When Amazon.com was launched 20 years ago, few could have envisioned how far the company would come. What was once an online specialty bookstore is now an Internet juggernaut that sells nearly anything and has made major inroads into fields such as cloud computing and entertainment streaming. It also offers its Amazon.com Rewards Visa card from Chase to allow customers to earn additional rewards from all of their purchases.
How Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card from Chase works
New cardholders receive $50 off of their Amazon purchases immediately upon approval of their application, which is loaded onto their Amazon.com account. This card offers 3% cash back on all purchases made from Amazon.com, 2% cash back from purchases at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Rewards can be redeemed for purchases at Amazon, cash back, gift cards, and even travel.
Applicants receive a standard interest rate for purchases and balance transfers of 15.99%–23.99% (V)2, based on their creditworthiness when they applied, which is a variable rate that can change with the Prime Rate. The rate for cash advances is 26.74% (V)2 APR, with a 5% ($10 min)2 cash advance fee. While there is no annual fee for this card, there is a None2 foreign transaction fee added to all charges processed outside of the United States. Finally, the late payment fee is up to $15 if the balance is less than $100, up to $27 if the balance is between $100 and $250, and up to $37 if the balance is $250 or more.
Amazon store charge cards
Amazon also offers its Store cards and Amazon Prime Store Card from Synchrony Bank, which are store charge cards that can only be used for Amazon.com purchases. The standard Amazon store credit card offers six months of 0% APR promotional special financing on any purchase of $149 or more, and 12 months of financing on any purchase of $599 or more. In addition, select Amazon.com items are eligible for 24 months of promotional financing. In these cases, standard interest charges apply, but are waived when the entire purchase is paid in full during the promotional financing period. The standard interest rates for these cards are 27.24%9, which is a variable APR that is subject to change with the Prime Rate.
Amazon Prime members can receive the Prime Store Card which offers 5% cash back for Amazon.com orders that are not purchased using a promotional financing offer. There is no annual fee for these cards.
How these cards compare to each other
The Amazon Rewards Visa card from Chase's biggest advantage is that it can be used anywhere that a Visa card is accepted. In addition, it offers a lower interest rate, as customers with higher credit scores can receive a standard interest rate as low as 15.99% APR and even the least qualified applicants will still receive a rate of 23.99% APR, which is still lower than the Amazon Store card's rate of 27.24%9.
Another advantage of the Amazon.com Rewards Visa card from Chase is that it earns a competitive 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores, and a nominal 1% cash back on all other purchases. Finally, the $50 instant savings is somewhat valuable as a sign up bonus.
On the other hand, the Amazon.com Rewards Visa card from Chase doesn't offer any promotional financing while the Amazon store charge card includes several valuable interest free promotional financing offers. Furthermore, Amazon Prime members will receive 5% off of their purchases with the Amazon Store credit card (when not utilizing a promotional financing offer), while holders of the Amazon.com Rewards Visa card from Chase will only receive 3% off of their purchases.
Earn 2% Back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores.2
Earn 1% Back on all other purchases.2
A $50 Amazon.com Gift Card will instantly be loaded into your Amazon.com account upon the approval of your credit card application.2
Comparing the Amazon.com Rewards Visa card from Chase to other credit cards
These two Amazon.com credit cards not only compete against each other, but also against credit cards from other card issuers. For example, the Citi® Double Cash Card offers 1% cash back on all purchases as you buy them, and gives you another 1% back as you pay for those purchases. So you basically earn cash back twice, which is as good or better than the cash back offer from the Amazon.com Rewards Visa card on all purchases other than those from Amazon.com. The card does not offer 0% on purchases, but you can transfer some balance to it as it comes with 18 months of 0% APR on balance transfers (after that a go-to APR will apply). But please note that balance transfers do not earn cash back and you will need to pay a fee for each balance you transfer.
Another good competitor is the Discover it® credit card, which has lower interest rates and offers better cash back rewards, in rotating categories (up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate) and 1% on all other purchases. The Discover it® credit card also comes with 14 months of interest free financing on purchases and balance transfers (after that a go-to APR will apply), with a 3% balance transfer fee. But the point of the Discover it® credit card for Amazon.com users is the way earned cash back can be redeemed. The card allows using cash back instantly at Amazon.com checkout, provided the Discover card is linked to the Amazon.com account.
Choosing the card that is right for you
For some people, Amazon.com has become more than just an online store, it can be a way of life. For those who live in urban areas, Amazon.com is a way of receiving goods without having to worry about traffic, parking, or carrying home purchases by foot or with public transit. Amazon.com customers who live in rural areas also have access to far greater selection than they could find locally, while even suburban customers find ways to save both time and money at Amazon.com.