Reviews Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card review
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card review

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card review

Published: August 31, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Cash Back Rating:
2.4 rating
2.4 rating
2.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 0.3
Annual Percentage Rate: 2.0
Rewards Flexibility: 4.0
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card is a smart choice for current Amazon Prime members, but a dubious card selection for people with no other reason to pay $99 for a Prime membership.

Rewards Rate

  • 5% back on Amazon.com purchases
  • 2% back on restaurant, gas station and drug store purchases
  • 1% back on other purchases

Sign-Up Bonus
$70 Amazon.com gift card when you sign up

Annual Fee
$0 ($99 Amazon Prime membership required)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$168

APR
15.24-23.24% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Points don’t expire
  • No limits on how much cash back you can earn
  • Redeem your points instantly for Amazon.com purchases or as a statement credit on your credit card bill
  • Many other rewards options, including gift cards and travel
  • No minimum required to redeem your points on Amazon.com (2,000 points required for cash back redemptions)

Cons

  • No options to transfer rewards points
  • You can only link your card to one Amazon Prime account to earn 5% rate

Other Notable Features: Car rental insurance, roadside dispatch, purchase protection, extended warranty, baggage delay insurance, lost baggage insurance, Visa Signature luxury hotel collection, Visa Signature concierge, no foreign transaction fees

Retail Rating:
3.6 rating
3.6 rating
3.6 / 5
Yearly Savings: 1.7
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.6
Rewards Flexibility: 5.0
Features: 5.0

In a nutshell:

For Amazon Prime members, the chance to earn 5 percent cash back on Amazon purchases and seamlessly redeem those rewards at checkout seems like a good bet, though others will have to figure in the $99 price of Amazon Prime membership when comparing the card against other retail cards.

Rewards Rate

  • 5% back on Amazon.com purchases
  • 2% back on restaurant, gas station and drug store purchases
  • 1% back on other purchases

Sign-up Offer
$70 Amazon.com gift card when you sign up

Annual Fee
$0 ($99 Amazon Prime membership required)

Average Yearly Savings ($1,325 monthly spend)
$168

APR
15.24-23.24% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Points don’t expire
  • No limits on how much cash back you can earn
  • Redeem your points instantly for Amazon.com purchases or as a statement credit on your credit card bill
  • Many other rewards options, including gift cards and travel
  • No minimum required to redeem your points on Amazon.com (2,000 points required for cash back redemptions)

Cons

  • No options to transfer rewards points
  • You can only link your card to one Amazon Prime account to earn 5% rate

Other Notable Features: Car rental insurance, roadside dispatch, purchase protection, extended warranty, baggage delay insurance, lost baggage insurance, Visa Signature luxury hotel collection, Visa Signature concierge, no foreign transaction fees

Rewards Rating:
2.5 rating
2.5 rating
2.5 / 5
Rewards Value: 0.5
Annual Percentage Rate: 2.0
Rewards Flexibility: 4.7
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card offers a great 5 percent rate on Amazon purchases, but Prime membership requires a high $99 fee, and Amazon points lack versatility.

Rewards Rate

  • 5% back on Amazon.com purchases
  • 2% back on restaurant, gas station and drug store purchases
  • 1% back on other purchases

Sign-up Bonus
$70 Amazon.com gift card when you sign up

Annual Fee
$0 ($99 Amazon Prime membership required)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$168

APR
15.24-23.24% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Points don’t expire
  • No limits on how much cash back you can earn
  • Redeem your points instantly for Amazon.com purchases or as a statement credit on your credit card bill
  • Many other rewards options, including gift cards and travel
  • No minimum required to redeem your points on Amazon.com (2,000 points required for cash back redemptions)

Cons

  • No options to transfer rewards points
  • You can only link your card to one Amazon Prime account to earn 5% rate

Other Notable Features: Car rental insurance, roadside dispatch, purchase protection, extended warranty, baggage delay insurance, lost baggage insurance, Visa Signature luxury hotel collection, Visa Signature concierge, no foreign transaction fees

The new Amazon Prime Visa Signature card comes with a head-turning number: 5 percent on Amazon purchases. The Amazon Prime Visa Signature card has many of the same features as its predecessor – the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card – and it improves on the regular Amazon Rewards card by offering an unlimited 5 percent rewards rate on Amazon.com purchases.

For current Amazon Prime subscribers, the new Prime card is worth the hoopla. Besides the fact that you will have a shiny, metal card to show off (yes, the Amazon Prime card is made of metal), the card comes with some useful purchase and travel protections, and, of course, a higher rewards rate.

However, if you are wondering if you should shell out $99 for an Amazon Prime membership just to obtain the card, you will need to weigh the card’s benefits more carefully. Compared to similar rewards cards, the rewards rate on the Prime card is on the low side. Unless you spend a large amount on Amazon purchases, you will have a hard time earning enough rewards to justify an Amazon Prime membership. You can find cards with better features, as well as a better rewards rate, without having to pay an expensive membership fee.

Good rewards for Amazon Prime members
The unlimited 5 percent return on Amazon purchases is the best thing the card has to offer. While there are competing cards that also offer a 5 percent rewards rate on Amazon purchases, they come with seasonal restrictions and limit the 5 percent rate to the first $1,500 in purchases.

For someone who already subscribes to Amazon Prime, an unlimited 5 percent bonus is mere icing on the cake. However, for a general cardholder, the rewards program fizzles. Our research shows that most consumers don’t allocate a large percentage of their budgets to Amazon purchases and – while the card does offer a 2 percent bonus on lucrative categories such as restaurant, gas station and drugstore purchases – this isn’t enough to recommend the Prime card above cash back cards that offer general rewards rates of 1.5 percent or more.

Even when you factor in the $75 gift card that Amazon offers to new cardholders, the $99 fee for Amazon Prime membership takes a big chunk out of your potential rewards earnings. If you spend less than $1,500 on Amazon purchases each year, you may be better off applying for an alternative rotating rewards card that offers 5 percent earnings on Amazon purchases and pairing it with a cash back card that offers a 1.5 to 2 cash back rate on everyday spending.

Easy rewards redemption
Amazon aims to make sign-up for the Amazon Prime card and rewards redemption as seamless as possible. Current members of Amazon Prime with an Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card will be automatically upgraded to the new card. While you are waiting to receive your new Amazon Prime card in the mail, you can log in and link your current Visa Signature card to your account to start receiving the 5 percent bonus. Once the card is linked to your Amazon Prime account, choose the card as your payment option, input the number of points you want to use, and Amazon will instantly apply them to your purchase. You can also earn cash back by applying the points as statement credits or depositing them into a checking or savings account at the rate of 1 cent per point.

Unfortunately, although this is a Chase card, there are no options to transfer points to other Chase cards. Also, points can be applied only to one Amazon Prime account. Cardholders searching for a card with more versatile points would be better off checking out Chase’s line of Ultimate Rewards cards.

Though Chase has made the sign-up process easy for current cardholders, this comes with a major drawback: Cardholders who currently own an Amazon Visa Signature card will not qualify for the $75 gift card that comes with the Amazon Prime card.

Missing purchase protections
There are other advantages to putting your Amazon purchases on your Prime card. The card helps protect your purchases with some good benefits, including extended warranty and purchase protection. That said, the card is conspicuously lacking a couple of common purchase protections. There is no return protection feature, which would refund a cardholder in case a merchant doesn’t accept a return. There is also no price protection feature, which means cardholders cannot use the card to search for lower prices on their Amazon purchases.

Good travel benefits
Since the card is a Visa Signature card, it comes with some plush travel benefits, including car rental insurance, insurance for lost and delayed luggage, and luxury hotel perks through Visa’s Signature Luxury hotel collection.

One great benefit is the card’s lack of a foreign transaction fee, which is a boon for foreign travelers and online shoppers alike. If you travel abroad and use the card, you don’t have to worry about racking up fees on foreign transactions. Likewise, if you frequently make purchases on foreign sites, you can use the card to avoid a 2 to 3 percent fee on your purchases.

Reasons to sign up for it:

  • You’re already an Amazon Prime member.
  • You shop frequently enough on Amazon to justify the cost of a $99 Amazon Prime membership.
  • You spend a lot on restaurant and gas purchases.
  • You’re a frequent traveler, who can take advantage of the card’s travel benefits, including the waived foreign transaction fees.
  • You often shop on foreign websites and would benefit from the lack of a foreign transaction fee for those purchases.

How to use it:

  • Sign up for an Amazon Prime membership to apply for the card.
  • Use this card for all your Amazon purchases to earn the 5 percent bonus rate and take advantage of the purchase protections.
  • Use your points at checkout on Amazon – you can instantly apply them with no minimum points required.
  • You can use this card when you travel in foreign countries or shop on foreign sites without racking up foreign transaction fees.

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