New Card: 5% Back at Amazon, Rewards Everywhere Else

Paul SoucyJanuary 11, 2017
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Online superstore Amazon rolled out a new credit card in 2017 that combined the best features of the Amazon Prime Store Card and the existing Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card. Available only to Amazon Prime members, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card offers:

  • 5% back on purchases at Amazon and Whole Foods (which is owned by Amazon).

  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores.

  • 1% back everywhere else.

Rewards never expire and are easily redeemable at Amazon. Your rewards balance appears on the checkout screen when you make a purchase, and you can apply rewards to a purchase in any amount, with no minimum redemption. The new card has no annual fee, but it requires membership in Amazon Prime, which costs $119 a year and provides such perks as free two-day shipping and unlimited access to streaming media. The card has no foreign transaction fees.

Amazon says you can also "redeem your points through Chase for cash back, gift cards and travel." Redemption values for those options aren't clear.

Nerd tip: Not an Amazon user? Looking to save 5% on everyday items without having to wait for them to arrive in the mail? Consider the Target REDcard™ Credit Card. You get an instant 5% discount at Target, both in-store and online, plus 30 extra days for returns and free shipping on most items at Target.com. Read our review here.

Amazon Prime customers who already have the existing Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, also known as the "Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card," will be upgraded to the new Prime product automatically. Their existing accounts will start earning the new benefits immediately, and their new card should arrive soon, Amazon said. The new card will be made of metal rather than plastic, latching on to the craze that surrounded the 2016 release of the metal Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

How does the new card stack up against other Amazon cards? Take a look:

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature

Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Store Card

Where can you use it?

Anywhere that accepts Visa

Anywhere that accepts Visa

Only at Amazon

Rewards on purchases at Amazon and Whole Foods

5%

3%

5%

Rewards at restaurants, drugstores, gas stations

2%

2%

N/A

Rewards on all other purchases

1%

1%

N/A

Annual fee for card

$0 (but requires $119 Prime membership)

$0

$0 (but requires $119 Prime membership)

"The upgraded Amazon Prime card took the best of both worlds and is really a fantastic product for regular Amazon shoppers," NerdWallet credit cards expert Sean McQuay says.

For Prime members who already have the existing Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, upgrading to the new card will mean higher rewards at no additional cost. For cardholders who might have been on the fence about ponying up the $99 for Prime membership, the new rewards rate for Amazon purchases — a 67% increase — might be just the push they're looking for. And for holders of the Amazon Prime Store Card, the fact that they can get the same 5% back at Amazon plus additional rewards elsewhere makes the new card an enticing upgrade.

The biggest drawback with most store credit cards is that their rewards can be used at only one place. Although this card offers redemption options beyond Amazon, you may never need them. Amazon carries so many different kinds of products that you won't lack for opportunities to redeem rewards, whether on Cartier watches, Angel Soft toilet paper or anything in between.

"Think of the card as a 5% discount on every Amazon purchase, no coupons needed," McQuay says.

Information related to the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card and the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of these cards.

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