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- You can earn more rewards when shopping on Amazon by using the right credit card
- Amazon offers several Prime and non-Prime co-branded credit cards, but there are also other credit cards available that can help you to maximize your rewards earnings
- When looking for a card for Amazon, be sure to choose a card that fits your spending style and offers the benefits you want, like a welcome bonus or no annual fee
Shopping online is an attractive option these days, and websites like Amazon.com make getting household supplies, gifts and groceries an absolute breeze. Pricing is more competitive on Amazon than what you would pay in many stores, and you’ll get free shipping on most purchases with an Amazon Prime membership.
Of course, you’ll do even better if you use a rewards credit card when you shop on Amazon. Paying with the right card could help you earn cash back or flexible rewards for each dollar you spend, without any extra effort on your part. This is especially true if you pick up an Amazon Prime credit card before one of Amazon’s Prime Day events. This year, Prime Day occurred on July 11 and July 12, but Amazon is having a second Prime event, called Prime Big Deal Days, on Oct. 10 and Oct. 11.
To make the most of your online shopping with Amazon — on Prime Day 2023, Prime Big Deal Days 2023 and beyond — it’s smart to compare some of the best cards available to help you maximize your purchases.
Prime Visa: Best overall option
- Welcome bonus: Earn a $100 Amazon gift card (or more) instantly upon approval (with an eligible Prime membership)
- Rewards rate: 5 percent back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 5 percent back on Chase Travel purchases; 2 percent back at restaurants, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting (including rideshares); 1 percent back on all other purchases
- Annual fee: $0 ($139 Amazon Prime membership required)
The Amazon Prime Visa is easily the best credit card for shopping on Amazon, and it offers bonus rewards in more categories than you may realize. As a welcome bonus, the card also offers a $100 Amazon gift card (or more) instantly upon approval (with an eligible Prime membership). You may also get access to extra savings — such as more cash back or exclusive deals — on Prime Day. This benefit alone could easily lead to hundreds of dollars in savings, depending on the deals you score.
The Prime Visa is certainly worth it if you do a lot of your shopping on Amazon and at Whole Foods since you’ll earn an unlimited 5 percent back for purchases at both. The additional 2 percent categories are simply icing on the cake and could be lucrative if you spend a lot on dining out, filling up the tank or taking rideshares.
While you’ll receive the best rate of return as an Amazon Prime member, this card is available in a non-member version, the Amazon Visa*. This card offers 3 percent back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases; 3 percent back on Chase Travel purchases; 2 percent back at restaurants, at gas stations and on local transit and commuting; and 1 percent back on all other purchases.
Amazon Prime Store Card: Best for fair credit
- Welcome bonus: $80 Amazon gift card upon approval
- Rewards rate: 5 percent back on all Amazon purchases
- Annual fee: $0 ($139 Amazon Prime subscription required)
The Amazon Prime Store Card* is available to eligible Amazon Prime members, and it can only be used for purchases on Amazon and Amazon-owned brands, like Audible and ComiXology. Although the Prime Store Card isn’t a traditional credit card that can be used anywhere, it can be uniquely helpful for individuals with fair credit who want a card they can use for Amazon purchases.
The 5 percent back on Amazon purchases is hard to beat, and this card also provides benefits like flexible financing options and a $80 Amazon gift card upon approval. You have to consider the limitations of this card before applying, though. Besides the fact that you can’t use this card everywhere you shop, the biggest downside is its lack of benefits. That’s why it’s best for someone who predominantly shops on Amazon.
Lastly, note that the Amazon Prime Store Card also comes in a non-member version, the Amazon Store Card*. This non-member card includes the same financing options and no annual fee, but it lacks the Prime benefits.
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card: Best for customized rewards
- Welcome bonus: $200 online cash rewards after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening
- Rewards rate: 3 percent cash back on choice category purchases; 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined 3 percent and 2 percent category purchases each quarter, then 1 percent back); 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
- Annual fee: $0
The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card is a solid option for Amazon purchases since you can earn 3 percent cash back on choice category purchases, and online shopping is one of the options. You’ll also earn 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1 percent cash back on other purchases. Just keep in mind that 3 percent and 2 percent categories are limited to $2,500 in combined purchases per quarter, after which you’ll earn 1 percent back.
This card also offers a generous welcome offer that can help you rack up cash back even faster — $200 online cash rewards after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening. There’s also no annual fee, and eligible members of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program can earn 25 percent to 75 percent more cash back for each dollar they spend.
The information about the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card was last updated on Oct. 6, 2023.
Discover it® Cash Back: Best rotating category option
- Welcome bonus: Automatic Cashback Match — all cash back earned during the first 12 months is matched
- Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on rotating categories each quarter (on up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1 percent back; activation required); 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
- Annual fee: $0
The Discover it® Cash Back is a dynamic cash back card that makes it easy to earn 5 percent cash back in categories that rotate each quarter (on up to $1,500 per quarter, then 1 percent back; activation required). If you check out the Discover cash back bonus calendar, you’ll see that Amazon purchases are typically included in at least one quarter each year — including in Q4 (October to December) 2023.
Potentially receiving 5 percent cash back on Amazon purchases during one quarter of the year might make this card a winner, but it’s even more exciting that Discover will match the cash back you earn during your first year. This card is also an attractive option due to its $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Plus, you can redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards or shopping on Amazon.
Chase Freedom Unlimited: Best for everyday spending
- Welcome bonus: $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
- Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025); 5 percent cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3 percent cash back on dining and drugstore purchases; 1.5 percent cash back on all other purchases
- Annual fee: $0
The Chase Freedom Unlimited®* is a great no-annual-fee cash back card for all your purchases, and this includes everything you buy on Amazon. You’ll earn a flat rate of 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, including Amazon purchases. You’ll also earn 5 percent cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025), 5 percent cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3 percent cash back on dining and drugstore purchases.
Plus, this card allows you to redeem your rewards via shopping with points on Amazon.com, as well as for travel, cash back, gift cards and merchandise.
Citi Double Cash Card: Best for flat-rate rewards
- Welcome bonus: None
- Rewards rate: Up to 2 percent cash back on all purchases — 1 percent when you make purchases and another 1 percent when you pay off purchases
- Annual fee: $0
If you want to earn flat-rate rewards for everything you buy online or in person, the Citi® Double Cash Card should be on your radar. As a 2 percent cash back card (1 percent when you make purchases and another 1 percent when you pay off purchases), the Citi Double Cash is ideal for both Amazon purchases and all your other bills. This up to 2 percent cash back rate is spectacular, and you’ll never have to worry about bonus categories or earning caps. This card also comes with no annual fee.
As far as redemption options go, you can redeem rewards for statement credits, a direct deposit, a check in the mail or Citi ThankYou points. If you redeem your rewards for points, you can use them for gift cards or to shop on Amazon (via Shop with Points).
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card: Best for businesses
- Welcome bonus: Earn a $125 Amazon.com gift card upon approval for the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card
- Rewards rate: 5 percent back (or 90-day terms) on select U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership (on up to $120,000 spent per calendar year, then 1 percent back); 2 percent back on U.S. purchases at restaurants, at gas stations and on wireless phone services purchased directly from service providers; and 1 percent back on other eligible purchases
- Annual fee: $0 (eligible Prime membership required)
If your business spends a lot of money on Amazon purchases each year, consider the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card*. This business card will help you earn a generous amount in rewards for all of your Amazon spending, and it doesn’t have an annual fee with an eligible Prime membership.
This card’s generous rewards rate for Amazon purchases is hard to beat, and you can even earn a sign-up bonus. Plus, this card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees either, and you can use your rewards to shop for more merchandise on Amazon.com.
How to maximize rewards when shopping on Amazon
Before you sign up for a card to use on Amazon, it helps to have a plan in place to earn more rewards over time. Consider these tips as you strive to earn more rewards on Amazon purchases:
- Choose a card that fits your spending style. First, make sure you choose a rewards credit card that lets you earn more rewards on Amazon purchases, as well as other places you shop. You can choose a card with bonus categories or a flat-rate rewards structure, but you should run the numbers on your normal spending to see which kind of card would leave you better off.
- Make sure you earn your sign-up bonus, if applicable. If the rewards credit card you pick offers a sign-up bonus, make sure to meet the minimum spending requirement during the bonus period. If you fail to reach the threshold in time, you’ll lose out on the welcome bonus.
- Add your new credit card to your Amazon account. Once you have a credit card for Amazon purchases, make sure to add it to your Amazon account and set it as your default payment method. This way, your card will be ready and waiting for you when you’re ready to shop for deals.
- Consider pairing more than one card. If you’re stuck between two cards and can’t figure out which one you want, don’t be afraid to pair rewards credit cards to get the bonus categories and cardholder benefits you want the most. You may want one card for Amazon and a different rewards card for all of your other spending, and that’s perfectly fine — as long as you can keep up with payments and avoid carrying a balance.
- If you’re an Amazon Prime member, look for exclusive deals. Amazon offers the best deals to Amazon Prime members and Amazon Prime cardholders, and this is even more true for Prime events like Prime Day and Prime Big Deal Days. For Prime Big Deal Days 2023, new deals may drop every five minutes — so be sure to check back frequently!
The bottom line
Shopping online is more convenient than ever, and Amazon can help you find the lowest prices and score free shipping in the process. However, you’ll do significantly better than that if you’re strategic about which credit card you use for online shopping. The best credit cards for Amazon let you earn rewards on spending and qualify for consumer protections, so compare your options until you find a card you’re excited to use.
*All information about the Amazon Visa, Amazon Prime Store Card, Amazon Store Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Amazon Business Prime American Express Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.