A $200 Amazon gift card and 10% back on purchases: The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is great for holiday shoppers
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest credit cards information and benefits.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card overview
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature is a solid earner, featuring a 5% return on all Amazon and Whole Foods purchases; 2% on restaurant, gas station and drugstore purchases; and 1% back on everything else, making it a strong contender for those who spend big with Amazon companies. Card rating*: ⭐⭐⭐½
*Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
The holidays are right around the corner — which means that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also rapidly approaching. To kick off this holiday shopping season, Amazon and Chase are offering exclusive promotions on their cobranded credit cards, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and the Amazon Rewards Visa Card, and both are offering some of their richest sign-up bonuses yet.
What’s the difference between the two? While neither card charges an annual fee, you can only apply for the former if you are a current Amazon Prime member while the latter is open to the general public. So, you can think of your Prime membership fee of $119 per year as your credit card annual fee if you have the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa.
Starting today, Nov. 17, until the end of the month, eligible Amazon Prime members who apply for the Amazon Prime Visa Signature card will receive a $200 Amazon gift card immediately upon approval. If you’re not a Prime member and decide to opt for the Amazon Rewards Visa Card instead, you’ll instantly receive a $100 Amazon gift card if you’re approved.
Additionally, Prime cardholders will earn a whopping 10% back in rewards on select products from eligible Amazon gift guides.
In this post, we’ll review the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and see if it’s worth applying for, especially if you’re looking to save big on your online shopping this holiday season.
The information for the Amazon Prime Rewards and the Amazon Rewards cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Who is this card for?
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature is meant for those who participate significantly in Amazon’s ecosphere. Available exclusively for Amazon Prime members, it rewards those loyalists with best-in-class earnings of 5% back on purchases on the Amazon website and at the Whole Foods grocery store chain. As a no-annual-fee card, it’s an obvious contender for a spot in your wallet if you’re a Prime member anyway, and deserves respect from even the most hard-core points-and-miles enthusiasts. After all, who doesn’t shop at Amazon at this point?
However, the card lacks the ability to transfer rewards to travel partners (and thus gain extra potential value for your points), which means that outside those 5% bonus categories, you’re probably better off with another card. It also is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule, which means if you’ve opened a lot of other cards in the past two years, you might not be approved for it until you fall back below that limit.
The card offers a solid return on purchases made within Amazon’s wheelhouse, but it is best suited for those who prefer simplicity in their credit card rewards and aren’t interested in maximizing every dollar they spend.
Sign-up bonus: $200 Amazon gift card
At the moment, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature is offering one of its best-ever bonuses — a $200 Amazon gift card valid for purchases at Amazon that is available as soon as you are approved. That’s up from the previous $70-$150 in Amazon gift cards we’ve seen historically.
For its part, the Amazon Rewards Visa Card is offering a $100 Amazon gift card valid for purchases at Amazon that is available as soon as you are approved. That’s not nearly as attractive and you will probably be better off joining Prime and getting the higher-end card.
Main benefits and perks
The Amazon Prime card features several solid consumer-focused benefits.
Among them, its purchase protection ranges up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account, while its extended warranty protection provides an additional year of coverage on eligible purchases with a manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less.
The card also has a host of benefits for travelers, including no foreign transaction fees, travel and emergency service, lost luggage reimbursement (up to $3,000 per passenger for you and your immediate family), baggage delay insurance (up to $100 per day for three days if delayed by six or more hours), travel accident insurance and roadside dispatch (for a fee).
It also includes auto rental collision damage coverage — although unlike credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which offer primary rental car coverage, this card only offers secondary car insurance, which kicks in after filing with your personal insurance company.
These benefits come as a result of its Visa Signature status, which also provides access to the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection. This allows members to book more than 900 hotels around the world with perks that imitate elite status, such as room upgrades and late checkout. You’ll also be able to use the Visa Signature Concierge Service, which can help you with a variety of requests.
How to earn points
The main perk of this card is its spending structure. It offers a 5% return on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. However, it only earns 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, which is similar to other no-annual-fee credit cards.
Purchases made anywhere else earn a flat 1% back. This adds up to a fairly generous return on spending, but those who don’t already have Amazon Prime will need to consider whether the $119 annual cost for the subscription is worth it, especially if they don’t shop with Amazon often.
How to redeem points
When you’re ready to redeem the points you’ve earned with the Amazon Prime Visa, there are a number of different tracks you can take. No matter what you do, you’ll receive a flat value of 1 cent per point for your redemptions. The easiest method is simply redeeming your rewards for Amazon purchases. There is no minimum amount of points required, and you can use them for all or part of your purchase.
If you’d prefer cash back, you can deposit your rewards straight to your Chase account. You can also redeem for gift cards with a minimum of 2,500 points.
Perhaps the most intriguing and least-talked-about option is the ability to redeem your points for travel through Chase, although you’ll have to call in to use your points. Here you get a value of 1 cent per point, so it’s not as much as if you had the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which lets you redeem points at 1.5 cents each through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
But you’re not missing out on value with this card in particular by redeeming points for travel versus Amazon purchases. And airfare purchased through a third-party site will still accrue bonus miles and elite credit, in addition to granting elite status perks you’ve earned on the airline. The same can’t be said for hotels, which will often disqualify bookings made via online travel agencies from any kind of earning.
The Chase travel portal also offers tours and activities, which means that you can finance an entire vacation with points earned from your Amazon Prime Visa. At a 5% earning rate, these points will stack up quickly.
You won’t find a better return on your spending at Amazon and Whole Foods with other credit cards, though there are some products that come close.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express offers 6% back on U.S. supermarket purchases (on up to $6,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1%). It’s a fairly lucrative card overall, also offering 6% on select streaming services in the U.S. and 3% on transit and gas stations. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits. The card comes with a $95 annual fee (see rates and fees).
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card earns 3 Membership Rewards points on U.S. supermarket purchases (on up to $6,000 a year). It also accrues 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar at U.S. gas stations and 1 point per dollar on other purchases. Plus, when you use the card to make 30 transactions or more per billing period, you get a 50% points bonus, which can really improve your earning potential.
What’s more, this card earns Membership Rewards points that you can transfer to the program’s various airline and hotel partners, making it a strong choice for folks who want to rack up rewards for travel, specifically, rather than just cash back.
The annual fee is $95.
The information for the Amex EveryDay Preferred card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
If you’re not a Prime subscriber and still want a solid return on your spending, your best bet would be to go with the Chase Freedom Unlimited. The Freedom Unlimited provides 1.5% cash back on non-bonus purchases (but 5% on travel booked through Ultimate Rewards, and 3% on dining and drugstores).
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 redeem your cash back as full-fledged, transferable Ultimate Rewards points, worth 2 cents apiece, based on TPG’s monthly points valuations.
The card has no annual fee.
If you’re a big Amazon shopper who already subscribes to Prime, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature could be a good option for you — especially with a $200 gift card on the line. With an unbeatable 5% return on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases and a simple redemption system, this card is geared to those who prefer to stay away from the intricacies of points and miles, opting instead for the ease of using a no-annual-fee credit card that earns cash back.
Additional reporting by Stella Shon.
Featured photo by The Points Guy.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred card, click here.
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