Best credit cards for shopping on Amazon.com

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There are many reasons to do at least some of your shopping online these days, and they extend well beyond the fact we’re in the midst of a pandemic. 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 the 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 arewards 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:

How we chose the best cards for Amazon shopping

Scoring matrix

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.

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 (i.e., 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 2020

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 $100 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, this card is offering up to 25 percent off bestsellers on Amazon Prime Day this year. This benefit alone could easily lead to hundreds of dollars in savings depending on the deals you manage to 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).

  • 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).

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.

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 2020. If you check out the Discover cash back bonus calendar, you’ll find the fourth quarter (October through December) 5 percent back category for 2020 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, but 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; for a limited time, also earn 5 percent back on up to $12,000 in grocery spending your first year (not including Target or Walmart purchases)
  • 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. From there, you can earn considerable rewards for each dollar you spend, including 5 percent back on up to $12,000 in groceries during year one.

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.

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
  • 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 with 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 do so 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 2020

First off, you should do your best to make the most of Prime Day 2020, which lasts from October 13th to October 14 of 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 that can help:

  • 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. This way, your card will be ready and waiting for you when you’re ready to shop online.
  • 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.