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Amazon Prime Cards

Amazon offers 2 no fee credit cards to Prime members. They both offer an incredible 5% back on Amazon purchases. This article should be of interest to Amazon Prime members who pay off their card fully each month. I do that and do not pay any attention to interest rates and other things that would be of interest to people who maintain a balance. Both cards credit your Amazon rewards balance and let you apply the credits to most Amazon purchases. The Chase card reduces to 3% back if you drop your Amazon Prime membership.

They are:
  • Amazon Prime Rewards card from Chase bank. This offers 5% back at Amazon, 2% on restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores and 1% on everything else. Average rating: 4.3 from 21,249 reviews. 8% 1 star reviews. Fakespot.com review analysis score: F - High probability of fake reviews.
  • Amazon.com store card from Synchrony Bank offers 5% off on Amazon orders and nothing else. Average rating 4.1 from 75,073 reviews. 18% 1 star reviews.  Fakespot.com review analysis score: F - High probability of fake reviews.

My experience

I've had the Chase card since 2003 and have never had a problem. No misplaced payments. No false charges. When fraud was detected it was handled quickly and efficiently with almost no inconvenience to me. My password safe gets me in. I use a 30 character random password posted from my password manager.

However, until recently it only offered 3%, so I applied for and got the 5% card from Synchrony bank. Amazon offers a simple quick online application. They sent me a card and I tried to create an account online. Sadly, they wouldn't let me paste a password into the form. They apparently only allow passwords that you can easily type. In other words, insecure passwords. This seemed shockingly incompetent to me, so I called them. The automated answering system I got connected to was one of the worst I have ever experienced and it was very hard to talk to someone. I finally got someone who was clearly from a contracted support service in some foreign country and knew nothing about the bank, its policies or the website. He promised to get my request into the system and someone who knew something would get back to me in about 2 or 3 days. No one ever got back to me.

Then I checked out some of the reviews. Many people had payments misplaced, were unable to login to their account and pay their bills then were charged for not paying them etc. The 18% 1 star reviews should have been a tip-off. Then I checked their Domain security with SSL Labs (I wrote an article about them here) and it was mediocre, versus the good rating for Chase.

I shredded the card, deciding that the extra 2% I could get would not be worth the risk.

The Sun shines on a new day!

Within a week, Amazon/Chase informed me that their card policy had changed and by simply clicking on a button I could upgrade my card to the 5% Prime card. Nothing else changed. I still get 2% credit on restaurants, gas stations and drug stores and 1% elsewhere. If I dropped my prime membership, my rewards from Amazon would drop back to 3%.

My recommendation

If you pay off your credit card each month, and are not saving for travel miles, are a prime member, and buy a lot from Amazon the Chase Prime Rewards card is great. Even if you aren't a Prime member, 3% off at Amazon plus the other rewards is an excellent credit card option.

I cannot think of any reason anyone should use the Amazon.com store card from Synchrony bank and risk their incompetence. If you have a good reason, let me know, and I'll write a follow-up article.

Date: February 2017

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