Amazon Business Prime American Express Credit Card review: Is it the best business card for online spending?
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Amazon Business Prime American Express Credit Card overview
The Amazon Business Prime American Express Credit Card earns you 5 percent back on Amazon purchases and Whole Foods Market, but you also have the option of forgoing rewards for a 90-day zero percent APR on purchases (14.49 percent to 22.49 percent variable APR thereafter). This option can be a smart strategy for times when your business’ cash flow is tight and you would prefer to avoid interest payments for a while. Any other time, earning 5 percent back on Amazon purchases is a major advantage, especially since this is a higher rate than you’ll receive on Amazon purchases with other business credit cards.
The ability to earn a $125 Amazon.com gift card upon account approval is another major bonus. You also earn 2 percent back in popular categories like U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and wireless phone service purchased directly from U.S. service providers. Cardholders get free employee cards along with perks like car rental insurance and a baggage insurance plan.
The only real downside to this card is its limited options for cashing in your rewards. You can use your rewards to cover purchases on Amazon.com or on your credit card—that’s it.
What are the pros and cons?
- You only earn 5 percent back on up to $120,000 in U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market per calendar year, then 1 percent
- Rewards are only good for statement credits or more merchandise on Amazon.com
- No balance transfer option
- You must be an Amazon Prime member to qualify
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards rate: Earn 5 percent back on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership (up to $120,000 spent in 5 percent categories per calendar year, then 1 percent), 2 percent back at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. providers and 1 percent back on all other purchases.
- Welcome offer: Get a $125 Amazon.com gift card upon account approval
- Annual fee: $0
- Purchase intro APR: 14.49 percent to 22.49 percent variable APR for purchases, or forgo rewards for a 90-day zero percent APR on purchases
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 14.49 percent to 22.49 percent variable APR
Current welcome offer
With the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card, eligible Prime Members can get a $125 Amazon.com Gift Card upon approval—and since you also have the option to opt for a 90-day zero percent APR (14.49 percent to 22.49 percent variable APR thereafter) during times when cash flow is tight, this $0-annual-fee card really offers the best of both worlds.
This card offers cash back, but they are reflected as points, making it easy to understand. Amazon Business Prime members earn 5 percent back on the first $120,000 spent at Amazon (including Amazon Business and Amazon Web Services) and Whole Foods each year, then 1 percent; 2 percent at U.S. gas stations, restaurants and wireless phone service; and 1 percent on other purchases.
In the card’s 5 percent categories, you’ll earn 500 points or $5 for every $100 you spend—and if you’re earning 1 percent back on non-bonus spending, you’ll earn 100 points or $1 for every $100 you spend.
How you earn
For businesses that routinely utilize Amazon as a vendor, purchases made through Amazon-related services, such as Amazon.com, Whole Foods, and Amazon Business will guarantee maximum rewards earnings. There is no limit on the rewards you can earn or redeem, and you can use your rewards for full or partial payment on Amazon purchases.
Though the card has excellent earning potential on Amazon purchases, you may find more flexibility with other business cards, such as the Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card. With the Bank of America Customized Cash, cardholders can earn 3 percent cash back in their selected category, such as travel, computer services and more.
How to redeem
Redeeming rewards earned on this card is pretty simple considering you only have two options: Amazon purchases or statement credits to cover purchases on your card.
When you redeem for Amazon.com purchases, you do so through the card’s Shop with Points program (which you’ll be automatically enrolled in). If you don’t have enough rewards to cover the purchases you want to pay for, you have the option of using your rewards balance and covering the difference in cash.
You can also use your rewards to cover purchases made with your credit card if you’re a basic card member, have an enrolled card that is not past due or canceled and have at least 1,000 points ($10 in rewards) in your account.
- The charge must have been made in the U.S. or in a U.S. territory
- The charge must appear on your statement or in recent activity
- The charge must not have been disputed in the past
- The purchase must be for at least $1
Other cardholder perks
The Amazon Business Prime Amex Card offers exclusive benefits to Amazon Prime members, making it an excellent choice for business owners who subscribe to the popular service. In addition to receiving 5 percent cash back on Amazon purchases (up to $120,000, then 1 percent thereafter) and free employee cards, cardholders have access to financial tools to track business spending, as well as insurance and protection on specific services or items.
Expense management tools
This card gives you access to a variety of expense management and tracking tools, including a mobile app for saving receipt snapshots and monitoring employee spending. Should you have a QuickBooks account, you can also transfer your transactions there.
Vendor Pay by Bill.com also lets you pay bills using your card, but you’ll need to register for the service—and if you have multiple users, there may be a fee involved.
Travel protection and assistance
The Amazon Business Prime Amex provides rental car insurance coverage of up to $50,000 per rental agreement for the first 30 consecutive days,. However deliberate damage, manufacture defects, wear and tear, mechanical failures and failure of any other vehicle or property are excluded from coverage.
As an added benefit for traveling business owners and employees, American Express offers baggage insurance coverage ranging from $500 to $1,250 for carry-on bags, checked luggage and high-risk items—but you can only claim this coverage if your trips are entirely billed to the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card. Perishable items, living plants, animals or pets, credit cards, cash and other travel documents, on the other hand, are not covered by Amex baggage insurance.
Purchase and return protection
Purchase protection coverage is available to cardholders for up to $1,000 per qualified item and up to $50,000 per calendar year (items eligible for protection coverage are those that have been damaged, lost or stolen within 90 days of purchase). The following items are not covered:
- Consumable or perishable items
- Tickets or rare collectables
- Motorized vehicles or vehicle parts and components
- Rented items
You are also protected against purchases made with your American Express credit card that cannot be returned within 90 days (items must be in the original purchase condition and cannot be returned to the original merchant). Return protection coverage is limited to $300 per item and $1,000 per year, excluding shipping and handling expenses. Certain items, however, are not included, including:
- Healthcare items, such as prescriptions or medical aids
- Computer parts or software
- Fine jewelry
How much are the rewards worth?
The rewards are 100 points or $1 for every $100 in non-bonus categories and 500 points or $5 per $100 in bonus categories.
To get the most bang for your buck, you’ll want to make sure you use your Amazon Prime Business Credit Card for all your Amazon, Amazon Business and Whole Foods purchases each year. Doing so will net you 5 percent back for each dollar you spend, which works out to $500 for every $10,000 in purchases you make in these categories.
Rates and fees
The Amazon Business Prime American Express card is popular among business owners due to the absence of most traditional fees, although it does require a paid membership to Amazon Prime.
There is no annual fee, foreign exchange fees, or fees associated with employee cards, so taking advantage of the Amazon Business Prime card could be extremely lucrative as you could earn rewards on client meetings and travel expenses. Basic Amazon Prime membership begins at $119 per year, whereas Amazon Business Prime membership begins at $69 per year. However, since the card’s rewards scheme does not focus particularly on travel, a card such as the Business Platinum Card® from American Express may be of more benefit if you intend to earn higher rewards that are tied to international travel expenses.
While this card doesn’t offer an introductory 0 percent APR period, you still have the option to choose 90 days of 0 percent APR on Amazon purchases in lieu of earning 5 percent rewards (14.49 percent to 22.49 percent thereafter).
There are a few more additional fees to be aware of, such as:
- Late Payment Fee: Up to $39
- Returned Payment Fee: $39
- Cash Advance Fee: Either $5 or 3 percent of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
How the Amazon Business Prime Amex compares to other business cards
If you already have an Amazon Business Prime membership, the Amazon Business Prime Amex card would allow you to save money on the purchases you already make. However, if you’re uncertain about signing up for a Business Prime membership because of the Amazon Business Prime card or don’t believe the majority of your purchases would fall under its 5 percent categories, you may prefer a card with lower fees or spending categories that don’t conflict with your routine business purchases.
Amazon Business Prime Amex vs. Amazon Business Amex
As you compare business credit cards, keep in mind that Amazon.com also offers another co-branded business card: the Amazon Business American Express Card. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee or require you to pay for an Amazon Prime membership, but you’ll only earn 3 percent back on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market.
You can also choose 0 percent APR for 60 days (14.49 percent to 22.49 percent variable APR thereafter) over earning rewards with the Amazon Business Amex, but if you need longer than 60 days, however, Amazon Business Prime’s competing 90-day 0 percent APR offer or a balance transfer card with 0 percent APR (some of which waive interest on transferred balances for up to 18 months before the regular APR applies) may be a better option.
Amazon Business Prime Amex vs. Ink Business Cash®
The no-annual-fee Ink Business Cash® credit card may be an excellent choice if you want to earn decent rewards, but don’t wish to do most of your spending online like you would have to with the Amazon Business Prime card. Plus, its rewards structure also offers generous rewards in categories business owners might find valuable.
Each account anniversary year, you’ll earn 5 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined office supply stores, internet, cable and phone services purchases. Additionally, you earn 2 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent on combined gas stations and restaurants purchases each year (on every other purchase, it earns 1 percent cash back).
As with the Amazon Prime Business Card, the Ink Business card offers a decent rewards rate. However, the way rewards can be redeemed is more flexible and may be more convenient for travelers (rewards can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards or travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards). New cardholders may also take advantage of an excellent welcome bonus (cardholders can earn $750 in bonus cash back after spending $7,500 within three months of opening an account), which is significantly more generous than the bonus offered with Amazon’s Business Prime card.
Best cards to pair with this card
When it comes to non-bonus purchases that only earn 1 percent back, we recommend pairing up with another business credit card like the American Express Business Gold Card, for example, as it could let you earn more rewards on travel, groceries or other common categories people spend in regularly (cardholders earn 4X points on major business categories, plus 2X points on rental cars booked through American Express Travel). There are also plenty of business credit cards that offer a higher rate of rewards on regular purchases, including the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card, which gives you 1.5 percent cash back on everything you buy.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card worth it?
Business owners who spend a lot on Amazon.com, Whole Foods or Amazon Business will get the most value from this card. Earning 5 percent back can add up quickly, and this is especially true if you spend a lot on equipment and supplies each year. With $120,000 in Amazon spending on your card every 12 months, you can earn $5,000 in cash back in this category alone.
Having an Amazon Business Prime American Express Card, along with your Prime membership, can help keep your business running smoothly by providing free shipping and faster delivery on qualifying items. There are also other benefits to being a Prime member, including music to listen to while you work as well as books and videos for after hours.
However, the biggest downside of this card is the fact you can only use your rewards in two ways: to pay for Amazon.com purchases or to redeem rewards for statement credits to cover specific purchases charged to your credit card. This makes the Amazon Prime Business American Express Card a poor choice if services like internet and phone or traveling are necessary for your business—especially if you want to transfer your points to airline and hotel partners. If that’s something you’re interested in, consider checking out travel rewards credit cards, instead.
The information about the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card and the Amazon Business American Express Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.