Shopping Prime Day with the Amazon credit card: Is it worth it? – CNET

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Prime Day is sneaking up a little earlier than usual this year. Amazon has verified that Prime Day 2021 will take place in June, a month earlier than expected. The specific dates for this year’s event haven’t yet been announced, but if you’re planning on shopping for deals, Amazon’s own credit card offers some compelling incentives.

If you’re preparing for Prime Day, you should know that 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 two other compelling benefits. First, the company will drop a $100 gift card in your Amazon account when you’re approved. Second, you can earn up to 20% back in bonus rewards on rotating Amazon categories and products.

That noted, the Prime Reward Visa’s cash-back rates for purchases at other 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 PreferredĀ® 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. In effect, the Prime card’s $100 signup bonus just about covers 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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