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Are Amazon Credit Cards Worth It?
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Are Amazon Credit Cards Worth It?

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Amazon has a gargantuan hold on many Americans’ shopping habits, and it’s been estimated that nearly 5% of all U.S. retail goods sold are through the online behemoth.

If you regularly shop via Amazon.com, at Whole Foods or purchase AWS cloud services, you may have been wondering if using an Amazon-branded credit card was a smart move, since you can earn elevated rewards on your Amazon-centric spending as well as several other areas of spending.

There are four Amazon credit cards to consider: two consumer cards and two small business cards. Each card comes with its own set of benefits and potential drawbacks. Is one of them right for you? Let’s take a closer look at each card to help you decide.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card*

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is one of two Amazon consumer cards, available only to those with an Amazon Prime membership.

Card Details

  • Annual fee of $0 with Prime Membership, but an Amazon Prime Membership is required to apply for the card. A Prime membership fee starts at $119 annually or $59 annually for a Prime Student membership.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Rewards: Earn 5% in rewards at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership, 2% at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores and 1% on all other purchases.
  • Payment options: Instead of earning rewards, cardholders can choose a 0% APR period when they make equal monthly payments ranging from six to 18 months on qualifying Amazon purchases of $50 or more.
  • Other benefits: As a Visa Signature card, you’ll get perks including roadside dispatch, auto rental collision damage waiver, purchase protection, extended warranty protection.

Pros and Cons

There’s no other card that will earn you higher everyday rewards on your Amazon spending, so if you’re already an Amazon Prime member and spend a fair amount of money on the site, this card deserves a place in your wallet. But if you rarely shop using Amazon, it may not make sense to pay the annual fee for Prime membership.

To break even with the annual Prime membership cost of $119, you’d have to spend $2,380 annually (just under $200 monthly) on a combination of Amazon spending and/or at Whole Foods Market. Of course this doesn’t take into account some of the other benefits of Prime membership, like free next day and two-day delivery, Prime Video, Amazon Music, Amazon Photos and more. Those additional perks may hold value for you.

Alternate Pick: Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card*

If you’re primarily looking for rewards on everyday spending, consider the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card. For an annual fee of $95 the card offers the following rewards: Earn 3 points per dollar at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1 point per dollar), 2 points per dollar on US gas stations and 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases. The welcome bonus will help you score some extra cash back on Amazon.com, too: Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you use your new card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months of account opening.

Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card*

The Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card is the alternative option for those who want elevated rewards on their Amazon spending without paying for a Prime membership.

Card Details

  • No annual fee (and no Prime membership required to apply).
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Rewards: Earn 3% in rewards at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, 2% at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores and 1% on all other purchases.
  • Payment options: Instead of earning rewards, cardholders can choose a 0% APR period when they make equal monthly payments ranging from six to 18 months on qualifying Amazon purchases of $50 or more.
  • Other benefits: As a Visa Signature card, you’ll get perks including roadside dispatch, auto rental collision damage waiver, purchase protection, extended warranty protection.

Pros and Cons

There’s no Amazon Prime membership required but the earnings rate on Amazon stuff is lower with this card. Otherwise this card has all the same bells and whistles as its Prime sibling. The question to ask yourself if debating whether or not to get this card is how much you’ll actually spend on Amazon purchases and/or Whole Foods spending vs the areas that only earn 1% on this card. If you think you’ll spend more overall in the 1% categories, a better choice would be a card that earns a flat 2% cash back on every purchase.

Alternate Pick: Citi® Double Cash Card

There are a number of credit cards on the market that will earn 2% rewards on everything you buy without the need to track categories. One pick to consider is the no-annual-fee Citi® Double Cash Card which earns 1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay your bill. Rewards earned on the card can be used as a statement credit, direct deposit, check or converted to transferable points when paired with a premium card.

Amazon Business Prime American Express Card*

The Amazon Business Prime American Express Card is the small business credit card for Business Prime members.

Card Details

  • No annual fee, but an Amazon Business Prime Membership is required to apply for the card. A Business Prime membership starts at $69 annual for one user and goes all the way up to $10,999 a year for over 100 users.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Rewards: Choose 5% in rewards or 90 Days Terms on eligible U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership. The 5% reward rate applies to the first $120,000 in purchases each calendar year. Earn 2% at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and 1% on other purchases.
  • Payment options: Instead of earning 5% rewards, cardholders can choose 90-day terms on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market to repay a balance without incurring interest.
  • Other benefits: As an American Express card, the card comes with baggage insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance, extended warranty, purchase and return protections.

Pros and Cons

The card earns 5% cash back on Amazon purchases—which includes the Amazon Web Service (AWS) cloud platform, on up to the first $120,000 in spending per calendar year, then 1%.  If your business spends significantly at Amazon but under the $120,000 cap, this could snag you some solid savings. However, those with high expenses beyond the Amazon ecosystem or who want more flexibility in a business rewards card are likely to find that a business card with a different structure will yield greater rewards.

Where this card shines is in the potential to carry a balance for 90 days in lieu of earning rewards on your purchase. For those who need the extra time, this option can be far more valuable than earning single digit rewards when the APR is a variable 14.24% - 22.24% Variable APR on purchases.

Alternate Pick: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

If your annual spending is far below $120,000 but you still want strong rewards on your business expenses, look at a card like the The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. This card offers the following rewards: Earn 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2 points per dollar applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year. All other eligible purchases earn 1 point per dollar. That’s simpler to keep track of and there’s no annual fee or associated membership requirement to apply. (See rates & fees).

Amazon Business American Express Card*

The Amazon Business American Express Card is the small business credit card that offers elevated rewards on Amazon spending, but without the Prime membership requirement.

Card Details

  • No annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Rewards: Earn 3% in rewards or 60 Day Terms on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market. The 3% rate applies to the first $120,000 in purchases each calendar year. Earn 2% Back at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and 1% on other eligible purchases.
  • Payment options: Instead of earning 3% rewards, cardholders can choose 60-day terms on U.S. purchases at Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market to repay a balance without incurring interest.
  • Other benefits: As an American Express card, the card comes with baggage insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance, extended warranty, purchase and return protections.

Pros and Cons

Earning 3% back on your Amazon spending is OK but the real value in this card lies in the 60-day financing option. Unlike a card with a promotional 0% APR offer, you can choose 60-day terms every time you make an Amazon purchase. That extra time may be more meaningful to you than the 3% rewards rate. But if you don’t spend much on Amazon, another card can offer greater rewards in the areas where you spend the most.

Alternate Pick: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card may be a solid alternative to the Amazon Business American Express Card,  offering a strong rewards rate on areas many businesses are likely to find appealing. Earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases . It also comes with an annual fee of $95 but that may be balanced out by the flexibility of your earnings.

Rewards earned are Chase Ultimate Rewards points which can be redeemed for cash back at 1 cent per point or redeemed for 25% more value when used to book travel through the Chase Travel Center. You can also use your rewards to redeem for Amazon purchases, but that yields a lesser value of around 0.8 cents per point.

Bottom Line

If you’re a heavy duty Amazon and/or Whole Foods spender, an Amazon rewards credit card could be a smart move to save money. You’ll generally find the most value comes from the Prime version of the consumer card as Prime membership comes with a slew of perks that if utilized can far outweigh the cost of membership. Of course if you rarely shop with Amazon, it doesn’t make sense to get either consumer version of the card as you can find cards offering 2% on everything you buy, not just a handful of categories.

Whether not to get a business Amazon card will depend on your goals. If most of your spending needs can be met via Amazon, either of the business Amazon cards could be a fit depending on how much you spend, if you can benefit from a Prime membership and/or if you can frequently benefit from the extended financing offers on purchases.

To view rates and fees for The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express please visit this page.

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