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This article was last updated Aug 16, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
The Amazon.com Store Card comes with a tempting offer for Amazon Prime members — 5% back at Amazon.com.
But is it the right credit card for you? We’ll look at who it’s good for, how it stacks up against other rewards cards and more.
In this review:
- Where the Amazon.com Store Card stands out
- Where the Amazon.com Store Card falls short
- What else we think you should know
- Best alternative cards to the Amazon.com Store Card
- The bottom line
Where the Amazon.com Store Card stands out
5% back at Amazon.com. You’re automatically upgraded to the Amazon Prime Store Card if you have an Amazon Prime membership. The great rewards rate is on par with top cashback credit cards, such as the Discover it® Cash Back and the Chase Freedom®. Getting this card could make sense if you already have a Prime membership. If you don’t … well, we’ll get into that. As long as you don’t carry a balance, it would be a chance to earn money on purchases you’re already making.
When you earn cash back, you earn it as rewards points, with $1 being equivalent to 1 reward point. You can redeem points toward Amazon purchases or as statement credits.
$0 annual fee. As a reminder, you need an Amazon Prime membership if you want to earn cash back with this card. The cost of an annual Prime membership is $119 — or $59 for college students.
Making $2,380 in eligible purchases will earn enough cash back to cover the $119 cost of a membership. Those with a Prime Student membership can cover the $59 cost by making $1,180 in eligible purchases.
If you want to break down the annual Prime subscription fee into smaller payments, there are monthly options — $12.99 for a standard Prime membership and $6.49 for Prime Student. However, paying the monthly amount over the course of a year is more expensive.
Sign-up offer. The chance to get a $10 Amazon.com gift card upon approval is nice, even if there are cards out there with more lucrative sign-up bonuses.
Where the Amazon.com Store Card falls short
No rewards without Amazon Prime. If you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership, you won’t earn cash back. You would keep the Amazon.com Store Card rather than be upgraded to the Amazon Prime Store Card. In this case, it’s probably a better choice to apply for a no-annual-fee cashback card that can be used anywhere.
High interest rate. At 27.49% variable, the purchase APR on the Amazon.com Store Card is steep. For comparison, the purchase APR is 11.99% - 22.99% variable on the Discover it® Cash Back and 14.99% to 23.74% variable on the Chase Freedom®.
Can only be used for Amazon purchases. This shouldn’t be a surprise because it’s a store card, but you can only use it at Amazon.com, on Audible purchases or with select “Pay With Amazon” merchants, such as Chico’s or Edible Arrangements.
There are some exceptions, even among Amazon-related purchases. Here’s what you can’t use the Amazon.com Store Card for:
- Digital or digital and print subscriptions (including newspapers and magazines)
- Plan-based cellphones
- Purchases on Amazon subsidiaries
- Amazon game and software downloads
- Digital add-on subscriptions (e.g., Starz and Hulu)
- Amazon Restaurants items
- Whole Foods Market
What else we think you should know
Promotional financing. On purchases of $149 or more, you’ll have a chance to choose between 5% cash back (if you have a Prime membership) or promotional financing. Amazon offers two types of promotional financing — special financing and equal payments.
With special financing on purchases, you’ll have six, 12 or 24 months — depending on the purchase amount — to pay off your item in full. If you pay it off within that period, you won’t be charged interest.
For equal payments financing, you’ll also have six, 12 or 24 months — again, depending on purchase amount — to make set monthly payments. If you pay it off as planned, you won’t accrue interest.
However, the special financing option (also called deferred interest) can be dangerous. If you don’t pay off the full purchase in the promotional financing period, you will be hit with interest from the original date of purchase.
This card has similar features to the Amazon Store Card Credit Builder Card. Both cards offer the same cashback rewards rate if you’re an Amazon Prime member. The difference is that the Amazon Store Card Credit Builder Card is a secured card, meaning you have to make a security deposit to get it. That deposit doesn’t cover your monthly payments. You still have to make payments on purchases that you charge to the card.
After at least seven consecutive on-time payments on your Amazon Store Card Credit Builder Card, Synchrony Bank (the bank with which Amazon partners for its credit cards) will review your account to see if you’re eligible to upgrade to the unsecured card and get your deposit back.
Best alternative cards to the Amazon.com Store Card
Discover it® Cash Back
0% for 14 months on purchases and Balance Transfers, then 11.99% - 22.99% Variable.
Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically. *
Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically*
- INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
- Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
- Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
- Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
- Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
- Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
- No annual fee.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for Discover it® Cash Back
Do you want to earn 5% cash back but not just on Amazon purchases? This card lets you Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
The purchase APR is 11.99% - 22.99% Variable after the intro period of 0% for 14 months ends, while the annual fee is $0.
Here’s another great 5% cashback card. With the Chase Freedom®, you can Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
The purchase APR is 14.99% to 23.74% Variable after the 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months ends, while the annual fee is $0.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter, 3% on restaurants & travel, 2% at Costco & Costco.com, 1% on all other purchases
0% fee for transactions while traveling abroad
$0 annual fee
- Discover one of Citi's best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
- 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
- 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
- 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- No annual fee with your paid Costco membership and enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases
- Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.24%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
See additional details for Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
For those who prefer to bulk shopping rather than online, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is worth considering. It offers 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter, 3% on restaurants & travel, 2% at Costco & Costco.com, 1% on all other purchases. The purchase APR is 15.24% (Variable).
The annual fee is $0, but it’s important to note that you need a Costco membership for this card. The lowest membership tier available costs $60 a year.
The bottom line
If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, the Amazon.com Store Card may be a good fit for you — remember, as a Prime member, you’ll be automatically upgraded to the Amazon Prime Store Card. Getting 5% back at Amazon.com can earn you some significant cash back if you shop often on Amazon. By making $2,380 in purchases with the card, you’ll earn back the annual cost of a standard Prime membership.
It’s important to not carry a balance, though. With a purchase APR of 27.49% variable, you don’t want to accrue interest charges.
If you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership and don’t intend to get one, this card might not be your best option. You’d probably be better off applying for a cashback card you can use anywhere, including on Amazon purchases.
The information related to these cards Amazon.com Store Card, Amazon Store Card Credit Builder Card and Chase Freedom® have been independently collected by CompareCards and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.