New Amazon Prime rewards card gives 5% back

If you’re going to miss earning 5X on Amazon purchases when the Sallie Mae MasterCard gets discontinued, or if you’re an Amazon Prime member who buys everything on the site, here’s some good news — Amazon has launched a new rewards card that gives 5 percent back on Amazon purchases.

The new Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card (co-branded with Chase) is being offered as a slight upgrade from the existing Amazon Rewards Visa Signature.

It’s available only to those with Prime membership and offers 5 percent back at, 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores and 1 percent back on other purchases. Compare that to the original Rewards card, which offers just 3 percent back at Amazon (it matches the Prime card in the other categories).

The new card is available only to those with eligible Prime membership (excludes Prime Video). So, although it doesn’t have an annual fee, you’ll pay $10.99 per month or $99 per year for Prime to be eligible for the card (unless you’re part of a Prime member’s household).

That means this card is a probably a good fit only if you’d use Prime anyway. If you do, 5 percent back can add up quickly if you’re frequently making large purchases on Amazon. The card may seem like an incentive to sign up for Prime, but do the math on your past spending. Assuming you’re using other cards for your dining and fuel spending, you’d need to spend $2,000 per year on Amazon to “earn back” the annual cost of a Prime subscription.

As always, you can redeem your points for 1 cent each (no minimum) toward an Amazon purchase. And, as always, certain purchases aren’t eligible for point redemptions, including Kindle downloads, digital music, AmazonFresh items and others listed in the terms and conditions.

If your Amazon spending isn’t robust enough to justify the Prime card, consider the regular Amazon Rewards card (which doesn’t require a Prime subscription). And there are plenty of other cards that allow you to use your points on Amazon purchases (although they may not give you the ideal 1-cent-per-point redemption value the Amazon cards do). Chase, Discover and American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner), for example, all have no-annual-fee cards that let you shop with points on Amazon.

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