Here’s what happens when you use Amazon’s credit card to shop on Prime Day



Ben Fox Rubin/CNET

Amazon Prime Day will take place on June 21 and 22 in 2021 — a month earlier than expected. If you’ll be on the hunt for deals in the run up to the main event on on Prime Day, there are some compelling reasons to check out using Amazon’s own rewards credit card.

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card earns you 5% cash back on purchases at Amazon and Whole Foods. We think it’s one of the best cash-back credit cards if you’re a regular shopper at those stores. And, at the moment, there are a few other compelling benefits. First, the company will drop up to a $150 gift card in your Amazon account when you’re approved. Second, you can earn up to 10% back in bonus rewards on select rotating Amazon products through Prime Day (up from the standard 5%).

In addition to these standard perks, a few Prime Day cardholder incentives were recently announced. Ahead of Prime Day, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card and Amazon Prime Store Card holders with an eligible Prime membership will also earn 10% back in rewards on select small business purchases made between June 7 and June 20, 2021. Cardholders can also receive $10 back as a credit to use on Prime Day when you spend $10 with select Amazon small business vendors during the Spend $10, Get $10 promotion running from Monday, June 7, through Sunday, June 20. 

That noted, the Prime Reward Visa’s cash-back rates for purchases at non-Amazon stores aren’t as impressive. You get only 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores, and 1% back on other purchases. So, if you’re not a regular Amazon or Whole Foods shopper, you may be better off with the Citi Double Cash Card, which offers 2% cash back on every purchase (1% when you buy plus an additional 1% when you pay for those purchases). 

Another alternative for Prime Day is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which offers up to 20% back on purchases for up to $200 cash back within the first six months of opening an account. You can also earn up to an additional $200 cash back by spending $3,000 in purchases within the first six months of membership. Lastly, this card offers 6% cash back on groceries at US supermarkets — including Whole Foods — on up to $6,000 per year (after which the cash back rate decreases to 1%). Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. Terms apply. 

Still, the Amazon Prime rewards card has no annual fee and the eligibility requirements aren’t particularly stringent. Applicants with a “fair” credit score (approximately 580 or higher) stand a good chance of being approved.

Amazon also offers a slimmed-down version of its Rewards Visa for people who are not Prime members, but the Amazon and Whole Foods cash-back rate is only 3% and signup incentive is lower: a $50 Amazon gift card. But if you’re looking to maximize your Amazon cash-back potential, you’re probably better off becoming an Amazon Prime member first — which costs $119 per year — and then applying for the full-featured Prime version of the card. Since you’ll earn up to $150 as a signup bonus with the Amazon Prime Rewards Card, it may fully cover your first year of Prime membership, which features many worthwhile benefits

Once you have the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, you can redeem your rewards points when checking out at Amazon or as a statement credit, starting at 2,000 points — equivalent to $20. Check out all of the rewards and redemption details here.

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