Which is the best card to use on Amazon.com purchases?

The Amazon Rewards Visa and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature cards have become hot items for frequent Amazon shoppers, and for good reason. They are great cards that, for the most part, can’t be beat when it comes to earning cash back on Amazon purchases.

The Amazon Rewards Visa gives you 3% cash back on every Amazon purchase, and the Amazon Prime Visa Signature ups that ante, offering 5% cash back for Amazon Prime account holders.

You may be wondering: Which of these is the best card to use on Amazon purchases? For that matter, are there any other cards out there that could earn an even better rewards rate on Amazon purchases?

While the deck seems to be stacked clearly in favor of Amazon credit cards, there are some alternatives that may surprise you.

Amazon Rewards Visa: Best for non-Prime members

  • Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature: Best for Prime members
  • Discover it® Cash Back: Best for Prime Day and the holiday season
  • Citi® Double Cash Card: Best for high flat cash back rate
  • Comparing Amazon cards

    Let’s start by comparing the regular Amazon card to the Amazon Prime card. While the 5% cash back rate on the Amazon Prime Visa Signature card seems to be the best way to go, this is not necessarily the case. The best option mostly boils down to your shopping habits on Amazon.

    Here’s a breakdown of the two cards:

    Amazon Rewards Visa vs. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature

    Amazon Rewards Visa
    Amazon Rewards Visa*
    Amazon Prime Visa Signature
    Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature*
    Rewards rate
    • 3% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases
    • 2% cash back on gas, restaurant and drugstore purchases
    • 1% cash back on general purchases
    • 5% back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases
    • 2% back on restaurant, gas station and drugstore purchases
    • 1% back on other purchases
    Sign-up bonus $50 Amazon.com gift card when you’re approved $70 Amazon.com gift card when you’re approved
    Annual fee $0 $0
    Estimated yearly rewards value ($1,325 monthly spend, including sign-up bonus) $243 $195
    Pros
    • No membership fee required
    • Offers higher rate on Amazon purchases than most cards
    • Easy to redeem your cash back
    • Highest rewards rate on Amazon purchases
    • Easy to redeem your cash back
    • Prime membership comes with valuable benefits, including free 2-day shipping
    Cons
    • There are a few cards with a better overall cash back rate
    • Requires $119 Amazon Prime membership
    Who should get this card?
    • People who spend less than $4,950 per year on Amazon purchases
    • People who don’t want to commit to an Amazon Prime membership
    • Amazon Prime members
    • People who value Amazon Prime services
    • People who spend more than $99 per year on shipping qualified Amazon products
    • People who spend more than $4,950 per year on Amazon purchases
    • People who frequent Whole Foods

    As you can see, though the Amazon Prime card offers a better cash back rate on Amazon purchases as well as a $70 gift card for new cardmembers, you also need to figure in the cost of Amazon Prime membership. This can lower the overall value of the Prime card for you, depending on your spending habits and how much you value Prime membership by itself.

    Amazon.com Store card. Since it can only be used on Amazon purchases, its scope is a bit more limited than the rewards cards; but Prime members can earn a generous 5% cash back. Plus, all cardholders are eligible for special financing terms on larger transactions. Even if you have a lower credit score, you can be approved for a secured version of the card and start racking up cash back from the online retailer.