Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Looks for good quality at a fair price while buying for the household See more cards
Loves being the first to try something new See more cards
Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty See more cards
If you’re already spending enough on Amazon to make the Prime membership worthwhile, you’ll definitely see the benefit of this card. Big Whole Foods shoppers will like it, too. An annual Prime membership costs $119, so $2,380 of Amazon or Whole Foods spending in a year pays for the membership—and that’s before you count the free shipping and discount opportunities you get with Prime.
It’s a solid everyday credit card, too, given there’s no annual or foreign transaction fee, and it has good rewards on restaurant, gas, and drugstore purchases.
Great rewards in several categories
No annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Lots of ways to use rewards
No introductory purchase offer
Amazon Prime membership required to earn 5% cash back
- Great rewards in several categories: While the highest rewards rates apply to a narrow set of purchases at Amazon and Whole Foods, the next-highest tier covers frequent transaction areas: restaurants, gas, and drugstores.
- No annual fee or foreign transaction fees: This is always nice to have on a rewards card. You avoid the 3% charge a lot of other cards charge when traveling and purchasing outside of the U.S.
- Lots of ways to use rewards: You have several options for redeeming your rewards, and the rewards are worth the same amount, no matter how you use them.
- No introductory purchase offer: Some top rewards cards with no annual fee waive interest charges on purchases for a fixed amount of time. This one does not. If you’re looking to finance Amazon purchases, check out the Amazon Store Card.
- Amazon Prime membership required to earn 5% cash back: To get the highest percentage back, you need to maintain annual Prime membership, which runs $59 to $119 depending on whether you qualify for student or EBT/Medicaid card discounts. If you don’t have the membership now, review the Amazon Prime member policies and discounts to make sure it makes financial sense to purchase.
Double check that the membership option you choose is a qualifying Prime membership. For instance, if you receive free Prime shipping as a guest of another Prime member’s account, you’re not eligible for the Prime version of the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature.
Bonus for New Cardholders
New cardholders get a $70 Amazon gift card added to their account upon approval. You could also receive your bonus as a statement credit—it depends on what you’re approved for. Among retail cards, $70 is big bonus, especially since you don't have to spend anything to get it.
Earning Points & Rewards
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card from Chase offers three levels of cash-back earnings. You’ll earn a whopping 5 points per $1 spent (equivalent to 5% back) on anything purchased at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, as long as you have an active membership. If you spend $100, that’s $5 back—about the same as other no-fee general cash-back cards, although many have rotating categories to manage or limit how much you can get back.
For every $1 you spend at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, you’ll earn 2 points, and everything else earns 1 point per $1 spent. You can also earn additional rewards of up to 25% back on select purchases in Amazon.com departments such as electronics, cellphones, and clothing.
If you close your Prime account in the future, you’ll earn 3% back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases.
There are several grey areas where you may or may not earn 5 points per $1 spent on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases—generally when you’re not buying something directly from Whole Foods or Amazon in the U.S., or when shopping through a third party such as Instacart.
A point is worth 1 cent— in other words, 100 points are worth $1. Here's a rundown of how you can use them:
- Cash or statement credits: You can redeem points for cash via electronic transfer to eligible savings and checking accounts. You can also apply points as statement credits.
- Amazon purchases: You can use points directly at Amazon.com. You can pay for part or all of a purchase with points. The remaining amount can be paid with Amazon.com gift cards or a credit card. Shop with Points works like any other payment method attached to your account, though there are a few purchases you won’t be able to make with points.
- Gift cards: Purchase gift cards for retailers such as Starbucks and Walmart at chase.com/amazonrewards.
- Travel: Book airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, and cruises by calling the Chase Travel Center at 1-855-234-2538. Remaining balances can be paid for with your credit card.
- Products or services: Chase occasionally allows you to pay with Amazon points for products from third-party merchants.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
There is only one way to get the most of this card: Be a loyal Amazon and Whole Foods Market shopper, and keep an active Amazon Prime membership (as long as it makes sense for you). Pair this card with a different card that earns higher rewards rates on travel purchases or other categories not covered by this card if you really want the most out of your credit card rewards.
Redeeming your points for cash back, gift cards, or travel are the most valuable ways to use your Amazon rewards points. When you use points to pay for Amazon purchases instead of paying for the whole thing with your card, you’re reducing the amount of points you could earn.
Some credit card features stand out from the typical lineup of credit card benefits. The Balance’s editors identify a handful of these products as “excellent perks,” and this card has two of them:
- Insurance for lost, damaged or delayed luggage: On a reservation made with your card, you can get up to $3,000 per passenger to cover lost or damaged luggage. Passengers must be your immediate family member. If your flight is delayed for six hours or longer, each passenger may be reimbursed for clothing and toiletries at a rate of $100 per day for up to three days.
- Travel accident insurance: You may qualify for up to $500,000 in coverage following an accidental death or dismemberment on a bus, train, cruise, or flight booked with your card.
- Extended warranties
- Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
- Travel and emergency hotline
- Access to Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection discounts
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Concierge for booking event tickets, restaurant reservations, hotels, and other services
In J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, Chase was among six card issuers (out of a total 11) ranked “About Average."
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature cardholders can access their accounts on the Chase mobile app, which also features a free credit score and contact information for 24/7 customer service phone lines. (There’s no online chat, though.)
Chase’s credit cards have industry-standard security features and a few exceptional ones: You can lock your card from the app if you misplace it, and if you need a new card, you can get a free replacement within 24 hours in the U.S. and Canada.
This Amazon card has industry-standard fees for the most part, though the balance transfer fee is a little high at 5% of the transferred balance. (Transferring a balance to a rewards card isn’t a great strategy, either.) It’s also worth noting that the card doesn’t charge a fee for transactions made outside the U.S.