The Amazon Rewards Visa is not one of our top-rated cash-back credit cards. You can review our list of the best cash-back credit cards for what we think are better options.
Full Review of Amazon Rewards Visa Signature
3% rewards on Amazon and Whole Foods spending, 5% for Prime members
Several strong benefits for a no-fee card
Relatively low one-time offer
The strongest rewards require a $119 Amazon Prime membership
- No Annual Fee: There is no annual fee with the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature credit card. As a result, you won’t be charged a fee simply for having this card, although there might be other costs, like interest costs, involved with the card.
- 3% Rewards on Amazon and Whole Foods Spending, 5% for Prime Members: If you already have an Amazon Prime membership, you might be eligible for 5% back on purchases at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market. However, you need to connect your credit card to your Amazon Prime account if you want to take advantage. If you’re already paying for a Prime membership, you won’t see an extra annual fee to get the higher rewards earning rate.
- Relatively Low One-Time Offer: Unlike the one-time offers with most cards, the $50 Amazon Gift Card you receive with this card requires no minimum spending, or even a purchase of any kind; you receive it upon approval. But it’s significantly lower than most such offers—even those for no-fee cards, which typically run to at least $150. For example, the one-time offer with the Amex Blue Cash Everyday is $150 after you spend $1,000 within the first six months—but you'll also earn an additional 20% back on your first $1,000 in Amazon purchases made during your first six months. At least the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature bonus doesn’t require any minimum spending.
- The Strongest Rewards Require a $119 Amazon Prime Membership: The additional 2% of purchase value that Amazon Prime members earn with the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature arguably upgrade its rewards for Amazon and Whole Foods spending from solid to superb. The additional savings add to such Prime benefits as free two-day shipping on Amazon purchases, exclusive sale items at Whole Foods, and free video streaming of Amazon Prime content. But if the other Prime perks aren’t especially valuable to you, you may be hard-pressed to justify the $119 annual cost of Prime membership through card rewards alone. Indeed, you’d need to spend close to $6,000 with the card to earn at least $119 with the 2% Amazon-Prime rewards bonus alone.
This Card is Best For
Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Primarily responsible for household grocery and other major purchases
Incurs gasoline or other commuting expenses each month
Naturally, the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature best suits regular customers of Amazon.com or Whole Foods Market who also have an Amazon Prime membership. The additional 2% you’ll earn as a Prime member probably won’t alone justify the $119 annual membership. But it’s a nice bonus to add to other Prime features, from free fast shipping to video streaming.
This card may also have appeal if no other card in your wallet offers 2% rewards on dining, gas, and purchases from drug stores. That’s quite likely the case, unless you own either premium credit cards for which you pay a fee or no-fee cards that are dedicated to those purchases.
Also, assuming you lack a premium credit card—and specifically one focused on travel—the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature offers three key benefits that are relatively rare in a no-fee card. The card provides secondary insurance coverage on rental cars and free roadside assistance if you become stranded in your own vehicle. It also lacks foreign transaction fees, which is a boon when traveling abroad.
Amazon Rewards Visa Signature One-Time Offer
Upon being approved for the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature, you receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card. No purchase must be made or spending threshold reached.
Rewards Earning Details
The Amazon Rewards Visa Signature credit card offers tiered rewards:
- 3% rewards on purchases from Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
- An additional 2% on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases for Amazon Prime members
- 2% rewards on gas, dining, and purchases from drug stores
- 1% rewards on everything else
Rewards are accumulated in points, at the multiplier rate for the purchase in question. Spending $1 at Amazon.com or Whole Foods, then, would earn three points, with an additional 2 points awarded to Prime members. You’d receive 2 points per dollar spent on gas, dining, or drug stores and a single point per dollar on all other purchases.
Rewards Redemption Details
Rewards from the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card are relatively easy to redeem. It’s possible to use the rewards to pay for purchases at Amazon.com. Every 100 points you accumulate in your account can be redeemed for $1 off the purchase price at checkout. You can choose to pay for all or part of a purchase at Amazon.com with points.
It’s also possible to redeem points for cash back as a statement credit or direct deposit into a bank account through Chase, with points. Additionally, it’s possible to redeem points for gift cards, and at the same rate. Redemptions start at 2,500 points for a $25 gift card.
Redeeming points for travel requires that you actually call the Chase Travel Center. Because the rewards earned from the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature aren’t connected to Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can’t use that portal to redeem rewards for travel and other items.
Points earned with the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature can’t be transferred to other programs.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
The best way to make the most of the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature is of course to use it for all purchases at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, which earn 3% in rewards for regular Amazon customers—a higher rate than for any other type of purchases. But it can also be used for other purchases, of course, including those on gas and food—both as groceries and as restaurant meals, both of which earn 2% in rewards. Here are several scenarios on what spending could earn in rewards with this card.
Amazon.com shoppers who do not have a Prime membership spend, on average, about $600 per year at the site, according to an analysis by Statista. At 3% back, that’s 1,800 points, which are worth $18 in rewards. Then consider a non-Prime member who also shops at Whole Foods for, say, half of their groceries. Since the average household spent $4,464 on food for home in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that Whole Foods spending would total about $2,230 and earn $66 in rewards, given the same 3% rewards rate. The grand rewards total is about $85.
And if the household also has an Amazon Prime membership? They would enjoy an additional 2% in rewards on all of the purchases above. That boost would add $12 in rewards for the Amazon spending and $44 in rewards for the Whole Foods spending. Add this extra $55 or so in Prime rewards to the $85 earned from basic rewards and the grand total for the year reaches about $140.
Let’s now consider a family that spends more than average at Amazon and Whole Foods and also uses the card more widely. Take, for example, a non-Prime household that spends double the average at Amazon—$100 a month, for a $1,200 annual total—and spends twice what our regular family does at Whole Foods—for a total in groceries of $4,600 a year.
That spending would yield $170 a year in rewards. Then add use of the card for the average amount of restaurant spending, which was $3,459 for all “food away from home” in 2018. At the rewards rate of 2%, those dining expenditures would earn about $69. Adding the average spending of $2,109 on gas to the mix, at the same 2% rate, adds an extra $42 or so to the total rewards.
The grand total in rewards would be $170 plus $42: $212. And if our family were a Prime household? They’d earn an extra 2% in rewards on the Amazon/Whole Foods total spending of $5,800, which would contribute an additional $116 in rewards. Grand total: $328. That’s a large sum indeed, especially for a card with no annual fee.
Amazon Rewards Visa Signature’s Outstanding Benefits
- Secondary auto collision-damage waiver for rental cars
- Roadside dispatch
- Travel and baggage insurance
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty protection
- Visa Signature Concierge Service
- Zero fraud liability
- No foreign transaction fee
Chase, which issues the Amazon Rewards Signature, received a rating of 809 out of a possible 1,000 in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. That score ranks Chase just below the average of 810 among national issuers. Users on Amazon.com rate the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature as a 3.9 out 5 stars.
It’s possible to manage your Amazon Rewards Visa Signature using the Chase mobile app, which is available for iPhone and Android phones. The app receives user scores of 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple Store and 4.4 out of 5 stars on Google Play.
The Amazon Rewards Visa Signature has standard security features for the industry.
The Amazon Rewards Visa Signature rewards ardent customers of Amazon.com, Whole Foods Market, or both with decent rewards that are also easy to redeem on the shopping site. But the card ascends from worthwhile to near essential to those who both spend heavily at both retailers and have an Amazon Prime membership. The extra 2% in rewards on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases only adds to the other benefits of Prime, including member sales offers on both sites.
However, for those who shop only occasionally at Amazon or Whole Foods, a general rewards card with a flat cash-back rate, or tiered earnings on different types of shopping, might be a better choice.