What are the best credit cards to use when shopping on Amazon Prime Day?
Amazon Prime Day is upon us. In 2021, it’s set to take place on June 21 and June 22.
Is your wallet optimized to capture Amazon Prime Day’s once-in-a-year deals at the lowest possible net price?
If you aren’t carrying at least one of the cards on this annual list of the best credit cards to use on Amazon Prime Day, it’s not. But there’s still time to apply before the main event.
Read on to learn more about the top cards to use on Prime Day this year and how to choose a credit card offer that’ll serve you well long after the sales end.
Best Credit Cards to Use on Amazon Prime Day: Clear Winners
These are the best credit cards to use on Amazon Prime Day. They either offer rewards on Amazon.com purchases specifically or have rewards schemes with bonus categories that broadly favor online shopping. Naturally, the top two are Amazon credit cards.
1. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Unlimited 5% Cash Back on Purchases Made at Amazon and Whole Foods
The name says it all: the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card is designed for loyal Amazon Prime members looking to save big on everyday spending at Amazon and Whole Foods Market. On Prime Day, no card rewards your Amazon Prime membership better.
Use this card to pay for your Prime Day purchases, and you’ll earn an unlimited 5% cash back on top of the day’s already fantastic deals.
Once Prime Day is in the books, keep it around for an unlimited 2% back on eligible purchases at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, plus a continued 5% back at Amazon and Whole Foods.
- Sign-Up Bonus: Get a $100 Amazon gift card immediately upon approval. Exclusions apply; see terms.
- Earning Rewards: Earn an unlimited 5% cash back on eligible purchases made at Amazon and Whole Foods Market. Earn an unlimited 2% cash back on eligible purchases at restaurants, drugstores, and gas stations. All other eligible purchases earn an unlimited 1% back.
- Redeeming Rewards: Redeem in any amount for credits against Amazon purchases — the preferred way to redeem, and a great way to reduce your net Prime Day outlay if you already have points stored up. You can also redeem for cash back (via statement credit or direct deposit), gift cards, merchandise, and other items. Redemption values and minimums on noncash and non-Amazon redemptions may vary.
- Key Fees: This card has no annual fee, but you need to be a paid-up Prime member to earn 5% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. There’s no foreign transaction fee, either.
- Other Perks: This card comes with a suite of Visa Signature benefits, including complimentary loss and damage coverage on rental cars paid in full with the card, basic travel insurance coverage, extended warranty coverage for an additional year on items with eligible warranties of three years or less, and purchase protection against damage or theft for 120 days from purchase, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. Purchase protection, in particular, is a great way to safeguard big-ticket Prime Day purchases.
2. Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
Unlimited 3% Cash Back on Purchases Made at Amazon and Whole Foods
Amazon Rewards Visa Signature is a less generous version of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature. The main differences are:
- You don’t need a paid-up Prime membership to qualify for this card.
- Purchases at Amazon and Whole Foods earn just 3% back. In other words, you’ll earn 3% cash back on all Prime Day purchases.
So which of the Amazon credit cards is right for you?
If you spend enough at Amazon and Whole Foods to offset a Prime membership’s $139 annual price tag with the Prime Rewards Visa Signature’s 2% cash-back premium, that card is for you.
If you’re not a super-heavy Amazon spender, this one will suit you just fine.
- Sign-Up Bonus: Get a $50 Amazon gift card upon approval. Exclusions apply; see terms.
- Earning Rewards: Earn an unlimited 3% cash back on eligible purchases made at Amazon and Whole Foods Market; an unlimited 2% cash back on eligible purchases at restaurants, drugstores, and gas stations; and an unlimited 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
- Redeeming Rewards: Redeem in any amount for credits against Amazon purchases — the preferred way to reduce your net Prime Day spend. You can also redeem for general cash back via statement credit or direct deposit, gift cards, merchandise, and other items at various redemption thresholds and point values.
- Key Fees: This card has no annual fee, and Prime membership isn’t required to earn 3% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. There’s no foreign transaction fee.
- Other Perks: This card has the same great suite of Visa Signature benefits as the Amazon Prime Rewards card.
3. Deserve EDU Student Credit Card
Free Year of Amazon Prime Student ($69 Value)
The reason is simple: It’s the only credit card that offers a full year’s complimentary subscription to Amazon Prime for cardholders who spend at least $500 in eligible purchases in the first three billing cycles.
To capture the full value of this deal — $69 — sign up for Amazon Prime Student, pay for your membership with your Deserve EDU Student Credit Card, and meet the qualifying spend requirements.
Once your free trial period (if any) ends, you’ll see the reimbursement for the Prime Student fee on your card’s billing statement. If you elect to pay for Amazon Prime Student on a month-to-month basis, you’ll receive nine consecutive reimbursements, one per month.
- Earning Rewards: All eligible purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back, with no caps on how much you can earn.
- Redeeming Rewards: Redeem in any amount for credits against Amazon purchases and cash back via statement credit or direct deposit. You can also redeem for gift cards, merchandise, and other items at various redemption thresholds and point values.
- Introductory APR: None.
- Key Fees: This card has no annual fee. There’s no foreign transaction fee.
- Other Perks: In addition to one free year of Amazon Prime Student for those who meet the qualifying spend, this card has a slew of value-added perks. One key benefit: a cellphone protection policy worth up to $600 per claim.
Best Credit Cards to Use on Amazon Prime Day: Cash-Back Cards
If you’re not interested in applying for one of the clear Prime Day winners or a card with a price protection benefit, consider these top-rated cash-back credit cards for your Prime Day shopping.
4. Citi® Double Cash Card
Unlimited 2% Cash Back on Eligible Purchases When You Pay Your Statement Balance in Full
The Citi® Double Cash Card earns an unlimited 2% cash back when you pay your balance on time and in full. That’s effectively a 2% subsidy on your Prime Day spending, provided you don’t carry a balance past the current statement cycle.
Cash back earned with this card expires after 12 consecutive months of account inactivity, so at a minimum, you’ll want to make Double Cash your go-to Prime Day spending aid each year.
- Sign-Up Bonus: There’s currently no sign-up bonus.
- Earning Rewards: Earn an unlimited 1% cash back on all eligible purchases at the point of sale. Then, earn an unlimited 1% cash back for on-time payments made toward your balance. If you pay your balance in full by the statement due date, you’ll earn a 2% effective rate of return. Earned cash back expires after 12 consecutive months of account inactivity.
- Redeeming Rewards: Redeem your cash-back rewards for a paper check, statement credit, gift card, or bank account deposit, subject to a $25 redemption minimum.
- Introductory APR: Enjoy 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers. Then, variable regular APR applies (currently 16.99% to 26.99%, depending on your creditworthiness and prevailing rates).
- Key Fees: This card has no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%.
- Other Perks: Choose your own payment due date and enjoy comprehensive identity theft resolution support through Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.
5. Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card
5% Cash Back on the First $1,500 Spent in Rotating Categories Every Quarter; 5% Cash Back on Eligible Travel Purchases Made Through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3% Cash Back on Dining and Drugstore Purchases; 1% Cash Back on Everything Else
The Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card is a potent spending aid for Amazon shoppers on Amazon Prime Day thanks to Chase’s “Shop With Points” feature, which permits direct redemptions for Amazon.com purchases.
On top of 1% baseline cash back on most eligible purchases, these Freedom Flex purchases earn bonus cash:
- 5% cash back on eligible purchases up to $1,500 in quarterly rotating categories, as long as you activate in time (check this quarter’s Chase Freedom categories)
- 5% cash back on Lyft purchases made through March 2022
- 5% cash back on travel purchases made through Chase travel
- 3% cash back on dining purchases at restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and drugstore purchases
Cash rewards accrue as Chase Ultimate Rewards points, a loyalty currency worth $0.01 per point at redemption. For Amazon Prime Day shoppers, the choice is clear: Amazon.com redemptions are the way to go.
- Sign-Up Bonus: Make at least $500 in qualifying purchases within three months of opening your account to earn $200 bonus cash.
- Earning Rewards: Eligible Chase Ultimate Rewards travel purchases earn 5% cash back. Purchases in quarterly rotating categories, up to $1,500 combined spending across all categories, also earn 5% cash back. Through March 2022, qualifying Lyft purchases earn unlimited 5% cash back as well. Drugstore and dining purchases (including takeout and delivery) earn 3% cash back, while all other eligible purchases (including rotating 5% category purchases above the quarterly cap) earn unlimited 1% cash back.
- Redeeming Rewards: Redeem for purchases made directly with Amazon.com at a ratio of 1 point per $0.01. If you prefer, you can redeem for statement credits, bank account deposits, and gift cards, at the same ratio. Noncash redemption options include travel, general merchandise, and other purchases at the Ultimate Rewards portal. Rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing. There’s no minimum redemption threshold for Amazon or cash redemptions.
- Introductory APR: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. Then, variable regular APR applies, currently 17.24% to 25.99% APR.
- Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is a flat 3%.
- Other Perks: Enjoy a complimentary subscription to DoorDash’s DashPass service for three months from account opening. Thereafter, you’ll get 50% off your subscription for the next nine months.
6. Chase Freedom® Unlimited Credit Card
Generous Sign-up Bonus and Ongoing Cash-Back Program
The Chase Freedom® Unlimited Credit Card earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases, making it a solid choice for Prime Day spending even without a generous sign-up bonus.
With category-leading value, though, said sign-up bonus really does make a difference. During the first year, on up to the first $20,000 in eligible purchases, you’ll earn an additional 1.5% cash back. That adds up to a 3% cash-back rate on eligible Amazon purchases.
Like Chase Freedom Flex, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card boasts Purchase Protection and participates in Amazon’s Shop With Points program, so you can pull the same direct-redemption trick here. What’s better than earning beaucoup bonus points on Prime Day shopping, then cashing in on your next Amazon run?
- Sign-Up Bonus: During the first year your account is open, earn an additional 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases (up to the first $20,000) spent. That’s 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service; and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
- Earning Rewards: After the promotional period ends, most eligible purchases earn unlimited 1.5% cash back. However, certain purchases made through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards shopping portal may earn up to 10% cash back. Travel purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal earn 5% cash back, while eligible purchases at restaurants and drugstores earn 3% cash back. Once earned, cash back never expires.
- Redeeming Rewards: Redeem your rewards in any amount for statement credits, bank account deposits, and credits against Amazon purchases via Shop With Points. You can also redeem for gift cards (including Amazon gift cards, sometimes at special redemption rates), general merchandise, travel, and more. Redemption minimums and point values may vary for noncash redemption options.
- Introductory APR: Enjoy 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable regular APR applies, depending on your creditworthiness (currently 17.24% to 25.99% APR).
- Key Fees: There is no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%.
- Other Perks: In addition to Purchase Protection, enjoy extended warranties of up to one year and complimentary loss and damage coverage on rental cars paid in full with your card.
Other Options: Welcome Offers, Travel Rewards, and 0% APR Financing
The above cards are on this list for a reason: They’re the best cards to use for Amazon purchases on Prime Day and beyond.
But they’re not the only options for consumers looking to leverage their credit cards’ features and benefits on the biggest retail holiday of the summer.
7. Welcome Offer Cards
If you’re in the market for a new spending aid, consider applying for one of our top cards for sign-up bonuses before Prime Day. In addition to Chase Freedom Unlimited and Freedom Flex, which are already featured above, consider:
American Express Platinum
With the American Express Platinum Card, you earn 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend at least $6,000 within six months of opening your account.
By front-loading holiday or big-ticket purchases, you can probably take care of a significant share of that required spend on Prime Day.
Capital One Venture Rewards
With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, you earn 75,000 bonus Venture miles, worth $750 when redeemed against prior travel purchases, when you spend at least $4,000 on eligible purchases within 3 months of opening your account.
8. Travel Rewards Cards
If you’re a frequent traveler, consider one of these premium travel rewards credit cards:
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred has a great sign-up bonus that’s worth up to $750. But it’s defined by its unusually generous travel benefits, most notably its 1-to-1 point transfer arrangements with about a dozen top travel merchants and a $50 annual hotel credit on hotel spending through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
By swapping your Ultimate Rewards points for airline miles or hotel points, you can multiply their value and dramatically reduce the cost of international travel. It all starts with this year’s Prime Day shopping blitz.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase Sapphire Reserve is Sapphire Preferred’s grown-up cousin. It boasts the same great 1-to-1 point transfer arrangement, plus an unusually generous redemption rate on travel purchases: $0.015 per point.
If you’re a frequent traveler looking to maximize the value of loyalty currency earned on Prime Day, you can do worse than Sapphire Reserve.
9. 0% APR Cards
If your planned Prime Day shopping blitz is too much for your regular budget to handle, consider one of these top 0% APR credit cards and pay no interest on purchases until the end of the promotional period.
Just remember to pay off your Prime Day purchases in full before the end date; otherwise, you may be on the hook for all interest accumulated during the promotion.
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card isn’t your typical 1.5% cash-back card. It also boasts a category-leading 15-month 0% APR promotion on purchases, making it the ideal card for consumers looking to finance their Prime Day hauls over time.
Amazon Prime Day isn’t the only once-per-year retail holiday worth saving up for. Black Friday and Cyber Monday, arguably the two biggest retail holidays on the U.S. shopping calendar, come around every fourth quarter. Over the years, they’ve grown into multiday events spanning thousands of online and offline points of sale, including Amazon.
By all means, use one or more of the credit cards on this list to flex your spending muscles on Prime Day. Just don’t blow through your entire annual retail budget this month. Come November, you’ll want some spending power on reserve for the holidays.