Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature offers ample points for online shopping

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There are currently almost 150 million Amazon Prime members in the U.S. (that’s around 45 percent of the entire population) and it’s easy to see why. Amazon offers a staggering array of products and an incredibly convenient shopping experience. In fact, half of all purchases on Amazon are finished in less than 15 minutes.

I do almost all of my shopping online and, more often than not, I’m buying from Amazon. To keep down the net cost of my online shopping habit, I want to make sure I’m maximizing credit card rewards each time I click “Buy Now.” That’s why the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, with its high rewards rate on Amazon purchases, is a great fit for me.

Rewards for Amazon and Whole Foods purchases

Because I buy stuff from Amazon so frequently, I love the unlimited rewards on purchases at Amazon.com were very appealing to me. The card gives 5 percent back in the form of points, with each point translating to 1 cent.

You can redeem points for cash deposited in your bank account, a statement credit, gift cards or travel, but I almost always apply them to Amazon purchases. When you check out your Amazon cart and select this card as your payment option, you can see how many points you have available and apply them toward your purchase if you choose.

You also get 5 percent back on spending at Whole Foods. I don’t buy from Whole Foods as often as from Amazon.com, but when I do, it’s nice to know I’m getting a great rewards rate. If you’re an organic food aficionado but wary of Whole Foods’ reputation for pricey specialty items, using this card would be a good way to offset some of the cost.

And I may use the Whole Foods benefits more since Amazon has integrated its Prime Now grocery delivery service into its main site. With this change, I can seamlessly go from buying a pair of socks to buying a smoothie without having to log in to a separate app.

Other benefits

The Amazon Prime Rewards card offers decent rewards on non-Amazon spending. The 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores isn’t very important to me because I buy a lot of drugstore products on the Amazon site itself, I don’t own a car and don’t eat out much. However, I appreciate earning 1 percent rewards on all other purchases. I don’t feel restricted to shopping at Amazon because I always earn some rewards, even if I’m buying from a competitor.

I like that the card lets you choose to forgo rewards on large purchases and instead get an interest-free payment plan over six, 12 or 18 months, depending on the size of your purchase. I’ve got my eye on a robot vacuum that’s currently listed for $799, which is far more than my typical discretionary spending for a month. If I spring for it and choose equal monthly payments, I’ll owe $44.39 a month for 18 months. That would be a lot easier to budget for. I know I could get a balance transfer credit card or take out a card with a 0 percent introductory APR offer, but I rarely apply for new cards and I’m glad to have this benefit available without needing to fill out a new application or jump through any hoops.

And I’m happy that there’s no annual fee for the Amazon Prime Rewards card. It’s true that the $119 (plus tax) cost of a Prime Membership effectively acts as an annual fee, but I was already paying that anyway for the free two-day shipping, video streaming and other Prime perks. I earned about $175 in rewards on the card in the past year, which more than makes up for the membership cost.

Good cards to pair with the Amazon Prime Rewards card

It makes sense to pair the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card with another card that offers strong rewards in a category like dining or groceries or that gives a high rate of cash back across the board.

I use the Citi® Double Cash Card card for a lot of my non-Amazon spending because it offers 1 percent back when you spend, then an additional 1 percent back when you pay off the purchase. I typically pay my balance in full each month, so that works out to a 2 percent rewards rate, which beats the Amazon Prime Rewards card’s 1 percent back on most other retailers.

Another excellent cash back option is the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card, which grants unlimited 2 percent cash rewards, unrestricted by retailer or spending category. It also offers a $200 sign-up bonus if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.

Or, you could go with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, which offers 3 percent back on the first $6,000 you spend at grocery stores annually (then 1 percent), 2 percent at gas stations and certain department stores and 1 percent on other spending. If you prefer to get groceries from somewhere other than Whole Foods, this card could allow you to earn higher rewards on grocery store spending and also come out ahead when shopping at eligible department stores. Plus, the Blue Cash Everyday offers a $200 statement credit if you spend $2,000 in the first six months.

Another card that offers a good rewards rate on groceries is the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. It offers unlimited 3 percent cash back on groceries (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target), dining, entertainment and streaming services. It gives a whopping 8 percent back on tickets at Vivid Seats (until January 2023) and 1 percent on all other spending. And the SavorOne offers a $200 bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months.

The bottom line

If you’re an Amazon Prime enthusiast like me, the Amazon Prime Rewards card offers a stellar rewards rate and can help you get even more value from a Prime membership. I keep a different cash rewards card in my wallet as a backup for times when I want to shop at other retailers.