Amazon Rewards Visa and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature have both become quite popular for users who prefer using Amazon to do their online shopping. Of course, there’s a good reason for frequent users to use these Amazon cards and that’s because they are great for earning cash back on Amazon purchases. In fact, they are, for the most part, unparalleled in this regard.
The Amazon Rewards Visa grants a 3% cashback on every purchase made on Amazon, while the Amazon Prime Visa Signature offers 5% for all Amazon Prime subscribers. Both of these cards combined offer a great deal that will help you save quite a bit of money on your purchases.
Now, the question arises: Which one is the best card to use for shopping on Amazon? And, are there other cards out there that offer even better rewards on Amazon purchases?
Even though the cards seemed to be stacked in favor of Amazon’s cash back cards, there are definitely other alternatives out there that can be quite surprising.
Here are some of the best options for Amazon purchases:
- Amazon Rewards Visa
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature
- Discover it card
- Chase Freedom
Amazon Credit Cards: A Comparison
Our starting point today is comparing the regular Amazon cash back card to the Amazon Prime counterpart. When you know that the Amazon Prime Visa Signature card offers 5% cash back, it seems to be like the best choice, but that’s not necessarily so because it all depends on the kind of shopper you are. This means that the best option depends on your Amazon shopping habits.
Let’s break down both cards to see what they have to offer:
|Amazon Rewards Visa||Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature|
● 3% cashback on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases.
● 2% cash back on gas, restaurant and drugstore purchases.
● 1% cash back on general purchases.
● 5% back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases.
● 2% back on restaurant, gas station and drug store purchases.
● 1% back on other purchases.
|Sign-up bonus||$50 Amazon gift card on approval.||$70 Amazon gift card on sign-up.|
|Estimated yearly rewards value ($1,325 monthly expenses, including sign-up bonus)||$253||$225|
● No need to pay membership fees.
● Offers higher rate on Amazon purchases than most cards.
● Easy to redeem your cash back.
● Highest rewards rate on Amazon purchases.
● Easy to redeem your cash back.
● Prime membership comes with valuable benefits, including free 2-day shipping.
|Cons||A few cards on the market can top the overall cash back rate.||It requires you to pay Amazon Prime’s membership, at $119.|
|Who is this card for?||
● People who spend less than $4,950 a year on Amazon purchases.
● People who don’t want to commit to an Amazon Prime membership.
● Amazon Prime members.
● People who value Amazon Prime services.
● People who spend more than $99 per year on shipping qualified Amazon products.
● People who spend more than $4,950 per year on Amazon purchases.
Now that we’ve broken them down, you can see that even if the Amazon Prime card offers a higher cash back rate and a $70 gift card as a signup bonus, you still have to consider the cost of the Amazon Prime membership, which can lower the value of the card for you, depending on your spending habits and on how much value the Prime membership has for you personally.
Amazon Prime card: Better suited for current and aspiring Prime subscribers
If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, the Amazon Prime card doesn’t really require any second thought; that 5% cash back is definitely the way to go. As you know, Amazon Prime offers a lot of valuable perks and advantages, including free two-day shipping on eligible purchases, free streaming on Prime Video, and Amazon Family discounts on baby items, so there’s already a lot of value there. If you have use for these services, then the Prime membership and Prime card are definitely worth it.
Amazon Prime card: Better suited for shoppers who spend over $99 a year on shipping
Perhaps the best feature about Amazon Prime has to be the shipping benefits because it offers free standard shipping on qualified purchases of any amount, but it also offers free two-day shipping and free one-day, same-day, and two-hour deliveries in some cities.
Here’s a list of Amazon’s full shipping benefits that can save you a lot of money in the long run:
Amazon Prime Shipping Benefits
|Same-Day Delivery||Free in certain cities|
|Two-Hour Delivery||Free in eligible ZIP codes|
|One-Day Shipping||Free in certain cities|
|Saturday Shipping||Price depends on the size and weight of the item, but it can be as low as $7.99|
This level of shipping convenience is very valuable for many users out there and it makes the cost of the Amazon Prime membership more than worth it.
However, one thing you need to keep in mind is that free shipping only applies to qualified items, which are marked with the Amazon Prime logo. Of course, it applies to many different items, but it doesn’t apply for items that are sold and shipped by outside vendors and many other items as well.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Amazon already offers free standard shipping on orders over a certain size for regular members. Amazon has also lowered the threshold for free shipping to $25 in qualified purchases.
What this means is that you really need to do the math on your shipping costs to decide if the Amazon Prime membership is worth your coin. If you only make small purchases on Amazon, then the Prime membership might not offer as much value as you need. You really have to do your homework to see if a Prime membership is going to save you as much money as you think it will in the long run.
Amazon Prime Card: Better suited for shoppers who spend over $5,950 a year
For most shoppers, the value of the Prime membership depends heavily on how much money they spend in Amazon purchases every year.
If you’re more interested in the value of the cash back rewards of the Amazon Prime Card as compared to the cost of the Prime membership, we calculated that the number is $5,950 a year, which boils down to about $496 a month.
At $5,950, the amount of cash back minus the cost of the annual Prime membership equals the cash back that you can enjoy with the Amazon Visa card.
The math goes like this:
- Amazon Visa card cash back: $5,950/year x 3% cash back = $178.50
- Amazon Prime card cash back: $5,950/year x 5% cash back – $119 annual fee = $178.50
If you spend even more than $5,950 a year on Amazon, then the Amazon Prime membership will have a higher net value for you. But that’s quite a lot of money!
According to the 2014 report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, the average Amazon shopper spends about half of $5,950, while non-members spend about a fifth.
If $5,950 is too high for you, then the regular Amazon Visa card is the right choice for you.
The Amazon Visa card is a great deal for everyone else
When it comes to cash back rates, the Amazon Visa card is not as flashy as the Prime card, but it still offers 3% cash back on Amazon purchases, which is still very good and it’s even higher than other rewards cards out there. This card also comes with a $50 Amazon gift certificate signup bonus and it features the same redemption options and purchase protection as the Prime card without having to pay for the Amazon Prime membership.
Even though the card already offers a good deal, there are also many opportunities to get an even better deal. Continue reading to find out how!
Opportunity #1: Discover It Cash Back
- 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories on up to $1,500 in combined spending, upon enrollment (Amazon October-December).
- 1% cash back on everything else.
Sign-up bonus: Double your cash back at end of first year.
Estimated yearly rewards value on a $15,900 spend: $226
Annual fee: $0
Where the value lies: The 10% cash back you can get on Amazon purchases in the last quarter of the card’s first year beats the cash back rate of any other card. The downside is that it only applies for the first year of use.
If this will be your first time signing up for the Discover It CashBack Match card and there’s a lot of shopping on Amazon from October to December, you’ll be able to get an even higher cashback discount on Amazon purchases.
When you enroll, the card offers a 5% cash back rate on up to $1,500 in total spending within categories that rotate quarterly, and the fourth quarter category for this year includes Amazon purchases. This means that the cash back rate will be doubled, that means 10% cash back on Amazon purchases during a quarter of your first year as a cardholder.
There isn’t any other card out there that offers 10% cash back. This benefit is for a limited amount of time, after that, the cash back rate will return to 5%, which is by no means a bad deal. It’s definitely greater than the 3% that the Amazon Visa card provides.
Opportunity #2: Chase Freedom Credit Card
- 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories on up to $1,500 in combined spending, upon enrollment.
- 1% cash back on everything else.
- $150 if you spend $500 in first 3 months.
- $25 if you add authorized user and make a purchase in first 3 months.
Estimated yearly rewards value ($15,900 spend): $312
Annual fee: $0
Where the value lies: The points are transferable to other Ultimate Rewards cards, which means you’ll be able to get a 1.26 cent boost on your point value, for an overall value of 6.3 cents per point.
The Chase Freedom card, as you can see, offers the same 5% cash back rate as the Discover It card on up to $1,500 in total spending on quarterly rotating categories. This card is an Ultimate Rewards card, which means that the points you earn can be transferred to other Chase cards, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred which adds a lot more value to the points.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred cards feature even more options and they allow you to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to different airline partners so you can redeem your points for airfare at a better value than 1 cent per point.
We calculate a standard value of 1.26 cents per Ultimate Rewards points, which means that every dollar you spend on Amazon with this card will get you about 6.3 cents of value, which is higher than the 5 cents per dollar that you get with the Amazon Prime card.
Bonus tip: Get Amazon gift cards
If you’re looking for a simple way to earn a bonus on Amazon purchases with a credit card from an outside company, then buying Amazon gift cards at stores where your card offers a category bonus is the way to go. Category bonus are common on office supplies and also grocery stores.
Many people out there are very successful at getting bonuses with this tip, but there’s actually no guarantee that a particular store you choose will offer Amazon gift cards or even allow you to purchase the gift cards with a credit card.
This is mostly due to fraud concerns, which is why some retailers have had to bar their purchase with credit cards. Even so, it is definitely worth checking it out, especially if you’re looking to collect points on any particular card you own.