Many rewards programs offer an option to redeem your points, miles or cash back on Amazon. Here’s why it might not be the best idea.
Amazon is increasingly becoming the favorite online shopping website for many American households. The pandemic has also played into this trend with consumers choosing to shop online for groceries and doing holiday shopping via their internet browser.
With the right credit card, these shoppers can earn rewards when shopping on Amazon – or redeem their rewards on Amazon purchases. But is it a good idea to spend your credit card rewards this way?
Read on to learn how shopping with points on Amazon works and whether it’s a good use of your points.
Amazon Shop with Points: Credit cards and rewards programs
How to shop with points on AmazonTo be able to use points for shopping on Amazon, you typically need to have an eligible credit card linked to your Amazon account. (Some issuers, however, may offer this feature at checkout without linking your card as long as you’ve used it on Amazon before.) Once your card is linked, you’ll be able to pay with points or cash back from your card.
You can pay the full amount if you have enough points or choose to pay for a portion of your purchase. In that case, Amazon may charge the remaining balance on the same card as opposed to your default payment method. However, you might be able to combine your points with your Amazon gift card balance.
The terms and restrictions for shopping with points vary from issuer to issuer. Let’s dig into how this feature works for different credit cards.
Which credit cards are eligible for Shop with Points?
Quite a few credit card issuers participate in Amazon Shop with Points, and each places a different value on this redemption option.
Amazon co-branded cards
With either of these cards, you can earn 5% cash back on Amazon and redeem them for Amazon purchases at a 1 cent-per-point rate, making shopping with points a convenient and valuable option for cardholders.
If you earn American Express Membership Rewards points on your eligible Amex card, you can redeem them toward Amazon purchases. All you have to do is link your American Express card that participates in the Membership Rewards program to your Amazon account and select Membership Rewards points during checkout.
Note, however, that the redemption value in this case is only 0.7 cents per point, making it a rather poor use of your points.
See related: Best ways to spend American Express points
Additionally, you can’t use Shop with Points on some digital goods, Kindle downloads, Subscribe and Save items or Amazon Fresh purchases. The redemption option also doesn’t work with one-click purchases.
With eligible Capital One credit cards, you can Shop with Points by redeeming your cash back or travel rewards, depending on the card. Add your card as a payment method and enroll in the Amazon Shop with Points program to start.
Eligible cards include:
- Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card*
- Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
- Capital One Spark Cash for Business
- Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business
- Capital One Spark Miles for Business
- Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business*
Your cash back card won’t lose any value – $1 in Capital One cash back rewards is $1 in Amazon redemption value. But Capital One miles are only worth 0.8 cents per mile when redeemed on Amazon. Compared with travel redemptions, it’s a poor value, so we recommend saving your miles for travel purchases and transfers to partner airlines.
See related: How much are Capital One miles worth?
Similarly, you can use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you have one of the following Chase credit cards:
- Chase Freedom Flex℠
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card*
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
- Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
- Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
The point value is low – you’ll only get a 0.8-cent-per-point rate when redeeming for Amazon purchases. Chase Ultimate Rewards are some of the most valuable credit card rewards, and your points can be worth up to 1.5 cents per point when redeeming toward travel with certain cards. For that reason, spending your points on Amazon might not be the best idea.
See related: Why are Chase Ultimate Rewards points so valuable?
Citi credit cards that earn ThankYou points are eligible for the Shop with Points program. The value is also low: You’ll only get a 0.8-cent-per-point rate when redeeming your ThankYou points for Amazon purchases. Compare this to 1 cent per point for flights and transfers to airline partners.
There are certain restrictions to keep in mind, too. You can’t redeem ThankYou points on certain digital downloads such as music and movies, Kindle downloads, Subscribe and Save items, AmazonLocal items or AmazonFresh purchases. Additionally, the feature is not available for one-click purchases.
Discover credit cards are known for their rather straightforward earning and redemption structures. That can be said about the Shop with Points option, too: you’ll get a 1-to-1 value when redeeming for Amazon purchases even if you use your miles. This is the same rate you’ll get for any Discover redemption options. This makes Discover cards the best choice for shopping with points, besides the Amazon co-branded cards.
Keep in mind, however, that you can’t use Shop with Points with your Discover card when purchasing certain digital goods, Kindle downloads, Subscribe and Save items or Amazon Fresh items, as well as when using the one-click purchase feature.
Hilton Honors points can be used to shop with points if you connect your membership account to your Amazon account. However, the value is extremely low at 0.2 cent per point – less than half of what you can get redeeming for a standard room.
There are also many restrictions. For example, you can’t use your points on certain purchases, including Kindle downloads, digital music, Amazon video titles, Amazon Appstore apps, Amazon Fresh items, Subscribe and Save items, Prime memberships (except for Prime gift memberships), pre-order items, textbook rentals, Amazon Allowance or to reload your gift card balance. You also can’t shop with points when you’re using the one-click purchase feature.
Should you use your rewards on Amazon?
The Shop with Points feature can be very convenient, but many rewards programs place a low redemption value on Amazon purchases. Before you spend your points at Amazon checkout, make sure it’s a good use of your rewards – or if they’d be better spent elsewhere.
*All information about the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Spark Classic for Business, as well as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. These cards are no longer available through CreditCards.com.