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Credit Card Rewards and Amazon: Which Programs Can I Use to Shop?

Nov. 19, 2014
Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards
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Amazon has just about every gift you could possibly want to buy. Better yet, these gifts could be “free” if you choose to use your eligible credit card rewards points to shop at the popular e-tailer. Here are rewards programs you can use to shop with your points.

1. Chase Ultimate Rewards

You can use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a value of 0.8 cents per point. This rewards program works with the following Chase cards:

Keep in mind: You can typically redeem points for cash at a value of 1 cent per point. And depending on which card you carry, you may be able to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book travel at a value of 1.25 to 1.5 cents per point. Because of this, shopping with points isn’t the most valuable option. Still, this is an easy redemption option if you like to keep things simple.

2. American Express Membership Rewards

You can use your American Express Membership Rewards points from several American Express credit cards. Here’s a complete list. Membership points can be redeemed for around 0.7 cents each when you shop on Amazon, so you may want to choose a higher-value redemption.

3. Citi ThankYou Rewards

Use your qualifying CitiCard to pay for your Amazon order with ThankYou points. The following credit cards are eligible:

ThankYou points are incredibly versatile in terms of redemption options, but when you use them to shop on Amazon, they’re only worth about 0.8 cents each. Check out our article on ThankYou points to get the best value from your rewards.

4. Cashback Bonus from Discover

Use your cash rewards from Discover at a 1:1 value ($1 rewards = $1 toward Amazon purchases). Check here for eligible cards — you can use the cash rewards cards to pay with points and the travel rewards cards to pay with miles. And not to sound like a broken record, but always check to see if you can get a better value for your points before shopping with them at Amazon.

5. Rewards

You can use rewards points from your Amazon-branded credit cards to buy more goods at Amazon. You can redeem 100 points for $1. You can also redeem Amazon rewards points for cash, gift cards or travel through the Chase website, so make sure to explore your options.

OK, got it. How do I use my points to shop?

After adding your eligible credit card to your payment methods, your points will either pop up right away or you’ll have to register your card. If you have to register, all you need to do is type in your credit card information and billing address to link the account. After that, when you go to pay for merchandise, your points will come up as a payment option. You can then use them to pay for all or part of your order.

There are a few restrictions on shopping with points. You may not be able to purchase digital goods, Kindle downloads, Subscribe and Save merchandise, AmazonFresh or pre-order goods. If you want to use points to buy other goods, don’t use one-click ordering, because that will default to charging your primary credit or debit card.

Bottom line: You can use rewards points from Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Cashback Bonus from Discover or Rewards to pay for all or part of your Amazon order. Keep in mind that while you can shop with these rewards points, this may not be the most valuable way to use your rewards.

Information related to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Erin El Issa is a staff writer covering personal finance for NerdWallet. Follow her on Twitter @Erin_Lindsay17 and on Google+.

Image via iStock.

Image via iStock.