Amazon is hosting another mega sale on its site — Prime Early Access on Oct. 11 and 12 this year. Here are the best credit cards to use to boost your savings even further.
Good news: Even though Amazon already held Prime Day in mid-July this year, the e-commerce giant will host another mega sale on Oct. 11, the Prime Early Access Sale. It will last 48 hours, until the end of Oct. 12. Get ready for some major discounts on any gadgets, toys or appliances for which you’ve been saving up.
In fact, it’s the perfect time to begin shopping for the holidays; December doesn’t feel too far away as the weather becomes a little cooler and the leaves a little crisper. Certainly, the best way to take advantage of Prime Day is to plan ahead, knowing what items you want to purchase before the date (so you’re not tempted into overspending) and which credit card to use to bring in extra rewards.
We should mention that, like Prime Day, this Prime Early Access Sale is only available to those with Prime membership, which runs for $139 per year (or $14.99 per month). These are our top picks for the best credit cards to help you maximize your Amazon Prime Day rewards.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card: Best for year-round Amazon shoppers
Why we picked it: Where better to start than Amazon’s own co-branded card, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card*? This card is best known for its consistent 5 percent cash back rate on all Amazon.com (and Whole Foods) purchases — an added bonus to any discounts you snag during the sale. On non-Amazon categories, like restaurants, gas stations and drug stores, you’ll earn 2 percent cash back.
- $100 Amazon.com gift card once approved for the card
- Added cash back on select items through exclusive offers
- Visa Signature benefits, like travel and emergency assistance services, $0 fraud liability and extended warranty coverage
- Requires Prime membership to qualify
- Only one Amazon card can be linked to your Prime membership
Who should apply: Loyal Amazon customers who regularly shop on the e-commerce site for books, appliances and household goods will find the Amazon Prime Visa valuable year round. It’s also a good card for anyone who’s been considering getting a Prime membership to test out its perks; you’ll have to get the membership anyway if you want to participate in the Prime Early Access Sale.
Who should skip: For those only getting a Prime membership to access the sale or Prime Video, for example, this card won’t appeal to you. If you also already have a dining or gas card, you’ll find it difficult to maximize this card.
Discover it Cash Back: Best for seasonal Amazon fans
Why we picked it: Thanks to its potentially lucrative 5 percent cash back on rotating categories (up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter, then 1 percent), the Discover it® Cash Back is a great choice. Plus, Discover announces its cash back calendar all at once, and Amazon.com and digital wallets will be the bonus categories of the fourth quarter of 2022, from October to December — right in time for Prime Early Access.
- No annual fee
- Cashback Match welcome offer doubles all cash back earned in your first year
- Rotating categories offered in popular categories
- 5 percent cash back capped at $1,500 in spending per quarter, then 1 percent
- Must enroll each quarter to begin earning bonus rate
- Lacks additional fixed bonus categories
Who should apply: For cardholders who prefer to jump around retailers and categories, the Discover it Cash Back is a great option. It’s the perfect card for people who want to take advantage of Prime Early Access, but at other times of the year would like to shop elsewhere.
Who should skip: If you’ve already planned out your purchases and will likely spend well over $1,500 during the sale, this card won’t do you much good. In addition, unless you enjoy activating and organizing purchases around the cash back calendar, you may find it more difficult to maximize the Discover it Cash Back.
Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express: Best for big spenders
Why we picked it: Recently, Amex updated this card’s cash back rates, boosting it from being a good card to a great one. These days, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers 3 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and on U.S. online retail purchases (which includes Amazon.com). Each of these three categories have a $6,000 annual spending limit.
Unlike the $1,500 quarterly cap on the Discover it Cash Back, the Blue Cash Everyday lets you spend all $6,000 throughout an entire year — ideal for shoppers who tend to concentrate their online shopping in the fall due to holiday shopping. Other than its online retail category, the Blue Cash Everyday Card also works well as a grocery card.
- $200 statement credit if you spend $2,000 in first six months
- No annual fee
- 0 percent intro APR for 15 months on new purchases and balance transfers (16.99 percent to 27.99 percent variable APR after)
- $6,000 spending cap on 3 percent categories
- Limited redemption options
Who should apply: People looking for a cash back card that includes online shopping, but also everyday categories like groceries and gas, will find the Blue Cash Preferred worth it. If you think you’ll spend more than $1,500 and less than $6,000 during the Prime Early Access Sale, you should consider this card.
Who should skip: Consumers seeking a true online shopping card may find the spending cap on online retail purchases cumbersome. Plus, unlike cash back cards from other issuers, you cannot transfer the cash back rewards earned on this card to other Amex Membership Rewards cards. So, if you were hoping to stock up on your Amex points using the Blue Cash Everyday card, you should consider a different strategy.
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card: Best for online shopping enthusiasts
Why we picked it: As a flexible cash back card, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card allows cardholders to select their 3 percent category every month. One of the potential selections is online shopping, which would be an excellent choice for Prime Day devotees. Note, there’s a quarterly $2,500 limit on combined 3 percent and 2 percent category purchases — with the 2 percent category including grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Other purchases earn 1 percent cash back.
For those already banking with Bank of America, these cash back percentages can increase by 25 percent, 50 percent or even 75 percent thanks to Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program. To qualify, you need to have at least $20,000 in eligible deposits or investments, respectively, with Bank of America or its subsidiary, Merrill Lynch. That means the 3 percent cash back category could pay up to 5.25 percent on your Prime Early Access purchases.
- $200 online cash rewards bonus if you spend $1,000 in 90 days
- No annual fee
- 0 percent intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers made in the first 60 days (16.99 percent to 26.99 percent variable APR after)
- $2,500 combined spending limit on 2 percent and 3 percent category purchases each quarter
- Redemption limited to cash back options (statement credit, direct deposit and check)
- 3 percent foreign transaction fee
Who should apply: Cardholders who love to shop online, whether at Amazon.com or elsewhere, will enjoy this card. If you were also looking for a card that would be valuable even after Prime Early Access ends, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards is an excellent option, since you can change your choice category once a month. Of course, those with Bank of America checking or savings accounts should also think about applying.
Who should skip: Thriftier shoppers who don’t foresee themselves spending over $1,500 during the Prime Day Access sale should go for the Discover it Cash Back instead. Further, if you seek other redemption options, like travel or gift cards, you should look elsewhere.
Comparing the best credit cards for Amazon Prime Day
It’s best to see how our picks compete side by side so you can compare their cash back rates, spend limits and more.
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
|$100 Amazon.com gift card upon approval
|$0 (requires Amazon Prime membership of $139)
|Discover it Cash Back
|Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
|$200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months
|Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card
|$200 online cash rewards bonus if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days
How to choose a credit card for Prime Day
After reading about all the ways you can earn credit card rewards on top of the Prime Early Access Sale, you must be excited to apply for a card and start earning. However, be sure to consider the following factors before applying for a card:
- Is getting Prime worth it? For Prime members who order from Amazon regularly and love to shop at Whole Foods, applying for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa is a no-brainer. However, the $139 annual membership could be costly for those joining Prime just to participate in the sale. If you’re the latter, you should weigh the cost before getting Prime.
- How often do you shop on Amazon.com? Maybe you have a Prime membership because you love Prime Video, Prime Music and Prime Reading or buy a majority of your holiday gifts on Amazon. In that case, you could go for the Discover it Cash Back or Bank of America Customized Cash card. With these cards, you likely won’t inhibit any rewards you would have earned if you’re a big Amazon shopper.
- How much do you expect to spend during the sale? If you’re not an Amazon superfan but still plan to spend a decent amount during the Prime Early Access Sale, you should go for the Bank of America Customized Cash Card or the Blue Cash Everyday Card. The Customized Cash’s $2,500 quarterly cap is high enough for many shoppers, whereas the Blue Cash Everyday’s annual cap of $6,000 enables you to spend it all during the sale if necessary.
By combining store promotions such as Amazon Prime Day with the right rewards credit card, you can stack your savings even higher. Remember that credit card rewards only make sense if you can pay your bills in full and avoid interest.
If it’s money that you would have spent anyway and you won’t pay interest on it, then credit card rewards are a fantastic perk. You can turn the points or miles you earn on Prime Day into a fabulous trip or a cash back windfall.
*All information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.