Everything You Need to Know About Amazon's Prime Rewards Credit Card

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If you shop on Amazon a lot, you've probably seen so many ads for Amazon's Prime Rewards Visa Signature credit card that you don't even notice them anymore. Credit card ads are just part of the background noise of the internet, and at a certain point, we just tune them out. But now that Amazon has acquired Whole Foods and the card has started offering cash-back rewards with both retailers, it might be worth taking a second look.

Amazon has long had a rewards credit card, the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature, which gave 3 percent cash back rewards for Amazon purchases and recently started offering 3 percent back at Whole Foods, too. Now Amazon has released an upgraded version for Prime members, and the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature offers 5 percent cash back rewards on purchases on Amazon and at Whole Foods. It's a shiny metal credit card with no foreign transaction fee, and you can use it anywhere that accepts Visa.

Here's everything else you need to know about Amazon's Prime Rewards Visa Signature.

Sign up for an Amazon Prime membership.

1. You do have to be an Amazon Prime member.

At least, you have to be a Prime member when you sign up. If, after getting it, you stop being a Prime member, you can still use the card, but your perks get less perky.

2. You'll get 5 percent cash back on purchases on Amazon and at Whole Foods.

This is the big benefit of using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature credit card, because 5 percent cash back can add up if you shop on Amazon a lot, or if Whole Foods is your go-to grocery store. The 5 percent cash back also applies to purchases made at Whole Food Market 365 stores and at

You do have to have an eligible Amazon Prime account to get the 5 percent cash back. And according to Amazon, eligible accounts include Amazon Prime and Amazon Household, Amazon Prime Fresh, Amazon Family, Amazon Prime Student, and trial memberships of Amazon Prime subscriptions.

If you stop being an Amazon Prime member or close your Amazon account, then the 5 percent cash back benefit at Amazon and Whole Foods drops to 3 percent. That's the same benefit as the basic Amazon Rewards Visa Signature credit card.

Both cards also give 2 percent cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores, and 1 percent back on everything else.

There's no cap on rewards, and rewards points don't expire as long as your credit card account remains open.

3. There is no annual fee ... technically

There's no annual fee for the card but, again, you do have to be a Prime member to get that 5 percent back. So the annual fee is whatever you pay for Prime (it just increased to $119).

4. You can use your rewards credits to buy more things at Amazon.

The rewards points automatically appear in your Amazon cart under "Payment Method," right below the place where you would enter a gift card or promotion code. So you can use them towards more purchases at Amazon. Every 100 points equals a dollar towards your purchase, and you can use all or part of them.

You can also use the points to pay towards the credit card statement balance, and you can still use them for gift cards and travel through this site. Also, if you bank online with Chase, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature will appear under your accounts when you log in, so you can manage it online with the rest of them.

5. You just have to do some simple math to decide if the card is a good deal for you.

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature offers very good rewards if you're already an Amazon Prime member. The big question, of course, is whether or not the card is worth upgrading for if you're not already a member. It could be, if you spend a lot on Amazon and at Whole Foods.

To get enough cash back in order to pay for the $119 annual Prime fee, you'd have to spend about $2,400 a year between Whole Foods and Amazon. Do you come close to that number? If you do, then the card pays for itself (technically your Prime membership, which gets you free two-day shipping on many Amazon purchases, Amazon's streaming videos, unlimited photo storage, and more).

When deciding to use or pick out a credit card, there are a lot of things to consider besides rewards benefits, of course. Would you use a credit card for these purchases anyway? And would you pay it off, or carry a balance and pay interest? Because the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature is a good rewards card, but the benefits of the rewards could easily be counteracted by having to pay a lot of money towards credit card interest. But if you already have Amazon Prime and use a rewards credit card, this could be a good upgrade.

Do you have the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card? Would you get it?