Shopping with Amazon can be a complicated choice, but it’s also a bit of an unavoidable convenience for many Americans — whether you spent the past year increasing your online shopping habits or trading trips to the supermarket for grocery delivery.
If you’re already dedicating a portion of your monthly budget to the retail giant, it can pay to take advantage of all the ways to save on Amazon services. In addition to an Amazon Prime membership, which costs $119 annually but can save you on shipping costs and discounts throughout the year, you can save money by shopping with a credit card that maximizes your Amazon.com spending.
Here’s how to get the most cash back from Amazon:
How Do I Get Cash Back on Amazon?
The best way to get cash back from shopping on Amazon is with a rewards credit card.
Some rewards cards offer cash back in categories that include Amazon.com — it has appeared as a rotating 5% bonus category on both the Discover it® Cash Back and Chase Freedom Flex℠ cards, for example. A card with flat cash back in on any purchase, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card, is another good option.
Other rewards cards may not offer bonus categories specific to Amazon, but occasionally offer discounts, boosted redemptions, or other savings on Amazon purchases.
But if you really want the most bang for your buck, and if you’re shopping enough on Amazon to make it worth your while, consider one of Amazon’s co-branded card options. If you use your card solely for Amazon.com purchases, you’d recoup the cost of the Prime fee after spending $2,380 annually with a 5% cash back return. That’s before accounting for a welcome bonus or any additional cash back or Prime membership savings. Amazon credit cards offer the highest cash back value from the retailer, and may come with other perks and benefits for frequent Amazon shoppers.
What Are the Best Amazon.com Credit Cards?
There are a few different Amazon credit cards that offer rewards for you Amazon.com purchases. You can determine the best one for you based on your credit needs and spending.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
With the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card (issued by Chase), you’ll earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores; and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
There’s no annual fee, but you’ll need to be an Amazon Prime member to qualify (worth $119 annually). You’ll get a $150 Amazon gift card upon approval for the card, and the variable APR is 14.24% to 22.24%. With the Prime Rewards card, you’ll also get access to occasional savings of up to 20% cash back on rotating Amazon products and categories.
You’ll also access Visa Signature perks with this card, including:
- No foreign transaction fees
- Travel and emergency assistance
- Lost luggage reimbursement
- Baggage delay insurance
- Travel accident insurance
- Roadside dispatch
- Auto rental insurance
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty protection
Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
If you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership, you can instead earn cash back with the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card. This card offers 3% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores; and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
There’s no annual fee (and no Prime membership requirement), and you’ll get a $50 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval. The card has a variable APR of 14.24% to 22.24%.
If you open an Amazon Rewards Visa and later decide to become a Prime member, you can upgrade your card to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa within your Amazon account payment options and begin earning the boosted 5% cash back rate. If you spend enough with Amazon to make up the price, or you also do much of your grocery shopping at Whole Foods, it may make sense to pay for Prime membership for the extra 2% savings.
You can redeem your cash back directly through Amazon.com for purchases, for travel, gift cards, or cash. You’ll get all the same Visa Signature benefits and perks as with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature.
Amazon Business American Express Card
If Amazon.com purchases make up a significant portion of your business expenses, this card can help you save. Like the consumer versions, you’ll get 5% cash back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases if you have an eligible Prime membership— 3% cash back if you’re not a Prime member.
You’ll also get 2% cash back at U.S. restaurants, gas stations, and on wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. service providers, and 1% cash back on other purchases. There’s no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and a variable APR of 14.24% to 22.24%.
You can earn a $150 gift card upon approval, and your rewards don’t expire.
Amazon.com Store Card
Unlike the other card options, you’ll only be able to use the Amazon.com Store Card at Amazon.com. You can only earn rewards with this card if you’re a member of Amazon Prime. Prime members will earn 5% cash back on all Amazon.com purchases.
Otherwise, the Amazon Store Card’s main benefit is its financing options. You may be eligible for special 0% financing offers for 6, 12, or 24 months. Your financing period depends on the amount of your Amazon.com purchases, and outside of the special financing periods, the regular APR is 25.99%. There’s no annual fee for the Amazon.com Store Card and you can earn a $10 Amazon credit upon approval.
Does Amazon.com Give 5% Cash Back?
In order to earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com, you’ll need to be a Prime member and pay using an Amazon credit card that earns 5% cash back, such as the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card or the Amazon Business American Express Card.
When eligible, you can also earn 5% cash back on Amazon.com with a rotating cash back credit card like the Discover it Cash Back.
How Do I Maximize My Amazon Rewards?
The easiest way to maximize your Amazon rewards is to become a Prime member. Not only will you save with free shipping, but you’ll also boost your cash back eligibility from 3% to 5% on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases using an Amazon co-branded card.
Then, you can maximize the Amazon rewards you earn with these cards by using them directly on Amazon.com or redeeming for cash or statement credits.
If you do have the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card, pay close attention to the rotating product and category deals. You may earn as much as 20% cash back for purchasing those deal items.
Before making a purchase, look for other cash back deals you can stack with your credit card rewards. Cash back portals like Rakuten and online browser extensions can help you find codes or deals for Amazon purchases to save even more while shopping online.
Most importantly, make sure to budget for your Amazon purchases. You should never spend more than you can afford to pay off when your balance is due each month. Even if you earn 5% cash back, any interest you’ll accrue carrying a credit card balance will quickly outweigh those savings and rewards.