably been presented with multiple online popup offers to sign up for their rewards cards. There are two versions:

1. Amazon Rewards Visa Signature

  • 3 percent back at Amazon.com
  • 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores
  • 1 percent cash back on other purchases

2. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature — available only to those with eligible Amazon Prime subscriptions

  • 5 percent back at Amazon.com
  • 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores
  • 1 percent cash back on other purchases

The sign-up promotion for the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature is a $50 gift card instantly up on approval. You get a $70 gift card with the Prime version. That may not seem exciting, but these bonuses also have no spending requirements.

Their rewards program, on the other hand, may be more compelling to frequent Amazon shoppers — just know that there are other cards that let you earn rewards you can redeem for Amazon.com purchases.

Redeeming your rewards

Your rewards are earned as points and each point is worth 1 cent, so 100 points equals $1 that can be redeemed for Amazon purchases, cash back, gift cards or travel.

It’s always nice to see a co-branded card offer bonus points outside its realm — and the Amazon card does just that, offering 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores. However, other cards also let you earn rewards redeemable on Amazon.com.

Here’s an alternate way to earn cash back on Amazon purchases…

Simply apply for a cash back credit card that offers extra cash back for grocery store, office supply or home improvement store purchases.

Then, guess what? Places like Home Depot, and most national grocery chains sell gift cards to other places, including Amazon.com.

So you can buy Amazon gift cards at face value (i.e. you pay $100 for a $100 gift card).

Remember that you can buy gift cards at these types of stores for tons of other places too…

retail-cards

This is the best-kept secret of credit card rewards because it potentially allows you to get higher percentage cash back on all types of things, even gasoline (notice the Shell cards, pictured above). My favorite are the Starbucks and the “home improvement” card you can use at Home Depot and similar places.

retail-cards2
If you don’t want to do the gift-card work-around, though, you might prefer getting an effortless 3 or 5 percent back on Amazon purchases.

Going back to the review of the Amazon card…

The rates and fees
As you’re probably already aware, reward cards are not ideal for carrying a balance since their interest rates tend to be higher than non-reward cards. So neither of these cards are ideal for carrying a balance.

Neither charges an annual fee, however. Although the Prime card requires you to have a Prime subscription.

The benefits

The cards offer Visa Signature-level benefits such as extended warranty and auto rental collision damage waiver, which is secondary coverage on eligible rental vehicles. Aside from that, there’s not much worth mentioning.

Verdict? The Amazon card’s benefits are nothing impressive but on par with similar no-annual-fee cards.

Should you get an Amazon rewards credit card?

How much you’ll get out of the Amazon cards’ 3 percent or 5 percenty rewards on Amazon purchases depends on how frequently you shop on Amazon. If your doorstep is constantly covered with Amazon boxes, or if you order office and baby supplies in bulk from the site, you’ll get a decent return. If you wouldn’t sign up for Prime anyway, make sure your spending will “earn back” the Prime subscription fees.

If you’re just ordering the occasional holiday gift off Amazon, consider a card that offers a more consistent rate of cash back on other purchases. Some even let you redeem your points directly on Amazon.

Why we gave them 3 out of 5 stars

We rated the Amazon cards from Chase based on our standards for store-specific cards. The cards lost a couple stars for not having the financing and perks other retailer cards offer, but made up for that with better rewards and interest rates than you’d usually find on branded store cards.

Empty starIntro financing: These cards don't offer introductory financing.
Full starOngoing rewards/discounts: The Amazon cards offer rewards for the life of the card, including in some bonus categories outside Amazon.
Full starFair interest terms: The cards have a range of APRs, the bulk of which are below average for store credit cards.
Empty starConsumer-friendly incentives: Neither card offers any additional perks for loyal Amazon users, like free shipping.
Full starCan be used anywhere: Both are Visa cards and can therefore be used outside Amazon.com.