Amazon Prime Rewards Visa: The pros and cons

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa allows you to earn high rewards on Amazon purchases. As with all credit cards, it has its pros and cons, weighed carefully in this guide.

An average Amazon Prime member spends $1,400 per year. However, the figure is probably higher based on the online shopping spike caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card is issued by Chase Bank and delivers 5% cashback on Amazon and Whole Foods Market purchases. If brown boxes regularly stack on your front porch, you could earn some money back simply for shopping at the world's largest retailer. 

To get a better idea of how much cashback you could earn (or have missed out on), log in to Amazon.com, navigate to "Account & Lists", and click or tap "Ordering and Shopping Preferences". You'll find a useful tool that allows you to download order reports based on your chosen timeframe, including custom dates, current year or entire history. The amount may be eye-opening, revealing you have left hundreds of dollars or more on the table in cash-back rewards. Fortunately, you can fix that by applying for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa.


Amazon Prime Rewards Visa features:

  • Annual fee: $0, although an annual $119 Amazon Prime subscription is required
  • Credit required: Good to excellent
  • Rewards: Earn 5% cashback on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases, 2% cashback at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, 1% cashback on all other qualifying purchases and a bonus of 10% to 25% on select Amazon merchandise
  • Welcome offer: $100 Amazon gift card upon approval
  • Purchase intro APR: 0% APR up to 18 months
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Standard APR: Variable APR of 14.24% to 22.24%

How it works

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa credit card is designed to integrate seamlessly with your Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases. Amazon provides a pre-qualification tool that can tell you whether you'd be approved for the card and your credit limit without affecting your credit score. It's a good way to test the waters and avoid a small hit to your credit score for an inquiry, only to get denied.

Getting pre-qualified takes just a few seconds, and so does getting approved. Once you're approved, you can start shopping online -- even if you don't have a physical card yet. You'll see the option to pay using your Amazon Prime Rewards Visa credit card at checkout. The card will follow in the mail for all other purchases.

Welcome bonus

As soon as you're approved, you'll receive a $100 bonus to get started. You can apply the bonus balance to Amazon.com or Whole Foods Market purchases right away. Besides the cash bonus, you'll receive a promotional APR of 0% for six to 18 months on purchases of at least $50. However, you won't be able to earn cashback on purchases you choose to finance using the introductory 0% APR. 

Rewards

5% cashback is a great deal. You won't find that level of year-round rewards on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases with other cards. Amazon cash-back rewards are called points and have a point-for-dollar value. This means that earning 5 points is the equivalent of $5 in cashback. Amazon points don't expire. However, you'll need an Amazon Prime membership of $119 per year for the points to remain valid. You can still continue to use the credit card if you don't renew your Prime membership, but you won't earn cash-back rewards on Amazon and Whole Foods Market purchases.

Redeeming rewards

There are a few ways to redeem the cashback rewards. Apply the points at checkout for eligible Amazon.com/Wholefoods.com purchases. Redeem them as cash as an account statement credit or by transferring the balance to a bank account. Or use the points for gift cards or travel.


Amazon Prime Rewards Visa pros and cons

The key to good credit history is being selective about your credit cards and how you use them. Available credit, low card balances, on-time payments and card longevity are some of the factors that affect your credit score most. Canceling a card because it isn't right for you could negatively impact the average age of your credit card accounts and your overall available credit. Make sure that the Amazon Prime Rewards card will suit your needs for years to come before you apply. 

Consider the following pros and cons:

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa pros:

  • No annual fee

  • Instant $100 Amazon gift card bonus at approval

  • Open-loop -- unlike many store-brand cards, it can be used everywhere Visa is accepted

  • 5% cashback on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases

  • An extra 10% to 25% back on select Amazon purchases

  • 2% cashback at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores and 1% everywhere else

  • Cash-back points can be applied to Amazon purchases, travel and gift cards 

  • Travel perks include no foreign transaction fees and Visa Signature benefits such as travel insurance, luggage protection and concierge services

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa cons

  • Requires an annual Amazon Prime membership (currently $119 per year)

  • No cash back rewards on purchases applied to the 0% APR introductory offer

  • Unlike other Chase credit cards, no access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards website


Amazon Prime Rewards Visa FAQ

Is the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa credit card free?

Although the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa has no annual fee, you're required to pay for an annual Amazon Prime membership, which is currently $119 per year.

How can I earn more cashback with my Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card?

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa already comes with a high rewards rate of 5% cashback on Whole Foods and Amazon purchases. You could earn more by taking advantage of exclusive offers available to Prime Rewards cardholders that let you earn another 10 - 25% on Amazon purchases, on top of the 5% rewards.

Is the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa credit card good for travel?

You won't earn bonus points for travel purchases, but the Amazon Prime Rewards card does come with Visa Signature travel perks. They include complimentary concierge services for help with travel, priority access and special rates at Luxury Hotel Collection properties, lost or delayed baggage coverage, no foreign transaction fees and travel/emergency assistance.