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 than what you would pay in a store, 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. To make the most of your online shopping with Amazon, it’s smart to compare some of the best cards available to help you maximize your purchases. Let’s take a look at some below.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card: Best overall

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is easily one of the best credit card options for shopping on Amazon, and it offers bonus points in more categories than many people realize. To boot, the card is offering a $100 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval.

  • Credit needed: Good to excellent
  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; 1 percent back on everything else
  • Welcome bonus: $100 Amazon gift card upon approval
  • Annual fee: $0 ($139 Amazon Prime subscription required)

Our take: The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card 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 eating out or filling up the tank. We wish this card had a better welcome bonus, but a free gift card is certainly better than nothing.

You can also get extra savings on Prime Day with this card, such as more cash back or exclusive deals. This benefit alone could easily lead to hundreds of dollars in savings depending on the deals you score.

Note that, 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 Rewards Visa Signature Card*. This card earns 3 percent back on Amazon.com and at Whole Foods, 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1 percent back on all other purchases.

Amazon Prime Store Card: Best for fair credit

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. This card is a smart option if you have fair credit, want to significant rewards on Amazon purchases and could take advantage of flexible financing options for Amazon purchases (as the card allows you to buy now and pay over time). Plus, you can receive a $60 Amazon gift card upon approval.

  • Credit needed: Fair
  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on all Amazon purchases
  • Welcome bonus: $60 Amazon gift card upon approval
  • Annual fee: $0 ($139 Amazon Prime subscription required)

Our take: The Amazon Prime Store Card isn’t a traditional credit card that can be used anywhere, but it can be uniquely helpful for individuals with fair credit who want a card they can use on Amazon purchases. The 5 percent cash back rate is hard to beat, and the 0 percent financing option for up to 24 months can be a boon for your finances (28.24 percent variable APR after). Note, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature also offers interest-free financing.

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 of this card 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.

Citi Custom Cash Card: Best for flexible earning and Amazon perks

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is unique in that it automatically rewards you 5 percent cash back on your highest spending category each billing cycle (on up to $500, then 1 percent). Really, only one of the ten 5 percent categories — select streaming services — can help you earn on Amazon-related purchases (for purchases with Prime Video or Amazon Music, for example). But where it shines in terms of Amazon perks is its Shop with Points feature and financing options.

  • Credit needed: Good to excellent
  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back (on up to $500 each billing cycle, then 1 percent) on your top spending category each billing cycle
  • Welcome bonus: 20,000 ThankYou points (worth $200 in cash back) after spending $1,500 on purchases in your first six months
  • Annual fee: $0

Our take: The Citi Custom Card offers solid, stress-free cash back, and it’s also part of a lineup of Citi cards offering special financing terms for Amazon purchases. The payment plan you’re offered depends on how much you spend, and all plans come with a fixed promotional APR (0 percent to 8.99 percent, depending on the plan).

Further, rewards are earned as basic Citi ThankYou points and can be redeemed for eligible purchases on Amazon via Shop with Points, which can make the card even more attractive for your Amazon shopping.

Discover it Cash Back: Best rotating category option

The Discover it® Cash Back is a dynamic cash back card that makes it easy to earn 5 percent back on up to $1,500 spent in categories that rotate each quarter, after which you’ll earn 1 percent back (activation required).  If you check out the Discover cash back bonus calendar, you’ll find that, in the fourth quarter (October through December), Amazon has been one of the bonus category options for the last few years. In 2022, you can still earn 5 percent back on Amazon purchases during the fourth quarter, in addition to 5 percent back on digital wallets.

  • Credit needed: Good to excellent
  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back after activation on rotating categories each quarter (up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1 percent); 1 percent on all other purchases
  • Welcome bonus: Discover automatically matches the cash back you earn in the first year
  • Annual fee: $0

Our take: Receiving 5 percent back on Amazon purchases over the holiday season 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. If you spend $1,500 on Amazon purchases over the holidays this year, you’ll earn $75 in cash back. And if you’re a new cardholder, your cash back will be matched, so you’ll earn $150 in cash back for that quarter. Note that you can redeem points earned with this card for cash back or purchases made on Amazon.

Chase Freedom Unlimited: Best for everyday spending

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a solid card choice for all your purchases, and this includes everything you buy on Amazon. You’ll earn a flat rate of at least 1.5 percent back (including Amazon purchases), plus rewards on dining, drugstore purchases and travel booked through Chase.

Also, the current welcome offer available through Bankrate allows you to earn an extra 1.5 percent back on top of all purchases’ existing cash back rates (on up to $20,000 in purchases) for the first year, meaning you could earn 3 percent to 6.5 percent back depending on the category. For Amazon, that means you’ll earn 3 percent back on all purchases during your first year.

  • Credit needed: Good to excellent
  • Rewards rate: Earn 1.5 percent back on all purchases (including Amazon); 3 percent back on drugstore purchases and dining; 5 percent back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 5 percent back on Lyft purchases (through March 2025)
  • Welcome bonus: Get an additional 1.5 percent cash back on top of all purchases’ original cash back rate (on up to $20,000) for the first year (exclusive offer through Bankrate)
  • Annual fee: $0

Our take: The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great no-annual-fee cash back card regardless of which categories you spend the most in. But it can be fruitful if you plan to spend a lot on Amazon — particularly if you take advantage of Bankrate’s welcome offer for the card, which allows you to earn 3 percent back on all purchases, including Amazon purchases, for the first year.

This card allows you to redeem your rewards in many different ways, such as for travel, cash back, gift cards, merchandise and Amazon purchases (via Shop with Points).

Citi Double Cash Card: Best for flat-rate rewards

Finally, don’t forget about the Citi® Double Cash Card. As a 2 percent cash back card, the Double Cash is ideal for Amazon purchases (and really all of your shopping) due to its flat rewards rate.

  • Credit needed: Good to excellent
  • Rewards rate: Up to 2 percent cash back on everything you buy — 1 percent when you make a purchase and another 1 percent when you pay it off
  • Welcome bonus: None
  • Annual fee: $0

Our take: The 2 percent rewards rate is spectacular, and you’ll never have to worry about bonus categories or earning caps. As far as redemption goes, you can redeem rewards for statement credits, a direct deposit, check or Citi ThankYou points. If you redeem your rewards for points, you can use your points to shop on Amazon (via Shop with Points).

How to maximize rewards earned by 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. This is good advice all year long, but especially as holiday season rolls around.

Maximize rewards on Prime Day or during the Prime Early Access Sale

First off, you should do your best to make the most of Amazon’s second Prime Day — the Prime Early Access Sale — on October 11 and 12. This sale can help you score deep discounts on electronics and other eligible items, and the more you buy, the more you can potentially save.

To maximize rewards during the Early Access Sale, you’ll need to start by picking the right credit card for all of your Amazon purchases. Here are our tips:

  • 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 threshold during the bonus period. If you fail to reach the threshold on time, you’ll lose out on the bonus points.
  • 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 shopping 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.

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.

The information about the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card and Amazon Prime Store Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.