If you’re a Prime Member or spend at least $2,000 a year at Amazon.com, this card is 100% worth your time.
If you’re like me, Amazon is the warden of your online shopping habits.
I don’t just buy books there — I buy greeting cards, clothing, furniture, kitchenware, luggage and dog food. I stock my own fridge with Prime Now groceries. New hobbies like calligraphy and rock climbing have been entirely sourced by that Sleepless in Seattle company.
|Product Name||Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card|
|APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases||15.99% to 23.99% variable|
|Balance Transfer Fee||5% or $5 of the transaction, whichever is greater|
|Cash Advance Rate||26.74% variable|
|Cash Advance Fee||$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||None|
|Interest Free Period||Up to 21 days|
|Late Payment Fee||$37|
|Returned Payment Fee||$37|
|Additional Cardholder Fee||$0|
|Minimum Age||18 years of age|
|Reward Value per Dollar||1 points|
|Rewards Points Expiry||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 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 $2,000 a year on Amazon.com, you’ll cover the $99 Prime price tag and get the perks of a Prime membership — free two-day shipping, Prime Video and Prime Music — to boot.
If you’ve got a little more time to spend, here’s everything you need to know about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, from the basic card details, to the competition, to reviews around the web, to the application process, to seeing how much you’ve spent on Amazon by exporting your orders to do your own cost analysis.
Alexa, play “Ride of the Valkyries.”
Your Amazon Prime Credit Card Guide
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 — like the instant $70 signup bonus.
- Uncapped 5% back on all Amazon.com purchases (for Prime members).
- $70 Amazon gift card instantly on approval.
- 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1% on all other purchases.
- Rewards never expire and are redeemable on a near infinite array of Amazon.com products.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- No annual fee.
- 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 nearly 25,000 reviews with an average rating of 4.3 out of 5.
A few things worth noting
- Of course, the “no annual credit card fee” assumes you’re already an Amazon Prime member — a $99 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.
- “Cash back” isn’t exactly cash back until you hit 2,000 points. You can redeem your points anytime for eligible purchases at Amazon.com or wait until you hit at least 2,000 points to redeem for cash, which can be electronically deposited into your checking or savings account.
- Amazon has partnered with Chase, so you’ll use Chase’s online portal to manage just about everything: your payments, customer service, rewards, etc.
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 peeved to find that my Prime Now purchases weren’t eligible, something Amazon should strongly consider.
I reached out to Chase customer service to confirm.
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’s5% cash back does not apply to:
- Merchants using Pay with Amazon
- 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, in Amazon’s sole discretion
Definitely keep this in mind when you calculate your expenses to see if the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is worth it for you. Speaking of which …
Finding the worth in the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
So here’s what I did belatedly to see if I made the right choice with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. First, I exported my Amazon orders dating back to January 2016. Here’s how to export Amazon orders, if you aren’t familiar. 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.
Amazon Prime members spend on average $1,100 per year. I share my Amazon account with my wife, and we nearly tripled that number in 2016. We spent $3,037, 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 $99 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% cash back 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 signup bonus. Their 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 spend||YoY Growth||Savings|
All signs point to Amazon continuing to reward shoppers with broader merchandise, new media (music, movies and TV) and new technology (Echo). In 2017 and beyond, I will keep kissing the ring of my master by spending more and saving more in the process.
As of this writing, there are 25,175 reviews of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card on Amazon.com. And they are predominantly positive: The card stands at a solid 4.3 out of 5 stars. Amazon reviewers are by their nature more frequent Amazon users, so the sampling is self-selected.
Though you can be sure to trust reviews on Amazon — even on an Amazon-owned product — over the dubious star ratings presented by credit card companies like Bank of America or Chase. Below are some critical examples of a five-star (69% of reviews), three-star (6%), and one-star review (9%).
|Review site||Rating||User||Notable quotable|
|5/5||George OJ||“I like getting 5% back for amazon purchases, 2% at drugstores and for gas, and 1% for everything else. Comes with extra perks such as extended warranties and travel insurance (luggage, D&D, etc.). Easy to redeem points at amazon by adding them at checkout. Comes with a great iPhone app (Chase Bank) that lets you customize notifications to a minute detail – it can use email or push notifications (for example when any charge is over the limit you set, or for any purchase at gas stations, or for an international purchase, or 3 days before the payment is due, etc. – very flexible). Notifications are immediate. Works seamlessly with Apple pay. I like the heavy black-metal matte finish too. Very satisfied.”|
|3/5||Elaine Wingren||“Card is okay. I find the Chase site difficult to navigate. I don’t like that I have to earn 2,000 points or ($20) before I can credit my account. You can use the credit to shop but it only encourages you to charge more on the card. My bank cash plus lets me credit whatever I earned each month.”|
|1/5||Sherwood Rudin||“When I read the advertising pitch for this card, I was led to believe that the benefits accrued would be in the form of CASH REBATES, not simply “points” that could be exchanged for merchandise. Feels like a cheap bait and switch operation to me.”|
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 April 1, 2017, to June 30, 2017, Discover it® Cash Back members earned 5% cash back at home improvement stores and wholesale clubs. Amazon has been in rotation in the past, and it looks like they’ll be included in the October–December 2017 category as well. However, inclusion isn’t predictable, 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 instantly approved, 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 like5% cash back and a $40 signup bonus – opposed to the Prime Visa card’s $70 bonus.
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.
- Directly go 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.
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The bottom line
Amazon is tight-lipped about the number of Prime Members it has, but estimates run between 65 million and 80 million. If you’re already a Prime member — and odds are increasingly 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 $2,000 a year at Amazon.com, you not only recoup the $99 Prime member price tag, but you also get a nifty $70 signup gift card to Amazon.com and all the perks that come with Prime membership. You can review how much you spend at Amazon by exporting your orders.