How to get a 10% return on your Amazon purchases

Mar 26, 2022

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

If you’re among the nearly 150 million Amazon Prime members in the U.S., chances are you spend a significant amount with the online retail giant.

We’ve previously dug into the best cards for Amazon purchases, including cards that earn up to 5% cash back on your purchases. However, if you’re willing to take an extra step before making your Amazon purchases, you could walk away with up to 5 points per dollar spent or an effective 10% return. And that’s before factoring in any American Express Offers or other special Amazon promotions.

The secret to earning the most points on Amazon purchases is gift cards. While very few credit cards offer Amazon as a bonus category, some offer high category bonuses at places that sell Amazon gift cards, such as grocery stores, gas stations and office supply stores.

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Earning up to 5 points per dollar 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 spending each account year.

However, the return jumps to 10% if you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. After all, then you can convert your cash back to transferable Ultimate Rewards points, which are worth 2 cents each according to TPG valuations.

So, you could buy an Amazon gift card at Staples or OfficeMax and earn 5 points per dollar spent for an effective 10% back. Then, you can use that gift card like cash at Amazon.

Related: New to travel rewards? Here’s the perfect beginner card combo

Ink Cash card
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

If it’s American Express Membership Rewards points you’re after, or you aren’t eligible for a business card, you might want to consider the American Express® Gold Card.

The Amex Gold offers 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $25,000 per calendar year (then 1 point per dollar). Four points per dollar spent means an effective 8% return since TPG values Amex points at 2 cents apiece.

Amex Gold Card
(Photo by Eden Batki/The Points Guy)

The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Card from American Express could also be a good option. It earns 3 points per dollar spent, on up to $6,000 per calendar year, at U.S. supermarkets, then 1 point per dollar spent thereafter. But what makes this card stand out is that it offers a 50% points 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.

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.

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

Related: The best credit cards for purchasing gift cards

Something to keep in mind

There are many options for maximizing your Amazon gift card purchases. However, there’s one important caveat to keep in mind. Although all of the cards mentioned offer purchase protection, the coverage does not apply when purchasing an item with a gift card instead of a credit card. So, you may want to avoid using gift cards on certain purchases.

Broken tablet
(Photo by Andrii77/Shutterstock)

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 and Airbnb.

Related: The best credit cards for online shopping

Bottom line

A little time and effort can 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 protection.

Featured photo by AdrianHancu/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

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 after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • 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 up to 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 in the U.S., 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 $80 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 PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • 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
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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