Amazon Store Card Review: 5% Back on Amazon Purchases with Prime

amazonstoreA few readers have asked my opinions of the Amazon Store Card, a retail card issued by Synchrony Bank. You can only use it to buy things at Amazon.com – note the lack of a logo from Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express. This is a separate product from the Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card (3% back at Amazon), which is a credit card issued by Chase that you can use anywhere that Visa is accepted. The key benefits of the Amazon Store Card are:

  • 5% Back for Amazon Prime members. Amazon Prime members are automatically upgraded to the Amazon Prime Store Card and can earn 5% back on all Amazon.com purchases.
  • No annual fee.

There are also financing offers, that come with the card, similar to retailer cards from Home Depot or Lowe’s.

  • No interest if paid in full within 6 months on any purchase totaling $149 or more. Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the promotional balance is not paid in full within 6 months. Minimum monthly payments required.
  • No interest if paid in full within 12 months on any purchase totaling $599 or more. Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the promotional balance is not paid in full within 12 months. Minimum monthly payments required.
  • No interest if paid in full within 24 months on select items sold by Amazon.com. Items sold by third parties do not qualify. Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the promotional balance is not paid in full within 24 months. Minimum monthly payments required and may pay off purchase before end of promo period.
  • 12 Month Equal Pay Offer: 0% APR until paid in full. 12 equal monthly payments required.

As with those home improvement offers, you have to watch out for the balloon interest payment at the end. If you don’t pay in full, you will get charged back-dated interest starting back from the purchase date and not the end of the promo period. This credit line charges a variable interest rate based on the Prime Rate. The current Variable purchase APR is 26.24%. Yikes.

Commentary. So why don’t I mention the Amazon Store Card all the time? My rule of thumb is that a “hard” credit check can reliably net me at least $500 in value, usually from “try me! try me!” credit card incentives. It is very rare that I shop at any specific retailer enough to get $500 in savings. For example, it would take $10,000 of Amazon purchases at 5% back to net me $500 in cash back.

At the same time, 5% rotating category credit cards often have Amazon or a place that sells Amazon gift cards as an eligible category. Other cards like the American Express Blue Cash Preferred offer 6% back at grocery stores (that sell Amazon gift cards) or Chase Ink Business cards offer 5% back at office supply stores (that sell Amazon gift cards). Basically, there are other ways that I can stock up on Amazon gift cards at 5% off without having this card.

If you are a loyal Prime member that spends a lot of money at Amazon and prefer simplicity, then this card can make sense. The 5% off is automatic with your bill, and you get to easily track how much your Amazon habit is costing you. You’ll also want to be the type that either pays your bills in full or is great at navigating the fine print on financing opportunities. 26% APR interest is scary.

Comments

  1. Jonathan, Aren’t these credit card issuers, Amex and Chase exclude gift card purchases that would quality for 5%?

    • No, I haven’t seen any Amazon offer that excludes gift card purchases. I don’t know if they can even tell if you bought a gift card or known. I’ve bought several hundred dollars worth at least over the years.

  2. Joshua Katt says:

    Be careful, I learned the hard way. Amazon will make this the payment default automatically once you signup, maybe every time you order – no matter what you do. Meaning if your spouse/kids buys in your account and you think you have payment defaulted to a credit card that autopays, you’ll be in for a surprize. Got a $30 statement credit once but got it for a $39 late fee I’m still fighting years later. Same thing right now with a gift card balance I gotta change each & every time to get my discover used no matter what I defaut to.

    • Interesting, I didn’t know that. I can’t believe they don’t let you change the default payment method. Actually, I guess I can believe it since I have to manually pick Discover 5% off instead of my gift card balance every time as well.

  3. I got this card, but have yet to use it. It makes a good backup plan I might use some day if other options go away, but for now I’d rather use my Discover card rotating category or US Bank card chosen category for their 5% rebates on bookstores instead of this. The Amazon Store Card has no extended warranty and no purchase protection on things I buy, unlike those credit cards.

  4. I somehow still have the Citi Forward card, which gets 5% back on amazon purchases and restaurants. By far my most productive card.

    • Chip Alexander says:

      Brent, you should check your rewards are still coming on Amazon. I got a letter from them last summer saying they were changing the rebate to 2% or something (which I can get on every charge with Citi’s own Double-Cash charge, and is much less than the 5% at US Bank).

    • Brent, Yup, I had that card too, but they pulled the 5% reward a while back. You are likely no longer getting it.

  5. I shop at Amazon a lot and calculated I would earn at least $200 more per year using this card over my other credit cards. However many of my purchases are electronics, and not having the extended warranty is a deal killer for me. I have used the American Express extended warranty on expensive electronics that have broken, and I really value the peace of mind that comes from their seamless claims process, great customer service, and quick reimbursement. While I’m tempted by the earnings of the Amazon store card, I see the $200 in lost earnings as insurance coverage for my purchases.

  6. Is there a way to enable the “comments” section for mobile devices? For some reason, I can no longer read them on my iPhone 6 and I enjoy these tremendously!

    Thanks for your consideration-

    • Yes, you would need to “load the desktop site” on your mobile browser. On Safari for iPhone, you hold down the reload button and it should provide that option. I am currently trying out a faster-loading mobile version that does not allow comments.

  7. I was just considering this card last week and wondered why there was no review for it on MMB (my first-stop website for these things!). Then I found out the cons of this card. As someone mentioned earlier, the card lacks usual perks like extended warranty or security support. Also, the card excludes certain purchases from earning 5% (if I remember correctly, the Prime membership fee and software). The potential headache isn’t worth it for me.

  8. One reason why I won’t be applying for this card is that Synchrony Bank does not allow access to Mint.com. Not interested in a card that I won’t be able to track activity from.

  9. I currently have the Chase Amazon card that has earned 3% cashback on Amazon purchases, and was seriously thinking of switching to this Prime store card for the 5% and $50 bonus. However, I just got a message in my Chase account today that the 3% is switching to 5% cashback on Amazon purchases for Prime members, so I guess I’m staying put. 🙂

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