Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card review

Garrett Yarbrough  in  Cash Back How we rate our cards  |  Advertiser Disclosure
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Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

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Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
14.24% to 22.24% Variable
Terms and Restrictions Apply | Rates and Fees

Bankrate Rating

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our cash back category page.

Best for Amazon purchases

  • Rewards Rate: 5 percent back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; 1 percent back on all other purchases
  • Welcome Offer: $70 Amazon gift card upon approval
  • Annual Fee: $0 ($119 Amazon Prime subscription required)
  • Purchase Intro APR: N/A
  • Balance Transfer Intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 14.24 percent to 22.24 percent variable

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is one of the best online shopping credit cards, due to its high reward rates on Amazon purchases with no spending caps and Visa Signature benefits.

The biggest drawbacks are the required Amazon Prime membership, underwhelming intro offer and a few missing purchase protections — but these are minor nitpicks compared to what many other store cards (don’t) offer.

Current sign-up bonus

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card doesn’t offer a typical sign-up bonus. Instead of meeting a spending requirement within a time frame, you receive a $70 Amazon gift card when you’re approved.

This is much lower than many sign-up bonuses we typically see, which weigh in at $150 on the low end. However, there is no spending requirement — you receive the bonus instantly — and many store cards don’t offer a sign-up bonus at all. As far as retail cards go, the bonus is a nice plus, but it isn’t enough to cover the $119 yearly cost of Amazon Prime membership on its own.

Rewards

Regular Amazon shoppers will have no problem earning a slew of rewards with the Prime card. With one of the highest-earning rates available for Amazon purchases, you’ll only need to spend $2,380 to recoup your Prime membership.

Earning rewards

Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases will earn you unlimited 5 percent rewards. Plus, you’ll earn 2 percent at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, along with 1 percent back on all other purchases.

Since the 5 percent category also applies to Whole Foods Market, this is also one of the best grocery rewards rates if you can do your grocery shopping there.

Amazon and Chase occasionally do offer additional ways to earn rewards. Amazon regularly posts limited-time “Exclusive Prime cardmember” offers that provide anywhere from 10 to 25 percent back on select items. If you’re eligible for Chase’s targeted offer, your Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card can also earn 4 percent cash back on all purchases through Feb. 11, 2021.

Redeeming rewards

Although the reward terms make it sound like you’re earning cash back, you’re actually earning points. The Amazon Prime Rewards card is issued by Chase and earns cash back in the form of equivalent points. You can redeem your points at a 1:1 value toward cash back, travel, Amazon purchases upon checkout and gift cards.

There is no minimum rewards balance to redeem for cash back or for Amazon purchases, but there’s a disappointingly long list of what you can’t use points to purchase. Many of these items are small purchases that you would probably use points on the most, such as music, Kindle and video downloads. Depending on what you may spend points on, cash back might be the most flexible option.

How much are points worth?

Each point is worth 1 cent. You can maximize your cash back on Amazon by taking advantage of the site’s “subscribe and save deals” and other retailers’ Amazon gift card promotions for extra discounts and rewards.

Benefits

The Amazon Prime Rewards card carries a surprising number of benefits for a retail card — even Luxury Hotel Collection and concierge service premium travel perks.

Since it’s a Visa Signature credit card, it comes with a handful of travel and shopping protections that are standard to many rewards cards. But even these “standard” Visa benefits outnumber other cards, like Discover.

Travel protections

Your card’s travel accident insurance (coverage up to $500,000), lost luggage reimbursement (up to $3,000 per passenger) and baggage delay insurance do a little to smooth the rough edges of airport travel. Or if you’re on the road, the auto rental collision damage waiver and roadside dispatch service can be a big help in a pinch.

Purchase and extended warranty protections

These two purchase protection benefits provide some peace of mind when you come across a good deal, but you’re worried about iffy merchants or shipping damage. The extended warranty protection increases eligible warranties (three years or less) by a whole year. Meanwhile, your purchase protection covers new purchases against damage or theft up to $500 per claim ($50,000 per account).

As an online shopping card with Visa Signature benefits, it’s surprising that the Amazon Prime Rewards card doesn’t come with price and return protection too. It’s a bit disappointing that you can’t get your money back if a sketchy seller doesn’t offer returns, but return protection is a rarer perk nowadays.

Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection and Concierge Service

The Visa Signature level of the Luxury Hotel Collection grants cardholders seven “VIP Guest status” amenities, including automatic room upgrades when available and other complimentary privileges.

When you need to save time planning your travel or even at home, the free Visa Signature Concierge Service is like a 24-hour personal assistant that can book reservations, tickets and more.

Rates and fees

The rates and fees for the Amazon Prime Rewards card are standard, but the “no annual fee” comes with an important footnote. You must have an Amazon Prime membership to get the card, which is currently $12.99 per month or $119 each year (if you opt to pay for a whole year at once).

Amazon comes with a range of valuable benefits, but the cost of Amazon Prime just for this card might not be worth it for some shoppers. If a Prime subscription doesn’t make sense for you, the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card is an alternative with a slightly lower rewards rate.

Fortunately, the ongoing APR (14.24 percent to 22.24 percent variable) is well below the 23.39 percent average for co-branded retail cards, according to a 2019 CreditCards.com survey.

Another plus is that there are no foreign transaction fees, a perk for frequent travelers.

How the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature compares to other rewards cards

Plenty of other cards are designed to reward online shopping (and beyond just Amazon purchases), but many are limited by quarterly categories or bonus category spending caps.

Card Annual fee Rewards rate Welcome bonus
Chase Freedom Flex℠ $0
  • 5 percent cash back on activated bonus category purchases each quarter (up to $1,500, then 1 percent),  on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel and on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
  • 3 percent cash back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
  • $200 after spending $500 within first three months
Capital One® Walmart Rewards® Card $0
  • 5 percent cash back at Walmart.com
  • 2 percent back in Walmart stores, restaurants and travel
  • 1 percent back on all other purchases
  • 5 percent cash back in Walmart stores for your first 12 months
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card $0
  • 3 percent cash back in one of six choice categories, including online shopping, dining and travel
  • 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs ($2,500 combined limit on 2% and 3% categories each quarter)
  • 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
  • $200 online cash rewards after spending at least $1,000 within first 90 days

 

Best cards to pair with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature

Since the Amazon Prime Rewards card is focused on rewarding Amazon purchases, other general-purpose cash back credit cards are great partners for broader rewards. Flat-rate cards like the Citi® Double Cash Card are solid picks to earn cash back on every purchase you make.

On the other hand, a rotating bonus category card like the Chase Freedom Flex could extend your rewards to other major online retailers, when the quarterly bonus categories line up. In the fourth quarter of 2020, for instance, bonus categories include Walmart and PayPal.

Bankrate’s Take—Is the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature worth it?

The Amazon Prime Rewards card is undoubtedly worth it if you frequently order from Amazon — especially if you spend over $2,380 each year on the site or spend big on Amazon Prime Day. (Note, business owners may save even more with the Amazon Business Prime American Express Credit Card‘s extra reward categories.)

With the Prime Rewards card, you can easily reimburse your Prime membership, better protect your purchases and utilize a few travel perks to boot. The unlimited 5 percent rewards easily outperform other credit cards’ online shopping categories.

On the flip side, a general-purpose rewards card may earn you more if you prefer higher rewards rates on more variable bonus categories.

Still, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature offers better rates and more versatile rewards than many store cards.

Pros

  • High earning rate on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Rewards can be redeemed at an equal rate toward cash back, travel and Amazon purchases
  • Carries Visa Signature benefits, including travel and purchase protections, along with Luxury Hotel Collection and concierge services

Cons

  • Requires an Amazon Prime membership, which costs $119 per year
  • No price or return protection
  • Only one Amazon Prime account can be linked to this card

 

All information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, Capital One® Walmart Rewards® Card, Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card, and Amazon Business Prime American Express Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.