There are plenty of ways to boost cash back on Amazon purchases, including the use of a co-branded credit card. Find out the best ways to increase your rewards haul when you shop online.
Fans of Amazon.com tend to love online shopping for the convenience factor and the low prices and potential for two-day shipping. Plus, you can get all the stuff you want without leaving your home and rack up Amazon cash back for each dollar you spend.
The key to earning rewards on online purchases is making sure you get the right Amazon credit card for cash back and that you maximize its benefits. By using the right rewards credit card, stacking up on coupons and discounts and using some handy tools to find the right price, your Amazon cash back can soar. We’ll show you how in five steps:
Steps to earning more cash back on Amazon.com
Step 1. Get a cash back credit card (savings = 1% to 10%)
Amazon.com accepts just about any credit card you can think of, and there are quite a few options that let you earn cash back on Amazon purchases. However, a few cash back credit cards stand out from the pack.
The obvious choice is one of the two co-branded Amazon credit cards. Regular Amazon members can earn 3% cash back on Amazon purchases with the Chase Amazon.com Rewards Visa card, while Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature cardmembers get 5% cash back when they shop on Amazon. In addition, Amazon makes it easy to redeem those points for future Amazon purchases – simply link your card to your account and then click the button to use your points at checkout.
Why get it?
You spend a fair amount on Amazon and don’t want to commit to a $119 Prime membership.
|More things to know:|
Why get it?
You’re already a Prime member, you’re thinking of joining Prime or you spend $6,000+ on Amazon purchases or $119+ on Amazon shipping per year (in which case, Prime membership is definitely worth it).
|More things to know:|
The Amazon Prime card’s 5% cash back on Amazon.com purchases seems hard to beat. However, keep in mind that the Prime card is only available to Amazon Prime members, and membership costs $119 a year.
Additionally, you can look into the Amazon Store Card by Synchrony Bank, which offers 5% back with an eligible Prime membership (6% back on Prime Day alone) and 0% financing options. The card also comes with a $100 Amazon.com gift card upon account approval. Note, however, that this is a store card, so you won’t be able to use it for purchases outside of Amazon.com.
Also, there are a few alternative rewards credit cards that offer better than 5% cash back. The Discover it® Cash Back card, for example, offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending in categories that rotate quarterly (upon activation), then 1% back. As a welcome bonus, the card then matches all the cash back you earn in the first year of card ownership. Because one of the bonus categories for the fourth quarter of 2021 is Amazon.com, you can essentially earn 10% cash back on Amazon purchases from October through December 2021.
Step 2. Stack your cash back rewards (savings = up to 8%)
Keep in mind that, in some cases, you can boost your Amazon rewards by clicking through a portal before you shop. Portal earnings are also offered on top of the Amazon credit card cash back you get, so you get the chance to “double-dip.”
Portal deals can change over time, but here are a few of the portals that can help you boost your Amazon cash back each time you shop.
Amazon rewards portals
|Site||Average rewards rate||Total rewards earnings (+ 5% from Amazon Prime card)|
|BeFrugal||Up to 8% cash back||Up to 13%|
|TopCashback||Up to 8% cash back||Up to 13%|
Shopping portals are easy to use since all you have to do is create an account and click through the portal each time you make a purchase. Once you’ve satisfied the site’s terms, cash back is usually sent to you as a check, PayPal deposit or gift certificate.
Step 3: Get free shipping (savings = $2.99-plus per item)
You can save a bundle of cash on Amazon.com by taking advantage of Amazon’s free shipping benefits. Generally speaking, even non-Prime members can get free standard shipping simply by loading more than $25 worth of qualified merchandise into their shopping carts.
Prime members are eligible for an array of free shipping benefits, including free two-day shipping on qualified items. These perks can help you accrue additional savings on top of the Amazon cash back you earn. Here’s a summary of the benefits for you:
Amazon Prime free shipping (qualified items only)
|Same-day delivery||Free for qualifying orders in certain cities|
|Two-hour delivery||Free in eligible ZIP codes|
|Saturday shipping||Price varies by item size and weight – as low as $7.99 per item|
|Amazon Day Delivery||Free|
|Standard shipping (4 to 5 business days)||Free|
|Release-date delivery (on qualifying items)||Free|
Step 4. Look for deals and discounts on Amazon.com (savings = 5% to 70% and more)
Some of the best savings on Amazon come into play when you know about upcoming sales and deals. Here are a few of Amazon’s best cost-saving features:
- Amazon Prime Day: Prime Day is an annual sales event for Prime members featuring deals on countless items in every department. Shopping on Prime Day, slated for June 21 and June 22 this year, can bring major savings if you shop strategically. Just remember to check historical prices and don’t assume a Prime Day deal is lucrative just because it’s featured. A price tracking tool (see below) can help you make sure you’re paying less than you would any other time of the year.
- Today’s Deals: Amazon Gold Box deals are limited-time discounts on various merchandise. There are questionable items in the mix, but you can find good deals with discounts of 70% or more. Of course, merchandise is limited and can run out if you don’t move quickly. Amazon Prime members get the first stab at the deals – don’t forget savings are offered on top of the Amazon cash back you can earn with a credit card.
- Amazon Subscribe and Save: Amazon’s subscription service allows you to schedule automatic delivery of items that you frequently purchase (think: paper towels and laundry soap), with no shipping fees. You get a 5% discount just for using the service, and you get an even larger discount of 15% on orders of five items or more. Additionally, Prime members are entitled to special deals and discounts, including 20% off diapers.
- Amazon warehouse and outlet: Amazon.com has its own outlet store that offers deeply discounted items and a warehouse that offers deals on open-box and used products.
- Amazon coupons: Although Amazon doesn’t accept outside coupons, it does have its own coupons page. You will find a range of discounts – for example, 50 cents off, 25% off, etc. – on various everyday items ranging from skincare to pet supplies, and the coupons do stack on top of other Amazon discounts and Amazon cash back.
- Matching prices from other vendors: Amazon doesn’t offer price matching outright, but it does include a feedback form on its product detail pages that lets you alert the customer service team when you’ve found a lower price on the same item from another vendor. With some time, patience and a good price tracking tool, you can alert Amazon of the lower price and see if they match it.
Step 5. Use web tools to get the best price
Amazon prices can fluctuate wildly – sometimes by the day. This creates a massive opportunity to maximize your savings simply by making your purchase at the right time. Fortunately, there are several tools that can help you compare prices and grab that merchandise at the peak moment:
The Camelizer is the ultimate Amazon price tracker. As the name suggests, the site allows you to create price watches on specific Amazon items and will place an item’s price history into a handy line chart so you can track the pricing trends on an item you want to buy. You can also create email and Twitter alerts to help you spring into action the moment the price of an item drops.
Honey is a free browser extension that automatically finds and applies coupon codes at checkout. Though it is configured to work with Amazon, there’s a huge catch – Amazon doesn’t currently offer sitewide codes.
Fortunately, Honey has another useful application for Amazon shoppers: It will search for other sellers that are offering the same item for less (taking into account Amazon Prime shipping benefits as well as shipping delays) and let you know if there’s a better deal elsewhere. On top of that, it tracks price history to help you decide if it’s a good time to buy. Honey also has a rewards program that gives you points toward Amazon gift cards.
Popcart is another price comparison app that lets you analyze prices across Amazon and other retailers without any work on your part. You just add the browser extension to your device and Popcart will search hundreds of stores for the best pricing on the item you plan to buy. If you’re about to buy something that is found at a lower price elsewhere, Popcart will automatically notify you of the better deal to make an informed decision.
Meanwhile, the Amazon shopping app lets you manage your account from your mobile phone and save money through features such as push notifications for when a deal on an item in your Watchlist is about to start. One handy aspect – the “Scan it” feature – lets you snap a photo of an item or scan its bar code to make a quick price comparison. If you decide that Amazon has the best price, you can click on the item and purchase it from the app in minutes.
See related: Watch for Amazon deals leading up to Prime Day
If you want to get cash back from Amazon, you have to be strategic with how you pay and shop. Cash back on your Amazon purchases is easy to earn when you pay with an Amazon credit card, but you’ll also want to look for deals and make sure you’re buying everything at the lowest price possible.
With this handful of tricks, you can easily score discounts of 10% or more off of Amazon’s already low prices. Add the right credit card to that, and you’ll be keeping more money in your pocket every time you shop online.