Credit is a great thing to have handy to take care of unexpected bills, help to manage your finances and gain rewards but, the choice of cards often leaves people baffled and frustrated. Small print and complicated jargon often mean that consumers commit to a card without understanding the full terms and conditions, leading to nasty surprises.
One of the popular cards on the market at the moment is the Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Card – in this article, we’ll take a look at the card and weigh up the pros and cons of choosing Amazon’s offering.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Card is a Visa powered credit card with a difference – it’s available exclusively to Amazon Prime members. The funky metal card comes with a whole host of features including:
- 5% cashback on purchases from Amazon.com and its subsidiary, Whole Foods
- 2% cashback on purchases from selected gas stations, restaurants and drug stores
- 1% cashback on purchases from selected other retailers and services
- $70 Amazon gift card just for signing up
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The card also offers discounts on a number of services including car and baggage insurance, roadside assistance and the Visa Signature luxury hotel collection. In addition, customers are not charged fees for foreign transactions making it great for frequent travellers and those who like to move further afield when shopping online.
Yes and no. As with any credit facility, it’s important to make sure that you know what’s involved before committing to a credit card. Here, we take a look at the pros and cons of the Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Card as well as letting you know what to watch out for.
There are a number of benefits to the card which make it stand out above other similar credit cards. These include:
- No charges for international transactions – this means that users can flash the plastic while on holiday or travelling for business without worrying about hefty fees appearing on their bill. This is also extremely useful for those people – such as Amazon sellers – who buy product from overseas suppliers.
- A variable APR of 15.24 to 23.24% makes the card competitive in its field
- A large number of reward options including money off on insurance, roadside assistance, luxury hotels, car hire, Visa Signature Concierge and purchase protection.
- Users receive a $70 Amazon.com gift card when they sign up and are accepted for the card.
- Cashback on purchases such as restaurants, gas stations, retailers and online retailers, including an unprecedented 5% cashback at Amazon.com and subsidiary, Whole Foods.
- No limit on cashback and no minimum point redemption figure.
- Reward points can be redeemed instantly for purchases via Amazon.com or as a credit on your card account.
- The points on your Amazon Prime Rewards Signature card don’t expire so, you don’t need to worry about using them before you run out of time.
- Users can earn cashback by choosing to apply their points as statement credits or having them submitted into a bank account (a rate of 1% per point is applied here).
- No annual credit card fee.
Before we get to the nitty gritty, there is one major drawback to the Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Card – and, that is that users need to be members of Amazon Prime in order to be eligible. This is great for those who already subscribe to Prime, however, those who don’t will be subject to a $119 joining fee before being able to apply for the card.
- A lack of versatility – the rewards available are only for a quite small, select group of products and services.
- The Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Card does not offer an option to transfer rewards points to other Chase cards.
- The card can only be linked to one Amazon Prime account and so cannot be shared even if there are two accounts linked to the same user.
- Users who already have an Amazon Visa Signature Card will not be eligible for the $70 Amazon gift card when they transfer to the Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Card.
- The card doesn’t offer return protection or price protection so users are unable to ‘price-check’ their Amazon purchases.
First things first, as we’ve mentioned, you need to be a member of Amazon Prime in order to apply for the card. If you’re not already a member, you can join up as follows:
Navigate to the Amazon Prime site and you’ll be presented with a screen offering you a free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime. You’ll then need to input your contact and payment details in order to start your free trial. Note that, if you do not cancel your membership within the allotted time frame, Amazon will automatically take payment once your free trial ends. Prime membership offers a number of benefits including free delivery, Amazon video and assorted discounts and deals. These include:
- Free 2 day delivery
- Free release day delivery
- Whole Foods deals
- Restaurant delivery
- Alexa deals
Once you’ve got confirmation of your Amazon Prime account, you’re ready to apply for your Amazon Prime Visa Signature Card. Navigate to the application site and you’ll be presented with a screen and a button marked ‘Apply Now’.
Click onto the button and fill in the short application form which will ask for your contact details, payment details and your Amazon Prime account.
Once complete, as with any credit facility, your details will be checked in order to see if you are eligible to receive the card. Once approved, you’ll receive confirmation by email and by post and will automatically be sent your Amazon $70 gift card (unless you’re transferring from the Amazon Visa Signature Card).
On approval, your new card will be sent to you and, while you’re waiting, you can log in to your account and follow the instructions there to link the card to your account in order to start receiving rewards and benefits straight away.
Once you’ve received your card, you’ll need to activate it by making a short phone call and then you’re ready to go.
As the card is a Visa credit card, you can use it in the same way you would use any other credit card. If shopping online, you’ll need to input the long number on the front of the card at the checkout stage, along with the expiry date of the card (sometimes the start date as well) and a three digit security number (usually the last three digits of the number on the back of the card).
If shopping in a physical store, you’ll need to hand the card to the cashier or insert it into a card reader and then enter your pin number. If you don’t automatically receive a pin with your card, you may need to apply for this online. On purchases below a certain amount, you may be able to access the contactless payment option whereby you just need to place the card on the reader – note, you may have to set this up online first.
Once your card is linked to your Amazon Prime account, you’ll be able to manage your rewards, points and transactions by logging into your account. As the account and card are linked, your rewards and points will automatically be added to purchases made.
For those who are already Amazon Prime members, the Amazon Prime Visa Signature Card is a great way to maximise on the benefits already being received through the account membership. For frequent travellers, those who shop internationally and those who shop regularly on Amazon, this card offers a way to make the most of these activities without additional costs. Needless to say, the Amazon $70 gift card is a great bonus for Amazon fans!
For those who don’t already have an Amazon Prime membership, the benefits need to be weighed against the not inconsiderable $119 joining fee. Although the card offers 2% reward rates on restaurants and other facilities, this isn’t a great deal more than other cards, many of which offer 1.5%. It’s estimated that, in order to make Prime membership worthwhile, customers need to be spending an average of $1500 per year on Amazon. If this is not the case, users may be better off looking for an alternative card which offers rotating rewards and then matching that card with a different reward scheme.
As with any financial commitment, always make sure that you will be able to afford the repayments before applying for the card in order to avoid getting into debt.