|Cash Back Rating:||4.3 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||4.0|
|Issuer Customer Experience||4.0|
In a Nutshell:
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card offers a great 5% rate on Amazon and Whole Food purchases, but Prime membership requires a high $139 fee, and Amazon points lack versatility.
* All information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. This card is not currently available through CreditCards.com.
Chase Customer Service Ratings
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
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The Amazon Prime Visa Signature card comes many of the same features as its predecessor – the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card – but improves on them by offering an unlimited 5% rewards rate on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases.
For current Amazon Prime subscribers, the 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. Indeed, if you spend heavily on Amazon.com or Whole Foods purchases, this could easily be one of the best cash back cards out there and certainly the best credit card for Amazon purchases.
However, you’ll need to shell out $139 for Amazon Prime membership just to obtain the card. While you can likely get far more than $139 worth of value out of Prime membership, the service doesn’t necessarily make sense for every cardholder.
- Points don’t expire as long as your account remains open
- 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)
- No options to transfer rewards points
- You can only link your card to one Amazon Prime account to earn 5% rate
Why you might want the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card
The Prime Reward Visa Signature has a lot to offer, especially as a co-branded credit card. It has a respectable cash back rate and rewards are simple to redeem for either statement credits or Amazon purchases. It also offers a high level of consumer protections. Given the value, this card can be a great addition to your wallet if used correctly.
High rewards rate for Whole Foods and Amazon.com purchases
The unlimited 5% return on Amazon purchase is perhaps the best thing the card has to offer. While there are competing cards that also offer a 5% rewards rate on Amazon purchases, they come with seasonal restrictions and limit the 5% rate to the first $1,500 in purchases. This card also offers 2% back on restaurants, gas stations and drug store purchases (and 1% back on the remainder of your purchases), adding up to a high earning rate overall.
Cardholders who frequent Whole Foods will also see a substantial 5% percent cash back on their grocery store visits both online and at the register, making the Amazon Prime Rewards card a shoo-in as one of the best rewards card for groceries. Frequent shoppers with Whole Foods can earn a substantial amount of rewards with the Amazon Prime Rewards card. In fact, if you spend at least $2,780 at Whole Foods each year, your earnings with the card will cancel out the cost of your Prime Membership.
Select rotating categories on Amazon will also earn extra rewards up to 20% on top of the default 5% bonus. However, while the 20% number may seem enticing, these bonus categories won’t make up the bulk of your purchases and can be somewhat niche.
Solid purchase and travel protections
Most co-branded rewards cards are light on travel protections. That’s not the case with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card. Cardholders will get the full suite of Visa Signature card benefits, including access to a concierge service and up to $500,000 of travel accident insurance.
The card also offers several protections to help protect your purchases made online. The card guarantees zero fraud liability – which means you are never liable for unauthorized purchases made with your card.
Some of the most noteworthy perks of the Amazon Prime Rewards card include:
- Purchase protection – Your card covers you for 120 days against damage or theft on purchases, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- Extended warranty protection – For eligible warranties of three years or less, your card will extend the warranty period by an additional year.
- No foreign transaction fees – The card doesn’t charge transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S. (which means it also spares you a 2% to 3% fee for purchases on Amazon sites in foreign countries).
- Lost luggage reimbursement – The card covers you and your family members for checked and carry-on bags that are lost or damaged by a carrier – up to $3,000 per passenger.
- Baggage delay insurance – The card will reimburse for you essential purchases in case your luggage gets delayed while traveling – up to $100 per day up to three days, for delays of six hours or longer.
- Travel accident insurance – You’ll get up to $500,000 in coverage for accidental death or dismemberment while traveling.
- Auto rental collision damage waiver – The card offers secondary coverage (coverage that applies in case another policy doesn’t apply) for theft or damage to a rental car purchased with the card.
Flexibility when redeeming rewards
If you don’t want to use your points for Amazon purchases, Amazon gives you a few other redemption options, including statement credits, deposit into a checking or savings account, gift cards and travel rewards.
Points are worth 1 cent each no matter how they’re redeemed. There is no minimum redemption requirement when redeeming for Amazon purchases. Cardholders can also redeem their points for travel or for statement credits.
Why you might want a different card
While this card offers a lot in terms of benefits, it can be costly depending on how you use it and whether you already have or plan to have a Prime membership.
No Access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card is actually issued by Chase bank. Unfortunately, however, cardholders won’t get access to the benefits included in the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal. Rewards earned with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature can’t be transferred to the Chase Ultimate Rewards program either.
Requires an Amazon Prime membership
If you’re not keen on shelling out the money for an Amazon Prime membership on an ongoing basis it’s better to skip this card. You can technically recoup the year one cost of the Amazon Prime membership with the sign-up bonus (cardholders get a $150 Amazon gift card upon approval). This strategy only works if you planned on making at least $139 in Amazon.com purchases in the first place.
For someone who already subscribes to Amazon Prime, an unlimited 5% bonus is mere icing on the cake. However, other applicants will need to weigh the value of Amazon Prime benefits before springing for the card. You’ll need to pay the $139 annual fee for an Amazon Prime membership before you apply, and, though Amazon Prime does offer very valuable benefits, the rewards that you earn from the card may not outweigh the membership fee.
Even when you factor in the $100 gift card that Amazon offers to new cardholders, the $139 annual fee for Amazon Prime membership takes a chunk out of your potential rewards earnings after your first year. If you spend less than $1,500 on Amazon purchases each year (the standard 5% cash back limit on rotating category cards), you may be better off applying for an alternative rotating rewards card that offers 5% 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.
Potentially high APR
This card has a variable APR of 14.24% to 22.24% on purchases. If you pay your balance in full each month, this isn’t a concern. If you carry a balance from month to month, it’s another story. While you should always aim to pay your balance in full and on time each month, if an emergency expense should arise, you could wind up paying a lot in interest.
How does the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card compare to other rewards cards?
If you’re looking for the best option for earning rewards on Amazon purchases, you can’t do much better than the Amazon Prime card. Still, if you’re not prepared to spring for Prime membership, and you’re looking for a good alternative to the Prime card, you have a few other good options:
Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
Discover it® Cash Back
Chase Freedom Unlimited®*
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Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card vs. Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card
With the 3% back at Amazon and Whole Foods, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card offers the next highest earning rate on Amazon purchases. It also features most of the same travel and purchase protections as the Amazon Prime card, including no foreign transaction fee, all for no annual fee.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card vs. Discover it Cash Back
For three quarters of the year, the Discover it Cash Back card only offers 1% cash back on Amazon purchases, but in the fourth quarter of 2022, the Discover it Cash Back is a winning proposition for Amazon purchases – especially for new cardholders. If you remember to enroll in the category that quarter, you will receive 5% back on your Amazon purchases, on up to $1,500 in purchases (then 1%). And, since Discover matches your cash back at the end of your first year of card membership, new cardholders can essentially earn 10% cash back on Amazon purchases in the fourth quarter.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card vs. the Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card can’t compete with the Amazon Prime or Amazon Rewards Visa’s rewards rate on Amazon purchases. However, if you’re not up for applying to the Amazon card and – especially if you’d rather earn points than cash back – you should consider applying for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. If you pair it with other cards in the Chase Ultimate Rewards family, including a Chase Freedom Flex card and a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve card – you can boost your overall earning rate, get a 25% to 50% bonus, respectively, on travel redemptions through Chase Ultimate Rewards, transfer points to outside travel partners, and enjoy a host of great travel benefits, including lounge access through the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
How to use the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card:
- Sign up for an Amazon Prime membership to apply for the card.
- Use the Prime card for all your Amazon and Whole Foods purchases to earn the 5% 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.
- Use an online shopping portal such as eBates to stack up extra cash back on your Amazon purchases (yes, the rewards do stack with your card rewards).
Is the Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Visa right for you?
If you do most of your online shopping at Amazon.com or spend most of your grocery budget at Whole Foods, this card is a solid choice. With 5% cash back at these stores and 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and drug stores, the card has the potential to be lucrative for the right cardholder. It also provides significant travel and purchase protections.
If, however, you don’t frequent either Amazon.com or Whole Foods, and you still want to earn rewards, you might be better off with a different rewards card. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, for instance, touts 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in spending per year, then 1%) and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations. You’ll pay a $95 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the first year), which might be steep for some, but is still cheaper than a $139 Amazon Prime membership.
*All information about the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
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