Prime Day 2021: Maximize savings with these cash-back credit cards

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day 2021, CNET’s guide on everything you need to know and how to make sure you get the best deal.

Amazon Prime Day is officially here, running from June 21-22, and there are plenty of ways to maximize your savings during this year’s event. Using a cash-back credit card is a worthwhile strategy for shopping on any day — but using a card with Amazon-specific perks can unlock significant savings during the Prime Day time frame. Although we don’t necessarily recommend applying for a new credit card just for Prime Day, if you’re planning to make a big-ticket purchase — a smartwatch, TV, laptop or desktop PC — a cash-back card could level-up any deal you come across. And if you already have one of these cards in your wallet, pulling it out for Prime Day shopping is a no-brainer.

As always, keep in mind that cash-back rewards are a worthwhile pursuit in tandem with responsible credit card use. That means spending within your limits and paying off your balance every month. Otherwise, you risk paying more in interest than you could earn back in rewards, potentially undermining the whole enterprise and damaging your personal finances in the process. 

Although just about any cash-back credit card can help you save money on Prime Day, only a few offer special Amazon-specific rewards. Below, we’ve rounded up our picks of the best credit card for Amazon Prime Day.

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Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card

Amazon

Reward rates: 5% cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods; 2% at restaurants, gas stations, drugstores; 1% on everything else; up to 10% cash back on rotating categories and Prime exclusives
Annual fee: $0 (must be an Amazon Prime member to apply)
Sign-up bonus: Up to $150 Amazon Gift Card
Credit requirement: Fair
Introductory APR: N/A
APR: 14.24% to 22.24% variable

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card is a solid choice for earning more cash back during Prime Day. New card users receive up to a $150 welcome bonus in the form of an Amazon gift card. And you’ll earn 5% cash back on any Whole Foods or Amazon purchase — a compelling cash-back bonus, especially if you’re a frequent Amazon.com or Whole Foods shopper — that can be redeemed at checkout or as a credit statement from Chase. You must have an Amazon Prime membership to apply for this Amazon Visa Signature card. 

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa cardholders can also receive up to 10% cash back on select, revolving categories (up from 5%) now through the end of Prime Day. 

Check out the full review in CNET’s roundup of the best cash-back credit cards.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America

Reward rates: 3% cash back in the category of your choice (online shopping category includes Amazon.com); 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases, then 1%); 1% on everything else
Annual fee: $0
Sign-up bonus: $200 online cash bonus rewards after spending $1,000 in purchases in first 90 days
Credit requirement: Good to excellent 
Introductory APR: 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
APR: 13.99% to 23.99% variable

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card allows you to choose your own bonus category once a month from six categories: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvement/furnishings. If you select online shopping as your rewards category, you’ll be eligible to earn 3% cash back at Amazon.com, plus many other online retailers. This makes it an excellent choice for new and existing users, since there’s still time to select your rewards category before Prime Day begins in June.

It’s worth noting that you only earn 3% on your selected category and 2% at grocery stores and wholesalers for purchases up to $2,500 each quarter. After that, your cash-back rate goes down to 1%. This means you’ll need to do some strategizing to maximize your reward earnings on Prime Day.

Check out the full review in CNET’s roundup of the best cash-back credit cards.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

American Express

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Reward rates: 6% cash back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1% (including Whole Foods); 6% cash back on select US streaming subscriptions (including Amazon Prime Video); 3% on transit and US gas stations; 1% on other everyday purchases. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
Annual fee: $0 intro annual fee for first year; $95 per year after (see rates and fees)
Intro bonus: 20% back on Amazon.com purchases made in the first six months of card membership (up to $200 back); $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first six months of card membership. Cash back is received in the form of statement credits.
Credit requirement: Good to excellent 
Introductory APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening (see rates and fees)
APR: 13.99% to 23.99% variable (see rates and fees)

If you plan to spend up to $1,000 this Prime Day, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express can earn you up to $200 in cash back if you’re a new customer. New members can also earn another $150 by spending $3,000 within the first six months, so you could technically earn up to $350 in savings this Prime Day. Existing members might want to look for a different card to maximize Prime Day benefits, however. While members do earn 6% cash back at US supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%) and select US streaming subscriptions (including Whole Foods and Amazon Prime Video), you’ll only earn 1% on Amazon.com purchases during Prime Day.

Check out the full review in CNET’s roundup of the best cash-back credit cards.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

American Express

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Reward rates: 3% cash back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1% (including Whole Foods); 2% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores; 1% on other purchases. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
Annual fee: $0 (see rates and fees)
Intro bonus: 20% back on Amazon.com purchases made in the first six months of card membership (up to $150 cash back); $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first six months of card membership. Cash back is received in the form of statement credits.
Credit requirement: Good to excellent 
Introductory APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from the date of account opening (see rates and fees)
APR: 13.99% to 23.99% variable (see rates and fees)

Although the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers higher all-around cash-back incentives and opportunities, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has no annual fee and features a few Amazon perks. The Everyday card features lower cash-back rates (3% cash back on US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year then 1%, 2% on US gas stations and select US department store purchases and 1% for other purchases) but offers an Amazon-specific intro bonus: You can earn 20% back in Amazon.com purchases made in your first six months of membership, for a maximum of $150 in cash-back rewards. On top of that, you can earn another $100 back when you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first six months.

Check out CNET’s roundup of the best cash-back credit cards.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, click here.


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