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.
Get a $200 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval exclusively for Prime members.
APR: 19.49%-27.49% Variable APR
Cash Advance APR: 29.99%, Variable
Penalty APR: 29.99%, Variable
Balance transfer fee
Either $5 or 4% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee
If you're an Amazon Prime loyalist, it's hard to find fault with the Prime Visa.
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.
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.
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: Get a $200 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval exclusively for Prime members.
5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market.
5% back on purchases through Chase Travel.
2% back at restaurants and gas stations.
2% back on local transit and commuting (including rideshare).
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 Prime Visa cannot be combined with Chase Ultimate Rewards® points.
APR: The ongoing APR is 19.49%-27.49% Variable APR.
Foreign transaction fees: None.
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.
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 Prime Visa. 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.
If you want Amazon-centric earnings without the membership price tag, consider the Amazon Visa. 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 on everything else.
The only thing more fun than earning rewards is redeeming them, and your earnings on the Prime Visa 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.
Even if the farthest you travel is from your bed to your couch, the Prime Visa 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 Prime Visa 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.
Unless you're doing a significant amount of shopping through Amazon or at Whole Foods, it doesn't make sense to apply for the Prime Visa. 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.
The Prime Visa 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. 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.
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 Prime Visa 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.
If you spend big at Amazon, Whole Foods, or both, no other card can reward you as generously and consistently as the Prime Visa. But if you aren't doing most of your shopping at either place, there's little reason to get this card.
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.
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).
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.
The Prime Visa is recommended for those with good to excellent credit, which generally means a credit score above 690.
The Prime Visa earns 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.
The ongoing APR is 19.49%-27.49% Variable APR. This card doesn't have an introductory 0% APR period.