Amazon Store Cards vs. Amazon Visa Credit Cards
What can’t you get on Amazon.com? Not a lot. For this reason, avid Amazon shoppers can spend a reasonable portion of their household budget on buying many items from the online retailer.
If this describes your situation, you might be interested in one of the best credit cards for shopping on Amazon – whether to earn rewards on your spending or to take advantage of financing larger purchases (while still accessing certain additional card benefits). If you go this route, you have two main options: a store-only credit card from Synchrony Bank or a traditional credit card from Chase.
Synchrony Bank offers the Amazon Store Card and its counterpart for Amazon Prime members, the Amazon Prime Store Card. Chase also offers two versions for Prime and non-Prime members: the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card and the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card.
While each of these cards can improve your shopping experience on Amazon, it’s good to know which card is best for your financial situation and your shopping habits on Amazon. Essentially, your card choice will come down to your credit score and whether or not you’re an Amazon Prime member.
Here’s a quick guide to the different Amazon credit card options to help you decide which one is best for your lifestyle.
Amazon Prime Store Card vs. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card: At a Glance
As mentioned, Synchrony and Chase offer different versions of their credit card depending on your Prime membership status. The card application process will direct you to the card that matches your Prime status. Either way, being a Prime member is the best way to maximize your credit card rewards on Amazon purchases.
Even though you’ll earn 5% on Amazon purchases with the Prime Store Card and Prime Rewards Visa Signature, the two cards still have important differences, including their sign-up bonuses, approval ratings, and cardholder benefits. map.
|Reward rate||5% cash back on Amazon.com purchases||
|Sign-up bonus||$60 Amazon.com gift card upon approval||
|Annual subscription||$0 (but requires a $139 Amazon Prime membership)||$0 (but requires a $139 Amazon Prime membership)|
Amazon Credit Cards: Key Differences
Open or closed loop
A big difference between Synchrony Amazon cards and Chase Amazon cards is where you can use them. Synchrony’s Amazon Cards are “closed-loop” credit cards, meaning you can only use them at a specific store or brand family. In this case, you can only use the Synchrony card for purchases on Amazon.com and Audible.com and at certain Amazon Pay merchants. Chase’s Amazon cards, however, are “open-loop” cards, meaning you can use them anywhere Visa cards are accepted.
Another major difference between Synchrony and Chase Amazon cards is the approval requirements. Generally, you can benefit from Synchrony’s Amazon store cards with a fair credit score (580 to 669). On the other hand, you’ll likely need at least a good credit score (670 to 739) to qualify for one of Chase’s Amazon Visa cards.
Synchrony’s Amazon Prime Store Card and Chase’s Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card each offer 5% cash back on Amazon.com purchases. However, Chase’s Prime Rewards card offers 2% back on restaurant, gas station and drug store purchases and 1% back on all other purchases.
The Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, for non-members, only offers 3% back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases, but offers the same rewards as the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card in other categories: 2% cashback on restaurant, gas station and pharmacy purchases and 1% cashback on all other purchases. Without a Prime subscription, you do not earn any rewards with your Amazon Store Card.
Also, your rewards with Synchrony’s Amazon Prime Store Card aren’t as flexible as those you earn with your Chase Amazon Card. Amazon Prime Store Card rewards can only be used for purchases on Amazon.com. However, your Amazon Visa card rewards can be redeemed in several ways: cash back through bank deposit or statement credits for Amazon purchases and travel.
While Amazon Store credit cards from Synchrony and Chase offer promotional financing offers for cardholders, the terms are slightly different.
Synchrony’s Amazon Store Cards offer longer funding periods on Equal Pay purchases. With store cards, you can get six, 12, or 24 months to pay off your minimum purchase of $150, $600, and $800, respectively. The Chase Amazon Visa Card offers six-, 12-, and 18-month financing plans on minimum purchases of $150, $250, and $500, respectively.
Both cards let you choose between Equal Pay financing — which charges no interest if you make your equal monthly payments on time — and Special Financing — which uses a deferred interest model.
Note that the variable APR of 25.99% on Synchrony’s Amazon store cards is quite high compared to the average credit card interest rate and might come back to haunt you if you use the special financing option.
Which Amazon Credit Card is Best for You?
Whether you get a store credit card or a Chase credit card, we recommend getting the Prime version if that makes sense. (Below, we’ll cover how to use your rewards to cover the cost of Prime membership.)
If your credit isn’t good enough to get a Chase credit card, consider one of the Synchrony Amazon cards – preferably the Prime version so you can earn rewards. Of course, only apply for this card if you can justify the annual cost of Prime membership (perhaps with enough expenses that your rewards will eventually cover it). Spending $2,780 or around $231 per month on Amazon.com purchases would be your break-even point.
If you have enough credit for a Chase card, it would make sense to get the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. You can use the same spending strategy to cover the cost of your Prime membership with rewards, but in this case you’ll have more spending options to earn rewards.
Whichever card you choose, just make sure you use it wisely — and don’t use your Amazon credit card to overspend with your Amazon.com account. Be sure to pay your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges and only buy what you need.
*All information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, and Amazon Prime Secured Card has been independently collected by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuers.