Which Amazon credit card is best for you?
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Amazon’s approach to its credit card lineup is similar to its offerings as a superstore — there’s something for everyone. Amazon has credit cards for both Prime members and occasional Amazon shoppers, along with cards for consumers who have excellent credit and those with a thin credit file.
So, which Amazon card is right for you? Here’s what you need to know.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card*: Best for Prime members with good-to-excellent credit
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has no annual fee, but a Prime membership (currently $139 per year) is required. The card’s earning rates are pretty good: You’ll get 5 percent cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2 percent cash back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. As a Prime member, you’ll also be able to get 10 percent back or more on a rotating selection of Amazon products.
There’s also a welcome bonus for new cardholders — an up to $150 Amazon gift card. This is far from the most earth-shattering welcome bonus we’ve seen, but it helps cancel out the annual fee for the first year. After the first year, you can recoup the Prime membership fee by spending $2,780 per year at Amazon and Whole Foods. That’s not a daunting task if you frequently shop at those stores.
Additionally, the Amazon Prime Rewards card comes with benefits like travel accident insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, an auto rental collision damage waiver, roadside dispatch, extended warranty coverage and purchase protection.
Not a Prime Member? Pick the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card*
If you’re not a Prime member, this card comes in a non-Prime version: the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card. With this card, you can still earn Amazon rewards, but you’ll get scaled-back benefits. For example, this card comes with a meager $50 gift card as a welcome bonus. Still, keep in mind that you’re already saving $139 on the Prime membership.
The best part, however, is the card’s above-average earning rates, which include 3 percent cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods Market; 2 percent cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores; and 1 percent cash back on everything else. So, even if you don’t want to splurge on a Prime membership — but you regularly buy stuff on Amazon — the Amazon Rewards Visa can still be a valuable companion.
Amazon Prime Store Card*: Best for Prime members with fair-to-good credit
In general, store cards are controversial due to their typically-low credit limits and high interest rates. But what if you’re an avid Amazon Prime shopper with less-than-stellar credit? That’s where the Amazon Prime Store Card can help. Keep in mind that this is a closed-loop card, meaning you can only use it at Amazon and Amazon companies (however, a list of exceptions apply). Plus, although this card has no annual fee, you need to have an Amazon Prime membership to get this card.
The 5 percent cash back at Amazon is nothing to sneeze at, but there is not much more that this card provides. You can opt for one of the card’s special financing offers, but that means you’ll have to forgo the cash back — you can’t have both.
Not a Prime Member? Pick the Amazon Store Card*
The Amazon Store Card doesn’t have cash back or other rewards — the 5 percent cash back at Amazon is only available to Prime members — and its only tangible benefits are no annual fee and a $10 gift card instantly upon approval.
It’s worth noting that there are better cards for fair-to-good credit, some of which earn rewards. But if you’re declined for the Amazon Store Card, you’ll be automatically considered for the Amazon Secured Card.
Amazon Prime Secured Card*: Best for Prime members with poor or no credit
With the Amazon Prime Secured Card, you can work on building your credit while getting something in return — Prime members can earn 2 percent cash back on Amazon purchases. While there are other secured cards that earn cash back, 2 percent back is pretty generous.
Additionally, this card doesn’t come with a welcome bonus, but secured cards don’t normally offer a welcome bonus, so this is to be expected. This card also comes with an astonishingly-low interest rate of 10 percent APR (fixed). Of course, we recommend that you pay off your charges in full every month (and not carry a balance).
This card has three shortcomings, however:
- The maximum credit limit you can receive is $1,000.
- Upgrading to an unsecured card takes 12 months of credit building.
- The upgrade option is for the Amazon Prime Store Card, a closed-loop store card.
Not a Prime Member? Pick the Amazon Secured Card*
The only difference between the Amazon Prime Secured Card and the Amazon Secured Card is that the latter doesn’t offer cash back. All other terms and conditions, including the 10 percent fixed APR, are the same.
The bottom line
Amazon seemingly offers the most comprehensive credit card lineup out of all store credit cards. There are open-loop and closed-loop cards, cards for Prime members and non-Prime members and cards to help consumers build credit.
However, there are other cards to consider for shopping on Amazon. With one of these cards, you might be able to find better perks or a better welcome bonus. Even if you’re in the market for a secured card, check the top secured card offers to see if there’s a better option for you.
*All information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, Amazon Prime Store Card, Amazon Store Card, Amazon Prime Secured Card and Amazon Secured Card has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.