By: Joe Muscolino
Quickly accrue rewards with everyday purchases on groceries and more.
- Get this card if you want high cash back on your Amazon and Whole Foods Market purchases.
- Pick something else if you want higher cash back on other categories, or if you want an intro APR period.
- Apply with good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
|Product Name||Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card|
|APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases||16.49% to 24.49% variable|
|Introductory Purchase APR|
|Balance Transfer APR||16.49% to 24.49% variable|
|Introductory Balance Transfer APR|
|Balance Transfer Fee||$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater|
|Cash Advance Rate||27.24% variable|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||None|
|Cash Advance Fee||$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Interest Free Period||Up to 21 days|
|Late Payment Fee||Up to $38|
|Returned Payment Fee||Up to $38|
|Additional Cardholder Fee||$0|
|Rates & Fees||Rates & Fees|
|Minimum Age||18 years of age|
|Rewards||Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1% back on all other purchases|
|Base Rewards||1% cash back|
|Rewards Points Expiration||Never|
As a loyal customer for seven years and a Prime junkie, what took me so long to get the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card? Up until a few weeks ago I never really considered it. I saw the enticing checkout offers — Save $70 with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card! — and breezed by them. I’m wary when a financial product, no matter how shiny, is hawked in my direction.
Then I applied. It was an uncharacteristic impulse spend: I didn’t calculate my monthly Amazon expenses or the savings I’d accrue. I didn’t even do much research beyond seeing the 5% cash back and thinking: That must be a better deal than what my current credit card offers, right?
Only afterward did I crunch the numbers. If you’re pressed for time, the TL;DR version is simple:
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is saving me money, and it can save you money too. If you’re a Prime member, it’s a no-brainer. If you’re not a Prime member but spend at least $2,400 a year on Amazon.com, you’ll cover the $119 Prime price tag and get the perks of a Prime membership — free two-day shipping, Prime Video and Unlimited music streaming — to boot.
Alexa, play “Ride of the Valkyries.”
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Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card highlights
What had me at hello was the uncapped 5% cash back on Amazon orders. We’ll lead with that, but there are plenty of other perks to consider.
- Uncapped 5% back on all Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases for Prime members.
- $70 Amazon gift card on approval.
- 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1% on all other purchases.
- Rewards don’t expire and are redeemable on a near infinite array of Amazon.com products.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- No annual fee for Amazon Prime members.
- Zero fraud liability.
- Travel and purchase protections, as well as 24/7 concierge service through Visa Signature.
- Let’s not forget about style: While most store-branded cards are plastic, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is metal.
- If you use Amazon star ratings as shorthand for quality, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has over 32,500 reviews with an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 as of December 2018.
Two things worth noting
- Of course, the “no annual credit card fee” assumes you’re already an Amazon Prime member — a $119 yearly price tag. If you order a lot from Amazon, the Prime membership pays for itself. If you don’t order a lot from Amazon, you probably don’t need to consider the credit card.
- Amazon has partnered with Chase, so you’ll use Chase’s online portal to manage just about everything: your payments, customer service, rewards, etc.
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Does the 5% cash back work with Zappos, Audible or Prime Now?
Unfortunately, no. The 5% cash back applies only to Amazon.com purchases. While markets like Audible, Zappos, Prime Now, Prime Music and others are technically Amazon-owned, they don’t run on Amazon.com. I was especially disappointed to find that my Prime Now purchases weren’t eligible, something Amazon should strongly consider.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card’s 5% cash back applies to:
- Annual and monthly Amazon Prime subscriptions and members of their Amazon Household — excluding Amazon Prime Video and invited guests of an Amazon Prime account.
- Amazon Prime Fresh.
- Amazon Family.
- Amazon Prime Student.
- Trial memberships of Amazon Prime.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card’s 5% cash back doesn’t apply to:
- Merchants outside Amazon.com using Amazon Pay.
- Purchases made at international Amazon retail sites — including Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr and Amazon.co.jp.
- Any other website operated by Amazon, at Amazon’s sole discretion.
Definitely keep these in mind when you calculate your expenses to see if the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is worth it for you.
What the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is worth
So here’s what I belatedly did to see if I made the right choice with the card. First, I exported my Amazon orders dating back to January 2016. I calculated my monthly expenses and organized them in a spreadsheet. Then I just ran a simple equation — 0.05 x 2016 expenses — to see how much I would have saved in 2016.
I share my Amazon account with my wife, and we spent $3,037 on Amazon Prime purchases in 2016, which means we would have saved $150 using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. Combined with the $70 bonus, that’s a savings of $220 the first year and $150 after that. That pays for my $119 Amazon Prime subscription — which is already saving me money with its own benefits — with savings to spare.
A note about Prime Now
If Amazon included Prime Now in its 5% cashback offerings, my spending in 2016 would have jumped from $3,037 to $4,953, and my savings would have jumped from $150 to $230 — a $300 savings the first year with the $70 welcome offer. Its failure to include Prime Now, and other Amazon marketplaces, prevents this good credit card deal from being a great one.
Why the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is worth it for me
- I have a joint account with my partner, which means more spending and more saving.
- I have good credit and could afford to open up a new credit card.
- I exported my orders dating back to 2013 and saw a healthy positive trend:
|Year||Amazon.com spending||Year over year growth||Savings|
All signs point to Amazon continuing to reward shoppers with broader merchandise, new media — music, movies and TV — and new technology like the Echo. I will likely keep kissing the ring of Amazon by spending more and saving more in the process.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card vs. Discover it® Cash Back
The Discover it® Cash Back is one of a few credit cards that participate in quarterly rotating category bonuses. Every three months, a new rotation of categories is revealed in which your cash back rate is boosted.
For instance, from October 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018, Discover it® Cash Back members earned 5% cash back Amazon.com and wholesale clubs. Amazon is also in the rotation in 2019 for the same quarter. However, there’s no guarantee it’ll be included beyond 2019, and Discover It caps the 5% cash back at $1,500. So even if you maxed out your Amazon spend for the quarter, you’d still earn only $75.
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||Discover it® Cash Back|
|Cash back||5% Cash Back||1% normally / 5% in rotating category|
|Savings||$150||$30.37 / $75 in rotating category|
Applying for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
- Go to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card page.
- If you’re a Prime Member, simply click Apply now; if you’re not, first sign up for Prime.
- Once you’re able to apply, complete your relevant financial information.
- You may be approved in minutes, or Amazon may need further time to process your application.
- If approved, double-check that the default card on your Amazon.com profile becomes your Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card.
Is the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card different from the Amazon Prime Store Card?
Yes, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is an all-purpose credit card you can use anywhere Visa is accepted. The Amazon Prime Store Card is limited to use on Amazon.com, has a higher APR, and offers features like 5% cash back and up to 24 months of interest-free financing if paid in full.
How to export Amazon Orders
To see how much you’ve spent on Amazon, log in to your Amazon account and create what’s called an Order History Report by following these steps:
- Go directly to the Order history report page.
- Select the report type.
- Select the date range.
- Name your report.
- Click Request report.
- It will process and then download a .csv file. Amazon will also email your file.
The bottom line
Amazon is tight-lipped about the number of Prime Members it has, but estimates say it was 95 million in June 2018. If you’re already a Prime member — and odds are increasing that you are — and if you can easily open up a new line of credit, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is a no-brainer.
If you aren’t a Prime member and you spend at least $2,400 a year at Amazon.com, you’ll recoup the $119 Prime membership price tag. And you get a nifty $70 welcome gift card to Amazon.com, plus all the perks that come with Prime membership. You can review how much you spend at Amazon by exporting your orders.
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