Amazon Prime Rewards Review: Perhaps the Ultimate Store Card

Earning 5% back at both Amazon (which basically sells everything) and Whole Foods is unbeatable, but you can't get this card without an Amazon Prime membership.
Apr 20, 2022

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Our Take

4.6

NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

If you're a big spender at Amazon or Whole Foods, no other card can reward you this handsomely or consistently for your loyalty. But if you rarely buy from either retailer, you'd benefit more from a card that rewards you where you shop the most.

Jump to: Full Review
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
14.49%-22.49%, Variable
Intro APR
N/A
Rec. credit score
690-850 (Good - Excellent)

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • High rewards rate

  • Flexible rewards redemption

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • New cardholder bonus offer

Cons

  • Must be a member/customer

  • No 0% intro APR

Alternate Pick: High rewards rate on everything
Citi® Double Cash Card
NerdWallet rating 
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
No category tracking or membership required

If it's ease of use you're after, this card delivers. It earns 2% cash back on all spending — 1% when you make a purchase, and 1% when you pay the bill.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

14.74%-24.74% Variable APR

Regular APR

12.24%-23.24% Variable APR

Regular APR

15.24%-23.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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Full Review

If you're an Amazon Prime loyalist, it's hard to find fault with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card.

The card, issued by Chase, earns a stellar rewards rate at both Amazon.com and Whole Foods. And unlike a lot of other store-branded cards, you can use it — and earn rewards with it — anywhere that accepts Visa. You'll enjoy bonus rewards at restaurants, drugstores and gas stations, too. Plus, redemption options are quite flexible for a store card.

You get all this for an annual fee of $0, although you'll need to pay for an Amazon Prime membership first. Those who don't shop enough with Amazon to justify that membership fee will want to look elsewhere.

Nerdy tip: Amazon offers an array of credit cards in addition to this one. Some are for Prime members only, while others are open to anyone. Some are store cards that can be used only at Amazon; others can be used anywhere that accepts Visa. Here's a look at other options.

Key features of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Card type: Store and rewards.

Annual fee: $0, but you must be an Amazon Prime member. Membership costs $139 annually ($69 a year for students). Note that in many states, a sales tax will apply to your membership fee, pushing the effective cost higher.

Sign-up bonus: Amazon occasionally offers gift cards of varying amounts upon approval.

Rewards:

  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market.

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

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Rewards come as points that are worth a penny each. They can be redeemed toward eligible Amazon.com purchases, with no minimum redemption required. But you can also redeem points through Chase for cash back, either as a statement credit or a deposit into an eligible checking or savings account, also with no minimum required. Other redemption options include travel and gift cards. Note that points earned on the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card cannot be combined with Chase Ultimate Rewards® points.

APR: The ongoing APR is 14.49%-22.49%, Variable.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Other benefits:

  • Travel protections: Travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, travel and emergency assistance, auto rental collision damage waiver, roadside dispatch.

  • Shopping protections: Extended warranty, purchase protection.

  • Plus: Visa Signature concierge service and access to booking hotels in the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection.

Why you might want the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

High ongoing rewards

If you spend a lot at Amazon.com or Whole Foods Market, no other card can offer such consistently high rewards for your loyalty as the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. A few other cards do come close, like the Discover it® Cash Back. It earns up to 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories that change each quarter, up to a $1,500 quarterly spending cap. (Activation is required; all other purchases earn 1% back.) And in the past, Amazon.com has been among that card's 5% bonus categories — but, again, only for a three-month period, and only up to that combined quarterly $1,500 cap.

Nerdy tip: If you want Amazon-centric earnings without the membership price tag, consider the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card. This version also has an annual fee of $0, but it doesn't require a Prime membership. It earns less in rewards at Amazon and Whole Foods, but you'll snag the same rate back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores.

Rewards flexibility

The only thing more fun than earning rewards is redeeming them, and your earnings on the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card can be used in a variety of ways (which isn't always the case with store-branded credit cards). Use rewards toward your next Amazon purchase, or redeem them through Chase to buy gift cards, to book travel or to get straight-up cash back. Points are worth one cent each any way you use them.

Packed with extras

Even if the farthest you travel is from your bed to your couch, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is jam-packed with juicy Visa Signature extras that nearly anyone can benefit from. Serious online shoppers can take advantage of the purchase and warranty protections on qualifying items. And for those who do travel frequently, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card doesn't come with any foreign transaction fees, making it ideal for use internationally. Domestic and international travelers alike can find value in the included auto rental collision damage waiver coverage, baggage delay insurance, and travel and emergency assistance.

Why you might want a different card

You don't shop at Amazon or whole foods much 

Unless you're doing a significant amount of shopping through Amazon or at Whole Foods, it doesn't make sense to apply for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. For starters, Amazon isn't always the cheapest option — especially when you factor in the cost of a Prime membership — and Whole Foods didn't earn the nickname "Whole Paycheck" for carrying budget-minded fare. If you aren't into membership fees and you're looking for low prices, consider applying for a different co-branded credit card from a different ubiquitous retail behemoth: namely, the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®. The card offers similarly generous rewards for shopping under the Walmart umbrella: 5% back on purchases at Walmart.com; 2% back on in-store purchases at Walmart (including at Murphy USA and Walmart gas stations), as well as on travel and restaurant expenses; and 1% back on all other purchases. And like Amazon, Walmart also carries just about any item you can think of. The difference? No annual membership fee is required to hold the card.

You want a simple high rate back on everything

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card offers elevated rewards in several categories — but not on every purchase you make. If you want a simpler option that can reward you well no matter where you buy, a better choice might be the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. It has the potential to earn a fantastic 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% when you buy, plus another 1% when you pay, with no category tracking or pricey membership required. The annual fee is $0.

And if that card doesn't make sense for you, check out a list of Nerdwallet's best rewards credit cards.

You're looking for a 0% intro APR offer

If you're aiming to finance a big-ticket item or you just want some extra time to pay off an existing balance, there are plenty of cards with enticing introductory interest-free offers. As with most store-branded credit cards, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is not one of them. For a lengthy 0% intro APR period on both balance transfers and purchases, the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card is a good choice.

Should you get the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card?

If you spend big at Amazon, Whole Foods, or both, no other card can reward you as generously and consistently as the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. But if you aren't doing most of your shopping at either place, there's little reason to get this card.

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

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

Frequently asked questions
Does the Amazon Prime Rewards credit card have an annual fee? 

There's no annual fee for the card, but you have to be an Amazon Prime member to apply for it and Prime membership costs $139 a year. If you’re not a Prime member, you can apply for the "non-Prime" Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card, which has no annual fee (but also earns lower rewards rates at Amazon and Whole Foods).

How can I use the rewards I earn with the Amazon Prime Rewards card? 

You can redeem rewards directly for Amazon purchases, for a credit on your statement to reduce your balance, or as a deposit in a checking or savings account. You can also redeem the rewards for gift cards or to book travel through Chase.

What credit score do I need to qualify for the Amazon Prime Rewards card? 

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is recommended for those with good to excellent credit, which generally means a credit score above 690.

What are the rewards on the Amazon Prime Rewards card? 

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card earns 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.

What bank issues the Amazon Prime Rewards card? 

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is issued by Chase. Because of that, you might not be approved if you have opened five or more credit card accounts from all issuers in the past 24 months.

Does the Amazon Prime Rewards card come with a high interest rate? 

The ongoing APR is 14.49%-22.49%, Variable. This card doesn't have an introductory 0% APR period.