American Express Gold Card: Best For Purchase And Return Protection
While maximizing cash back or points earned on your purchase is important, there are sometimes other factors youll want to consider when making large purchases. Two credit card benefits that youll especially want to factor in are purchase protection and return protection.
Purchase protection protects eligible items you buy against damage or theft. With this protection, youll be covered against the cost of replacing or repairing the item. With the American Express Gold card, youll get purchase protection for 90 days from the date of purchase, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per card member account per calendar year.
This makes the Amex Gold a fantastic card to use on eligible Amazon purchases, especially the more expensive ones . Purchase protection is a common benefit among credit cards, but many other cards are capped at $500 to $1,000 per claim, which can be limiting for those more expensive items.
Another great credit card benefit is return protection, and truth be told, American Express is one of the best card issuers on this front. With return protection, if youre looking to return an eligible item that you bought on your Amex Gold within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant wont take it back, American Express will refund the full purchase price .
Alternate Pick: The Blue Business Plus Credit Card From American Express
If your annual spending is far below $120,000 but you still want strong rewards on your business expenses, look at a card like the The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. This card offers the following rewards: Earn 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2 points per dollar applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year. All other eligible purchases earn 1 point per dollar. Thats simpler to keep track of and theres no annual fee or associated membership requirement to apply. .
What Kind Of Credit Is Required For The Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Visa Card
Unlike the Amazon store card, which only requires fair credit, the Amazon Rewards Signature Visa cards both require a higher credit score because they are Visa credit cards.
Amazon.com offers both a store credit card that can only be used on Amazon.com orders and several co-branded Visa card options such as the that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted.
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Take Surveys Through Survey Websites
However, survey websites provide a way to make extra money in your spare time. Many popular survey websites also let users redeem their account balance for free Amazon gift cards.
Survey websites dont pay a high hourly rate. Disqualifications, running out of surveys, and offers randomly not crediting are also obstacles. However, in terms of earning free Amazon gift cards, survey sites are a viable option that doesnt require much effort or any upfront cost.
If you have some spare time and dont mind repetitive survey work, there are several legitimate survey websites that make it easy to earn free Amazon gift cards.
Many survey websites let users make money with features like download offers or cash-back rewards alongside paid surveys. Survey Junkie only offers surveys. Once you sign up for Survey Junkie and complete a welcome questionnaire, you can answer surveys for points whenever theyre available.
Survey Junkie only requires $5 worth of points to cash out, and U.S. members can redeem for a variety of free gift cards, including for Amazon. Canadian and Australian members can cash out through PayPal and then buy Amazon gift cards electronically.
How Does It Help My Credit
Synchrony, the issuing bank behind the card, will report your payment history to the three national credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. As a cardholder, you also have access to free credit score monitoring and credit advice.
The program puts credit in the hands of people in a responsible way while giving customers access to tangible benefits such as tools to improve credit, Angie Hu, a spokesperson for Synchrony told USA TODAY.
You could be upgraded to an unsecured card if you meet certain criteria and make payments on time for seven straight months, according to Amazon.
If you are somebody who keeps your balances low, pays your bills on time every time, then it is possible that you could graduate to a new card pretty quickly, Schulz said.
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Shop With Rakuten & Earn Free Gift Cards
Get a $10 signup bonus from Rakuten that you can trade in for gift cards!
Rakuten is another cashback/coupon shopping site. Unlike Ibotta, Rakuten works through online stores only.
But heres a pro-tip: the workaround is to shop online and pick up your items in the local store if you prefer visiting retailers like Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, or Kohls. I use this trick all the time to make sure Im maximizing rewards for every type of purchase I make.
What I like most about Rakuten is the handy browser extension that will alert you if the store youre shopping at has a cashback offer. It will also search for promo codes automatically and apply the best one that saves you the most on your shopping cart.
Rakuten and Amazon recently terminated their business relationship. While you cant trade in your Rukaten earnings for Amazon gift cards specifically anymore, you can get a check mailed to your address that you can cash into your bank account.
Sign up and get a $10 welcome bonus today. Also, you can earn an easy $20 reward for any friends that you refer, also.
And if you like Rakuten, give Honey a try, too. Honey searches the web and compares it to your online shopping cart which can help you save money elsewhere. The Honey browser extension works well with Amazon online shopping.
What Do Credit Card Companies Check When They Process Your Application
Card issuers vary in what they check when you apply for a credit card. In addition to what you provide, they will check your credit. Be prepared when applying, youll have to provide a plethora of basic information such as your name, phone, date of birth, address, and income, as well as some deeper-level details such as your liquid assets, Social Security number, mothers maiden name, citizenship status and more.
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Someone Interested In Transferring A Balance From Another Card
Say you have a sizeable balance on an older card. Rather than paying interest each month, you can transfer the debt to a balance transfer card and pay less interest or avoid it altogether.
Pro Tip: Plan to keep and use the card after the debt is paid off, because the available credit indirectly benefits your credit score.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Features:
- Annual fee: $0, although an annual $119 Amazon Prime subscription is required
- : Good to excellent
- Rewards: Earn 5% cashback on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases, 2% cashback at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, 1% cashback on all other qualifying purchases and a bonus of 10% to 25% on select Amazon merchandise
- Welcome offer: $100 Amazon gift card upon approval
- Purchase intro APR: 0% APR up to 18 months
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Standard APR: Variable APR of 14.24% to 22.24%
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Should You Get This Card
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is obviously best-suited for those who regularly spend money with Amazon.com and regularly shop at Whole Foods Market. If your porch is constantly littered with Amazon deliveries and the Whole Foods cashier knows you by name, you can easily gain enough value from the card to save on your regular spending and offset the cost of Amazon Prime membership. But if you dont shop Amazon.com or Whole Foods, you can find better rewards rates on your spending from other cards.
Who Should Apply For A Credit Card
Want to apply, but not sure if you should? A credit card can be a tool to unlock additional financial freedom, access to a convenient way to pay and a multitude of savings opportunities. If you have low credit and are hesitant, growing your credit score with a credit card can be one of the best ways to get established. Whether you have excellent credit or poor credit, there are bountiful reasons why a credit card can be a valuable addition to your wallet.
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Earn Amazon Cash & Reload Bonuses
Amazon rewards shoppers for their loyalty, and if you frequently shop at Amazon, there are ways to earn gift cards for your spending.
The first way to make the most out of your Amazon shopping is to become an Amazon Prime member and sign up for Prime Reload. This program pays Prime members an additional 2% bonus when they reload their Amazon gift card balance.
Using Prime Reload is simple. If you have a U.S. bank account and drivers license number, you just need to add that information and connect a debit card to Prime Reload. When you reload your Amazon gift card balance with your debit card with Prime Reload, you earn a 2% bonus on your gift card balance.
This is a simple way to earn additional credit on your Amazon gift card balance, and if youre already a Prime member, theres no downside to using this program.
Another way to earn free Amazon credits is to use for the first time. Amazon Cash lets people shop at Amazon without having to use a debit or credit card to shop.
To get started, visit a physical , use your phone number or Amazon app account barcode to verify your account, and transfer cash into your Amazon account balance. Users can only add between $5 and $500 at a time with Amazon Cash.
Amazon Cash is currently giving new members a $5 Amazon credit for adding $20 to their Amazon account balance through this program. Western Union, CVS, 7-Eleven, Allpoint, Rite Aid, and GameStop are some popular retailers that partner with Amazon Cash.
Amazon Credit Cards: Key Differences
Amazon store cards issued by Synchrony Bank share some key features with the Amazon Visa cards issued by Chase including exclusive Amazon financing offers and a chance at bonus rewards on Amazon purchases. But they are completely separate products geared toward very different consumers. Here are some of the most important differences to keep in mind.
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Who Should Apply For The Amazon Store Credit Builder Card
This card is suitable if you:
- Have a poor credit score or no credit history
- Prefer to purchase from Amazon
- Want access to regular Amazon cards
- Intend to borrow responsibly to build a good score and payment history
This card is not meant for you if you do not meet the criteria. You definitely need to be serious about building good credit habits and paying back on time.
This card has a high-interest rate so youll also have to make a deposit equal to the credit limit since this is a secured card.
This card is a stepping stone towards better Amazon rewards cards.
A Deposit Is Required
The cardholder must make an upfront deposit equal to the credit limit. You should, therefore, use this card to become eligible for better Amazon cards. Although similar, its benefits are scaled-down as compared to the unsecured store card.
These strict limits can work in your favor if you have a bad credit rating because you could develop more responsible borrowing habits. Also, timely payments can help you to make a positive impression on lenders.
You can prove your creditworthiness by using this card wisely, and lenders may increase your credit limit .
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Alternate Pick: Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card may be a solid alternative to the Amazon Business American Express Card*, offering a strong rewards rate on areas many businesses are likely to find appealing. Earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. It also comes with an annual fee of $95 but that may be balanced out by the flexibility of your earnings.
Rewards earned are Chase Ultimate Rewards points which can be redeemed for cash back at 1 cent per point or redeemed for 25% more value when used to book travel through the Chase Travel Center. You can also use your rewards to , but that yields a lesser value of around 0.8 cents per point.
Drawbacks Of The Amazon Card
While Amazon’s new card overall is a good option for consumers, the card still comes with a relatively high APR of 28.24%, Rossman said. The average median APR for retail cards is 25.64%, according to a CreditCards.com survey.
Store cards typically charge higher rates in large part because they’re easier to get, Rossman said.
Both analysts said consumers need to be especially wary of the special financing with deferred interest on purchases that Amazon promotes. If you don’t pay off the purchase before the promotional, no-interest period ends, you will owe back interest since the original purchase.
If you buy something and you don’t pay it off within that six months or 12 or 24 months, then you will likely get a bill for any interest that would have accrued on that account since the purchase date, Schulz said.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Frances Yue on Twitter
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Financing Options With The Amazon Store Credit Builder Card
The following finance options are available:
Special Financing Option
No interest is charged if you pay in full within the stipulated time frame. Depending on your purchase amount, this timeframe can be six, twelve, or 24 months.
Remember that this is deferred interest and not a 0% APR offer. If you fail to pay within the designated time frame, youll be charged the full interest accrued.
This financing option applies only to qualifying items. With this finance option, youll not be eligible for the 5% rewards rate.
Equal Pay Option
This option extends equal monthly installments, which must be paid back within a fixed timeframe. Depending upon your purchases, the time frame can be six, twelve, or 24 months. If you pay within the fixed timeframe, no interest will be charged.
This financing option applies only to qualifying items. Youll not be eligible for the 5% rewards rate with this finance option.
Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection And Concierge Service
The Visa Signature level of the Luxury Hotel Collection grants cardholders seven VIP Guest status amenities, including automatic room upgrades when available and other complimentary privileges.
When you need to save time planning your travel or even at home, the free Visa Signature Concierge Service is like a 24-hour personal assistant that can book reservations, tickets and more.
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Is The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Credit Card Good For Travel
You won’t earn bonus points for travel purchases, but the Amazon Prime Rewards card does come with Visa Signature travel perks. They include complimentary concierge services for help with travel, priority access and special rates at Luxury Hotel Collection properties, lost or delayed baggage coverage, no foreign transaction fees and travel/emergency assistance.
Citi Double Cash Card: Best For Cash Back
If you want to keep just one credit card in your purse or wallet to earn cash back on everything you buy including your Amazon.com purchases the Citi Double Cash Card is the way to go. Youll earn 2% cash back 1% when you buy, and another 1% when you pay your statement on all your purchases 365 days a year.
Thats a great return for a no-annual-fee card, and its simple you dont have to worry about bonus categories or figuring out complicated travel points. The cards simplicity and solid earning rate is why CNN Underscored chose the Citi Double Cash as its benchmark credit card, and why we use it to compare and contrast other credit cards we review.
Where the Citi Double Cash lags is in its shopping benefits. Unfortunately, the card no longer comes with damage and theft purchase protection, return protection or Citis previously well-known Price Rewind benefit.
So despite earning great cash back on your purchase with the Citi Double Cash, if youre buying something expensive, you might want to choose a card that has you covered in the event your item is broken or lost, or you potentially want to return it after the merchants return policy has ended.
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Is Amazon’s Card A Good Choice
Managing a secured card is traditionally a good low-risk way to build positive credit history for those with blemished or no credit, said Matt Schulz, chief industry analyst at CompareCards.
In the U.S., 53 million people have no credit history and another 79 million have subprime credit, according to data analytics company FICO.
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Secured cards are basically meant to be training wheels cards that people use when they’re just getting started in order to help them build credit, Schulz said.
Amazons new credit card also has some benefits that many secured cards dont provide, such as a $10 Amazon gift card as a signup bonus, he said. But the credit card can only be used for Amazon purchases, Schulz added.