Maximizing Amazon Cash Back | Bankrate

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Key takeaways

  • You can maximize cash back earnings on Amazon purchases through a variety of options, including a boosted cash back credit card or Amazon branded card.
  • Amazon Prime members can also take advantage of free shipping and deep discounts.
  • And don’t forget about the deals you can score on Amazon Prime Day and the site’s new Big Deal Days.

There’s little doubt that Amazon makes shopping simple while saving time. And with a few strategies in place, you can save even more money without sacrificing convenience. We break down how a cash back rewards card, co-branded Amazon card, shopping portals and more can add up to big savings and deep discounts on your Amazon buys.

1. Use a cash back credit card

Using a cash back credit card for Amazon purchases is one of the fastest ways to add more money to your bottom line — especially if you’re a regular shopper with the online retail giant. While there are dozens of options available, choosing a cash back credit card offering boosted rewards for online or Amazon-specific purchases can quickly escalate your cash back earnings.

Standout examples include the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card that earns you 3 percent cash back in the category of your choice — one of which is online shopping. While the card caps spending at $2,500 per quarter for purchases within the 3 percent category, you’ll still earn 1 percent cash back on all purchases afterwards.

Another option is a card like the Chase Freedom Flex℠*, which offers rotating bonus categories throughout the year that often includes retail purchases. Cardholders earn 5 percent cash back on retail purchases, if you choose it as your bonus category for the quarter (up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1 percent thereafter).

2. Apply for the Amazon Prime Visa card

The Amazon Prime Visa card marries high cash back rewards for Amazon and Whole Foods purchases with cash back opportunities in everyday purchase categories, such as gas and restaurants. Prime Visa targets those who are Amazon Prime members or plan to become one by offering a $100 Amazon Gift Card immediately on approval. Once approved, you start earning 5 percent cash back on all Amazon, Whole Foods and Chase Travel purchases. You also earn 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and transit, and 1 percent on all other purchases. And there are no spending caps on cash back earnings.

The card comes with no annual fee, and you can use it when traveling overseas, thanks to no foreign transaction fees. And you can take advantage of perks like the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection and Concierge Service, as well as travel and purchase protections.

3. Sign up for an Amazon Prime Store Card

The Amazon Prime Store Card is another cash back earning card for Amazon purchases — but compared with the Prime Visa, perks aren’t as robust. For starters, you can earn the same 5 percent cash back on Amazon.com, but at no other retailer, including Whole Foods. Though cardholders immediately earn an $80 Amazon gift card on approval.

Here’s how the two Amazon cards compare.

Amazon Prime VisaAmazon Prime Store Card
Rewards rate
  • 5% back on Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods and Chase Travel purchases
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and lugar transit and commuting (including rideshare)
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • 5% back on Amazon.com purchases
Sign-up bonus (offered upon approval)$100 Amazon gift card$80 Amazon gift card
Annual fee$0 (requires $139 Amazon Prime membership)$0 (requires $139 Amazon Prime membership)
Additional perks
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Roadside dispatch
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance
  • Purchase protection
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Access to Amazon promotional financing offers
  • Zero fraud liability

4. Make an Amazon purchases through a shopping portal

Another way of earning cash back on Amazon purchases is simply shopping through a portal that earns you cash back. Shopping portals like BeFrugal and TopCashBack offer cash back on purchases with Amazon after you establish an account and agree to the site’s terms and conditions.

When combined with a card like the Prime Visa, you might be able to stack your Amazon savings to the tune of 13 percent: 5 percent back from the credit card and up to 8 percent cash back through the shopping portal.

5. Shop the Amazon warehouse

Another way to save money with your credit card is by shopping on Amazon’s warehouse deals. This corner of the Amazon site is easy to find by typing Amazon warehouse in the homepage’s search bar. Once there, you’ll get access to thousands of open-box, like-new or preowned items from some of the biggest brand names you can imagine. The packaging may be damaged or have some other minor flaw, but many times it’s barely noticeable.

These deals are first come, first served, so if you see something you want, act quickly. Since you’re shopping directly on Amazon’s website, you can use any of the payment methods you prefer — including a card that earns you boosted rewards on Amazon.

6. Take advantage of Amazon savings tools

The Amazon warehouse isn’t the only place to score rock-bottom prices. Rather, the site offers several other avenues for savings through Amazon, all of which you can combine with your favorite cash back card.

  • Today’s Deals. These are limited-time discounts on selected merchandise, like a flash sale that pops up quickly and sells out before day’s end.
  • Subscribe and Save. Schedule your favorite products to automatically renew and ship through this program for free shipping and savings from 5 percent to 15 percent or more.
  • Amazon coupons. While you can’t use outside coupons, Amazon often offers coupons of its own for household essentials, skin care and more. Enjoy these coupons on top of any other discounts and cash back earnings.
  • Woot! Deals. This Amazon company offers flash sales with steep discounts that are typically available for a short time. If you’re a Prime member, you also get free shipping.

7. Take advantage of free shipping

Free shipping may not be a direct way of earning cash back, but it can keep expenses down If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can get free two-day shipping on qualifying items — and you might even qualify for free same-day delivery or Saturday shipping if you meet ordering thresholds and if it’s available in your area.

Free shipping can help you get the most out of your Prime membership, especially if you can take advantage of the faster shipping times and earn valuable cash back rewards while you’re shopping.

How to make the most of Amazon Prime Day

Among the most valuable perks of an Amazon Prime membership is access to exclusive promotions that include Buy With Prime deals, invite-only deals and the famous Amazon Prime Days.

Amazon Prime Days are an exclusive shopping event for Prime members. These events typically last four days, during which you’ll find slashed prices and steep discounts across every shopping category. Use a cash back credit card to enhance the discount even further.

If you have an Amazon Prime Store Card or a Prime Visa, search for the Prime Card bonus site through Amazon to see products earning additional savings beyond the typical 5 percent cash back. Some products earn up to 25 percent more cash back, simply for paying with an eligible Amazon card.

What about Amazon Big Deal Days?

Not to be confused with Prime Day, Amazon also offers its Prime members access to Big Deal Days. This two-day mega-sales event took place in October 2023, and chances are we’ll see it return in 2024. Like Prime Day, you must be an Amazon Prime member so you can take advantage of the pricing.

This 48-hour sales event features generous discounts on a wide variety of products as a preview to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. The October sales date gives Prime members a chance to spread out holiday purchases over a longer time, versus waiting until later in November.

The bottom line

If you’re one of the millions of loyal Amazon shoppers, you may be surprised at the number of ways you can maximize Amazon cash back earnings. Using a cash back credit card with boosted cash back earnings for retail purchases or one of the Amazon-specific credit cards can significantly boost your cash back earnings.

Or stack discounts with a few other strategies, such as shopping Amazon warehouse deals or Prime Days. If you don’t yet own a cash back card, compare our list of the top cash back credit cards on the market to find the best for your spending habits and budget.

*Issuer-required disclosure statement
Information about the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected independently by Bankrate. Card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

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