Which is the best card to use on Amazon.com purchases?

The Amazon Rewards Visa and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature cards have become hot items for frequent Amazon shoppers, and for good reason. They are great cards that, for the most part, can’t be beat when it comes to earning cash back on Amazon purchases.

The Amazon Rewards Visa gives you 3% cash back on every Amazon purchase, and the Amazon Prime Visa Signature ups that ante, offering 5% cash back for Amazon Prime account holders.

You may be wondering: Which of these is the best card to use on Amazon purchases? For that matter, are there any other cards out there that could earn an even better rewards rate on Amazon purchases?

While the deck seems to be stacked clearly in favor of Amazon credit cards, there are some alternatives that may surprise you.

Amazon Rewards Visa: Best for non-Prime members

  • Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature: Best for Prime members
  • Discover it® Cash Back: Best for Prime Day and the holiday season
  • Citi® Double Cash Card: Best for high flat cash back rate
  • Comparing Amazon cards

    Let’s start by comparing the regular Amazon card to the Amazon Prime card. While the 5% cash back rate on the Amazon Prime Visa Signature card seems to be the best way to go, this is not necessarily the case. The best option mostly boils down to your shopping habits on Amazon.

    Here’s a breakdown of the two cards:

    Amazon Rewards Visa vs. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature

    Amazon Rewards Visa
    Amazon Rewards Visa*
    Amazon Prime Visa Signature
    Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature*
    Rewards rate
    • 3% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases
    • 2% cash back on gas, restaurant and drugstore purchases
    • 1% cash back on general purchases
    • 5% back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases
    • 2% back on restaurant, gas station and drugstore purchases
    • 1% back on other purchases
    Sign-up bonus $50 Amazon.com gift card when you’re approved $70 Amazon.com gift card when you’re approved
    Annual fee $0 $0
    Estimated yearly rewards value ($1,325 monthly spend, including sign-up bonus) $243 $195
    Pros
    • No membership fee required
    • Offers higher rate on Amazon purchases than most cards
    • Easy to redeem your cash back
    • Highest rewards rate on Amazon purchases
    • Easy to redeem your cash back
    • Prime membership comes with valuable benefits, including free 2-day shipping
    Cons
    • There are a few cards with a better overall cash back rate
    • Requires $119 Amazon Prime membership
    Who should get this card?
    • People who spend less than $4,950 per year on Amazon purchases
    • People who don’t want to commit to an Amazon Prime membership
    • Amazon Prime members
    • People who value Amazon Prime services
    • People who spend more than $99 per year on shipping qualified Amazon products
    • People who spend more than $4,950 per year on Amazon purchases
    • People who frequent Whole Foods

    As you can see, though the Amazon Prime card offers a better cash back rate on Amazon purchases as well as a $70 gift card for new cardmembers, you also need to figure in the cost of Amazon Prime membership. This can lower the overall value of the Prime card for you, depending on your spending habits and how much you value Prime membership by itself.

    Amazon.com Store card. Since it can only be used on Amazon purchases, its scope is a bit more limited than the rewards cards; but Prime members can earn a generous 5% cash back. Plus, all cardholders are eligible for special financing terms on larger transactions. Even if you have a lower credit score, you can be approved for a secured version of the card and start racking up cash back from the online retailer.

    See related: Amazon store cards vs. Amazon Visa credit cards

    Best for current and aspiring Amazon Prime members: Amazon Prime card

    For current Amazon Prime members, it’s a no-brainer: 5% cash back with the Amazon Prime card is the way to go. Also, Prime membership comes with valuable benefits, such as free two-day shipping on eligible purchases, free streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video and Amazon Family discounts on diapers and baby items. Shelling out the fee for Prime membership and getting the Prime card is a good deal if you value these types of services.

    Best if you spend more than $119 per year on Amazon shipping: Amazon Prime card

    Amazon Prime comes with some awesome shipping benefits. Not only do you get free standard shipping on qualified Amazon purchases of any amount, but you also qualify for free two-day shipping and – in certain cities – free one-day, same-day and two-hour deliveries.

    Amazon Prime free shipping

    Two-Day Shipping Free
    Same-Day Delivery Free in certain cities
    Two-Hour Delivery Free in eligible ZIP codes
    One-Day Shipping Free in certain cities
    Saturday Shipping Price varies by item size and weight – as low as $7.99 per item
    No-Rush Shipping Free
    Standard Shipping (4-5 business days) Free
    Release-Date Delivery Free

    Privacy Policy

    Also, be aware that Amazon already offers free standard shipping to non-Prime members for orders over a certain size. And, to compete with Walmart and Target, Amazon recently lowered the threshold for free shipping to $25 in qualified purchases.

    In other words, you’ll need to do a close accounting of your shipping costs to see if the $119 Prime membership fee makes sense. Unless you frequently make small purchases from Amazon, Prime membership may not outweigh your shipping costs.

    Best for Amazon shoppers who spend more than $5,950 per year: Amazon Prime card

    For everyone else, the value breaks down to how much money you spend at Amazon on a yearly basis.

    For cardholders purely interested in the value of the cash back rewards on the Amazon Prime card versus the cost of Prime membership, we figure that the magic number is $5,950 per year (roughly $496 per month). Here’s why: At $5,950 in spending, the amount of cash back that you can earn with the Amazon Prime card minus the cost of the annual membership fee equals the cash back that you can earn with the regular Amazon Visa card.

    Here’s the math for you:

    Amazon Rewards Visa
    Amazon Visa card cash back
    Amazon Prime Visa Signature
    Amazon Prime card cash back
    $5,950/year x 3% cash back = $178.50 $5,950/year x 5% cash back – $119 annual fee = $178.50

    If you spend more than $5,950 on Amazon purchases per year, your Amazon Prime membership stands to net a better value for you. However, that’s a hefty amount of spending on Amazon! If $5,950 is too rich for your budget, the regular Amazon Visa may be the better way to go. 

    Best for casual Amazon shoppers: Amazon Visa card

    Though the Amazon Visa card doesn’t sport a flashy 5% cash back rate, it does offer a pretty good 3% cash back rate on Amazon purchases, which is still higher than most of the other best rewards cards. The card also offers a $50 Amazon gift certificate for signing up, the same seamless redemption options as the Amazon Prime card and many of the same purchase protections and Visa Signature benefits, without requiring you to commit to a Prime membership.

    It’s a good deal, though there is a smattering of opportunities to do better than the card’s 3% cash back rate. Read on to see how.

    Best for Prime Day and the holiday season: Discover it Cash Back

    Discover it® Cash Back

    Where it comes out ahead:

    The potential 10% cash back you get on Amazon purchases in the last quarter of the card’s first year beats every other card (but only applies during the first year).

    Read full review

    Rewards rate:

    • 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories on up to $1,500 in combined spending, upon enrollment (Amazon.com October-December 2021)
    • 1% cash back on everything else

    Sign-up bonus:
    Double your cash back at end of first year

    Annual fee:

    $0

    Estimated yearly rewards value ($15,900 spend):

    $226

    If you are signing up for the Discover it Cash Back card for the first time and you plan to do a lot of Amazon shopping on Prime Day and through the holidays, you are in for the ultimate cash back discount on Amazon purchases. Upon enrollment, the card offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending in categories that rotate quarterly (then 1%), and the fourth quarter category for 2021 (October through December) includes Amazon.com purchases. The card then doubles all the cash back that you earn in the first year, so, essentially – you earn 10% cash back on Amazon purchases for a quarter of the first year.

    No other card offers a 10% cash back rate on Amazon purchases. Unfortunately, the 10% rate only applies in the first year during the last quarter. After that, the rate drops to 5%. Plus, the 5% on Amazon purchases is only active October through December, which happens to be peak season for holiday shopping. Still, 5% by itself is not a bad deal, and it beats the 3% cash back rate on the regular Amazon Visa card at least for a quarter of the year.

    Citi® Double Cash Card

    Where it comes out ahead:

    This card earns the highest flat cash back rate on the consumer credit card market, offering 2% cash back (1% when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay it off) on Amazon – and everywhere else.

    Read full review

    Rewards rate:

    • 2% cash back (1% on purchases and 1% when they’re paid off)

    Sign-up bonus:
    None

    Annual fee:

    $0

    Estimated yearly rewards value ($15,900 spend):

    $318

    If you’re not a Prime member and looking for a credit card that would consistently earn you solid cash back rewards on online shopping and everything else, a flat-rate cash back credit card may be your best bet. In this category, Citi Double Cash Card is hard to beat. The card earns 2% cash back on all purchases – 1% at the time of purchases and 1% when you pay your bill. There’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn.

    Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature Flagship Rewards card is another rewards card worth a look if you’ve been on the fence about signing up for Amazon Prime. Through Sept. 30, 2021, the card is offering a free Amazon Prime membership as a sign-up bonus. Even if you’re already a Prime member, you can be reimbursed for the cost of your membership renewal.

    Bonus tip: Buy Amazon gift cards

    An additional way to earn a bonus on Amazon purchases with an outside credit card is to purchase Amazon gift cards at stores where your card offers a category bonus, such as office supply and grocery stores.

    While some cardholders have success with this tactic, there’s no guarantee that your particular store will offer Amazon gift cards or allow you to purchase gift cards with a credit card. (Fraud concerns with gift cards have led some retailers to bar their purchase with credit cards.) However, it’s worth checking the gift card rack, especially if you are trying to collect points on a particular card.

    See related: Guide: How to maximize your cash back on Amazon.com

    *Information about the Amazon Rewards Visa and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy.

    TInformation about this card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy.he editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy

    Source: creditcards.com

    Same Walker