Review: Amazon Store Card & Amazon Prime Store Card
By Adam Jusko, ProudMoney.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated July 2, 2021 – The Amazon Store Card is a credit card that offers special 0% financing on larger purchases made at Amazon.com. In addition, if you are a paid Amazon Prime customer, you would get the Amazon Prime Store Card, which is the same card except that it also offers a 5% rebate on all of your Amazon.com purchases. (The non-Prime card does NOT offer a rebate on Amazon.com purchases at all.) The Amazon Store Cards are issued by Synchrony Bank.
The special financing that is offered on the Store Cards is available if your purchases meets one of the following spending thresholds:
- Pay no interest for 6 months on purchases of $150 or more.
- Pay no interest for 12 months on purchases of $600 or more.
- Pay no interest for 24 months on certain larger items (mostly high-end TVs, home video projectors, etc.).
How 0% Offers May Be Structured – Understand The Fine Print
It is important to understand that these 0% financing offers can be structured in one of two ways when it comes to repayment:
- Equal Monthly Payment Offer
- No Interest If Paid In Full Offer
Equal Monthly Payment Offer
With the equal monthly payment offer, you simply pay off the balance in equal payments over the term of the offer. For example, if you charge an Amazon purchase of $180 to the card and accept the 6-month, 0% interest offer, you’d pay $30 every month for 6 months. Assuming you make all of your payments on time, you’d have the purchase fully paid off and never pay any interest on it. Nice, right?
No Interest If Paid In Full Offer
This offer has the potential to be a bit more dangerous. On the surface, it might seem like essentially the same offer, because you still pay off the full balance within the time period specified. Using the example above, on a $180 purchase, you’d still have 6 months to pay it off.
The difference with this offer, though, is that you aren’t forced to make equal payments each month, so it is entirely possible you could choose to wait until the end of the 0% promotional period to pay off most of the balance. (You still have to make minimal monthly payments under this plan, but they are not high enough to cover the complete purchase price during the promotional period.)
While it might sound good to have more leeway on exactly when you pay off your purchase, you have to be careful to not slip up with this offer, because it comes with potential strings attached. Check out this sentence in the fine print:
“Interest will be charged to your Amazon.com Store Card or Amazon Prime Store Card account from the purchase date if the promotional balance is not paid in full within 6, 12 or 24 months respectively. “
What does that mean? It means that if you fail to pay off even one penny of the purchases within the 6-month, 12-month, or 24-month period, the 0% offer will go *poof* and you’ll suddenly be charged ALL of the interest that would’ve been charged from the date you made the purchases — as if the no-interest offer never happened at all! And the interest rate you’d pay is the everyday rate of 25.99%, a very high rate, even for a retail credit card.
For that reason, we’d suggest you use the Equal Monthly Payment plan if you use this card for 0% financing.
- You may get instant approval when you apply for the Amazon Store Card. In the past we have seen promotional materials promise an “Instant credit decision in as little as 15 seconds.” These days it may not be that quick.
- New cardholders will get a $10 Amazon gift card credited to your account upon approval for the card. A nice but very modest bonus.
- It is important to note that the Amazon Store Card is different than the Amazon Rewards Visa that is issued by Chase. The Chase Amazon card offers a different points/cash back formula and no special financing. It also has a lower interest rate.
- The Amazon Store Card is generally easier to be approved for than the Amazon Rewards Visa, and it even offers a “secured” card version for those whose credit scores are not high enough to qualify for the card. (A secured credit card requires a refundable security deposit to gain access to the card, but otherwise works the same as a standard credit card.)
In the past we have not been fans of this card, but our opinion has changed somewhat since the introduction of the Equal Monthly Payment offer. (Previously the only way to get 0% financing was to use the offer that could sock you with interest from the date of purchase if you messed up.)
With the Equal Monthly Payment offer available, we like the card better, though we still wouldn’t really recommend it unless you really need that 0% financing. There is obviously some appeal in spacing out your payments without paying interest. And if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you might even choose the Store Card over the Amazon Rewards Visa card because both cards give Prime members 5% back on your Amazon purchases. (The Visa does offer other rewards as well, so most Prime customers would still probably choose it over the Store Card.)
Bottom line, though, this card can not be used by non-Prime members anywhere but at Amazon.com and even then it’s only for larger purchases, so it is very limited. If the initial purchase you make with this card is big enough, it could make sense to apply, and as long as you pay off your purchases in time and don’t pay any interest or fees, it could help you build a positive credit history. But this is not a card for everyday use, so you may want to consider how many other credit cards you already hold and whether a different card might be a better choice — unless you really need that 0% financing badly.