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Credit Cards

Amazon's credit cards are getting an upgrade — should you apply?

The Chase Amazon credit cards boast new names, designs and benefits, offering cardholders even more value.

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Vladimir Vladimirov | E+ | Getty Images

If you're a frequent Amazon shopper, you might be considering one of Amazon's credit cards — or even already have one in your wallet. Either way, Chase, the cards' issuer, has some excellent news.

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card have been renamed Prime Visa and Amazon Visa. With the simpler names, the cards also got sleek new looks, and most importantly, new benefits. CNBC Select outlines the changes to help you determine whether either card is worth it for you.

How are Amazon's cards changing?

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is now the Prime Visa and has a fresh, new design.

Prime Visa

  • Rewards

    Earn unlimited 5% back at Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market and on Chase Travel purchases with an eligible Prime membership, unlimited 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and on local transit and commuting (including rideshare), 10% back or more on a rotating selection of products and categories at Amazon.com, unlimited 1% back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card (or more) instantly upon approval exclusively for Prime members

  • Annual fee

    $0 (but Prime membership is required)

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    19.49% - 27.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 4% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

  • Terms apply.

Information about the Prime Visa has been collected independently by Select and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer prior to publication; if you purchase something through Select links, we may earn a commission.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • $100 Amazon.com gift card upon approval, with no spending requirements
  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • Prime membership is required
  • The 5% back on groceries only applies to groceries bought on Amazon.com or at Whole Foods Market
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $792
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,960

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

The card also now offers 5% back on purchases made through Chase Travel and 2% back on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. With that, here's a full breakdown of the Prime Visa's cash-back rates:

  • 5% back at Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods Market
  • 5% back on purchases made through Chase Travel
  • 2% back on local transit and commuting, including rideshare (new)
  • 2% back at restaurants
  • 2% back at gas stations
  • 1% back on all other purchases

On top of that, new Prime Visa cardholders will earn a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval exclusively for Prime members.

The card will keep offering the same benefits, including baggage delay insurance and purchase protection. Additionally, the card continues to have no annual fee, but you'll still need a Prime membership to be eligible.

As for the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card for non-Prime members, it also has a new design and name — the Amazon Visa.

Amazon Visa

  • Rewards

    3% cash back at Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market; 3% back on purchases made through Chase Travel; 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and local transit and commuting; 2% back on local transit and commuting, including rideshare; 1% back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $50 Gift Card instantly upon approval.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    19.49% to 27.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    4%, $5 minimum

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No Prime membership required
  • $200 Amazon gift card upon approval, with no spending requirements
  • 3% back at Amazon and Whole Foods Market
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • The 3% back on groceries only applies to groceries bought on Amazon or at Whole Foods Market
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $618
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,195

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

On top of that, Chase added two new reward categories. Now, cardholders will earn 3% back on purchases made through Chase Travel and 2% back on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.

Here's how the Amazon Visa's earning structure looks now:

  • 3% back at Amazon and Whole Foods Market
  • 2% back on purchases made through Chase Travel (new)
  • 2% back on local transit and commuting, including rideshare (new)
  • 2% back at restaurants and gas stations
  • 1% back on all other purchases

New cardholders can get a $50 gift card upon approval.

Cardholders also still have access to valuable benefits such as baggage delay insurance and purchase protection.

Another notable change for both of the cards is in the cash-back redemption rules. Now, the rewards you earn will post daily and you can redeem them immediately. Previously, rewards would post to the account once a month.

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Should you get an upgraded Amazon card?

If you already have one of the co-branded Amazon cards, all you have to do is enjoy the added value your card now offers. But if you've only been considering signing up, should you rush to do so now?

For loyal Amazon shoppers — especially those with a Prime membership — this might be obvious. Either card will serve you well if you do most of your shopping on Amazon and prefer to earn a variety of rewards without managing a multitude of cards.

Plus, the current welcome offers are generous for a cash-back card. With the Prime Visa, you can earn up to $275 if you maximize the 5% cash back. With the Amazon Visa, making the most of the welcome bonus will net you $105. The new cash-back categories also add more opportunities to earn extra rewards and, depending on your spending habits, can bring you a lot of value.

On the other hand, if the upgraded Amazon cards have caught your eye because of the addition of travel and transit bonus categories, you might want to consider a few other cards first. For example, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express earns 3% back on transit, including taxis and rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more. Plus, the card offers a whopping 6% back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). Terms apply.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 3% cash back on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more) and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months. 

  • Annual fee

    $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

  • Intro APR

    0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    19.24% - 29.99% variable. Variable APRs will not exceed 29.99%.

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

 

If you travel often, you may be better off with a card that earns travel rewards rather than cash back. This way, your rewards might yield a value higher than 1 cent per point. Some of our favorite travel cards include the American Express® Gold Card and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (see rates and fees).

American Express® Gold Card

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    4X Membership Rewards® points at Restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

  • Annual fee

    $250

  • Intro APR

    Not applicable

  • Regular APR

    See Pay Over Time APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

  • See rates and fees, terms apply.

 

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • Rewards

    5 Miles per dollar on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 2X miles per dollar on every other purchase

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    N/A for purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    19.99% - 29.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    $0 at the Transfer APR, 4% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer to you

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

 

Bottom line

The upgraded co-branded Amazon cards are now offering even more value than before. If you use Amazon for most of your shopping and prefer to have just one go-to credit card, the refreshed Prime Visa and Amazon Visa are perhaps some of the best options you can find.

Catch up on CNBC Select's in-depth coverage of credit cardsbanking and money, and follow us on TikTokFacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Prime Visa and Amazon Visa has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer prior to publication; if you purchase something through Select links, we may earn a commission.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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