Are you an Amazon Prime member? Why the fuck not? Do you not buy shit on Amazon? Do you prefer to go to those old fashioned “stores” where “goods” are stored on “shelves”? Don’t you want instant gratification? Aren’t you entitled to it? If you live in New York, you can have shit delivered the SAME DAY, for free. You can even use the Prime Now app and have shit mysteriously delivered in ONE HOUR. An hour! An hour. And then of course there are all those TV shows you need Prime for, like…uh…you know, those shows.
Anyway, if you don’t get why you need Prime, I probably can’t help you, and this post is not for you. Enjoy your human interaction with your cashier and fellow shoppers. But for those of us who do have Prime, everything could be costing 5% less than it does, for pretty damn close to zero effort. Who knew?
Actually, Caroline’s Aunt Carol knew, and she told me, which is why I now know. Thanks, Aunt Carol! It turns out there’s an Amazon Store card, which, if you have Prime, becomes an Amazon Prime Store card. This is not to be confused with the unspectacular Chase Amazon card, which I wouldn’t bother with. This one is provided by the decidedly less well known Synchrony Bank, whose thing is apparently custom-branded cards.
The Amazon Prime Store “card” is hardly a card at all. It’s like a department store card, minus the actual piece of plastic. You can only use it at Amazon. For every purchase with the card, you’ll get a 5% credit applied to your statement. You spend $100, you get five bucks without having to do anything at all. You don’t get the goodies that your fancy cards provide, like price protection and extended warranty and whatnot, and you obviously don’t get miles or points. But since you’re usually pretty happy if you can score 5% with your miles or points, this could be a win if you’re a voracious Amazon consumer, as I am.
You might still be able to do better if you want United miles, and you’ve got the right cards. If you have a Chase United MileagePlus Club card, or the trifecta of the Chase Sapphire Preferred + Freedom Unlimited + MileagePlus Explorer cards, then you use the Freedom Unlimited or MileagePlus Club to buy Amazon credit with the MileagePlus X app. That’ll get you 4 United miles per dollar spent at Amazon. In theory, that should be worth at least 4% for a standard award ticket, and 8% for a saver award ticket.
So, if you jump through all those hoops, you get close to and sometimes much better than 5% — but only for United travel. If you have Amazon Prime already, you might just prefer to passively get 5% cash back in your pocket, with fewer cards and complications.
Caveat emptor: The annual interest on the Amazon Store card is 27%. They are not fucking around; using this thing is a dance with the devil. Don’t ever pay late, or less than the full balance, lest you instantly zap your winnings into dust. Set it to auto-pay. And be careful if you plan on using its feature that gives you a 0% purchase APR for 6, 12, or 24 months — if you don’t pay it in full by the deadline, you’re on the hook for the all interest from the beginning. Also, you don’t get 5% cash back when you use it that way.