Founded in 1994 as an online bookstore, Amazon.com soon diversified into entertainment and software, later adding popular goods, like apparel, furniture, and toys. In just a few years, Amazon became the world's largest online retailer and a household name. Today, Amazon users can find just about anything on the site, including both new and used products from dozens of categories, from food to furniture and nearly everything in between.
For the avid Amazonians whose first stop is their handy Amazon app when shopping for, well, just about anything, the Amazon.com Store Card can be a great addition to the wallet. While the card offers special financing deals to all users, cardholders who are also Amazon Prime members will reap the biggest rewards — literally. Amazon Prime members who are also Amazon.com Store Cardholders can earn cash back on every Amazon purchase.
Better Cards to Use at Amazon.com
With millions of products from a huge range of categories, Amazon's offerings definitely seem as vast as the river after which the company was named. At the same time, there are still some things Amazon doesn't have — including the ability to try on items before you buy. And while those in larger cities can get one-day delivery and fresh food, the rest of us are stuck going to the old-fashioned brick-and-mortar stores for our everyday necessities.
Given the limitations of the Amazon.com Store Card, anyone who won't get their money's worth out of a Prime membership will likely see little return from investing in an Amazon.com Store Card. The better alternative for less-than-frequent Amazonians will be a more utilitarian card that can be used to buy — and earn rewards — in places like gas stations and grocery stores, as well as for the occasional Amazon purchase.
While the rewards offered by the Amazon.com Store Card can be valuable for Prime members, the annual $99 cost of a Prime membership can cut into your rewards. An all-around cash back credit card can offer fairly robust rewards, as well as the flexibility to earn cash back just about anywhere you like to shop.
Plus, if most of your Amazon shopping occurs around the holidays, you can likely find a card offering bonus cash back on fourth-quarter Amazon purchases, no Prime required.
If the financing options of the Amazon.com Store Card are appealing, you'll likely enjoy a credit card with an introductory 0% APR offer. These great deals can be used to make interest-free purchases anywhere your card is accepted — including Amazon.com. Even better, you won't have to meet a minimum spending requirement to enjoy your intro APR deal, nor will you need to pay off your entire balance to avoid back-charged interest fees.
If you've ever wanted to make the leap from simply shopping Amazon to taking a grand adventure through the Amazon, then a great travel rewards card may be just the ticket. You can earn points or miles redeemable toward hotel stays and airfare so you get out from behind the screen and start exploring life unplugged. Jump-start your journey by taking advantage of an awesome signup bonus.
Unless you have an Amazon Prime membership to unlock its lucrative rewards, the Amazon.com Store Card likely won't offer a ton of value, especially if you don't typically spend more than $149 per purchase or need special financing. A rewards card that can be used to earn cash back or points on everyday purchases or an intro APR card with universal application will provide more flexibility and be a better addition to your wallet in the long run.
What Others Say About the Amazon.com Credit Card
Few people likely know the power of the review as well as Amazon users — and the Amazon.com Store Card is no exception!
Checking out reviews from around the web, including what current Amazon.com reviewers think of the retailer's namesake card, it's clear that everyone loves the 5% cash back option for Prime members, but many complain due to issues making payments, primarily that the issuing bank seems incompatible with other banks, regularly causing payments to be rejected.
This card does not even deserve a single star. I've lost maybe 3-4 hours on the phone and online chats because of their inconvenience. I've used the same checking account every time I make a payment and they would blame my personal bank for rejecting my payments. They charged me interest and late fees on payments I've made before the due date but because they choose to reject those payments, they penalized me for it. Calling in is a waste of time because they are RUDE and when I called them out for it, they would defend themselves and refuse to transfer me to upper management. They said they've sent me letters to my home and I confirmed my address with 3-4 agents and til this day no letters ever arrive with my account information. I thought that since I order so much from Amazon, why not get the Store Card. This was the worse decision of my life! I just made my last payment to them, and I hope they don't reject this one because I am soooo done with them. — WalletHub.com”
I was initially approved for the Amazon Prime Store Card with a 631 TU and a 644 EQ. 6 months later, I am at a 679 and 690, respectively. I have nothing but a good experience with this card. I have yet to need technical support as the website is easy to navigate; it's very easy to make a payment and I can see all of my statements, past balances and payments, and current information. It also keeps you updated on the balance of any products you have financed using the store card. I have called customer service once to change my address and phone number on file and the woman I spoke to was very pleasant and engaged and knew what she was doing. It was done in a few minutes and I was on my way. The card itself has a bit of a high interest rate, but I haven't carried a balance as I only use this card for financing with their 6-, 12-, and 24-month interest-free plans. I would recommend the Amazon Prime Store Card to somebody who is looking for a way to make interest free payments on items such as tv's, cameras, mattresses, etc, as that's been my primary use and it's worked really well for me. I would not recommend the Amazon Prime Store Card to anyone who finds it hard to keep up with payments or tends to carry a balance. This card is really great for financing, but not so great for regular purchases due to its high interest rate. Overall, I do love this card. — CreditKarma.com”
I spend tens of thousands of dollars with Amazon every year, so the prospect of getting 5% back on purchases is significant. What I don't like is that Amazon/Synchrony recently changed the default "benefit" on purchases over a certain dollar volume. While the default used to be 5% cash back, now the default is 6 months free financing of the purchase (and NO 5% cash back.). I have no interest (pun intended) in their free financing. Last month I had over $1K of purchases where I neglected to change the benefit option to 5% cash back. As a result these purchases got "6 months free financing." I pay the credit card bill in full every month so my effective benefit was 0. Lost out on $ 50 cash back on these purchases alone. I complained to Amazon and customer service claims that there is a way to change this default behavior, but that isn't true. I just have to remember to check the benefit on each purchase to make sure it says "5% cash back." — Amazon.com”
Is the Amazon.com Card Right for You?
If your Amazon Prime account is your best friend and that iconic grinning logo graces your front door on a regular basis, the Amazon.com Store Card might just be a win. For those who prefer the hands-on shopping experience, or who prefer a rewards card they can use anywhere they shop — because, let's face it, Amazon still doesn't have everything — then an open-loop credit card from your favorite issuer will probably be a better option.
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.