Amazon Store Cards vs. Amazon Visa Credit Cards: What’s the Difference?

An Amazon credit card could reward you for your Amazon purchases. Find out which one would be the best fit in this Amazon store card vs. Amazon Visa card comparison.
Last updated Jul 16, 2021 | By Ben Walker | Edited By Becca Borawski Jenkins
Amazon Store Cards vs. Amazon Visa Credit Cards

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If you can’t get enough of shopping on Amazon, don’t worry; you’re not the only one. According to Amazon statistics and facts from Statista, there are more than 200 million paying Amazon Prime members worldwide. In addition, Amazon Prime members spent an average annual amount of $1,400 each on Amazon in 2019.

With that kind of spending, it makes sense to consider an Amazon credit card to help you save money on your purchases. But which card should you choose?

In this Amazon store cards vs. Amazon Visa cards comparison, you’ll learn about these popular Amazon card options and how they work. This will help you understand which type of Amazon card would be a better fit for you depending on your situation and goals.

In this article

The difference between store cards and credit cards

Before jumping into the details of the different Amazon credit cards, it’s important to understand two categories these cards can fall into: closed loop or open loop.

The Amazon Store Card and Amazon Prime Store Card are considered closed-loop cards, which is what most store cards are. A card on a closed loop works only at specific locations, so you wouldn’t be able to use it outside of the store it’s associated with. These two cards only work on Amazon.

The Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card are considered open-loop cards because they work anywhere Visa cards are accepted. So you’re able to use them to make purchases on Amazon, but you can also use them for any other purchases you may have from any retailer (as long as they accept Visa).

Quick look: Amazon store cards vs. credit cards

Amazon.com Store Card Amazon Prime Store Card Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Issuer Synchrony Synchrony Chase Chase
Annual fee $0 $0 $0 $0
Sign-up bonus Earn an Amazon gift card upon approval, typically worth $10 to $100 Earn an Amazon gift card upon approval, typically worth $10 to $100 Earn a $50 Amazon gift card upon approval of credit card application $100 Amazon gift card upon approval
Rewards rate None 5% back on Amazon purchases 3% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores; and 1% on all other purchases 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores; 1% on all other purchases
Redemption options None Amazon purchases or statement credits Amazon purchases, statement credits, direct deposits, gift cards, or travel Amazon purchases, statement credits, direct deposits, gift cards, or travel
Benefits Special financing options for six, 12, or 24 months on select items Special financing options for six, 12, or 24 months on select items Travel and protection benefits; special financing options Travel and protection benefits; special financing options
Prime membership required No Yes No Yes
Recommended credit score Fair Fair Good Excellent, Good

Now we’ll jump into the details of the four Amazon credit cards and compare how they stack up against each other, especially in regards to their rewards program. This will help you understand whether one of the Amazon store cards or one of the Amazon Rewards Visa cards would be a better fit for you.

Best for sign-up bonus: It varies

Getting a sign-up bonus can be a nice sweetener on top of a card’s other rewards and benefits. In many cases, a more valuable sign-up bonus could be the difference maker for you when you compare credit cards.

Each of the four Amazon credit cards typically offers cardholders an Amazon gift card upon approval. The gift card amount often ranges from $10 to $100, whether it’s one of the store cards or one of the Amazon Rewards Visa cards. If you want the best sign-up bonus for an Amazon credit card, check both the store cards and Rewards Visa cards to see which ones have the higher offers when you’re ready to apply.

Keep in mind that many credit cards require you to hit a minimum spend amount to qualify for a sign-up bonus, but none of these four cards have that requirement. If you’re approved for one of these cards, you get the applicable bonus.

Best for earning rewards: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa

The non-Prime version of the Amazon Store Card doesn’t earn any rewards, whereas the other three Amazon cards — the Amazon Prime Store Card and the two Visa cards — offer excellent earning potential. But if you want additional opportunities to earn rewards, the best credit card for Amazon is likely the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card.

This is primarily because the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa provides earning potential outside of Amazon.com purchases because it’s on an open-loop network and can be used anywhere Visa cards are accepted. It also offers bonus categories apart from Amazon purchases.

For example, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa offers 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores; 1% on all other purchases. This gives you more flexibility than the Amazon Prime Store Card and a higher earning potential than the non-Prime Amazon Rewards Visa.

When it comes to redeeming rewards, the Amazon Rewards Visa cards have more options. Rewards from the Amazon Prime Store Card can be redeemed for Amazon purchases or statement credits, but the rewards from the Visa cards can be redeemed for Amazon purchases, statement credits, direct deposits, gift cards, and travel.

Earn Easy Cash Back at Amazon.com

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Benefits

  • Get a $100 Amazon gift card upon approval
  • 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee

Best for benefits: Amazon Rewards Visa cards

You won’t find many benefits on the Amazon store cards, though they do have special financing options for big-ticket purchases to help you pay them off without interest over the course of six, 12, or 24 months. For more perks, consider the Amazon Rewards Visa cards.

The Amazon Rewards Visa and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa cards offer these additional benefits:

  • Special financing offers on purchases for six to 18 months for purchases of $50 or more
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Travel and emergency assistance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Roadside dispatch
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Visa Signature Concierge Service

Many of these benefits can be useful if you travel frequently or want additional protection on your eligible purchases.

Best for annual fee: All Amazon cards

None of these cards have annual fees, which makes them all equally valuable when it comes to annual costs. But you have to keep the cost of an Amazon Prime membership in mind if you’re using one of the Prime cards, which would be either the Amazon Rewards Visa or the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa.

These two Prime cards are available only to those with an Amazon Prime membership. So in an indirect way, it’s as if they have a $119 annual fee, which is the cost of a Prime membership each year.

However, you also get plenty of other benefits from a Prime membership, such as two-day shipping and exclusive deals, as well as access to millions of songs, books, movies, shows, and games. Not signing up for Prime is one of many mistakes Amazon shoppers make because the benefits can far outweigh the cost.

Best for longer financing

Both the Amazon store cards and Amazon Rewards Visa cards have helpful financing options available, though they aren’t exactly the same. You don’t have to sign up for these financing options, but you do need to select your Amazon credit card (one of the store cards or one of the Rewards Visa cards) as your payment method during checkout for your financing options to show up. Then you select the available financing option you want to use and complete the checkout process.

For the Amazon store cards, you get these options:

  • Equal monthly payments: Pay equal monthly payments on your eligible Amazon purchases at a 0% APR for six, 12, or 24 months.
  • Special financing: Pay no interest rate on eligible purchases if the purchase is completely paid off within six, 12, or 24 months. Minimum monthly payments are required and interest will be charged starting from the purchase date if the purchase isn’t paid off before the offer period ends. It’s best to pay off your purchases during the special financing period or you’ll have to pay a high APR of 25.99% (as of July 14, 2021) on your entire purchase, which is a huge increase on what you’d already be paying.

For the Amazon Rewards Visa cards, you get the option to make equal monthly payments on your eligible Amazon purchases at a 0% APR for six, 12, or 18 months.

Overall, the Amazon store cards provide more flexibility with your financing options, which can be helpful depending on your situation. Keep in mind that these financing options, for both the Amazon store cards and Amazon Rewards Visa cards, are primarily for big-ticket purchases of $50 to $800 or more.

Best for building credit: Amazon store cards

When it comes to how to build credit, any credit card can play a part as long as you use it responsibly and make on-time payments each month. But if you can’t qualify for a certain credit card because your credit score isn’t high enough, you’ll have to consider other options.

Store cards are typically easier to qualify for because they have less strict requirements than many other credit cards. So if you compare Amazon store cards vs. Amazon Visa cards, the store cards would likely make more sense for building credit because you don’t need a good or excellent credit score to be approved.

Fair credit, which is at least a 580 FICO Score, is often good enough to qualify for a store card. To be approved for one of the Amazon Rewards Visa cards, you likely need at least a good credit score, or a 670 FICO Score.

Quick note: Amazon store card vs. Amazon Prime store card

It can get confusing talking about Amazon store cards as a whole because they’re actually two different cards. Where it gets more confusing, though, is that you can only apply for the Amazon.com Store Card.

To get the Amazon Prime Store Card, you have to already have the standard Amazon Store Card and an eligible Amazon Prime membership. This will qualify you for an automatic update to the Amazon Prime Store Card.

If you’re approved for the Amazon Store Card and don’t have a Prime membership, you’ll end up with the non-Prime Amazon.com Store Card, which doesn’t offer any earning potential.

The two Amazon Rewards Visa cards work similarly. Whether you receive the Amazon Rewards Visa Card or Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card depends on whether you have an eligible Amazon Prime membership.

Additional Amazon card options

If these cards don’t seem like the best fit for you, there are other Amazon card options from other credit card issuers. These include:

  • Amazon Secured Card: This card is issued by Synchrony Bank and provides you with a way to build or rebuild your credit. It has no annual fee, can be used for Amazon purchases, and requires between a $100 to $1,000 refundable security deposit.
  • Amazon Business American Express Card: Has a $0 (See rates and fees) annual fee and offers 3% back in Amazon Rewards points or no interest for 60 days on U.S. Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com, and Whole Foods purchases; 2% back at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and purchases with U.S. wireless providers; and 1% back on all other purchases. (Terms apply.)
  • Amazon Business Prime American Express Card: Has a $0 (See rates and fees) annual fee and offers 5% back in Amazon Rewards points or no interest for 90 days on U.S. Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com, and Whole Foods purchases; 2% back at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and purchases with U.S. wireless providers; and 1% back on all other purchases. An eligible Amazon Prime membership is required for this card. (Terms apply.)

FAQs

What is the difference between the Amazon store card and Amazon Visa?

The Amazon store cards can be used only for Amazon purchases, whereas the Amazon Visa cards can be used anywhere Visa cards are accepted. In addition, the Amazon Visa cards have more benefits than the Amazon store cards, including different types of travel insurance and purchase protections. However, it’s likely easier to qualify for the Amazon store cards because they have less strict requirements.

What credit score do I need for an Amazon card?

You likely need a fair credit score to qualify for the Amazon.com Store Card, but the Amazon Rewards Visa Card typically requires a good credit score. A 580 FICO Score would be considered fair and a 670 FICO Score would be considered good.

Is the Amazon Store Card worth it?

The Amazon.com Store Card could be worth it if you frequently shop on Amazon and can’t qualify for the Amazon Rewards Visa Card because of your credit. However, it doesn’t earn you rewards unless you have an Amazon Prime membership. If you are a Prime member, that qualifies you for earning rewards on your Amazon purchases with the Amazon Prime Store Card, which makes having this car far more worthwhile.


Bottom line

Amazon credit cards can make sense if you frequently shop on Amazon. But depending on your shopping habits, you might get better value from a more versatile credit card like the Chase Freedom Flex or Citi Double Cash, which are often included as two of the best rewards credit cards available.

The Chase Freedom Flex can be an excellent card to use on everyday expenses. It offers bonus cash back in multiple categories, including 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and 3% cash back on restaurants (including takeout and delivery) and drugstores. When combined with a Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Freedom Flex can be powerful for earning both cashback rewards and travel rewards.

To learn more about this card, read our Chase Freedom Flex review.

The Citi Double Cash makes earning rewards simple and straightforward because you get the same earning rate on every purchase. Earn restaurants (including takeout and delivery) and drugstores.

To learn more about this card, read our Citi Double Cash review.

Earn Cash Back Twice

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card

Benefits

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • 2% cash back on all purchases - 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay
  • No annual fee

Author Details

Ben Walker Ben Walker is a credit cards and travel writer at FinanceBuzz who loves helping others achieve their travel goals through financially-sound decisions. For nearly a decade, he has been using credit card points and miles for the sole purpose of traveling the world. Ben has been featured in The Washington Post, MSN, Debt.com, and Finder.com.