Amazon Prime Secured Card review: Build credit and earn rewards at Amazon.com

Bankrate Logo

Why you can trust Bankrate

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

ON THIS PAGE Jump to Open page navigation

Snapshot

3.0

Bankrate rating
  • star icon
  • star icon
  • star icon
  • star icon
  • star icon
  • star icon
  • star icon
  • star icon
  • star icon
  • star icon

Bottom line

The Amazon Prime Secured Card lets users build credit while they earn 2 percent back on eligible Amazon purchases. A security deposit of at least $100 is required to get started, yet this card helps you build credit when others won’t. The best part? There’s no annual fee.

Synchrony Image

Amazon Secured Card

Rewards rate

N/A

Annual fee

N/A

Intro offer

N/A

Regular APR

10.00% Non-variable

Recommended Credit Score

No Credit History 

Amazon Prime Secured Card overview

The Amazon Prime Secured Card works similarly to other secured credit cards in the fact you have to put down a cash deposit as collateral. However, this card is also available to a broader range of credit profiles, including people with a low credit score or no credit history at all.

Users can earn 2 percent back as they shop on Amazon.com, and free credit tracking tools make it easier to see your credit progress over time. This Amazon Prime Secured Card works best for people with bad credit or no credit, as well as those who frequently shop on Amazon for food or supplies.

What are the pros and cons?

Pros

  • You can report your credit balances and payments to the three credit bureaus, which will help you build credit and improve your score with time.
  • No annual fee.
  • Earn cash back on eligible Amazon purchases including food purchases made with Amazon Fresh, with an eligible Amazon Prime membership.
  • Low starting fixed APR lower than the average APR for all credit cards combined, which applies when you carry a balance.
  • After you have used your secured card responsibly for 12 months, you can graduate to an unsecured store version of this card that earns 5 percent back on eligible purchases.
  • Fully refundable security deposit whether you upgrade this card to the Amazon Store Card or you close your account in good standing.

Cons

  • Amazon Prime membership required, which requires an annual fee of $119 on its own.
  • You need to put down cash to build credit and earn rewards with this card.
  • Credit limits may be as low as $100, and the maximum you can be approved for is $1,000.
  • No welcome offer.
  • If you upgrade your card to a store card after 12 months, you’ll pay a high 25.99 percent variable APR on revolving balances.

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: Earn 2 percent back on Amazon purchases with an eligible Amazon Prime membership
  • Welcome offer: N/A
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 10.00 percent fixed APR

Current welcome offer

The Amazon Prime Secured Card does not offer a welcome bonus of any kind, although this is pretty common among secured credit cards.

Rewards rate

Cardholders who choose to build credit with the Amazon Prime Secured Card also get the benefit of earning 2 percent back on purchases provided they are Amazon Prime members. This rewards rate is very good for Amazon spending, particularly since it applies to grocery delivery purchases made through Amazon Fresh.

However, it’s important to note that the Amazon Prime Secured Card cannot be used for anything other than eligible Amazon purchases. For example, you cannot use it at grocery stores, gas stations or restaurants like you can with some other secured credit cards.

How you earn

Sign up to earn 2 percent back in rewards on eligible Amazon.com purchases, which can include Amazon shopping and grocery delivery through Amazon Fresh. This rate is very good for eligible purchases, particularly since the Amazon Prime Secured Card charges no annual fee.

How to redeem

Once you are ready to cash in the rewards you have earned, you can redeem rewards directly for Amazon.com purchases. You can also redeem your rewards points as a one-time statement credit, or you can set up your account to automatically redeem your available rewards balance for a statement credit at the end of each billing cycle.

The card’s issuer, Synchrony Bank, notes that your account has to be in good standing in order to be eligible for rewards redemptions.

How much are the rewards worth?

Rewards earned with this card are offered in the form of cash back, so calculating your rewards value is simple. For example, 2 percent back with this card translates to $2 in rewards for every $100 you spend.

Other cardholder perks

The Amazon Prime Secured Card doesn’t offer many benefits, but this is common among secured credit cards. Since this card is mostly for building credit with the secondary benefit of earning rewards, most of its perks center around these two features.

Credit-building tools and features

This secured card is easy to get approved for, which is a major benefit if you need to build credit but cannot get approved for an unsecured card. Other credit-building features are available through a TransUnion CreditView dashboard, which lets you track your credit score and progress in real-time.

Upgrade your card after 12 months

Also note that you may be eligible to upgrade to an Amazon Store Card after you use the Amazon Prime Secured Card responsibly for 12 months. For the most part, this means keeping debt at a reasonable level and always paying your bill on time.

If you upgrade to an Amazon Store Card, you’ll get your full security deposit back.

Rates and fees

The Amazon Prime Secured Card comes with no annual fee required, which is a major plus. In the meantime, the fixed APR of 10 percent is considerably lower than the average credit card APR, which is currently a little over 16 percent.

Also be aware that the Amazon Prime Secured Card charges a late fee of just $5, which is considerably lower than other cards charge.

How the Amazon Prime Secured Card compares to other secured credit cards

Before you sign up for the Amazon Prime Secured Card for the purpose of building credit, you should check out other secured credit cards and what they have to offer. The following options also let you build credit and earn rewards with no annual fee.

Synchrony Image

Amazon Secured Card

  • star icon
  • star icon
  • star icon
  • star icon
  • star icon
  • star icon
  • star icon
  • star icon
  • star icon
  • star icon
3.0

Annual fee

N/A

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

N/A

Recommended credit

No Credit History
Discover Image

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

Cashback Match™

Rewards rate

1%–2%

Recommended credit

No Credit History
Bank of America Image

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

N/A

Recommended credit

No Credit History

Amazon Prime Secured Card vs. the Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Since the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a Discover credit card, you can use it nearly anywhere you shop in-person or online. You’ll also earn cash back rewards on everything you buy, and Discover will even double all the rewards you earn after year one.

There’s no annual fee, either. However, it’s worth noting you need a security deposit of at least $200 with this card. This is double the minimum deposit for the Amazon Prime Secured Card.

Amazon Prime Secured Card vs. the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card

First off, you should know that the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card is a Visa credit card that can be used nearly anywhere around the world. You also earn 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases with no annual fee required, and your credit limit can be as high as $4,900 with an equal security deposit.

However, a minimum security deposit of $300 is required to get this card, which can make it a tough option if you need to build credit but cash is tight right now.

Best cards to pair with this card

If you decide to pair the Amazon Prime Secured Card with another card, you may be able to earn rewards on non-Amazon purchases and add even more depth to your credit history. We can suggest other secured cards on the market today that earn rewards, including the Discover it® Secured Credit Card and the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card we profile above.

Just remember that you’ll have to make separate security deposits for each secured card you apply for, which could be a costly barrier considering both of the mentioned cards have higher minimum security deposit requirements.

Bankrate’s Take: Is the Amazon Prime Secured Card worth it?

If you want to build credit with a credit card and you are already an Amazon Prime member, the Amazon Prime Secured Card could be the right card for you. The fact you can only use it for Amazon purchases could be a pro or a con depending on your needs. For example, you may feel limited by this fact and wind up wishing you got a secured card that’s a Visa, Mastercard or Discover card instead. On the flip side, you might feel like an Amazon-only card lets you build credit in a slow, deliberate way without extra temptation to spend.

Take our advice: Compare the Amazon Prime Secured Card to other secured credit cards you might be interested in, then decide which features you care the most about. If you are a big Amazon shopper anyway, the Amazon Prime Secured Card might be just what the doctor ordered.