Best credit cards for shopping on Amazon.com

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Shopping online is an attractive option these days. Websites like Amazon.com make getting household supplies, gifts and even groceries delivered to your door an absolute breeze. Pricing is extremely competitive to what you would pay in a store, and you can even get free shipping on some 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.com. With a cash back credit card, travel card or co-branded Amazon.com credit card, you can earn points or miles for each dollar you spend and qualify for consumer protections in the process.

If you want to make the most of your online spending with Amazon.com, then it’s smart to compare all the top cards that can help you maximize your purchases; Bankrate’s guide to the best credit cards for Amazon.com can help.

Best credit cards to use on Amazon.com

Bankrate completed a comprehensive study on the best credit cards for Amazon.com this year. Here are the cards we can recommend:

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card*
Amazon.com Prime Store Card*
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Discover it® Cash Back
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Citi® Double Cash Card

How we chose the best cards for Amazon shopping

While it can pay off to use any rewards or travel credit card for Amazon purchases, some offer more points or better consumer protections than their competitors. While we placed an enormous emphasis on rewards rates for the purpose of this ranking, we also looked for cards with no annual fee.

Scoring matrix

Factors Bankrate considered:

  • Ongoing rewards: We looked at the ongoing rewards rate each card offered on Amazon.com purchases, as well as any opportunities for bonus earnings. Cards that made our ranking offer an exceptional rewards value for consumers.
  • Sign-up bonus: We placed a high value on sign-up bonuses offered, especially ones that come with a low minimum spending requirement. Not all cards that made our ranking come with a bonus offer, but we gave preference to ones that do.
  • Special financing offers: While we didn’t focus too much on interest rates, we did note cards that offer introductory 0 percent financing offers. With 0 percent APR on purchases, you can save money on interest as you pay for large Amazon.com purchases over time.
  • Annual fee: Since paying an annual fee on a credit card reduces your rewards haul, we gave preference to cards that don’t charge one.
  • Redemption options: We selected cards that let you redeem your rewards in more than one way (such as the option to redeem for gift cards, travel or cash back). We also gave preference to cards that let you redeem points for purchases made on Amazon.com.

Editor’s picks: Best Credit Cards for Amazon in 2021

Let’s take a look at the cards with the best rewards for shopping on Amazon.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is easily one of the best options for Amazon, yet this card offers bonus points in more categories than many people realize. While you’ll receive the best rate of return if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can apply for a modified version of this card even if you’re not.

Also, note that this card comes with an upfront bonus; while this changes periodically, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is currently offering a $150 Amazon.com gift card instantly upon card approval.

  • Best for: Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, gas, dining and drugstores
  • Credit needed: Good/Excellent
  • Rewards rate: Prime members earn 5 percent back at Whole Foods and Amazon.com, 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores and 1 percent back on all other purchases; nonmembers earn 3 percent back at Whole Foods and Amazon.com, 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and 1 percent back on all other purchases.
  • Annual fee: $0 (with an eligible Prime membership)

Editor’s take: This card is hard to beat if you shop at Amazon.com and Whole Foods since you’ll earn an unlimited 5 percent back at both. The additional 2 percent categories are simply icing on the cake but could be lucrative if you spend a lot at restaurants and gas stations. We do wish this card had a better welcome bonus, but a free gift card is certainly better than nothing.

Also, be aware that this card offers some consumer benefits that could be useful if you shop online. For example, you’ll get purchase protection against damage or theft when you pay with your card, and you can also qualify for extended warranties on eligible items.

Finally, there are some extra savings you can get on Prime Day with this card. Instead of the normal 5 percent back, you’ll get 6 percent back on purchases at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market. You’ll also get 10  percent back on select Prime Day products. This benefit alone could easily lead to hundreds of dollars in savings depending on the deals you score.

Amazon.com Prime Store Card

The Amazon Prime Store Card can only be used for Amazon.com purchases and only if you’re an eligible Prime member. This card is a smart option if you already have a credit card you use elsewhere and need special financing options. On special Amazon-sold items, this card offers 0 percent financing and equal payments for up to 24 months (25.99 percent variable APR after). Plus, you can receive a $60 Amazon.com gift card upon approval.

  • Best for: Amazon.com purchases and 0 percent financing on Amazon.com purchases for up to 24 months (25.99 percent variable APR after)
  • Credit needed: Good/Excellent
  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on all Amazon.com purchases.
  • Annual fee: $0

Editor’s 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 who only want a card they can use on the online store. The 5 percent cash back rate is hard to beat and getting 0 percent financing for up to 24 months can be a boon for your finances (25.99 percent variable APR after).

The Amazon Prime Store Card is also offering some special Prime Day deals. Cardholders can earn 6% back on Amazon.com purchases during Prime Day and 5% back year-round. Plus, Amazon Prime Store cardholders can access exclusive offers on select items.

Although there’s a decent sign-up bonus and Prime Day discounts, you have to consider the limitations of this card, in earnest, before applying. In addition to the fact you can’t use this card everywhere you shop, the biggest downside of this card is its lack of benefits. It’s probably best for the person who just does a ton of shopping on Amazon.com.

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express earns cash back with a tiered category structure. This means that cardholders earn cash back in several bonus categories at different rates. Plus, there’s a perk for frequent Amazon shoppers: Earn up to $250 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases (including $750 of Amazon.com purchases at 20 percent cash back for up to $150 cash back) on your new card within the first six months of card membership.

  • Best for: Earning cash back on common family expenses
  • Credit needed: Good/Excellent
  • Rewards rate: 3 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1 percent); 2 percent cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores; 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
  • Annual fee: None

Editor’s take: The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card allows you to earn cash back on some of your most common family expenses like supermarket spending, gas stations and department stores. If you supplement your family shopping with Amazon purchases, this card could help you save money with this retailer, too. Amex Offers can also feature Amazon-centered promotions from time to time.

If you want to earn even more back on the same categories, you can check out the premium version of this card, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which offers 6 percent cash back on groceries, 6 percent back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3 percent cash back on transit; 3 percent back on U.S. gas station purchases; 1 percent back on all other purchases, plus the same 20 percent cash back on Amazon purchases, but up to $200.

Finally, Amex is an issuer that allows you to redeem your points for Amazon.com purchases. Although your points don’t retain as much value as booking travel or other redemption options, it’s still something to consider.

Citi Custom Cash Card

The Citi Custom Cash card makes the list for a few reasons. The newly launched card is part of a lineup of Citi cards offering special terms for Amazon Prime Day: pay over time at 0 percent APR up to 12 months on eligible purchases with your eligible Citi card.

  • Best for: 5 percent cash back on your biggest spending category
  • Credit needed: Good/Excellent
  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on your top spending category each billing cycle (on up to $500 each billing cycle, then 1 percent)
  • Annual fee: $0

Editor’s take: The Citi Custom Card card is a contender among cash back cards that offer higher rates for select categories. The main difference with this card is that your biggest spending category determines what you’ll get the 5 percent cash back on. Rewards are earned as 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.

It also helps that this card offers reasonable terms for a cash back card with no annual fee: Zero percent for 15 months on balance transfers. The ongoing variable APR of 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent is on the lower end of average credit card interest rates.

Discover it Cash Back

The Discover it Cash Back is a dynamic cash back credit card that makes it easy to earn 5 percent back on up to $1,500 spent in categories that rotate every quarter, after which you’ll earn 1 percent back (activation required). Fortunately, this card’s rewards categories make a ton of sense for Amazon.com shoppers in 2021.

If you check out the Discover cash back bonus calendar, you’ll find the fourth quarter (October through December) 5 percent back category for 2021 includes Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com purchases.

  • Best for: Everyday spending and 5 percent bonus categories
  • Credit needed: Good/Excellent
  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on first $1,500 spent in categories that rotate every quarter (then 1 percent, activation required) plus 1 percent back on all other purchases; also, Discover automatically matches the cash back you earn in the first year
  • Annual fee: $0

Editor’s take: The 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 after your first year. Also, keep in mind that you can redeem points earned with this card for cash back or purchases made on Amazon.

As an added bonus, this card also gives you 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 14 months, followed by a variable APR of 11.99 percent to 22.99 percent. This introductory offer can help you pay down your year-end purchases without interest for more than a year.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a solid card offering for all your purchases, and this includes everything you buy on Amazon.com. You’ll earn a flat rate of at least 1.5 percent back when you shop with the online retailer or anywhere else, yet this card also offers bonus rewards on travel booked through Chase, drugstore purchases and dining. You can also earn a $200 cash bonus when you sign up and spend $500 on your card within three months of account opening.

  • Best for: Everyday spending, travel through Chase, dining and drugstores
  • Credit needed: Good/Excellent
  • Rewards rate: Earn 1.5 percent back on all purchases, 5 percent back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3 percent back on drugstore purchases and dining
  • Annual fee: $0

Editor’s take: The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a good cash back credit card regardless of where you spend the most, but it can be fruitful if you plan to spend a lot on Amazon.com this year. For starters, you can earn a $200 bonus when you spend just $167 per month for the first three months (for a total of $500 in your first three months). From there, you can earn considerable rewards for each dollar you spend.

This card lets you redeem your rewards in a ton of different ways including for travel, cash back, gift cards, merchandise and purchases made through Amazon.com. As an added bonus, you can save on interest with 0 percent APR on purchases for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 14.99 percent to 23.74 percent.

Also, for Amazon’s 2021 Prime Day, you may be targeted to get 50 percent off on purchases where you use Chase Ultimate Rewards points (maximum discount of $15). To access the deal, you must be logged into your Amazon Prime membership account and have an eligible Chase card as a form of payment on the account. From here, you’ll have to activate the promotion and pay for at least a portion of your order with Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Citi Double Cash Card

Finally, don’t forget about the Citi Double Cash Card. This card is ideal for Amazon.com purchases and all your shopping due to its high rewards rate, and you won’t pay an annual fee to boot. You’ll even qualify for a special offer on balance transfers when you apply.

  • Best for: Amazon purchases and everything else you buy
  • Credit needed: Excellent
  • Rewards rate: Earn a flat 2 percent back on everything you buy—1 percent when you make a purchase and another 1 percent when you pay it off on time
  • Annual fee: $0

Editor’s take: The Citi Double Cash Card is a good option for all your shopping, including purchases you make online and on Amazon.com. The rewards rate is spectacular, and you’ll never have to worry about bonus categories or earning caps. You also get the chance to earn rewards with no annual fee. Just keep in mind that you can only redeem rewards for cash back, a statement credit or a credit to a linked account, and you can only redeem cash back when you have at least $25 in cash rewards built up.

Also, consider this card if you want to consolidate debt from other high-interest cards. When you sign up, you’ll get 0 percent APR on balance transfers for 18 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent. A 3 percent balance transfer fee (minimum $5) will apply if you take advantage of this offer.

How to maximize rewards earned by shopping on Amazon.com

Before you sign up for a card to use on Amazon.com, it helps to have a plan in place that will help you earn more rewards over time. This is good advice all year long, but it’s even more important as holiday shopping gets underway.

Maximize rewards on Prime Day 2021

First off, you should do your best to make the most of Prime Day 2021, which runs from June 21 to June 22 this year. This epic sale can help you score deep discounts on electronics and other eligible Prime Day options. The more you buy, the more you can potentially save.

To maximize rewards on Prime Day, you’ll need to start by picking the right credit card for all your Amazon.com purchases. Here are the best tips:

  • Choose a card that fits your spending style. First, make sure you choose a rewards credit card that lets you earn more points on Amazon.com 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 because you simply forget, you’ll lose out on bonus points for no reason.
  • Add your new credit card to your Amazon.com account. Once you have a credit card for Amazon.com purchases, make sure to add it to your Amazon.com account and set it as your default payment method. This way, your card will be ready and waiting for you when you’re shopping the deals.
  • Consider pairing more than one card. If you are stuck between two cards and you cannot figure out which one you want, don’t be afraid to pair more than one rewards credit card to get the bonus categories and cardholder benefits you want the most. You may want one card for Amazon.com and a different rewards card for all your other spending, and that’s perfectly fine.

The bottom line

Shopping online is more convenient than ever, and Amazon.com 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 with the credit card you use to pay for your online purchases.

The best credit cards for Amazon.com let you earn rewards on spending and qualify for consumer protections to boot, so compare your options until you find a card you’re excited to use.

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

Written by
Holly D. Johnson
Author, Award-Winning Writer
Holly Johnson began her career working in the funeral industry, which may make you wonder why she works in personal finance now. Yet, the funeral industry taught the author everything she needs to know about the value of one's money and time. Johnson left the mortuary business a decade ago in order to explore her passion for personal finance and travel the world, and since then, she and her husband have built a debt-free lifestyle that has them on the path to retire very wealthy in their 40s. Holly's love of budgeting also led to the creation of her debt payoff book, “Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love."
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