If you are a fan of Amazon Prime, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card is a great way to earn rewards while shopping at Amazon.com and Whole Foods. And, until most other retail credit cards, you can use it at any merchant that accepts Visa and earn rewards, including restaurants, drugstores, and gas stations. If you are wondering if the Amazon Prime Visa Card is worth getting, we will go over more details below to help you understand if this card is right for you.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card Review Summary
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is a premium Amazon credit card that is meant to reward Amazon Prime members. Compared to other online shopping credit cards, it has high rewards on Amazon purchases and comes with Visa Signature benefits. When used to its full potential, you can easily recover the costs of your Prime membership and make use of other key benefits, including travel and purchase protections.
The card extends the warranty period by an additional year on all eligible warranties of 3 years or less and comes with purchase protections. Additionally, because this card is a Visa Signature card, it comes with strong travel-related benefits, including auto rental collision damage waiver benefits, lost luggage reimbursement, no foreign transaction fees, access to hotel collection services, and more.
While the card itself does not have an annual fee, you need an Amazon Prime membership to take full advantage of the benefits, which currently has a $139 annual fee. If you are a frequent Amazon Prime shopper, the card is a great addition to consider including in your wallet. But, otherwise, you may want to think twice before getting the card.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card Review Highlights
The Amazon Prime Rewards card has no annual fee, but you must be an Amazon Prime member to reap its full benefits. As of May 2022, an annual membership costs $139 ($69 for students), not including tax.
One of the biggest perks of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card is the consistently high rewards rates you get from swiping your card at Amazon.com and Whole Foods. No other credit card in the market today can offer such steady, competitive rewards for these purchases.
You can currently receive a $100 Amazon gift card instantly upon card approval as a welcome bonus, though sign-up bonuses have fluctuated from $70 up to $150 in the past. In 2021, ahead of Prime Day in June, customers received an intro offer of up to $150, which could make the lead-in period to Prime Day one of the best times to apply for this card if history repeats itself.
While the $100 promotion is not bad, this value is on the lower end of sign-up bonuses we see in the market for cards with no annual fees, which typically weigh in at $150 to $200. However, unlike the other cards, there is no spending requirement as you receive the gift card instantly in your Amazon.com account. Additionally, many retail cards do not offer a bonus at all, so this is a nice plus that can potentially cover part of the costs of the Amazon Prime membership for the first year of card ownership.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card currently has the following rewards structure for cardholders with an eligible Amazon Prime membership:
- 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Markets
- 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores
- 1% back on utilities, rideshares, and all other purchases
- 10% back on select Amazon Prime purchases (for a limited time)
If the Amazon.com account you apply for the card with does not have an eligible Prime membership, you will only earn 3% back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases. Additionally, if your card account no longer has an eligible Prime membership, is not loaded into an account with an eligible Prime membership, or is used to select or apply for another Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card account, you will only earn 3% back instead.
Given that there are many other credit cards that will give you better cashback rates on restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, your best bet to maximize rewards potential is to use this card exclusively on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. If you spend at least $2,780 in this category each year, your rewards will cancel out your Prime Membership cost.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
The card does not charge foreign transaction fees. So, when you travel abroad or make purchases from international merchants, you will not get charged for your purchases. And since it is a Visa card, it is generally accepted at most places in the world.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card comes with extra Visa Signature benefits that cardholders can take advantage of, including shopping and travel protections.
Travel Insurance Benefits and Services
Compared to other retail cards, the Amazon Prime Rewards card offers a remarkable depth of travel insurance benefits. When you pay for your travels using this card, you are eligible for travel accident insurance (up to $500,000), lost luggage reimbursement (up to $3,000/ passenger, including you and your family members), and baggage delay insurance (up to $100/ day for 3 days if delayed more than 6 hours). If you rent a car during your travels, you can decline the rental company’s car rental collision insurance and charge the cost to the card to get secondary coverage instead, which will cover the costs for theft or damage to the car.
If you encounter any issues whiles traveling, you will have access to a travel and emergency assistance hotline that can help you with legal and medical referrals, prescriptions, translation services, etc. Note that you will need to pay for any third-party costs though. Additionally, you will have access to a 24/7 roadside dispatch hotline that can help you arrange services like towing, winching, and jumpstarting, though you will still get charged for services rendered.
Purchase and Extended Warranty Protections
The card also offers purchase and extended warranty protections, which provides some peace of mind for online purchases. The purchase protection covers you for 120 days against damage or theft on purchases (up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account). Meanwhile, the extended warranty protection will extend the warranty coverage period for eligible warranties of 3 years or less by a whole year. With these protections, the card guarantees zero fraud liability, ensuring that you will not have to pay for unauthorized purchases made using your card.
Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection and Concierge Service
With the card, you will get access to Visa Signature travel benefits, which includes access to concierge service and the Luxury Hotel Collection. If you are on a time crunch, the Visa Signature Concierge Service can help you arrange travel plans, such as restaurant reservations and theater tickets, for free though you will need to pay for the third-party services. Additionally, you will get perks at over 900 hotels worldwide, including automatic room upgrades when available, free breakfast, late checkout, and other complementary privileges.
Your earnings from the card can get used in several ways, which is not often the case for store-branded credit cards. You can redeem the rewards for eligible Amazon purchases or through statement credit or electronic deposit into your checking or savings account. You can also redeem them through Chase to buy gift cards, book travel, and purchase products or services made available through the program or from third-party merchants.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card Drawbacks
Requires an Amazon Prime Membership
To earn the full benefits for the Amazon Prime Rewards card, you need to maintain a Prime membership. If you already subscribe to Amazon Prime, the 5% and 10% benefits can get treated as bonuses. However, while the membership itself comes with various benefits that may be of value, if you do not want to pay for it on an ongoing basis, you may be better off skipping this card.
Though you can recoup the costs of the first year through the sign-up bonus, it is only worth it if you were planning on getting the membership in the first place. Otherwise, the annual fee will take out a significant chunk of your potential earnings after the first year of owning the card.
Rewards Primarily Amazon or Whole Foods Purchases
Unless you are regularly spending money at Amazon.com or Whole Foods, it may not make sense to apply for the card. Amazon is not always the cheapest option available, particularly when you factor in the cost of Prime membership. Additionally, Whole Foods’ upscale pricing earned it the nickname “Whole Paycheck” and for good reason low prices is definitely not one of its virtues.
No 0% Introductory APR Offer
This card does not come with a 0% introductory APR period. If you want to finance a big-ticket item or transfer an existing balance to get extra time to pay it off, there are plenty of alternatives that will offer competitive interest-free intro periods.
Rates and Fees
Balance Transfer and Cash Advance Fees
Currently, the Amazon Prime Rewards card comes with a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. For cash advances, you will need to pay either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
The card charges an APR of 14.49% to 22.49% depending on your creditworthiness. At Amazon checkout, you will have the option to select equal monthly payments ranging from 6-18 months with a 0% APR on eligible purchases of $50 or more. But, if you choose this option, you will not earn any rewards and will be responsibly for the monthly payment amount.
Other Details to Consider
Rewards Earning Details
When you earn rewards, you are actually earning points that can be redeemed at a 1:1 value toward eligible Amazon.com purchases, cashback, travel, or gift cards. In other words, 1 point is equivalent to 1 cent. There is no minimum redemption required for Amazon purchases, but there are limitations to what you can redeem, including things like music, video downloads, and Kindle eBooks. Additionally, while the card is issued by Chase, points earned on this card cannot be combined with Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Rewards Redemption Details
You can redeem your rewards for Amazon purchases by adding items to your cart selecting your Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature credit card at checkout, and applying either all of your available rewards or a portion of them to cover the purchase. Each point is worth one cent on Amazon.com, with 100 points equivalent to $1. If you redeem your points this way, you do not need to meet a minimum redemption requirement.
Once you earn at least 2,000 points by spending $400 at Amazon or Whole Foods, you can redeem them for statement credit. This option is if you want more flexibility in how you spend your earnings and not be tied to Amazon purchases only.
Alternatively, you can redeem your points for a gift card or travel. Gift cards require a minimum of 2,500 points while travel redemptions have to be done through the phone and booked through Chase’s travel agency. However, with the latter option, you might not get the best rates or earn loyalty points for your travels.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Since there are no earnings limits, the easiest way to maximize your rewards using this card to do as much of your spending as possible at Amazon.com and Whole Foods to earn the 5% cashback. Calculate how much you spend on groceries, electronics, home goods, etc. each year and see if you can make those purchases either on Amazon or at Whole Foods. While you should not go out of your way to overspend, the more of your daily expenses you can spend at these two locations, the more cashback you can get, which will then offset the costs of your Prime membership and put you out ahead.
Who This Card is For
If you are a loyal fan of Amazon Prime and/or Whole Foods, this card is a solid choice to add to your wallet. While there are other cards that will reward you for these purchases, it will be difficult to find another card that will offer a higher earnings rate for both. If you are already an Amazon Prime member and will continue to pay the subscription fee, the card effectively does not have an annual fee.
However, if you do not shop at Amazon or Whole Food often, you may be better off with another rewards credit card that suits your spending habits better. Additionally, if you regularly carry a balance, you may want to consider applying for a 0% APR credit card instead to save on interest payments as this card does not have a 0% intro period.
How does the Amazon Prime Visa Rewards Compare to Other Cash Back Cards?
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card* vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
If you typically shop at Whole Foods, but not on Amazon, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express may be a better fit for you as it offers a higher cashback rate for groceries. The card has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year and then $95 afterward, which is still cheaper than the $139 Amazon Prime subscription. It also has a 0% intro APR for the first 12 months from account opening, followed by a variable rate of 14.74% 24.74%, which you can use to your advantage if you have big-ticket expense coming up.
In terms of rewards, you will earn:
- 6% cashback on groceries up to $6,000 per year in purchases
- 6% on select streaming services
- 3% on transit and gas, including taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, etc.
- 1% on other purchases
Other secondary benefits include $10 in monthly statement credits if you use the card to pay for Equinox+ at equinoxplus.com (for up to $120 back annually) and cashback every time an Additional Card Member makes an eligible purchase. Similar to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card, you can get car rental loss and damage insurance when you use the card to reserve and pay for the rental. When you travel more than 100 miles away from home, you can also access Global Assist® Hotline, which is available 24/7 for emergency assistance and coordination.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card* vs. American Express® Gold Card
If you do not want to be limited to Amazon or Whole Food purchases to earn high rewards rates on grocery expenses, another option is the American Express® Gold Card. While the card comes with a hefty $250 annual fee, you can earn 75,000 Membership Reward Points after spending $4,000 in your first 6 months of membership. In terms of rewards you can earn:
- 4x points on dining, including restaurants, takeout, and delivery
- 4x points on groceries at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 in purchases/year
- 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
- 1x points on all other eligible purchases
Other bonus rewards include $10 in Uber Cash per month for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides and up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and Shake Shack. Similar to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature, you will get travel insurance, Global Assist® Hotline, and no foreign transaction fees.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card vs. Capital One® Walmart Rewards® Card
While the Amazon Prime Rewards card and the Capital One® Walmart Rewards® card have comparable reward programs, if you do not want to pay any membership fees and want low prices, the latter may be more suitable for your needs. This card gives you:
- 5% cash back for purchases at Walmart.com, including pickup and delivery
- 2% cash back in Walmart stores, at restaurants, and on travel
- 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
Additionally, during the first 12 months after approval, you can earn 5% cash back in Walmart stores when you use the card with Walmart Pay. If you spend more than $3,000 at Walmart your first year, you may get more value from the card than the Amazon card’s sign-up bonus gift card. However, if factors like richer secondary benefits, a lower ongoing APR (the Walmart card’s APR ranges from 17.99% 26.99%), and a more popular online shopping platform, are important to you, the Amazon Prime Rewards card may better suit your preferences. Ultimately, deciding which one is the better choice will depend on which retailer you shop with more often and whether you want to pay a membership fee or not.
If you are frequent shopper on Amazon and at Whole Foods, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is a must-have. Compared to other store-branded credit cards, this card offers fairly competitive reward rates and benefits. With its 5% cashback and no maximums on spending, no other card can reward you as generously and consistently for your purchases on Amazon and at Whole Foods.
If you spend more than $2,780 each year at these two places, you can more than make up for the Prime membership fee while protecting your purchases and getting access to a few travel perks as well. Additionally, if you do not have other cards, the 2% cashback on purchases at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores can offer you additional rewards.
On the flip side, if you are not shopping at either place that often or do not have a Prime membership, there is not much reason to get this card. In that case, you should consider looking elsewhere for cards that provide more versatility in their reward structures or a general-purpose rewards card that can earn you higher rates on bonus categories or with other online retailers.
The Bottom Line
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature credit card is a great candidate to apply for if you are a loyal Amazon and Whole Foods customer and Prime subscriber. The card’s reward structure and versatile rewards program checks a lot of boxes among retail credit cards. Before applying for the card, assess your current spending and shopping habits to find the best credit card that fits your financial needs. Everyone has different preferences, and there are plenty of options in the market to find one that best fits what you are looking for.