Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
Prime Visa card overview
Amazon’s Prime Visa is a solid earner, featuring a 5% return on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases, 2% on restaurant, gas station and drugstore purchases and 1% back on everything else, making it a strong contender for those who spend big with Amazon brands. Card rating*: ⭐⭐⭐½
*Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
Most of the time, we recommend saying “no thanks” when a cashier (or online pop-up) asks if you want to sign up for a store credit card at check-out. The discount you’ll get on your purchase is rarely as valuable as the sign-up bonuses other cards offer, and most store cards have disappointing earning structures.
But there are a few exceptions to that rule — and the Prime Visa is one of them.
If you spend a lot of your budget at Amazon or Whole Foods and want the best earning rate for those purchases, the Prime Visa is worth considering. It earns 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, a substantial return for a card with no annual fee.
But of course, it isn’t the best card for everyone. Here’s what you need to know to decide if the Prime Visa deserves a spot in your wallet.
Prime Visa welcome offer
Currently, the Prime Visa is offering a $200 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval. This offer ends July 26.
Not only is this a solid welcome offer for a no-annual-fee card, but you’ll receive the e-gift card instantly upon approval instead of having to meet a spending requirement to earn it.
Prime Visa benefits
We usually don’t expect many benefits from a card without an annual fee, but the Prime Visa has some surprising perks.
As a cardholder, you’ll get extended warranty protection, purchase protection, travel accident insurance, and lost or delayed baggage insurance. Additionally, the Prime Visa doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
It seems like we hear a new horror story of someone’s lost luggage every day, so having baggage protection on top of earning bonus rewards on your purchase of Apple AirTags through Amazon is a great benefit.
Finally, cardholders usually get access to early deals during Prime Day and can earn boosted rewards during these sales events.
Earning cash back on the Prime Visa
The Prime Visa earns 5% back on Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market and Chase Travel purchases. It also earns 2% back at gas stations and restaurants and on local commuting (including ride-hailing) and 1% back on all other purchases.
No other card consistently offers this high of a return on Amazon purchases, so this earning structure is excellent for anyone who spends a large portion of their budget at Amazon and Whole Foods. If you want to stick to just one card, the additional 2% back categories are decent for everyday spending.
Redeeming cash back on the Prime Visa
The ease of redeeming rewards with the Prime Visa is one of the card’s best qualities. Most simply, you’ll see your rewards on your Amazon checkout screen and can use them to pay for part or all of your purchases at Amazon.com.
Alternatively, you can redeem your rewards for cash back, gift cards or travel at Chase.com. No matter which redemption option you choose, you’ll get a value of one cent per point.
Other cards allow you to use your rewards to pay for your Amazon purchases, but we only recommend this route if you have the Prime Visa.
For instance, TPG values Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents apiece, but you’ll get a value of less than 1 cent per point if you use those points to pay for a purchase on Amazon.com. On the other hand, your Prime Visa rewards are worth the same one cent each whether you choose to use them to cover an Amazon purchase, get cash-back or book travel through Chase.com.
Which cards compete with the Prime Visa?
If you don’t have a Prime membership or don’t spend much of your budget at Amazon or Whole Foods, one of these cards may be a better choice for you:
- If you want to earn more on other online purchases: The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has no annual fee (see rates and fees) and earns 3% back on U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). For more details, check out our full review of the Amex Blue Cash Everyday.
- If you want to earn more dining and drugstore purchases: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has no annual fee and earns 3% on dining and drugstore purchases and 1.5% on all other purchases. For more details, check out our full review of the Freedom Unlimited.
- If you want to earn a flat rate on all your purchases: The Citi® Double Cash Card (see rates and fees) has no annual fee and earns 2% back on all purchases (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay). For more details, check out our full review of the Citi Double Cash.
Is the Prime Visa worth it?
If you already have a Prime membership and want to earn cash-back rewards, the Prime Visa is a good card to start with or add to your existing portfolio. However, if you don’t have a Prime membership or are focused on earning travel rewards, you’ll probably get more value from a different card.
TPG associate product manager Ishan Thacker, for instance, loves that he can earn at such a high rate on his frequent Amazon purchases without having to pay an annual fee. I, on the other hand, rely on my Amazon spending to earn welcome bonuses on my travel rewards cards, so I’m not using one of my 5/24 slots for the Prime Visa for now.
With an unbeatable 5% return on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases and a simple redemption system, the Prime Visa is great for those who prefer the ease of using a no-annual-fee credit card that earns cash back over earning more complex travel rewards.
But if you plan to use points and miles for your next big trip, you’ll want to use a card that earns travel rewards points on your Amazon purchases instead. No matter which route you choose, you can’t go wrong with a card that earns rewards every time you click “Buy now” in your Amazon shopping cart.
Official application link: Prime Visa with a $200 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval. Offer ends July 26.
Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox, Stella Shon and Carissa Rawson.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred card, click here.