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The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is a cash back credit card exclusively for Amazon Prime members. Built for regular Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market shoppers, it offers up to 5% cash back on purchases made within the Amazon ecosystem and 2% cash back on a broad range of other purchases. Backed by Chase, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature requires a paid-up Prime membership but otherwise has reasonable fees.
The easiest way to redeem your Amazon Prime Rewards cash back is for instant discounts on purchases from Amazon. Thanks to Chase’s expansive lineup of additional cash back redemption options, you can also redeem for cash equivalents like statement credits, travel expense reimbursement, merchandise, and gift cards.
This card comes with a nice sign-up bonus offer: an $80 Amazon digital gift card, available once your application is approved (the amount of the gift card is subject to change, so check with Amazon before applying). Its Visa Signature benefits are solid, too, though there’s nothing unique compared with other Chase credit cards.
If you’re not sure Prime membership is right for you, look into the similar Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, which provides 3% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. If your Prime membership is cancelled or expires due to nonpayment, your Prime Rewards Visa Signature account will automatically downgrade and you’ll earn 3% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases.
You’ll see a $80 Amazon gift card hit your Amazon account as soon as your credit card application is approved. Amazon often displays ads for this card to Prime members during checkout, so if you pause the purchase process to apply and get approved right away, you can knock $80 off the cost of your pending order. But bear in mind that this offer is subject to change.
Earning Cash Back Rewards
This card earns unlimited 5% cash back on all Amazon and Whole Foods Market purchases with eligible Prime membership. It earns 2% cash back on eligible purchases at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores. All other eligible purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back. Cash back accrues as points, with one point equal to $0.01 cash back.
To guarantee you maintain 5% cash back eligibility, Amazon advises keeping your card in your secure Amazon Wallet in your Amazon account. If you remove the card from your wallet or add it to another account, you may temporarily lose 5% eligibility. If this occurs, you’ll still earn 3% back on Amazon purchases, but may need to Chase or Amazon to get the 5% restored.
Redeeming Cash Back Rewards
The best way to redeem your accumulated points is for instant discounts on Amazon purchases, known as Amazon’s Shop With Points feature. There’s no minimum to redeem.
At Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal, you also can redeem for general-purpose cash back (via statement credit), travel (airfare, hotels, car rentals, and more), and general merchandise. Check with Chase for non-Amazon redemption minimums, which generally do not exceed 2,000 points.
Visa Signature Travel Benefits
This card has some useful travel benefits backed by Visa:
- Travel Accident Insurance. This bare-bones form of travel insurance covers catastrophic events up to $500,000 per cardholder.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement. Costs associated with cardholders’ and family members’ lost luggage are covered up to $3,000.
- Baggage Delay Insurance. If your baggage is delayed more than 6 hours, any essential purchases made as a result are reimbursed up to $100 per day.
- 24/7 Travel and Emergency Assistance. Get referrals for medical, legal, and other emergency services if you run into trouble. Additional fees may apply.
- Complimentary Car Rental Insurance. Collision and damage are covered when you pay for the rental in full with your card.
- 24/7 Roadside Dispatch. Additional fees may apply.
- Perks Within the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. These include the best rate, automatic room upgrades, and free in-room WiFi (all subject to availability).
- 24/7 Concierge Service. Get help making hard-to-get reservations and planning itineraries in unfamiliar cities.
Visa Signature Consumer Benefits
This card has some potentially valuable benefits for everyday shoppers too. You’ll get extended warranties of up to one year beyond the manufacturers’ warranty window. You’ll also enjoy purchase protection (theft and damage coverage) on new purchases for up to 120 days, capped at $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
This card has no annual fee, but does require a paid Amazon Prime membership. Prime costs $12.99 per month or $99 per year, per individual or household account.
This card has no foreign transaction fee. Balance transfers cost $5 or 5% (whichever is greater), while cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%. Late and returned payments cost up to $37.
This card requires good to excellent credit. If you have any notable blemishes in your credit history, your application may be denied.
- Up to 5% Cash Back on Amazon and Whole Foods Purchases. The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card’s distinguishing benefit is 5% cash back on purchases at Amazon and Whole Foods. There’s no limit to cardholders’ 5% earnings and virtually no restrictions on what they can buy. Needless to say, this is a fantastic rate. Most other cash back cards, even those charging annual fees, cap cash back below 5% or impose strict spending caps on categories that earn 5% or higher cash back.
- Broad 2% Cash Back Categories. This card’s 2% cash back categories span drugstores, restaurants, and gas stations. Most consumers spend regularly in at least one of these categories. When they do, they’ll earn cash back at a very competitive rate.
- Sign-Up Bonus Often Applied Immediately. This card’s sign-up bonus isn’t particularly generous, but it’s convenient and easy to attain. If your card application is approved immediately, you can use your bonus against your current Amazon order; you don’t even have to make a purchase with your card first.
- Seamless Redemption Process. Thanks to Amazon’s Shop With Points feature, it’s incredibly easy to redeem your accrued Amazon Rewards points. Simply apply them against your Amazon transaction balances and get on with your life. You can also redeem at Chase’s Ultimate Rewards dashboard, which is pretty easy to use too.
- No Foreign Transaction Fee. The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has no annual fee. That’s welcome news for cardholders who frequently venture outside the U.S., whether on road trips to Canada or international journeys to Europe and beyond.
- No Direct Annual Fee. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee. If you’re already taking full advantage of your Amazon Prime membership, and would keep this membership whether you had this card or not, there’s really no additional out-of-pocket cost here.
- Solid Visa Signature Benefits. Though it’s not a proper travel rewards credit card, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has a nice lineup of Visa Signature benefits for shoppers and travelers. The Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection perks are particularly nice, as are the various travel insurance inclusions.
- No-Penalty APR. This card has a no-penalty APR. If you occasionally miss statement due dates due to unforeseen expenses or cash crunches, this could save you hundreds of dollars in penalty interest each year.
- Requires Paid-Up Amazon Prime Membership. The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card requires a paid Amazon Prime membership to earn 5% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. Prime membership costs $12.99 per month or $99 per year, roughly equivalent to the cost of a premium cash back credit card like Blue Cash Preferred from American Express. Prime has attractive benefits, such as free two-day shipping, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re not a Prime member already, or feel you’re not getting your money’s worth from the program, think twice about applying for this card.
- No 0% APR Introductory Promotion. This card does not have a 0% APR introductory promotion for purchases and balance transfers. If you’re looking for a new home for your high-interest credit card balances or need to finance a major purchase, look to no-annual-fee cash back cards like Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited, both of which offer 15-month 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
- Automatic Downgrade If Prime Membership Lapses. If you cancel your Prime membership or allow it to lapse due to nonpayment, you’ll lose this card’s 5% cash back benefit. You can avoid this in the short-term by choosing an annual Prime membership, but it’s something for tentative Prime members to keep in mind.
- Low Baseline Rewards Rate. This card’s baseline rewards rate is low – just 1% back on purchases not covered by the 5% and 2% categories. That’s a far cry from some competing cash back cards’ baseline rates. The Citi Double Cash Card earns unlimited 2% cash back on all eligible spending, for instance.
- Sign-Up Bonus Could Be Better. The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card’s $70 sign-up bonus isn’t terrible, but it’s definitely not the headline here. Some competing cash back cards boast sign-up bonuses or welcome offers in excess of $200.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has one job: to reward loyal Amazon Prime members for their continued patronage. Its three-tiered rewards program earns up to 5% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods Market purchases, rewarding cardholders who prefer to shop at home except when it’s time to restock the cupboard. The promise of 2% back on purchases at restaurants, drugstores, and gas stations is nothing to sneeze at, either. For a card that technically doesn’t charge an annual fee, this is a pretty strong cash back regime.
The bottom line? For heavy Amazon shoppers, this card may be well worth the Prime membership fee, even if you don’t use it outside the Amazon/Whole Foods ecosystem.
However, if you don’t spend enough at Amazon or Whole Foods to justify a Prime membership, you may want to give this card a pass – or at least stick to the truly no-annual-fee Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card. Attractive as this card is, it provides the best deals specifically to Amazon Prime members.