Advertiser Disclosure

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

Jan. 11, 2017
Cash Back Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards
New Card: 5% Back at Amazon, Plus Rewards Elsewhere
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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.

» REVIEW: Read our full review of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card here

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.

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 SignatureAmazon Rewards Visa Signature Card Amazon Prime Store Card
Where can you use it?Anywhere that accepts VisaAnywhere that accepts VisaOnly at Amazon
Rewards on purchases at Amazon and Whole Foods 5%3% 5%
Rewards at restaurants, drugstores, gas stations2% 2% N/A
Rewards on all other purchases1%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.

Looking for a credit card? Tell us what you would most want your new card to do.

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 this card.

About the author