Editorial Review

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.

Robin Saks FrankelFebruary 12, 2019

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Our Take

4.1

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: If you're a big spender at Amazon and/or Whole Foods, no other card can reward you this handsomely or consistently for your loyalty. But be aware of the Prime membership requirement.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

16.24% - 24.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Annual Fee
$0
Annual Fee
$0
Intro APR
N/A

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • High rewards rate on Amazon purchases

  • No minimum redemption amount

Cons
  • No annual fee, but requires paid Amazon Prime membership

Alternate Pick: High rewards rate on everything

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

No category tracking or membership required

If it's ease of use you're after, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer delivers. It earns 2% cash back on all spending — 1% when you make a purchase, and 1% when you pay the bill. The annual fee is $0.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

16.99% - 25.74% Variable APR

Regular APR

13.99% - 24.99% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

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 — with a big catch: Eligibility for the card is restricted to those with Amazon Prime membership. And that's not free.

Key features of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Card type: Store.

Annual fee: $0, but you must be an Amazon Prime member. Membership costs $119 annually ($59 a year for students).

Sign-up bonus: At the time of this writing, new applicants will receive a $70 Amazon.com gift card in their Amazon account upon approval for the card.

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. Minimum and maximum amounts may apply to these options.

APR: The ongoing APR is 16.24% - 24.24% Variable APR.

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 pay up to 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories that change each quarter, up to a $1,500 spending cap — notably the Chase Freedom® and the Discover it® Cash Back. (Activation is required; all other purchases earn 1% back.) And in the past, those two cards have included categories like groceries and Amazon.com at the elevated 5% rewards rate — but only for a three-month period, and only up to the combined quarterly $1,500 spending cap.

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

There's a de facto annual fee: Officially, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has an annual fee of $0. Unofficially, to hold this card, you have to pay for Amazon Prime membership at a standard rate of $119 a year. Prime can make a lot of sense if you shop regularly at Whole Foods and/or Amazon.com and enjoy the multitude of perks that come with membership, including free two-day shipping. Just know that you'd have to spend about $2,400 combined at those two retailers annually to break even on the cost of membership. For reference, neither the aforementioned Chase Freedom® nor the Discover it® Cash Back cost anything to carry. And if you want Amazon-centric perks 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.

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 earns 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.

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. 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. It offers an intro 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 20 billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 14.49% - 25.49% Variable APR.

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 interested in paying yearly for an Amazon Prime membership, other cards may better suit you.

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.