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Amazon store cards vs. Amazon Visa credit cards

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What can’t you get at Amazon.com? Not much. For this reason, avid Amazon shoppers can spend a reasonable amount of their household budget buying many things from the online retailer.

If this describes your situation, you may be interested in one of the best credit cards for shopping on Amazon — whether to earn rewards on your spending or to take advantage of financing larger purchases (while accessing some extra card perks to boot). If you go this route, you’ve got two main options: a store-only credit card from Synchrony Bank or a traditional credit card from Chase.

Synchrony Bank offers the Amazon Store Card and its counterpart for Amazon Prime members, the Amazon Prime Store Card. Chase also has two versions for Prime and non-Prime members: the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card and the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card.

Although any of these cards can enhance your Amazon shopping experience, it’s good to know which card is best for your financial situation and Amazon shopping habits. Essentially, your card of choice will boil down to your credit score and whether or not you’re an Amazon Prime member.

Here’s a quick guide to the various Amazon credit card options to help you choose the best one for your lifestyle.

Amazon Prime Store Card vs. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card: At a glance

As mentioned, Synchrony and Chase offer different versions of their credit card based on your Prime membership status. The card application process will direct you to the card that matches your Prime status. In either case, being a Prime member is the best way to maximize your credit card rewards on Amazon purchases.

Even though you’ll earn 5 percent back on Amazon purchases with both the Prime Store Card and Prime Rewards Visa Signature, the two cards still have significant differences — including their sign-up bonuses, approval odds and cardholder benefits.

Amazon Prime Store Card Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Rewards rate 5% cash back on Amazon.com purchases
  • 5% cash back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases
  • 2% back on restaurant, gas station and drugstore purchases
  • 1% back on all other purchases
Sign-up bonus $60 Amazon.com gift card upon approval
  • $150 Amazon.com gift card upon approval
  • Prime members can get a $200 Amazon gift card upon approval (for a limited time from July 1, 2022 through July 29, 2022)
Annual fee $0 (but requires $139 Amazon Prime membership) $0 (but requires $139 Amazon Prime membership)
Card perks
  • Access to Amazon promotional financing offers
  • Zero fraud liability
  • Access to Amazon promotional financing offers
  • Extended warranty
  • Purchase protection
  • Roadside dispatch
  • Car rental insurance
  • No foreign transaction fees

Amazon credit cards: Key differences

Open vs. closed loop

A big difference between the Synchrony Amazon cards and the Chase Amazon cards is where you can use them. Synchrony’s Amazon cards are “closed loop” credit cards, meaning you can only use them at a specific store or family of brands. In this case, you can use Synchrony’s card only on Amazon.com and Audible.com purchases and with select Amazon Pay merchants. Chase’s Amazon cards, however, are “open-loop” cards, meaning you can use them anywhere Visa cards are accepted.

Approval odds

Another major difference between Synchrony and Chase Amazon cards is the approval requirements. Typically, you can qualify for Synchrony’s Amazon store cards with a fair credit score (580 to 669). On the other hand, you’ll likely need at least a good credit score (670 to 739) to qualify for one of the Amazon Visa cards from Chase.

Rewards

Both the Amazon Prime Store Card from Synchrony and the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card from Chase each offer 5 percent back on Amazon.com purchases. However, Chase’s Prime Rewards card offers 2 percent back on restaurant, gas station and drugstore purchases and 1 percent back on all other purchases.

The Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, for nonmembers, offers only 3 percent back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases but offers the same rewards as the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa in other categories: 2 percent back on restaurant, gas station and drugstore purchases and 1 percent back on all other purchases. Without a Prime membership, you don’t earn any rewards with your Amazon Store Card.

Also, your rewards with Synchrony’s Amazon Prime Store Card are not as flexible as the ones you earn with your Chase Amazon card. Amazon Prime Store Card rewards can only be used toward Amazon.com purchases. However, your Amazon Visa Card rewards can be redeemed in many ways — cash back via bank deposit or statement credits for Amazon purchases and travel.

Financing options

While both the Amazon store credit cards from Synchrony and Chase feature promotional financing offers for cardholders, the terms are slightly different.

Synchrony’s Amazon store cards offer longer financing periods on Equal Pay purchases. With the store cards, you can get six, 12 or 24 months to pay off your minimum purchase of $150, $600 and $800, respectively. The Chase Amazon Visa card offers six-, 12- and 18-month financing plans on minimum purchases of $150, $250 and $500, respectively.

Both cards let you choose between Equal Pay financing — which charges no interest if you make your equal monthly installment payments on time — and Special Financing — which uses a deferred interest model.

Note that the 25.99 percent variable APR on Synchrony’s Amazon store cards is fairly high compared to the average credit card interest rate and could come back to haunt you if you use the Special Financing option.

Which Amazon credit card is best for you?

Whether you get a store credit card or a Chase credit card, we recommend you get the Prime version if it makes sense to do so. (Below, we’ll go over how to use your rewards to cover the cost of Prime membership.)

If your credit isn’t good enough to get a Chase credit card, consider one of the Synchrony Amazon cards — preferably the Prime version so you can earn rewards. Of course, only apply for this card if you can justify the annual cost of Prime membership (perhaps with enough spending that your rewards end up covering it). Spending $2,780 or around $231 a month on Amazon.com purchases would be your break-even point.

If your credit is good enough for a Chase card, then it would make sense to get the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. You can use the same spending strategy to cover your Prime membership cost with rewards, but in this case, you’ll have more spending options to earn rewards on.

Whichever card you choose, just make sure you use it wisely — and don’t use your Amazon credit card to enable overspending with your Amazon.com account. Be sure to pay your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges and only purchase what you need.

*All information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card and Amazon Prime Secured Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuers.

Written by
Aja McClanahan
Personal Finance Writer
Aja McClanahan is an author, blogger and speaker on personal finance and entrepreneurship. Aja is the author of "How a Mother Should Talk About Money with Her Daughter."
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