How to get up to 5x points on Amazon purchases

Oct 6, 2020

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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.

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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.

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