Is the Amazon Rewards Card Right for You?

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Amazon Rewards credit card
Image Credit: Amazon / Dreamstime

Review Summary: If you do a large portion of your shopping at Amazon.com, the Amazon Rewards credit card may be a great rewards card for your needs. The card offers 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods, 2% at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% everywhere else. The easiest way to use rewards is through Amazon, where you can redeem cash back to lower your next Amazon purchase. This card has reasonable purchase and travel protections for a card with no annual fee.

Pros

Cons

  • 5% cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods
  • 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores
  • No annual fee
  • Just 1% cash back on purchases outside of the bonus categories
  • Top cash back rate only useful for loyal Amazon or Whole Foods customers
  • 3% back at Amazon and Whole Foods if you don’t have a Prime membership

How the Amazon Rewards Credit Card Works

Table of Contents

How to Earn Rewards

This card gives you rewards with every purchase. Just use the Visa credit card when you shop online at Amazon or at checkout anywhere you shop to get the cash back rewards. When you log into Amazon to shop, you can save this card as the default so you never forget and always get the full 5% cash back.

On some purchases, you can earn up to 20% cash back with this credit card. You get notified by Amazon when shopping if the product is eligible for bonus cash back, or head to this page for a list of products. Just don’t use this card as an excuse to spend more or buy products you would not have purchased anyway just for the cash back.

If you are a Prime member, this card gives you an automatic 5% off every year when you renew. That’s a nice little $5.95 annual discount on the $119 per year price if you were paying it anyway. Beware that if you don’t have Amazon Prime, you will only get 3% back instead of 5% at Amazon and Whole Foods.

How to Redeem Rewards

Redeeming rewards is very easy: Just add items to your cart at Amazon like usual. When you go through the checkout process and reach the payments page, you can use points for cash back to lower the cost of your purchase. Technically, you earn rewards in the form of points that are worth one cent each.

You can also redeem for cash back, travel, and gift cards. As a general rule, you might as well take the cash or lower your Amazon.com purchase. When it comes to travel, you’ll do better booking with the card and earning rewards there and then redeeming for cash back or on Amazon for a purchase.

Additional Cardholder Benefits

This card also offers a handful of travel and purchase protections. For purchases, it includes new purchase protection and extended warranty protection. When traveling, this card offers no foreign transaction fees, an auto rental collision waiver, travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, and access to a roadside dispatch service.

As a Visa Signature card, the card includes access to the Visa Signature Concierge Service, a service that will make reservations for you, order tickets, and help send gifts. It also opens up access to the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection with a best available rate guarantee.

The only big benefit that this card is missing is price change protection, which I’m guessing Amazon didn’t want to deal with as they constantly raise and lower prices.

Overall, particularly for a card with no annual fee, the benefits are pretty good.

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Alternatives to the Amazon Rewards Card

If you don’t shop all that much at Amazon, don’t have Prime, or don’t find the card very impressive for your needs, that’s okay! There is a right card for everyone, as long as you pay off your balance in full each month and avoid extra fees and charges.

Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi: This cash back card is one of Clark’s personal favorites. It offers 4% back on gas up to $7,000 per year, 3% back for restaurants and eligible travel purchases, 2% back at Costco and Costco.com, and 1% everywhere else. There is no annual fee on this card, which is available only to Costco members.

Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited: These popular no-annual-fee credit cards offer cash back on every purchase. Freedom Unlimited gives cardholders a flat 1.5% back on all purchases. Freedom offers 5% on popular categories that rotate every calendar quarter, and 1% everywhere else.

Citi Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer: This card has no annual fee and gives you an effective 2% cash back on all purchases. Get 1% back when you buy and another 1% back when paying your balance. The benefits are not as good, but it’s a good cash back rate if you pay off your card in full each month, which is a good habit regardless.

Chase Sapphire Preferred: If you prefer travel rewards over cash back, this card offers 2x points per dollar on restaurants and travel purchases and 1x everywhere else. Points are worth 1.25 cents each toward travel booked through Chase or you can transfer to award partner hotels and airlines. The card charges a $95 annual fee.

RELATED: Best Rewards Credit Cards: Team Clark’s Picks

Final Thought

If Amazon or Whole Foods are common shopping destinations for you already, this card is a great way to earn more cash back with no annual fee. Thanks to the 2% bonus cash back on popular categories, it may even be worth considering as your primary card. Just make sure you always pay it off by the due date and don’t bust your budget just to earn more rewards.

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