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The Amazon Credit Card: Is it Worth the Rewards?

Credit Cards
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If you do a heavy amount of shopping on Amazon.com—purchasing books, electronics, clothing, even groceries—then you might want to consider the Amazon Credit Card. In addition to having no annual fee, this card offers a sign-up bonus: an Amazon.com Gift Card will be instantly loaded into your Amazon.com account upon the approval of your credit card application, a way for the company to say thanks to their loyal customers.

At a glance
Annual fees annual fee is $0
Foreign transaction fee 3%
Rewards program 3 points for each $1 spent at Amazon.com, 2 points for each $1 spent at gas stations, drugstores, office supply stores and restaurants.
Signup bonus an Amazon.com Gift Card will be instantly loaded into your Amazon.com account upon the approval of your credit card application
Verdict: This card is only worth it if you spend a lot of money on Amazon.com
Good for:
  • Shoppers who spend at least $1,500 per month on Amazon
  • Purchasing gift cards on Amazon.com and at drugstores
  • Gas stations
Bad for:
  • Shoppers spending less than $1,500 per month on Amazon – it’s worth getting the Sallie Mae MasterCard, instead
  • Grocery shopping

In this article:

The Amazon Credit Card basics
Where it shines
Where it falls short
Amazon Credit Card vs. the Sallie Mae MasterCard: Which is better?

The Amazon Credit Card basics

If you shop online at Amazon a lot, this is clearly a good card for you. It comes with a sign-up bonus: an Amazon.com Gift Card will be instantly loaded into your Amazon.com account upon the approval of your credit card application. What’s more, you’ll also earn 3 points per dollar spend on Amazon.com, 2 points per dollar on gas, restaurants and drugstores, plus 1 points per dollar on all other purchases.

Where it shines

This card is good for an individual, a business or a family who actively uses Amazon, especially for large purchases. If you do most of your everyday shopping on the website and spend more than $1,500 per month there, this card seems like a good choice.

Where it falls short

If you don’t spend a ton of money on Amazon each month, then there are better cards out there for you.

For example, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card carries no annual fee and offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, plus this: One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

In addition, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has a long 0% APR period, whereas the Amazon Credit Card does not come with an introductory rate offer.

Amazon Credit Card vs. the Sallie Mae MasterCard: Which is better?

The Sallie Mae MasterCard looks like a better option than the Amazon Credit Card, especially for college students and recent graduates. You don’t actually need to have a student loan to get this card, either.

The Sallie Mae MasterCard offers 5% cash back on gas and groceries up to $250 spent in each category per month, 5% on bookstores (which includes Amazon.com) up to $750 per month and 1% on all other purchases.

The Amazon Credit Card is worth getting only if you spend more than $1,500 per month on your Amazon purchases. With the Amazon Credit Card, $1,500 in purchases will net you $45 with its 3% rewards rate. However, the Sallie Mae MasterCard will net you the same $45 – with $750 of spending rewarded at 5%, and $750 of spending rewarded at 1%. For the Amazon Credit Card, $2,000 in Amazon purchases will net you $60 in rewards; on the Sallie Mae MasterCard, $2,000 will net you $50.

In order to receive cash back to a bank account, you need to sign up for a Upromise account from Sallie Mae. However, you’ll still be able to receive your rewards in the form of a statement credit on your Sallie Mae MasterCard and as a statement credit on your eligible Sallie Mae student loan.

Because of its high rewards rate for gas, groceries and bookstores each month, the Sallie Mae MasterCard looks like a better deal for normal everyday expenses and smaller purchases, while the Amazon card is better suited for big-time Amazon spenders.