There are a lot of perks to living in the 21st century, but the ability to go online and order your groceries, a new pair of shoes, and the latest accessory for your action camera and have them all show up at your doorstep within a day is pretty high on the list of greatest inventions of all time.
I think we can all admit to spending a little too much money on Amazon once in awhile. So, if we’re going to continue impulse buying yet another swim suit and drunk Amazon shopping (is it just me who does that?), we might as well get some rewards for racking up the bills, right?
Like any store, Amazon has an Amazon credit card. It does have some useful perks for the Amazon-obsessed. The question is, is it worth it?
What does the Amazon credit card offer?
- $10 gift card upon approval
- Exclusive financing offers for 6 months, 12 months or 24 months
- 5% cash back on Amazon.com purchases with no earnings cap
The card, issued by synchrony bank, provides instant credit decisions, so you could be approved within 15 seconds. If they need to evaluate your credit report a little more in-depth it could take longer. If you are approved, there’s a small sign-on gift that varies over time. Right now it’s a $10 gift card.
The basic offerings of the card are either exclusive financing offers or cash back rewards. There is no annual fee. However, you must have the Amazon Prime credit card to qualify for the cash back offers, meaning you have to purchase a Prime subscription for $99/year in order to upgrade your card.
If you do have Amazon Prime, the card offers the following options on each purchase, dependent upon your purchase total.
Orders totaling $149-$598: You can choose between no interest for 6 months and 5% cash back.
Orders totaling $599+: You can choose between no interest for 12 months and 5% cash back.
Orders on select Amazon sold items: You can choose between no interest for 24 months and 5% cash back.
As you can see, if you choose to accept a financing offer, you don’t get any cash back. However, the fine print reveals that interest on financing offers accumulates during the promotional period, and if you don’t pay off your full balance by the end of the period, you’ll be charged interest fees starting from the date of purchase. The variable APR on the card is 26.99%.
You can only use the card on Amazon.com, and it can’t be used to purchase a Prime membership, digital subscription, or game download on Amazon.
The Cash Back: The 5% cash back offers is the big perk with this card. If you spend a lot of money on Amazon on a regular basis that could really add up.
The Annual Fee: There’s also no annual fee, so it doesn’t hurt to get the card for your Amazon purchases. Of course, you only get the cash back deal if you have Amazon Prime. If you don’t already have it, you’re looking at paying an extra $99/year. It’s kind of like an annual fee, but your Amazon Prime membership comes with lots of great perks like free shipping and streaming. It usually ends up paying for itself.
The APR: The APR on this card is very high. It’s well above the national average, even for store credit cards. You never want to carry a balance on this cards.
The Exclusive Financing: This makes the exclusive financing offers very bad deals, especially because the interest charges after the promotional period are retroactive. If you find yourself unable to pay off even the last small amount of your balance, you’ll get hit with huge interest fees. I would not recommend taking advantage of the financing offers on this card. If you’re looking for promotional financing offers, there are far better options out there.
The Limitations: You can only use this card on Amazon.com. While 5% cash back is just about as good as it gets, it only applies to your Amazon purchases, and you don’t get any perks on any other kinds of purchases. It’s definitely not an everyday spend card.
This definitely isn’t an everyday spend card, and it’s not a card that you’re going to reap huge rewards from. However, because there is no annual fee, it doesn’t hurt to get this card if you’re an avid Amazon shopper.
If you already have a Prime membership, or if you think you spend enough in shipping each year to warrant the $99 membership, and you shop on Amazon regularly, this card is a pretty good value.
The Alternative: the Amazon Store Card versus the Amazon VISA
There are a couple alternative cards for lovers of Amazon.com. In addition to the Amazon Store Card, they also offer an Amazon VISA Credit Card. You don’t have to have a Prime membership to reap the rewards on this card. It also has a slightly lower APR.
This is a regular credit card that can be used anywhere and offers a wider variety of awards. You only get 3% back on your Amazon.com purchases, but you also get 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.
It’s not bad at all for a rewards card, but others offer better cash back rewards. The Amazon VISA is only worth it if you spend a lot of money on Amazon. However, if you do, the store card is probably a better option anyway.