The right rewards credit card can help you get the most out of your Amazon purchases. Find out which cards yield the best results.
Amazon has gone from an online bookstore to a monstrous e-commerce marketplace selling everything from books to electronic goods to household items — and distributing digital content on Prime Video and Audible.
So, for any ardent (or moderate) Amazon fans out there — why not earn rewards on purchases you already make? That, however, begs the question: What is the best Amazon credit card?
That mostly depends on whether you’re an Amazon Prime member, plan to be one soon (ahead of Amazon Prime Day, which usually happens in July of every year) or don’t really want a membership at all.
Ostensibly, Amazon credit cards are often the best options when it comes to earning shopping rewards online. However, a few cash back credit cards out there offer reliable rates to compete with the Amazon-branded cards.
Prime Visa Card: Best for Prime members
Why we picked it: The Prime Visa card and its 5 percent cash back easily makes it the best Amazon credit card for existing Prime membership holders. Also, Prime membership comes with valuable benefits, such as free two-day (or even one-day or same-day) shipping on eligible purchases, free streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video and free, unlimited access to a deep catalog of ebooks and audiobooks via Prime Reading. Shelling out the fee for Prime membership and getting the Amazon Prime Card is a good deal if you value these types of services.
- 2% back at gas stations, restaurants and on local transit and commuting (including rideshare)
- $100 (or more) Amazon.com gift card upon approval
- Visa Signature benefits
- Cash back redeemable as statement credit, gift cards, travel and Amazon.com purchases
- $139 Amazon Prime annual membership required (including taxes)
- Can only link one Amazon card to your Amazon Prime account to earn 5 percent rate
Who should apply: For soon-to-be or current Amazon Prime members, the Amazon Prime Card is a no-brainer. Frequent Amazon customers, who make multiple orders a month, should also consider getting Amazon Prime and this card to maximize your Amazon purchases.
Who should skip: Anyone who does not plan to get an Amazon Prime membership should skip. Cardholders who make Amazon.com purchases only a few times a year should also skip.
Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card: Best for casual Amazon shoppers
Why we picked it: Although the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card* doesn’t sport a flashy 5 percent cash back rate, it does offer a decent 3 percent cash back rate on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases (plus 2 percent back on gas station, restaurant and drug store purchases), which is still higher than most other rewards cards. It also offers a $50 Amazon gift card for signing up, the same seamless redemption options as the Amazon Prime Card and many of the same purchase protections and Visa Signature benefits — all without requiring you to commit to a Prime membership.
- Doesn’t require Prime membership
- $50 Amazon.com gift card upon approval
- Visa Signature perks
- Relatively small sign-up bonus
- Lower rate on Amazon purchases compared to its sister card
Who should apply: The Amazon Rewards Visa is a good deal for people who shop a modest amount on Amazon but not enough to warrant a Prime membership (or the Prime Visa).
Who should skip: If you want a well-rounded card to earn you solid rewards even when not shopping on Amazon.com, you should consider another option.
Discover it Cash Back: Best for the holiday season
Why we picked it: If you’re signing up for the Discover it® Cash Back for the first time and plan to do a lot of Amazon shopping during the holiday season, this card may beat both of the other Amazon cards.
Upon enrollment, the Discover it Cash Back offers 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending in categories that rotate quarterly (then 1 percent). Though Discover now rolls out its featured bonus categories once per quarter, Amazon.com has been featured in the fourth quarter for the past two years, so it’s likely (though not guaranteed) Amazon.com will continue to be a featured category then. Like some other Discover credit cards, the Discover it Cash Back doubles all the cash back that you earn in the first year. Essentially, you’ll earn 10 percent cash back on Amazon purchases for a quarter of the first year.
- Cashback Match at end of the first year
- 0 percent intro APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (16.74 percent to 27.74 percent variable APR after)
- No annual fee
- Bonus cash back on Amazon.com purchases for only one quarter
- Enrollment required quarterly to begin earning 5 percent
- 5 percent cash back capped at $1,500 in purchases per quarter (then 1 percent)
Who should apply: Cardholders who love maximizing bonus or rotating categories will love the high rewards potential of the Discover it Cash Back. Those looking for a well-rounded cash back credit card that will provide long-term value will also like it.
Who should skip: If you don’t have the time or patience to enroll quarterly and focus your purchases on a handful of categories, you should look at other cards. You should also keep shopping if you’d like to earn cash back on your Amazon purchases more regularly than three months a year. You should also skip this card if you don’t want to leave your rewards on Amazon purchases up to chance, since there’s always a possibility that e-commerce giant won’t be featured on Discover’s 5 percent cash back calendar this year.
Citi Double Cash Card: Best for flat-rate cash back
Why we picked it: Among Citi credit cards and other flat-rate credit cards, the Citi Double Cash® Card is hard to beat. It essentially earns 2 percent cash back on all purchases — 1 percent at the time of purchase and an additional 1 percent when you pay your bill. There’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn, and the flat rate makes it easy to earn cash back on all your purchases — including those you make on Amazon.com.
- Can earn unlimited cash back and has no category restrictions
- Cash back fulfilled as basic Citi ThankYou points, with numerous redemption options
- 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable APR after)
- 3 percent foreign transaction fee
- High regular APR
Who should apply: If you’re looking for a credit card that can consistently earn you solid cash back rewards on your most common spend categories, from Amazon.com to groceries to online shopping, the Citi Double Cash may be your best bet.
Who should skip: Those who think up to 2 percent cash back is too little should skip this card. Cardholders who like the thrill of playing with rotating categories and such will find the card’s flat rate boring.
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card: Best for flexible rewards
Why we picked it: Perhaps one of the most popular cash back cards on the market, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card and its flexible bonus category make it ideal for those looking to maximize rewards on Amazon, but perhaps not all year. With this card, you can choose what category you earn 3 percent cash back in each month: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement and furnishings. The good news: Amazon.com qualifies under Bank of America’s online shopping category.
Other than that, you can also get 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on up to $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases on the 3 percent and 2 percent categories), then 1 percent on all other purchases. The card truly shines for its flexibility; any month you don’t spend on Amazon purchases for whatever reason, you can change your 3 percent bonus category (up to once per month).
- $200 online cash rewards if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days
- Increase cash back rate by up to 75 percent if you qualify for the Preferred Rewards program
- No expiration on cash back
- No annual fee
- Cash back rewards in the 2 percent and 3 percent categories capped at $2,500 per quarter
- Limited redemption options
Who should apply: Cardholders who like earning solid rewards but either deem a flat-rate card too simple or a rotating category card too complicated are good candidates for the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card. If you currently have a Bank of America or Merrill account, it could also be a good fit.
Who should skip: If you spend a lot across various categories, you may find the $2,500 quarterly spending limit cumbersome to your rewards potential. Perhaps you’d do better with a flat-rate rewards card that earns unlimited cash back.
Comparing the best cards for Amazon
Each card has its own pros and cons, but it’s easiest to see how they compete when comparing them side by side:
|5% cash back on Amazon.com purchases
|$0 ($139 Amazon Prime membership required)
|Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
|3% cash back on Amazon.com purchases
|Discover it Cash Back
|5% cash back on rotating category (up to $1,500 per quarter, then 1%)
|Citi Double Cash Card
|Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card
|3% cash back on category of choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvements and furnishings)
How to choose a credit card for Amazon
Of course, all these cards have their attributes. How can you choose when they all seem so great? Ask yourself these questions to help narrow down the choices:
- Do you have or want a Prime membership? If you already have Amazon Prime or will soon have it, the Prime Visa is a sure choice. For those who don’t want Amazon Prime but still shop regularly at the e-commerce retailer, the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card is still a great option.
- How do you want to redeem your cash back? If you’d like to keep things straightforward and redeem rewards on Amazon, the Amazon Rewards Visa is an easy choice. For cardholders looking to dive into the travel rewards space, you may want to try out the Amazon Prime Rewards or Double Cash.
- Bonus categories or rotating categories? Credit card enthusiasts who love maximizing rotating categories will enjoy the Discover it Cash Back. Moderate spenders who prefer greater flexibility all year round will enjoy the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card.
For Amazon Prime members, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature is easily your best bet. However, if you’re on the fence about joining the membership program, you have some math to do and more options to choose from.
When shopping for a rewards credit card, don’t feel pressured to get the best card and maximize all its benefits — just get the one that fits your lifestyle and spending habits best. In the meantime, if you don’t have the best credit, you could also consider Amazon store cards. Plus, there are plenty of ways to maximize cash back on Amazon.com without getting a cash back card just yet.
*All information about the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.