How to get up to 5x points on Amazon purchases

Oct 6, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest information.

In case you missed it, Amazon Prime Day is approaching quickly. We’ve previously dug into the best cards for Amazon purchases, including cards that earn up to 5% cash back from the online retail giant. However, if you’re willing to take an extra step before making your Amazon purchases, you could walk away with up to 5x points per dollar or an effective 10% return.

The secret to earning the most points on Amazon purchases is using gift cards. While very few credit cards offer Amazon as a bonus spend category, there are a decent amount of products that offer high category spend bonuses at places that sell Amazon gift cards, such as grocery stores, gas stations and office supply stores. These types of merchants also happen to be where credit cards target their category spend bonuses.

For more TPG news and deals delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Earning up to 5x points on Amazon purchases

One of the best cards for purchasing gift cards is the Ink Business Cash Credit Card. On the surface, the card earns 5% cash back at office supply stores on the first $25,000 in spend each account year. However, the return jumps to 10% when it’s paired with a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve card since cash back could then be converted to full-fledged transferable Ultimate Rewards points, which are worth 2 cents each according to TPG valuations. You could buy an Amazon gift card at Staples or Office Max, which would earn you 5x points per dollar or an effective 10% back, and then use that gift card like cash at Amazon.

If it’s American Express Membership Rewards points you’re after, or you aren’t eligible for a business credit card, you might want to consider the American Express® Gold Card. It offers 4x Membership Rewards at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year (then 1x). Four points per dollar means an effective 8% return on spending since TPG values Amex points at 2 cents apiece.

Alternatively, the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Card from American Express could be a good option too since it earns 3x points on up to $6,000 per calendar year in US supermarkets, then 1x thereafter. What makes this card stand out is that it offers a 50% point bonus if you use it more than 30 times in one month. That means you could be earning as many as 4.5 points per dollar spent at grocery stores, a 9% return.

There’s also the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Flex, which offers 5% back, or 5x points when paired with an Ultimate Rewards earning card, on rotating categories for up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter, you activate. The card is offering a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

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: The best credit cards for purchasing gift cards

Something to keep in mind

There are a lot of options when it comes to maximizing your Amazon gift card purchases. However, there’s one important caveat to keep in mind. Although all of the cards mentioned offer some form of purchase protection, the coverages do not apply when purchasing an item with a gift card instead of a credit card, so you may want to avoid doing so on major purchases. It probably goes without saying that you also can’t return gift cards, but this shouldn’t be much of an issue if you order from Amazon frequently anyway. Plus, you can use your Amazon gift cards to buy gift cards at many other third-party retailers like Starbucks, Southwest Airlines or Airbnb.

Bottom line

A little time and effort can really go a long way. An effective 10% return on Amazon purchases is as good as it gets, though it’s important not to forget the trade-off between earning points and getting purchase protections either.

Featured image by AdrianHancu / Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.