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I don’t know about you, but shopping on Amazon has become a big line item in my budget this year.
I kept seeing ads for Amazon credit cards, but I always assumed it was going to cost me.
When I started doing the math, and I realized just how much I would save on my MANY Amazon purchases if I signed up for an Amazon credit card.
Here’s how I made $131 in cash back on my Amazon spending in 4 months!
Let’s Talk About the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
Amazon has a few credit card options these days, but the card I’m talking about is the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card.
I had somehow gotten it into my head that every Amazon rewards credit card had an annual fee.
I was wrong.
This card is fee-free, which started this plan off on the right foot.
If you look at the Amazon website, you can see the basics of this card:
- 3% cash back on Amazon and Whole Food Market
- 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores
- 1% everywhere else
I am incredibly loyal to my Citi Double Cash card, so everything after the 3% line didn’t really impress me- and I wasn’t going to take a credit hit for a 1% increase in cash back.
But then I started reading the fine print.
If you have an Amazon Prime membership, that 3% on Amazon and Whole Foods Market goes up to 5%.
Keep in mind, this is actual CASH back, not just Amazon gift cards- you can even move it to your bank account to save!
They even sealed the deal with a $70 statement credit AND let me start using the card instantly- I didn’t have to wait for it to arrive in my mailbox before I could use it.
It took some time to decide, but I was convinced!
Was It Worthwhile?
I signed up for this card in September 2020, with coronavirus in full swing and my household on lockdown.
In a normal year, we might spread our spending out further, but 2020 was a year of Amazon deliveries.
With 2 of us in our house, we were regularly spending $200 each month in Amazon purchases.
Normally that would get us $4 each month with our Citi Double Cash card, but upgraded us to $10 from Amazon.
In a normal 4 months, this would mean $40 in cash back- not a bad return on investment for things we were going to buy anyway!
But again, this was 2020, and nothing was normal.
We started cooking from home because we couldn’t go out to eat or travel, so we occasionally splurged on a Whole Foods Market delivery.
Everything from contact solution and vitamins to hand soap and hair dye to batteries and air filters came from Amazon.
My Fitbit broke right before Prime day, so I replaced it with a heavily discounted replacement.
My husband’s Macbook Air was on its last legs, so we took advantage of the biggest Apple discount in history.
We bought a firepit to social distance outside with friends in the fall.
We even bought a box spring at 80% off on Black Friday to finish our guest bedroom.
And for my birthday, I gathered up all of our cash back and used it to significantly drop the price of a basic Pilates reformer.
Amazon Rewards Credit Card Watchouts
Like any credit card, there are some serious watchouts to keep an eye on with an Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card.
Stick to Your Budget
Store and rewards credit cards are notorious for encouraging shoppers to spend more than they normally would.
DON’T fall into the trap.
While it’s really easy to click the “Add to Cart” button because you NEED something, and you’re getting an order anyway, BE CAREFUL.
Don’t spend money that isn’t in your budget.
Contact solution, vitamins, hand soap, and hair dye were all in our Personal Care budget.
Batteries and air filters were in our Home Improvement budget.
My Fitbit was covered by my Fun budget for the month.
I will admit that the Pilates reformer was a tiny bit out of my budget, but I had just gotten a raise at work and used it as a one-time treat to myself after a hard year.
If I can stick to my budget with an Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, so can you!
Pay It Off Every Month
Level Up rule of life: There is no credit card reward that is worth going into debt or screwing up your credit.
If you’re already struggling to pay off your credit cards each month, don’t pick up this credit card yet.
The Amazon rewards card does not have a 0% promotional purchase period, so any balance you have will accrue interest after your payment due date.
Remember that fine print I mentioned?
The interest rate on this card is typically over 20%.
If you can pay off your credit card each month, you won’t be impacted by that ugly number.
But if you can’t, you’re going to have to pay your balance PLUS compounded interest.
A few dollars in cash back won’t make up for what you’ll owe in interest- that math NEVER works out.