If you’re an Amazon shopper, you may have heard about the Amazon Shop With Points program that lets you use credit card rewards and points toward your purchases. In addition to being the main redemption option for Amazon’s own credit cards, many of the most popular rewards card issuers are also allowing cardholders to use their points and miles when they’re shopping on Amazon.
How does the Amazon Shop With Points program work?
If you’re familiar with rewards credit cards, you are probably used to going on your card account and selecting from various redemption choices when you want to cash in. With Amazon Shop With Points, you do the redeeming during the Amazon purchase checkout.
All you have to do is add an eligible credit card as a payment method to your Amazon account. When you go to check out, choose that card, and you’ll automatically be provided with the option to Shop with Points when you check out. If you choose that option, you can select the number of points you wish to apply to the purchase, and the total owed will be reduced by the corresponding amount.
These are the cards that are currently part of the Amazon Shop With Points program:
- Amazon credit cards: Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, Amazon Prime Store Card, Amazon Business American Express Card
- American Express Membership Reward cards: The Platinum Card from American Express, American Express Gold Card, American Express Green Card, The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express, Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card, American Express Blue Business Cash Card, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, American Express Business Gold Card, Business Green Rewards Card from American Express, The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express
- Chase Ultimate Rewards cards: Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Ink Business Cash Credit Card, Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
- Citi ThankYou Point cards: Citi Prestige Credit Card, Citi Premier Card, Citi Rewards+ Card, Citi ThankYou Preferred Card, Expedia Rewards Card from Citi and all other Citi cards with ThankYou Points. Members with a Citi Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer offer who convert their cash rewards to ThankYou points are also eligible.
- Capital One: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Spark Miles for Business, Capital One Spark® Miles Select for Business, Capital One Spark Cash for Business, Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business,Capital One Spark Classic for Business, and Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
- Discover: Discover it Cash Back, Discover it chrome and Discover it Miles.
Should you use your credit card points on Amazon?
In a recent CompareCards survey of rewards credit card users, nearly 3 in 4 (74%) said cashback is their favorite type of reward – and saving money on an Amazon purchase can feel an awful lot like cash back since the savings comes right off your bill. That said, Amazon Shop With Points may not provide the same value as choosing cash back or other redemption options.
“Generally speaking, I wouldn’t recommend using credit card rewards points to shop with Amazon, but these are extremely unusual times, obviously,” said Matt Schulz, chief industry analyst at LendingTree. “The reality today is that if you’re having difficulty making ends meet because of the pandemic and using card rewards points would help you extend your budget when you most need it, it’s OK to cash those points in. That’s especially true at a site like Amazon, where so many people shop anyway.”
But before you load up your shopping cart, here’s what you should think about:
The redemption value. Depending on which card you’re using, how much your points are worth will vary, and you could end up getting a not-so-great value. Here’s how the eligible cards break down:
- Discover offers 1:1 redemption (where each point is worth one cent) for Amazon purchases, making it one of the more favorable cards to use.
- Redemption values for Capital One rewards are one cent per point on the cash back cards, so every 100 points will save you $1. However, on the Capital One cards that earn miles, you’ll need 125 miles for each $1 (meaning the point value drops down to .8 cents).
- For both Chase Rewards and Citi Thank You points, 10,000 points redeemed is worth $80 on Amazon Shop With Points, which means each point is worth .8 cents.
- American Express Membership Points have an even lower .7 cent value, with 10,000 points worth $70 on Amazon.
- If you collect Hilton Honors Points, you can also trade those in to shop on Amazon. However, 500 Hilton Honors Points equals one dollar on Amazon.com, which offers a poor value. Since Hilton points are generally valued at 0.5 cents per point, that same 500 points would be worth $2.50 toward a Hilton stay.
Based on the current redemption values, Discover and Capital One cash back cards seem to be the best bets for Amazon shopping. For American Express, Chase and Citi cardholders, points are generally worth more than one cent when redeemed for travel, so you’re leaving a lot of value on the table if you redeem for Amazon Shop With Points.
Promotions and deals. There are some instances in which Amazon Shop with Points might be more worthwhile. Amazon sometimes offers discounts to certain cardholders who redeem card points through the site, Schulz said. “It’s worth doing your homework to see if your particular card issuer has any special redemption offers going on. If so, it can make those points more valuable and make redeeming them a better deal.”
Think before you redeem
Opting to use your points during Amazon checkout is the equivalent of an impulse buy while you’re in line at the department store counter — it’s so darn easy and right there in front of you. That instant gratification of saving a few bucks right this minute might be more appealing than logging into your credit card account, and doing the work of crunching numbers and browsing the rewards catalog to figure out the best redemption option. Plus, you don’t have to wait for a statement credit to appear or a gift card to arrive.
That said, especially if you have travel-oriented rewards cards, try not to give in to the Amazon impulse. “The truth is that no one signs up for a high-end travel rewards credit card hoping to redeem that card’s points for shopping at Amazon, so redeeming points this way isn’t ideal,” Schulz said. As long as you’re on good financial footing and feel confident that you’ll stay that way, it might be worth holding on to your rewards points.
Then again, if COVID-19 rocked your financial world, as it did for so many, “be glad that credit card issuers are giving more practical redemption offers and don’t be afraid to take advantage of them,” Schulz said.
Your best bet if you’re going to use Amazon Shop With Points is linking cards that offer a 1:1 value or a special discount offer — that way you can save with your favorite online retailer without sacrificing your hard-earned rewards.
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