Amazon Prime Store Card Review
The new Amazon Store Card has a version that pays rewards for Amazon Prime members. If you're a huge Amazon.com shopper and you enjoy Prime's two-day shipping and unlimited access to media, the Amazon Prime Store Card may be for you.
5% Back Rewards
The Amazon Prime Store Card is a rewards version of the Amazon.com Store Card. Pricing details are the same for both cards, but with the Prime version, purchases earn 5% back. It’s pretty good considering other 5% cards offer rewards only in rotating categories, so you have to keep switching up what you buy to maximize your rewards. And with quarterly rotating rewards, there’s often a cap on what you can earn. That’s not the case with the Amazon Prime Store Card.
Rewards are paid automatically as a statement credit. There’s not much flexibility with the rewards; you can’t use them at your discretion to reduce the price of an expensive item, for example. You also can’t earn on products that are provided by affiliates or on purchases from merchants who’ve enabled Pay with Amazon as an option.
Special Financing Options
Big-ticket purchases receive tiered special financing – the bigger your purchase amount, the longer your interest-free period. You can receive 6 months special financing on purchases of $149 or more, 12 months on purchases $599 or more, 24 months on select Amazon-sold items, and 12-month equal pay on select Amazon-sold items. Equal pay financing requires you to make 12 equal monthly payments.
The special financing is deferred interest, not a true 0% no interest promotion. You must pay the balance in full before the promotional period ends to avoid paying any interest. If you don’t, you’ll be assessed interest from the date of your purchase.
It Requires Amazon Prime Membership
There’s no annual fee with the Amazon Prime Card, but you do have to subscribe to Amazon Prime, which is $99 per year after a 30-day free trial period. You'd have to spend close to $2,000 on your Amazon Prime Store Card to offset the cost of the Prime membership, but if you already subscribe to Prime, the card may be worth it.
Rewards or Special Financing, but Not Both
Amazon's not letting you have your rewards and get up to 24-months of no interest. The retailer says “The 5% back benefit cannot be combined with any applicable promotional financing offers. If your purchase is $149 or more, you will have the option to select either the promotional financing or the 5% back benefit you would like to apply to your purchase.”
Amazon lets you choose a default option that will be applied to purchases if you don’t make a selection at checkout.
High Non-Special Financing APR
Since you don’t get special financing on purchases that earn rewards, that means those purchases are subject to the regular APR, which is a high 25.99%. While pretty normal for a store credit card, it’s high compared to co-branded rewards credit cards. If you want to make the most of your rewards, pay your balance in full every month. Otherwise, the interest can negate the rewards you earn.
It’s a Store Card; You Can’t Use It Anywhere Else
The Amazon Prime Store Card is issued by Synchrony Bank and not backed by a major credit card processing network. Since it’s a store credit card, you can only use it on Amazon purchases. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing since Amazon sells almost everything.
You Can Use Your Card Right Away
Once you complete and submit your application, you’ll get an instant decision in as little as 15 seconds. If approved, not only do you receive a $10 Amazon.com gift card loaded to your account, you can also use your card right away. You don’t have to wait for the card to arrive in the mail.
Other Ways to Earn Amazon Rewards
If a store card with limited usage – or the $99 price tag on Amazon Prime – sound unappealing, but you still would like a way to earn rewards for Amazon, there are a few other options. The Amazon.com Rewards Visa from Chase offers 3% back on Amazon.com purchases; 2% at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores, and 1% on everything else with no earning caps.
The Sallie Mae MasterCard pays 5% on some Amazon.com purchases, but it depends on whether the retailer uses the bookstore code retailer for your purchases. The 5% rewards are capped at $750.
Chase Freedom and Discover it, both offer 5% on Amazon.com purchases, but only for 3 months out of the year (October through December 2015 for the Freedom and July through September for Discover it) and only on up to $1,500 in purchases for a maximum of $75 in rewards per card.
If you have another points or cash credit card, like the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card, you may be able to redeem your rewards for an Amazon.com gift card.