Shop at Amazon? The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card Offers the Best Perks

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card* is best for those who regularly shop with Amazon, though it does offer benefits as a stand-alone credit card, as well. Unlike some other retailer-issued credit cards, this card does not hold your rewards hostage in its own ecosystem. It’s a flexible cash back card that simply offers higher rewards rates when you shop at Amazon and Whole Foods.

As the primary benefit with this card, you’ll earn a whopping 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. But you can also opt for 0% promotional APR financing for 6 to 18 months for eligible purchases over $50 (14.24% to 22.24% variable APR after the promo period) instead of earning cash back.

While this card has no annual feeit does require an Amazon Prime account, which currently costs $119 per year and is slated to increase to $139 after March 25. That’s a bit more than the standard $95 annual fee of many midtier credit cards, but a Prime membership will also get you extra perks like faster package delivery and access to the Prime Video streaming service

Below we’ll lay out and evaluate the specs of this credit card and compare it to other Amazon cards as well as similar cards you may want to consider.

In this article

Intro OfferUp to a $150 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval

APR14.24% to 22.24% Variable

Recommended Credit AFTER

Reward Rates

  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership*
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores*
  • 1% back on all other purchases*

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APRAFTER

Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Balance Transfer APR14.24% to 22.24% Variable

Late Payment Fee Up to $39

Foreign Transaction Fees none

  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership*
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores*
  • 1% back on all other purchases*

Rewards and welcome bonus

As the biggest retailer, Amazon can offer a better rewards program than most other cards in its class. You get the freedom of earning rewards that are not completely confined to your purchases under the Amazon umbrella.

The 5% rate you’ll earn at Amazon and Whole Foods is quite competitive. You’ll also earn 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, as well as a 1% flat rate on all other purchases. This card also offers up to 10% off of select products on Amazon as an added benefit.

For the welcome bonus, you can earn an Amazon gift card of up to $150 immediately upon account approval. Amazon targets certain users with different landing pages, so you may be offered a $100 or $150 gift card to open a new account. Must credit card welcome bonuses require you to hit a minimum spending threshold to earn the welcome bonus, so if you’re making a big purchase on Amazon, it may be worth it to sign up just for that reason.

Promotional interest-free financing option

In a similar way to some other large retailer credit cards, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card gives users the option to choose an interest-free financing plan on their Amazon purchases rather than earning the 5% cash back. Eligibility depends on the price of the purchase, and you must pay the entirety of your balance in equal payments over the allotted time to avoid interest charges. After the promo period, a variable APR of 14.24% to 22.24% applies.

  • For purchases of $50 or more, you can finance your purchase for six months
  • For purchases of $250 or more, you can finance your purchase for 12 months
  • For purchases of $500 or more, you can finance your purchase for 18 months

To claim this benefit on a purchase, simply select “Equal monthly payments” as you check out. Make sure you monitor your monthly statements carefully though — you don’t want to conflate interest-accruing charges with your interest-free financing charges.

Redeem your cash back

Though this is branded as a cash-back card, you will technically earn your rewards in the form of points, which are worth $0.01. You have a few options to choose from when it comes to redeeming your rewards.

First, as your balance loads automatically, you can apply points directly to your Amazon purchases at checkout. Or, you can redeem them as cash back in the form of a statement credit or a deposit into your bank account. Third-party offers on travel, gift cards and other deals may also be available for redemption at any given time. You don’t have to meet a minimum point balance to redeem your points.

Travel benefits and other perks

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card offers a surprising amount of travel perks for a retailer credit card. there are no foreign transaction feesso you can use this credit card abroad and still collect the rewards without worry.

A wide range of insurance coverage is available to cardholders, giving you more peace of mind while on the road. You’ll get baggage delay insurance, travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver and lost luggage reimbursement. Some of the top travel cards don’t even offer all of these in combination.

How many Amazon credit cards are there?

The family of Amazon credit cards can get a little confusing, and not everyone’s online experience will look the same. There are two different cards, each with its own version for Prime members and non-Prime members.

the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card (the focus of this review) is the matriarch of the family, with the best benefits available to those taking full advantage of Amazon Prime already.

If you don’t have a Prime account and don’t want one, you can apply for the Amazon Rewards Visa card† You’ll get a smaller welcome bonus and only 3% cash back at Whole Foods and Amazon, but the other major specs of this card are the same. Plus, there’s no annual fee.

the Amazon Prime Store card* is a good option if you’re a Prime member and want longer interest-free financing on larger purchases made at Amazon. However, it can only be used within the Amazon ecosystem. You’ll earn a small welcome bonus in the form of a $60 Amazon gift card upon approval and can finance a purchase for up to 24 months (depending on price and eligibility). If you don’t choose to use the financing, you’ll earn 5% cash back on Amazon purchases.

The non-Prime equivalent is the Amazon.com Store card† It maintains the same specs as the Prime version, except you don’t have the option to earn cash back on Amazon purchases, even if you don’t use the financing option.

Other cards to consider

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

With the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, the headline cash-back rate is 5% (up to the first $500 spent within the eligible category per billing cycle, then 1%), and it automatically applies to your highest eligible spending category. If the 5% back at Whole Foods is the most appealing part of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, this card can give you 5% back at grocery stores beyond just Whole Foods. This includes supermarkets, meat or seafood stores, dairy stores, bakeries and miscellaneous convenience stores.

Spending categories also include restaurants, gas stations, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment. you’ll get a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (13.99% to 23.99% variable APR thereafter), so you don’t have to choose between cash back and interest-free financing. Additionally, you can earn a $200 welcome bonus by spending $750 on the card within the first three months of account opening (bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back).

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

If you’re looking to earn rewards on online shopping purchases — not just at Amazon — the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card* is worth a look. The Customized Cash Rewards allows cardholders to choose the category where they’ll earn the top cash-back rate of 3%. Online shopping is one of these categories, along with gas, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement/furnishings. You’ll also earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then 1%) and 1% on all other purchases.

While these rates are lower than those of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card, they allow for greater flexibility for shopping beyond Amazon and Whole Foods. You’ll also be able to take advantage of 0% introductory APR for the first 15 billing cycles on purchases and on any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (13.99% to 23.99% variable APR thereafter; a 3% balance transfer fee, minimum $10, applies), as well as a $200 online cash rewards welcome bonus when you spend at least $1,000 within the first 90 days of account ownership.

FAQs

How should I choose a credit card?

Ultimately, the right credit card is unique to each person’s goals and preferences. Decide what features you’re looking for: maximized rewards, spaced-out payments on a large purchase, credit building, an emergency credit card or other benefits. From there, you can decide the type of card you’re looking for. You can then use CNET’s online reviews to further narrow down what terms will work best for you.

Do you need to have a Prime membership to shop at Amazon?

You don’t need a Prime membership to shop at Amazon, though Prime members enjoy free, quicker shipping on millions of items, along with other perks. You do need a Prime membership to apply for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, as well as the Amazon Prime Store Card, but there are non-Prime equivalents to both cards.

What types of cash back credit cards are there?

Cash-back credit cards generally fall into four primary categories: flat rate, tiered, rotating or choose your own.

Flat rate cards offer the same rate for every purchase. Tiered cards offer a different rewards rate for different categories of spending. Rotating category cards offer different rewards each quarter, determined by the card issuer. Choose-your-own category cards allow you to choose your rewards category.

Our approach

We review the cards that are in the highest demand and offer the best benefits. We scour the fine print so there aren’t any surprises when you open an account. We find the key factors that make a card stand out and compare them to other top cards. That way, readers can opt for a different card with similar features if our pick isn’t right for them. Our reviews are regularly checked and updated to incorporate new recommendations, as well as to reflect changes in offers and the market.

*All information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, Amazon Rewards Visa Card, Amazon Prime Store Card, Amazon.com Store Card, and the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

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