2019 Amazon Credit Card Review – WalletHub Editors
This content is not provided or commissioned by any issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of an issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by an issuer.
The Verdict: The Amazon.com Credit Card figures to become increasingly popular, not to mention more valuable, as Amazon.com strives to canopy the farthest reaches of digital-age commerce.
For starters, Amazon points are basically as good as cash since they can be redeemed for anything on the site – which, as we all know, is pretty much anything. One point is worth a penny, and 10,000 points can be used to buy an item priced at $100. The three points per dollar spent on Amazon.com orders that you’ll get with this card can therefore be thought of as 3% cash back. By that logic, you’ll also earn 2% cash back at gas stations, restaurants and drug stores as well as 1% everywhere else.
Add a $50 initial bonus to the mix and subtract an annual fee, and it’s pretty clear that the Amazon.com Credit Card is a must-have for online shoppers. The offer is not without flaws, however, and perhaps the biggest shortcoming is that its 1% base earning rate represents only the market average for rewards credit cards.
- Freeway To Amazon Savings: The fact that the Amazon.com Credit Card does not charge an annual fee is essential, as it allows potential applicants to use the card as a supplement to their everyday spending vehicles. After all, most people don’t want to pay for a credit card that they’re not going to use every day, and other cards provide a lot more value on non-Amazon purchases. And, even though you can seemingly buy everything imaginable from Amazon, we’re not yet at a point where average consumers spend more money through Amazon than elsewhere.
- Good Value At Gas Stations, Drug Stores & Restaurants: Most co-branded credit cards severely restrict earnings on purchases not made through the company whose name the card bears. So, if you have a credit card tied to a particular airline, for example, you can expect to earn very little when filling your car up with gas. And even if you can earn a bit more in certain spending categories, they’re usually not major ones. The Amazon Card is a bit different in this regard, providing 2 points per dollar (versus 3 for Amazon purchases) on charges made at gas stations, drug stores and restaurants.This makes using Amazon Rewards as your sole credit card a bit more viable than would be the case with other affinity cards if you don’t fancy keeping track of two accounts.
- Ultimate Rewards Redemption Options: In addition to paying with points on Amazon.com, you can also redeem your earnings at a 1:1 ratio for cash back or travel accommodations booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards (Chase issues the Amazon Card). This makes the card even more versatile, enabling you to benefit – by simply using points to pay your bill, for example – even if you don’t need something from Amazon.com.
- Earnings Don’t Measure Up For Most Non-Amazon Spending: If you make Amazon Rewards your only credit card, odds are you’ll end up earning only the market average of 1% on most purchases. You can see for yourself by comparing your gas, restaurant and Amazon.com spending to the overall amount you charge on your credit card. This ultimately isn’t too big of a deal, but the lack of high earning rates on all purchases does mean that you’ll be sacrificing value – not to mention some measure of redemption flexibility – relative to offers like Citi Double Cash if you make the Amazon Card your everyday spending vehicle.
- No Help With Financing: If you’re in the market for a big-ticket Amazon item, such as a TV or rare collectible, the Amazon Card won’t be the source of any finance savings. It doesn’t offer 0% introductory interest rates on either new purchases or balance transfers, and its regular APR will be well above the average for people with excellent credit – even if you’re lucky enough to fall in the low end of its 16.49% - 24.49% (V) range.That’s why you should only use this card if you plan to pay your bill in full every month. If you’re going to carry a balance, other cards will save you more money – even on Amazon purchases.
Other Things To Consider
- Free Prime Membership Not Included: Some people might assume that Prime status would be automatically thrown in as part of being an Amazon.com cardholder the same way that elite status is often a perk of opening a hotel rewards credit card. Although that’s not the case, it isn’t too big of a deal considering that shipping for orders of $35 or more is still free for all Amazon customers, and the Amazon Card would probably charge an annual fee if Prime membership was included, but it’s nevertheless good to know before applying.
- Might Lead To Unnecessary Spending: Like falling into a black hole of Googling, it’s easy to get lost in Amazon’s maze of inventory, only to emerge with a big ole bill. And since Amazon rewards could serve as another reason to throw caution to the wind and embrace the short-term pleasure of purchasing, cardholders should stay on the lookout for overspending. Amazon.com, unlike an airline or hotel chain, is open 24/7/365 and always at your fingertips.
Compared To The Competition
Amazon.com Credit Card
Amazon.com Store Card
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
|Rewards Bonus||$50||$10 gift card||N/A||Double Cash Back|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 3 points / $1||0 - 5% Cash Back||2% Cash Back||1.5% Cash Back|
|Purchase Intro APR||Not Offered||0% for 6 - 24 months||Not Offered||0% for 15 months|
|Transfer Intro APR||Not Offered||Not Offered||0% for 18 months*|
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $5)
|0% for 15 months|
Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
|Regular APR||16.49% - 24.49% (V)||28.24% (V)||15.74% - 25.74%* (V)||17.24% - 25.99% (V)|
|Editors’ Rating||4.5 / 5||5.0 / 5||5.0 / 5||4.7 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|
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