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: 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners up to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, then 1 point per dollar on all other purchases Thats simpler to keep track of and theres no annual fee or associated membership requirement to apply. .
How Many Amazon Credit Cards Are There
The family of Amazon credit cards can get a little confusing, and not everyone’s online experience will look the same. There are two different cards, each with its own version for Prime members and non-Prime members.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is the matriarch of the family, with the best benefits available to those taking full advantage of Amazon Prime already.
If you don’t have a Prime account and don’t want one, you can apply for the Amazon Rewards VisaCard*. You’ll get a smaller welcome bonus and only 3% cash back at Whole Foods and Amazon, but the other major specs of this card are the same. Plus, there’s no annual fee.
The Amazon Prime StoreCard* is a good option if you’re a Prime member and want longer interest-free financing on larger purchases made at Amazon. However, it can only be used within the Amazon ecosystem. You’ll earn a small welcome bonus in the form of a $60 Amazon gift card upon approval and can finance a purchase for up to 24 months . If you don’t choose to use the financing, you’ll earn 5% cash back on Amazon purchases.
The non-Prime equivalent is the Amazon.com StoreCard*. It maintains the same specs as the Prime version, except you don’t have the option to earn cash back on Amazon purchases, even if you don’t use the financing option.
Earning And Redeeming Points
As mentioned above, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card lets users earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1% back on all other purchases..
You’ll earn rewards in the form of points, which can then be applied to future Amazon purchases through the Shop with Points Program. Or, you can redeem your points for cash back, gift cards or travel through Chase.
Each point is worth 1 cent each, so 100 points equal $1 in rewards. So long as you’re a cardholder, your rewards won’t expire, and there’s no limit to how many points you can earn.
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Is The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card Worth It
For existing Prime customers, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card could help you save big. Although there’s $0 annual fee, think of the $119 Prime membership cost as part of the requirement to open this card. Still, only frequent Amazon or Whole Foods shoppers should consider this card above other options, as other cashback cards can help you earn bonus rewards on a wider variety of purchases.
Business Lines Of Credit
Rather than choosing Amazon’s credit lines, you could instead choose a credit line from a different financial institution. First, other lines of credit give you the option of spending your money however you’d like, while Amazon’s lines of credit only allow you to spend your money at Amazon. Another benefit of outside lines of credit is that you can often have a longer period to pay them back, while Amazon’s credit lines must be paid back on a term of anywhere from 30-60 days.
For example, BlueVine offers business lines of credit for amounts of anywhere from $5,000 to $250,000. You can pay back your balance with weekly or monthly payments over a period of 6-12 months. And unlike Amazon, there are no restrictions for where you can spend the money.
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Consider Pairing More Cards
If you have a card that caps the amount of elevated rewards you can earn at Amazon after a certain spending amount or that only allows you to snag big rewards in a bonus quarter, consider pairing it with another card that offers solid rewards on all purchases.
For example, say you own the Discover it® Cash Back card and Amazon is one of the bonus categories that quarter, earning you 5% cash back up to the quarterly maximum of $1,500 on spending when you activate. After you hit that $1,500 cap, any other spending at Amazon will only earn you 1% cash back. But, if you use a card like the Citi Double Cash which earns a 2% cash back on all purchases1% when purchases are made and another 1% when theyre paid off, you could beat what youd earn if you just paid with the Discover it® Cash Back card depending on how much you spend.
No Annual Fee Sort Of
Technically, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card doesnt have an annual fee, which is a good thing for cardholders who want to save money. But theres a catch: You must be an Amazon Prime member to apply for the card, and that costs $119 per year for a nonstudent membership.
Of course, that $119 goes toward more than just maintaining your card each year. Amazon Prime benefits include free shipping, Prime Video and additional savings at Whole Foods Market, along with a long list of other perks.
If youre already an Amazon Prime member, then the cost isnt a concern. But if youre considering signing up just so that you can apply for the card, think about the cost carefully youd have to spend more than $2,380 at Amazon.com or Whole Foods each year to offset the $119 annual Prime membership fee. A different cash back card with a lower annual fee might make more sense .
Cardholders who cancel their Amazon Prime membership can keep the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, but they earn 3% back, instead of 5%, on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases.
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What Is Amazon Financing
Amazon financing encompasses a range of credit product and service offerings by Amazon.com to help consumer and small business customers to pay for purchases over time. Terms and conditions vary depending on creditworthiness and the structure of loans involve both installment and open-ended credit arrangements.
How Does Apr Work
Generally, credit card companies offer a grace period for new purchases. If you only make purchases and pay off your ending balance each month by the due date, you pay just the amount you owe with no interest. However, if you carry a balance on your card, the agreed-upon interest is added on to your outstanding balance at the end of each billing period.
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Amazon Prime Required To Receive Best Rewards
While the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature® Card doesnt have an annual fee for cardholders, it does require them to have an active subscription to Amazon Prime to receive the best reward-earning rate. Membership with Prime does have its benefits, including free shipping, special members-only discounts, and access to millions of films, television shows, and more. However, this is still an additional cost that those considering applying for this card must consider a charge that equates to over $100 per year.
An annual fee of over $100 may seem off-putting, especially as most store cards feature no annual fee, but as it is for Amazon Prime and not the card per se, cardholders get significant value for money with that fee. Prime members receive free two-day shipping on eligible orders, access to Prime Video and Prime Music streaming services, and much more as part of their membership.
Amazon Prime Credit Card Benefits
As with other Visa Signature® offerings, the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card provides both shopping and travel protections for cardholders. These security features include reimbursement for lost luggage, car rental damage waivers, and roadside assistance.
Holders also receive purchase and extended warranty protection meaning you never have to worry about reaching into your pocket for a defective product. Cardholders are eligible for Visas Signature® concierge service, which offers exclusive access to bookings at Visas Signature® Luxury Hotel Collection not a bad perk for those who travel often. Theyll also enjoy Visa Zero Fraud Liability and Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver when renting a car.
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Earn 2% Cash Back At Amazon And Everywhere Else: Citi Double Cash Card
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express is a solid choice for Amazon purchases. The card earns 1 American Express Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on non-bonus category spending, which includes Amazon. So why use it if you’re just earning 1 point?
Read more: Amex EveryDay Preferred review
One reason is that Amex Offers often runs . All you have to do is check the currently available Amex Offers** via a tab under your account. If you’re eligible, just register and make purchases with your card to earn those extra points.
Additionally, Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card cardholders earn 50% bonus points every billing period when they charge 30 or more purchases to the card. So if you charge at least one purchase per day on the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, you’ll essentially earn at least 1.5 points per dollar spent.
If You Count Yourself As A Loyal Amazon Customer You Might Be Able To Earn A Nice Chunk Of Your Spending Back Or Even Finance Your Purchases With One Of The Amazon Credit Cards
There are four to choose from, so how do you pick which one is right for you? Here are a few questions to ask.
- What type of Amazon shopper are you ?
- Do you want the option to finance a large Amazon purchase or not? Well guide you through your four choices in this Amazon credit card review so that you can make the best decision for yourself.
- Are you a frequent Whole Foods shopper? As of October 2020, eligible Prime members will earn 5% back on Whole Foods Market purchases when using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. Cardholders who arent eligible Prime members will now earn 3% back on Whole Foods Market purchases when using the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card.
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Heads Up: What To Consider When Applying For An Amazon Credit Card
Although all four cards are credit cards, its important to know that two of these cards dont function like traditional credit cards specifically, the Amazon.com Store Card and the Amazon Prime Store Card.
Most credit cards including the Visa Signature cards will let you charge a purchase anywhere that particular card is accepted. But the Amazon.com Store Card and Amazon Prime Store Card can only be used to make purchases at Amazon and nowhere else.
With these two cards, you can select from three levels of interest-free financing: six months for purchases of $150 or more, 12 months for purchases of $600 or more, and 24 months for certain purchases of $800 or more.
John Ganotis, credit card expert and founder of Credit Card Insider, gives a warning to unwary consumers who take advantage of the special financing offers. He says to watch out for deferred interest financing offers. Theyre not the same as 0% introductory APRs on most credit cards.
While youre paying off these financed charges, the bank will be adding up all the interest charges. If you pay off your balance in full before the financing period ends, you dont have to pay any interest.
But if you dont pay off the full balance in time, youll be charged retroactively for all of that accrued interest. So make sure youre able to pay off the balance in time before signing up for the interest-free financing.
Citi Custom Cash Card
With the Citi Custom Cash Card, the headline cash-back rate is 5% , and it automatically applies to your highest eligible spending category. If the 5% back at Whole Foods is the most appealing part of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, this card can give you 5% back at grocery stores beyond just Whole Foods. This includes supermarkets, meat or seafood stores, dairy stores, bakeries and miscellaneous convenience stores.
Spending categories also include restaurants, gas stations, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment. You’ll get a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months , so you don’t have to choose between cash back and interest-free financing. Additionally, you can earn a $200 welcome bonus by spending $750 on the card within the first three months of account opening .
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Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
This card is accepted anywhere that takes Visa, but is available to current Amazon Prime members only. If youre willing to pay the $119 annual Prime membership cost, youll earn more rewards upfront and on an ongoing basis.
Like the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, it earns 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1% back on all other purchases. But it also earns a stellar 5% back on all Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. If you spend $10,000 per year at Amazon and Whole Foods combined, you would earn $500 in rewards from those purchases.
New cardholders will receive a $70 Amazon gift card upon approval. Plus, theyll be eligible for up to 20% back on rotating Amazon categories and products.
Not a Prime Member? The Amazon Business American Express Card is for you. You can choose to earn 3% back in rewards on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon and Whole Foods, up to $120,000 annually . Or, you can forgo the 3% rewards in favor of 60-day financing on Amazon purchases. Purchases that you choose to finance don’t count toward the $120,000 cap. Terms apply.
The card earns bonus rewards in other useful categories. It has a $0 annual fee and comes with an Amazon gift card as a new welcome bonus upon approval, currently $100. Terms apply.
Amazoncom And Amazon Prime Store Cards
If you don’t want or don’t qualify for either of the Amazon Rewards Signature Visa cards, the Amazon.com or Prime store cards may be a viable option for saving money on your Amazon purchases. Amazon store cards are not accepted at Whole Foods markets, unlike the Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Visa and the Amazon Rewards Signature Visa.
When you are approved for an Amazon.com store card, you receive a $60 gift card from Amazon.com, a bit less than the $100 gift card you receive for opening an Amazon Prime Visa card. The Amazon store card’s reward program is not as robust as its Visa Rewards Signature Visa card, but it does offer introductory financing opportunities for new cardholders.
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Amazon Prime Rewards Card Credit Score
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is intended for consumers who have fair or good credit. A FICO® Score of 640 or higher is recommended, although there have been reports of applicants with lower scores getting approved. Don’t forget that you need an Amazon Prime membership to apply. Given that Chase issues this credit card, you’ll also want to keep Chase’s 5/24 rule in mind, as you could be declined for opening too many credit cards.
Which Amazon Credit Card Is Best For Me
The answer largely depends on whether youre a Prime member or have a small business, especially since none of these cards carries an annual fee itself.
If you’re already a Prime member , then the pound-for-pound best option is the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. It earns rich rewards both with the retailer and in several other everyday spending categories rich enough that you could make up the cost of your annual $119 Prime membership fee fairly easily. That’s a big reason it’s one of NerdWallet’s best credit cards of 2021.
If you’re only a casual Amazon shopper, you might do better with the non-Prime Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card. But you’d probably also do just as well with a general flat-rate credit card like the Citi® Double Cash Card 18 month BT offer, which earns simpler and more flexible rewards on everything you buy.
If you do own a business and Amazon is your go-to shop, you’ll have to do the math to see whether your expenses with Amazon can offset the cost of a Prime membership. If so, then the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card makes the most sense.
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How Amazon Financing Works
Marcus Reeves is a writer, publisher, and journalist whose business and pop culture writings have appeared in several prominent publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He is an adjunct instructor of writing at New York University.
Amazon has a unique positioning for offering credit. It has 150 million Prime subscribers, millions of users trafficking its platform, and over 2.5 million sellers. Like other retailers, this creates a huge opportunity to offer its customers credit products and financing options. Moreover, its platform for sellers also creates an opportunity to offer business credit.
Amazons foray into financial services has always been about building opportunities for spending within the Amazon ecosystem. The company has historically been active in several fintech areas, particularly online payments. Then in 2011, it launched small business lending, and from there started to roll out different credit card products for both its small business and consumer users.
Read more about how Amazon’s financing options work and what they have to offer.