Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card Review


The Amazon Prime Visa Card, formerly known as the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, is a cash-back credit card exclusively for Amazon Prime members.

Built for regular Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market shoppers, it offers up to 5% cash back on purchases made within the Amazon ecosystem and 2% cash back on a broad range of other purchases. Backed by Chase, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature requires a paid-up Prime membership but otherwise has reasonable fees.

The easiest way to redeem your Amazon Prime Rewards cash back is for instant discounts on purchases from Amazon. Thanks to Chase’s expansive lineup of additional cash-back redemption options, you can also redeem for cash equivalents like statement credits, travel expense reimbursement, merchandise, and gift cards.

If you’re not sure Prime membership is right for you, look into the similar Amazon Visa Signature Card, also known as the Amazon Visa Card. It provides 3% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. If your Prime membership is canceled or expires due to nonpayment, your Prime Rewards Visa Signature account will automatically downgrade and you’ll earn 3% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases.

What Is the Amazon Visa Card?

The Amazon Visa card is a card that offers a solid earning rewards rate on Amazon related purchases, while offering several travel-related benefits as well.

New cardholders can get a $100 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval with an eligible Prime membership, with some members being targeted for higher amounts. 

This card will earn more if you are a Prime member. You will earn an unlimited 5% back on Amazon.com purchases, Amazon Fresh (online or in-store), Whole Foods Market (online or in-store), and Chase Travel. Those who aren’t Prime members earn 3% back. 

You also earn an unlimited 2% back at gas stations,  at restaurants (takeout or dine in) and on local transit and commuting (including rideshare). On all other purchases, you will earn an unlimited 1% back. Eligible Prime cardmembers can also earn 10% back or more on a rotating selection of items and categories on Amazon.

You can redeem your rewards at Amazon.com as soon as the next day. Or you can redeem your rewards at Chase.com for cash back, gift cards or travel.

This card offers several additional benefits, like purchase protection and roadside dispatch. This card also includes several travel-related benefits, like auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, extended warranty protection, lost luggage reimbursement, travel accident insurance and travel and emergency assistance.

You also have access to Chase Offers with this card, which can save you money on purchases.

There is no annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees. 

What Sets the Amazon Visa Card Apart?

This card has several features that help it distinguish itself from other credit cards in its category.

  • Travel benefits. This card includes auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, extended warranty protection, lost luggage reimbursement, travel accident insurance and travel and emergency assistance. For a non-travel card, and a card without an annual fee, these are quite a lot of added travel benefits. 
  • Easy sign-up bonus. This card offers an Amazon gift card instantly upon approval with an eligible Prime membership, and some folks get targeted offers worth more than the advertised amount. Better yet, no minimum spend is required. 
  • No foreign transaction fee. This card does not charge a foreign transaction fee. This is a nice benefit for a no-annual fee card, usually seen in premium travel rewards cards.

Key Features of the Amazon Visa Card

These are the most notable features of the Amazon Visa Card, both the Prime and non-Prime version. Note the generous cash-back program, nice (though variable) sign-up bonus, and Visa Signature benefits.

Sign-Up Bonus

For a limited time, get a $100 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval. If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, you’ll still qualify for a $50 Amazon gift card at approval.

This is a limited time offer. See terms for offer details. Some Prime members may be eligible for a more targeted offer that could potentially be more valuable.

Earning Cash-Back Rewards

This card earns unlimited 5% cash back on all Amazon and Whole Foods Market purchases with eligible Prime membership. It earns 2% cash back on eligible purchases in three bonus categories: restaurants, gas stations, and local transit and commuting.

All other eligible purchases earn an unlimited 1% cash back. Cash back accrues as points, with one point equal to $0.01 cash back.

To guarantee you maintain 5% cash-back eligibility, Amazon advises keeping your card in your secure Amazon Wallet in your Amazon account. If you remove the card from your wallet or add it to another account, you may temporarily lose 5% eligibility.

If this occurs, you’ll still earn 3% back on Amazon.com purchases, but you may need to contact Chase or Amazon to get the 5% restored.

Prime Card Bonus

From time to time, and depending on your Amazon shopping habits, you may qualify for Prime Card Bonus earnings on eligible purchases. You can snag up to an extra 10% off eligible items, usually on a limited time basis.

Redeeming Cash-Back Rewards

The best way to redeem your accumulated points is for instant discounts on Amazon purchases, known as Amazon’s Shop With Points feature. You can also redeem for Amazon gift cards, a popular gift item. There’s no minimum to redeem in either case.

At Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal, you also can redeem for general-purpose cash back (via statement credit), travel (airfare, hotels, car rentals, and more), and general merchandise.

Visa Signature Travel Benefits

This card has some useful travel benefits backed by Visa:

  • Travel Accident Insurance. This bare-bones form of travel insurance covers catastrophic events up to $500,000 per cardholder.
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement. Costs associated with cardholders’ and family members’ lost luggage are covered up to $3,000.
  • Baggage Delay Insurance. If your baggage is delayed more than six hours, any essential purchases made as a result are reimbursed up to $100 per day.
  • 24/7 Travel and Emergency Assistance. Get referrals for medical, legal, and other emergency services if you run into trouble. Additional fees may apply.
  • Complimentary Car Rental Insurance. Thanks to Visa’s auto rental collision damage waiver, costs associated with rental car collision and damage (subject to policy limits) are covered when you pay for the rental in full with your card.
  • 24/7 Roadside Dispatch. Additional fees may apply.
  • Perks Within the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. These include the best rate, automatic room upgrades, and free in-room WiFi (all subject to availability).
  • 24/7 Concierge Service. Get help making hard-to-get reservations and planning itineraries in unfamiliar cities.

Visa Signature Consumer Benefits

This card has some potentially valuable benefits for everyday shoppers too. You’ll get extended warranties of up to one year beyond the manufacturers’ warranty window.

You’ll also enjoy purchase protection (theft and damage coverage) on new purchases for up to 120 days, capped at $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.

Deferred Interest Option

On purchases of $50 or more, you can choose to earn the usual 5% back or opt instead for 0% promo APR for up to 12 months, depending on the purchase size.

This is a great way to pay off bigger purchases over time if you don’t care so much about racking up cash back. Just remember to pay your purchases back in full before the promotional period ends or you could be on the hook for variable regular APR.

Important Fees

This card has no annual fee, but it does require a paid Amazon Prime membership. Prime costs $14.99 per month or $139 per year, per individual or household account. This card has no foreign transaction fee.

Credit Required

This card requires a good to excellent credit score. If you have any notable blemishes in your credit history or a credit score below where you’d like it to be, your application may be denied.


Pros & Cons of the Amazon Visa Card

This card has some clear advantages alongside a few downsides to keep in mind before you apply.

Pros

  • Get 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods Market purchases
  • Seamless redemption process
  • Often has a nice sign-up bonus
  • Broad 2% categories

Cons

  • Requires a paid-up Amazon Prime membership
  • Automatic downgrade if Prime membership lapses
  • No 0% intro APR offer (except special financing on purchases)
  • Low baseline rewards rate

Pros

These advantages argue strongly in favor of applying for the Amazon Visa Card.

  • Earn 5% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card’s distinguishing benefit is 5% cash back on purchases at Amazon and Whole Foods. There’s no limit to cardholders’ 5% earnings and virtually no restrictions on what they can buy. Needless to say, this is a fantastic rate. Most other cash-back cards, even those charging annual fees, cap cash back below 5% or impose strict spending caps on categories that earn 5% or higher cash back.
  • Can have a great sign-up bonus. This card often (but doesn’t always) has a nice sign-up bonus that nearly offsets a year’s worth of Amazon Prime. It has ranged from $50 to $100 in the past, usually with no spend requirement. Some Prime members may qualify for even more.
  • Broad 2% cash back categories. This card’s 2% cash-back categories span local transit and commuting, restaurants, and gas stations. Most consumers spend regularly in at least one of these categories. When they do, they’ll earn cash back at a very competitive rate.
  • Seamless redemption process. Thanks to Amazon’s Shop With Points feature, it’s incredibly easy to redeem your accrued Amazon Rewards points. Simply apply them against your Amazon transaction balances and get on with your life. You can also redeem at Chase’s Ultimate Rewards dashboard, which is pretty easy to use too.
  • No direct annual fee. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee. If you’re already taking full advantage of your Amazon Prime membership, and you’d keep your Prime membership whether you had this card or not, there’s really no additional out-of-pocket cost here.
  • Solid Visa Signature benefits. Though it’s not a proper travel rewards credit card, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has a nice lineup of Visa Signature benefits for shoppers and travelers. The Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection perks are particularly nice, as are the various travel insurance inclusions.

Cons

Consider these drawbacks before applying for the Amazon Visa Card.

  • Modest sign-up bonus.  Prime members get a $100 gift, but some can get slightly more with a targeted offer. Other cash back cards offer new applicants $200 or more.
  • Requires paid-up Prime membership to earn 5% back at Amazon and Whole Foods. This card requires a paid Amazon Prime membership to earn 5% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. Otherwise, you earn just 3% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. Prime membership costs $14.99 per month or $139 per year, which is more than the cost of a premium cash-back credit card like Blue Cash Preferred from American Express. Prime does have attractive benefits that can justify the cost, such as free shipping and a vast content library, but it’s not for everyone.
  • No 0% APR intro promotion. This card does not have a 0% APR introductory promotion for purchases and balance transfers. If you’re looking for a new home for your high-interest credit card balances or need to finance a major purchase, look to no-annual-fee cash back cards like Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited, both of which offer 15-month 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Automatic downgrade if Prime membership lapses. If you cancel your Prime membership or allow it to lapse due to nonpayment, you’ll lose this card’s 5% cash-back benefit. You can avoid this in the short term by choosing an annual Prime membership, but it’s something for tentative Prime members to keep in mind.
  • Low baseline rewards rate. This card’s baseline rewards rate is low: just 1% back on purchases not covered by the 5% and 2% categories. That’s a far cry from some competing cash-back cards’ baseline rates. The Citi Double Cash Card earns unlimited 2% cash back on all eligible spending, for instance.

Does the Amazon Visa Card Save You Money?

Yes, the Amazon Visa Card can save you money, especially if you qualify for the Prime version.

If you regularly shop at Amazon.com and/or Whole Foods Market and buy enough to offset your Prime membership fee. That shouldn’t be too difficult if you’re a committed Prime loyalist, and it’s a lot easier when you’re earning 5% back on virtually all Amazon and Whole Foods purchases.

If you’re not a heavy Amazon shopper, consider whether other Prime benefits are worth the annual expense. This card can and will reduce your expenses elsewhere in the Amazon ecosystem. But you have to use it — and, it almost goes without saying, pay off your balance in full each month.


Amazon Prime Visa Card vs. Prime Store Card

Wait, there’s another Amazon credit card?

Yes, and it’s not the non-Prime version of the Prime Visa Card. It’s the Prime Store Card, which we think is the best retail store card hands-down (though you could make a case for the Target RedCard).

The Prime Store Card is a better fit for Amazon fans who might not qualify for a premium cash-back credit card on the first go. It’s not technically for people with impaired credit, but it’s definitely less choosy than the Prime Rewards Visa Signature. The biggest downside is the fact that it’s a store credit card, so you can’t use it outside Amazon.

Yet it doesn’t compromise on benefits for Amazon shoppers. See for yourself how it compares.

Amazon Visa Card Prime Store Card
5% Cash Back at Amazon Yes, with Prime membership Yes, with Prime membership
5% Cash Back at Whole Foods Yes, with Prime membership No
Bonus Cash Back Potential Up to 10% on select Amazon purchases; 10% off Whole Foods purchases as a Prime member 5% to 15% on select Amazon purchases
0% APR Financing Yes, up to 18 months on larger purchases Yes, up to 24 months on select purchases (more info below)

How the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card Stacks Up

Let’s put it all together. You’re in the market for a new retail credit card that’s more than a simple store card. Where do you turn?

The Amazon Visa Signature Card should be high on your list, but it won’t have the place to itself. Before you pull the trigger on this one, consider two closes competitor that also offer up to 5% back on eligible purchases: the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card and the Target RedCard.

First, here’s how the Amazon Visa compares to the Walmart Rewards Card:

Amazon Visa Card Walmart Rewards Card
5% Cash-Back Categories Amazon.com purchases, Whole Foods Market purchases Walmart.com purchases, Walmart in-store purchases for the first 12 months with Walmart Pay
2% Cash-Back Categories Restaurants, gas stations, local transit/commuting Walmart in-store after the first 12 months, restaurants, travel
Redemption Options Statement credits and Pay With Amazon Paper check, statement credits
Welcome Offer Varies, but often $100 back instantly at sign-up 5% back on Walmart in-store purchases for the first 12 months with Walmart Pay
Annual Fee $0 (but $139 annual Prime fee) $0

As you can see, both versions of the Amazon Visa card outshine the Walmart card when it comes to rewarding Amazon purchases. The catch is that to get the full 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, you have to be a Prime member and pay the associated fee. But that could be worth it if you frequently shop Amazon.

Now, let’s see how the Amazon Visa compares with the Target RedCard.

Amazon Visa Card Target RedCard
Annual Fee $0 $0
Sign-Up Bonus $100 Amazon gift card $0
Rewards Rate Up to 3% or 5% Up to 5%
0% Intro APR None None
Foreign Transaction Fee None None
Credit Needed Good or better Good or better

Setting aside the sign-up bonus, the Target RedCard is a better deal for in-store and online purchases with the sponsoring retailer. But it falls short outside the Target ecosystem and lacks the Amazon card’s sign-up bonus.

Final Word

The Amazon Visa Card has one job: to reward loyal Amazon Prime members (and other Amazon fans) for their continued patronage.

Its three-tiered rewards program earns up to 5% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods Market purchases, rewarding cardholders who prefer to shop at home except when it’s time to restock the cupboard.

The promise of 2% back on purchases at restaurants, local transit and commuting providers, and gas stations is nothing to sneeze at, either. For a card that technically doesn’t charge an annual fee, this is a pretty strong cash-back regime.

The bottom line? For heavy Amazon shoppers, this card may be well worth the Prime membership fee, even if you don’t use it outside the Amazon/Whole Foods universe.

However, if you don’t spend enough at Amazon or Whole Foods to justify a Prime membership, you may want to give this card a pass — or at least stick to the truly no-annual-fee Amazon Visa Card. Attractive as this card is, it provides the best deals specifically to Amazon Prime members.



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