[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
Cash back credit cards can be handy financial tools since they reward you for everyday spending. Depending on where you shop, you can rack up rewards for just for hitting the mall, filling up at the pump or dining at your favorite restaurant. Amazon, the online marketplace famously known as “the everything store,” has teamed up with Chase and Visa to offer a co-branded rewards card, the Amazon.com Rewards Visa Signature Card. In this article, we’ll explain how it works.
What Is the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card?
Amazon offers three credit cards for its shoppers: one store-only card and two Amazon Visa cards through Chase — the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card and the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card — which can be used anywhere that accepts Visa. The Amazon.com Rewards Visa Signature Card, which we’ll focus on in this review, is a co-branded rewards credit card that carries no annual fee and comes with a variable annual percentage rate (APR) between 15.49% and 23.49%, depending on your creditworthiness when you apply. This card has no foreign transaction fees.
Here are more details. (Note: For full terms and conditions, please see the card agreement.)
Amazon.com Rewards Visa Signature Card
Rewards Details: Cardmembers receive 3% cash back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases, 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores, and 1% cash back on everything else. There are no earning caps and points can automatically be redeemed at checkout on Amazon.com. No minimum rewards balance is required to redeem cash back.
Annual Fee: None
APR: Variable 15.74% to 23.74%
The Pros & Cons of the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
For everyday shoppers and Amazon die-hards in particular, the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card offers a reasonable value. First, it offers 3% cash back on eligible purchases made at Amazon.com, including digital downloads, Amazon Gift Cards, Amazon Fresh orders, and even your Prime subscription, as well as Whole Foods. You’ll also receive a $50 Amazon.com gift card once you’re approved for the card.
The Amazon Visa Signature Card also entitles you to 2% cash back for every dollar you spend on everyday categories like gas, drug stores and restaurants. Cardmembers earn 1% cash back on everything else. Points can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards and travel through Chase.
Speaking of travel, the card offers travel and emergency assistance, baggage delay insurance, travel accident insurance and reimbursement for your lost luggage. Roadside dispatch could come in handy if you happen to get stuck on the road.
The downsides of this card are its relatively high APR — between 15.74% to 23.74% variable, based on your creditworthiness — and penalty fees. You can pay up to $15 if you happen to make a late payment and your balance is less than $100; up to $27 if the balance ranges from $100 to $249; and as much as $37 if your balance is $250 or higher. Here’s a helpful guide to avoiding late-payment fees.
If the rewards will tempt you to overspend or you have trouble making payments on time, this Amazon rewards card may not be right for you. Swiping more just to rack up rewards could easily land you in debt, and chances are you’ll lose those rewards to high interest. (Not sure if you can handle this credit card? You can view your free credit report summary on Credit.com.)
Frequently Asked Questions About the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
How do you apply for an Amazon credit card?
Applying for the card is as simple as visiting its website and clicking the Apply Now button. Note that you’ll need to be an Amazon.com member in order to access the application form.
How do I use my Amazon rewards points at Amazon.com?
Using your card as your payment method, you can simply head to the checkout page, choose the number of points you wish to apply, and purchase your item. Points that are applied “will be displayed as rewards points in the Order Summary and deducted from your order total,” Amazon explains on its site.
Our Picks for Alternatives to the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
If the terms of the Amazon card put you off, there are plenty of cash back alternatives to choose from. Here are two of our choices based on overall value and flexibility.
- Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
- Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
- Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
- Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – it's automatic
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49-25.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
- Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
- Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
- No annual fee
Card Details +
Why We Picked It: Chase Freedom (see our roundup of the best Chase cards here) offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in revolving categories that you activate each quarter and unlimited 1% cash back on everything else. You can earn a $150 bonus after putting $500 on the card in the first three months.
Rewards Details: Every dollar is equivalent to 100 points, and members need at least 2,000 points to redeem for cash back.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases, 16.49% - 25.24% Variable thereafter, depending on your creditworthiness
Discover it® Cash Back
- Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
- Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
- INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
- Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
- Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
- Receive FREE Social Security number alerts—Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
- No annual fee.
Card Details +
Why We Picked It: Right now, Discover is offering an automatic dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back members receive in their first year at the end of that year.
Rewards Details: Cardholders earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 14 months on purchases, 13.74% - 24.74% Variable on purchases & balance transfers thereafter, depending on your creditworthiness
At publishing time, the Discover it and Chase Freedom credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, these relationships do not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer. Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuers.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
This article has been updated. It was originally published February 17, 2017.