Best credit cards for Amazon purchases

Aug 10, 2021

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. This page includes information about the Discover it Cash Back that is not currently available on The Points Guy and may be out of date. 


With millions of products at your fingertips, it’s no surprise that people spend a lot on Amazon. Whether you are an occasional Amazon shopper or at the point where the online retail giant’s “Recommended for You” section knows you better than your best friend, you’ll want to make sure you’re using a card that maximizes your purchases from the site.

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Determining which card is right for you requires looking beyond just earning rates and considering other factors, such as rewards currencies, purchase protections and extended warranties. In some cases, you might even want to consider different cards depending on the specific purchase. Additionally, your best option may vary based on whether you’re a Prime member and what other cards you already carry. With all those things in mind, here’s a look at the top cards to use when shopping on Amazon.

In This Post

Best credit cards for Amazon purchases

The information for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature and Discover it Cash Back has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

(Photo by The Points Guy)
(Photo by The Points Guy)

At first glance, Amazon’s own Prime Rewards Visa appears to be the most exciting option — and for most people, it is. The Prime member-exclusive card, which should not be mistaken for the basic Amazon Rewards Visa, does not charge an annual fee (though you do need to pay for Prime membership, obviously). It offers an impressive 5% cash back on all Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, as well as 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1% back on all other purchases. Upon approval, you’ll get a $100 gift card automatically loaded into your Amazon.com account.

The biggest drawback is that the high return on spend is all this card really has to offer. While it comes with purchase protection (it covers items up to $500 in value if they’re damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase) and extended warranty protection, it doesn’t include important purchase benefits like price protection or return protection, so it’s not ideal for large purchases.

The other drawback is that you need a Prime membership (at $119 per year) to qualify. Although with so many U.S. households already subscribed, that’s probably not much of an issue.

Read our full review of the card.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

If you’re not a Prime subscriber and still want a solid return on your spend, your best bet would be to go with the Chase Freedom Unlimited. The Freedom Unlimited provides 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining. All other purchases will earn 1.5% cash back. While that’s a solid return on its own, you could potentially double the value of your rewards by pairing the Freedom Unlimited with a Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. By doing so, you’ll be able to convert your cash back points into full-fledged transferable Ultimate Rewards points, worth 2 cents each based on TPG’s monthly points valuations.

Related: The power of the Chase Trifecta: Sapphire Reserve, Ink Preferred and Freedom Unlimited

The Freedom Unlimited also offers 120-day purchase protection and extended warranty protection that extends eligible manufacturer’s warranties by an additional year. Like the two Amazon cards, this one does not carry an annual fee.

Read our full review of the card.

Official application link: Chase Freedom Unlimited with a $200 sign-up bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. 

Discover it Cash Back

Amazon’s Prime Rewards card isn’t the only one to offer 5% cash back on purchases — the no-annual-fee Discover it Cash Back does, too (on rotating categories, up to $1,500 each quarter you activate), and doesn’t require you to be a Prime member. However, this earning rate is typically only available on Amazon purchases just one quarter a year and is not guaranteed to come around every year.

If it does, though, you can earn 5% cash back (after enrollment) using the Discover it Cash Back for up to $1,500 in purchases made by Discover’s cash-back calendar. Keep in mind that while this card is great for Amazon purchases during any quarter where Amazon is among the retailers that count toward bonus earning, it isn’t the best card to use year-round. When Amazon is not a part of the quarterly cash-back bonus category, your purchases will only receive 1% back.

However, what makes the card shine is that Discover will match your rewards at the end of your first cardmember year, so you could get up to 10% back on Amazon.com purchases from a quarter where it’s a bonus retailer. Unfortunately, the card has discontinued other benefits, including extended product warranty, return guarantee, purchase protection and price protection.

Read our full review of the card.

Related: Best Discover cards 

American Express® Gold Card

The final card on this list is primarily for those who make a lot of high-value purchases on Amazon. With the Amex Gold Card, you’ll earn 1x Membership Rewards point per dollar on Amazon purchases, yielding a return of 2% based on TPG’s valuations. Unless there’s an Amazon deal available through Amex Offers, which isn’t too uncommon, where you can sometimes reap savings on your buys.

The biggest benefit of using the card is its generous purchase protection policy. While many cards include a similar perk, the Amex Gold Card provides an astounding $10,000 in protection per incident and up to $50,000 for all incidents in a calendar year.

Related: Best credit cards for purchase protection

If these protections aren’t important to you, you can increase your return on spending by purchasing Amazon gift cards from select U.S. supermarkets and earn 4x points (up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x). Accruing 4x points per dollar means an effective 8% return on spending, which beats any previously discussed cards.

Alternatively, the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express could be a good option since it earns 3x points on up to $6,000 of eligible purchases per calendar year at U.S. supermarkets, then 1x points thereafter. The card also offers a 50% point bonus if you use it more than 30 times during a billing cycle, so you could be walking away with as many as 4.5x points per dollar spent at grocery stores or a 9% return. The information for the Amex EveryDay Preferred has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: How to get up to 5 points per dollar on Amazon purchases

The Amex Gold Card has a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees), but its benefits — including up to $120 in dining credits each calendar year at participating restaurants/locations and up to $120 in Uber Cash each year ($10 monthly credits)  — make the card worthwhile. Card must be added in Uber account to receive Uber Cash benefit. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Read our full review of the card.

Official application link: American Express Gold Card with a 60,000-point welcome offer after spending $4,000 in the first six months of card membership. You may be targeted for a higher 75,000-point welcome bonus through the CardMatch tool (offer is subject to change at any time).

Bottom line

As you can see, picking a card to use for Amazon purchases isn’t as simple as going with the one at the top of this list. The best rewards credit card for you depends on your personal habits and priorities. So, while the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card offers a high return on Amazon purchases, it’s not everyone’s best option, as it’s only available to Prime members and lacks key shopping protections, which you’ll want for larger purchases.

Card benefits such as return protection have proved to be extremely valuable and may be worth sacrificing 2-3% in rewards in the long run. Additionally, if you’ve been saving up on transferable points for a specific redemption, it may make sense to earn rewards in that currency rather than cash back so that you can top off your account and book that award trip you’ve been dreaming about sooner.

For rates and fees of the Amex Gold, please click here

Additional reporting by Stella Shon and Benét J. Wilson.

Featured photo by Jason Alden/Bloomberg for Getty Images.

 

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com.

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More Things to Know
  • Rose Gold is here to stay. Card Members can choose between a Gold or Rose Gold Card.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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