The best card for Amazon shoppers: The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Apr 12, 2020

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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 card is one of the company’s cobranded credit cards. It features a 5% return on all Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurant, gas station and drug store 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.

We speak frequently about the best currencies in which to earn points. From flexible currencies such as American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards to simple cash back on your credit card, there are a multitude of options. The Amazon Prime rewards card awards points redeemable against your Amazon purchases, statement credits, gift cards or even travel rewards. Let’s review this card to identify who would benefit most from it.

The information for the Amazon Prime Rewards 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.

In This Post

Who Is this card for?

The Amazon Prime Rewards card is meant for those heavily invested in Amazon’s ecosphere. Available only to Amazon Prime members (who pay a membership fee of $119/year), it rewards those loyalists with best-in-class earnings on purchases at its website and grocery store chain. As a no-annual-fee card, it’s an obvious contender for a spot in your wallet, and deserves respect from even the most hard-core points-and-miles enthusiasts. After all, who doesn’t shop at Amazon?

Related reading: The best no-annual-fee credit cards for 2020

However, the card lacks the ability to transfer rewards and gain extra value for points, which means that outside those 5% bonus categories, you’re better off with another card. It also is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule, which will limit its desirability for those looking to maximize the credit cards in their wallet.

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: $70 Amazon gift card

Packing cubes.(Image courtesy of Amazon.)
Consider using your $70 Amazon credit to buy this set of packing cubes.(Image courtesy of Amazon.)

The sign-up bonus for the Amazon Prime Rewards card is simple — a $70 Amazon gift card valid for purchases at Amazon that is available as soon as you are approved.

Main benefits and perks

This credit card is primarily used for consumer purchases, so it’s important to know that it comes with purchase protection up to $500 per claim and $15,000 per account, and extended warranty protection that 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 family), baggage delay insurance (up to $100/day for three days), 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. That 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 different requests.

(Photo courtesy of the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection)

How to earn points

The main perk of this card is its 5% return on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, though 2% back on restaurants, gas stations and drug stores is similar to other no-annual-fee credit cards. Purchases made anywhere else earn a flat 1% back. This adds up to a pretty generous return on spend, 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.

If you don’t get Prime, you can still own the card — but those 5% earnings will instead drop to 3%, a substantial decrease.

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 one cent each 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 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. Again, this is at a value of 1 cent each, so it’s not as much as if you owned a Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which lets you redeem points at 1.5 cents each. However, since you’re redeeming through Chase, you’re able to use your rewards for flights, hotels, cruises, car rentals and more. You do this through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, although you’ll have to call in to use your points.

This is good news for those looking to redeem for flights, as 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 center 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.

Alternative cards

If you’re looking for another option for a credit card, you won’t find a better return on your spend at Amazon and Whole Foods, though there are some cards that come close.

1. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers 6% back on U.S. supermarket purchases (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 $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95 (see rates and fees). 

2. The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express

 The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card comes close with its 3x Membership Rewards points on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 a year), or a 5.7% return. It also offers 2x Membership Rewards at U.S. gas stations and 1x at everything else. The card has a $95 annual fee.

3. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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 1.5% cash back on purchases. That’s a solid return on its own, but 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 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. 

Bottom line

If you’re a big Amazon shopper who already subscribes to Prime, this card could be a solid option for you. 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.

Featured photo by The Points Guy. 

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred card, click here.

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.