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Shopping on Amazon is a favorite for millions of Americans because of its ease and convenience. And the retailer loves to role out tons of deals leading up to the holidays, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But depending on how you shop, you could be missing out on valuable rewards, savings and consumer protections.

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Amazon Black Friday sales: Here’s how to pay

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

  • Rewards

    5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; 1% back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $150 Amazon.com gift card upon approval

  • Annual fee

    $0 (but Prime membership is required)

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    14.24% to 22.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • $150 Amazon.com gift card upon approval, with no spending requirements
  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • Prime membership is required
  • The 5% back on groceries only applies to groceries bought on Amazon.com or at Whole Foods Market
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $590
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,352

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card offers excellent rewards for shoppers who love Amazon and Whole Foods. You can earn 5% cash back on all purchases at Amazon and Whole Foods, along with 2% at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. And the card comes with a unique welcome bonus: New cardholders earn a $150 Amazon gift card as soon as they are approved for the card. Note, you must be a current Amazon Prime customer to be get this card.

Best card for welcome offer bonus

Capital One Venture X Card

  • Rewards

    Unlimited 2X miles on all eligible purchases, and 5X miles on flights and 10X miles on hotels and rental cars when booked via Capital One Travel portal

  • Welcome bonus

    100,000 bonus miles after spending $10,000 on purchases within the first six months of account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    16.99-23.99% variable APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • Large welcome bonus
  • Up to $300 back in statement credits each year for bookings made through Capital One Travel
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Up to $100 statement credits for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Access to over 1,300 Priority Pass lounges, as well as Capital One Lounges

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • No introductory 0% APR period

The Capital One Venture X card officially launched on Nov. 9 as the first premium credit card from the issuer. New cardholders can earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $10,000 on purchases within the first six months of account opening. And since you can earn 2X miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases, you will have at least 120,000 Capital One miles after meeting the minimum spend requirement. When redeemed through Capital One travel, these miles are worth $1,200. However, if you decide to transfer the points to any of Capital One’s travel partners, you can potentially get even more value for them.

Best card for travel rewards

The Platinum Card® from American Express

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    10X points on eligible purchases on the card at restaurants worldwide and when you shop small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during the first six months of Card Membership, 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (starting January 1, 2021, this applies on up to $500,000 per calendar year), 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    100,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $6,000 within six months of account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit Needed

Pros

  • Up to $200 in annual airline fee credits
  • Up to $200 in annual Uber savings
  • Complimentary Global Lounge Collection access with more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130+ countries
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM and The New York Times (enrollment required)
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card (cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax)

Cons

  • $695 annual fee
  • No special financing offers on new purchases

Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card

On Wells Fargo’s secure site

  • Rewards

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    Introductory 0% APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening; extension of up to 3 months (totaling 21 months) with on-time minimum payments during the intro and extension periods

  • Regular APR

    12.99% to 24.99% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Introductory fee of 3% ($5 minimum) for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5% ($5 minimum)

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Long introductory APR period up to 21 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) for first 120 days
  • Access to Visa Signature Concierge
  • Get up to $600 cell phone protection
  • Access to Wells Fargo Deals to earn cash back in the form of a statement credit when shopping, dining

Cons

  • No rewards
  • No welcome bonus
  • 3% fee charged on foreign transactions

The Wells Fargo Reflect Card recently launched and is a good option for consumers looking to avoid paying interest charges on their purchases. With the Reflect Card, cardholders enjoy an introductory 0% APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening, and then an extension of up to three months (totaling up to 21 months) with on-time minimum payments during the intro and extension periods. After the intro period, the interest rate is 12.99% to 24.99% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Shopping benefits to consider for Amazon Black Friday sales

As you consider which card to use to make your Amazon purchases, also keep in mind a few strategies to help you save when shopping.

Shopping portals

A shopping portal is a service offered by affiliates of Amazon to bring in more customers through special offers, usually by offering cash back, points or airline miles. All you need to do to earn further rewards is to enter the Amazon website through a special link.

To get started, visit CashBackMonitor, and browse the current Amazon offers (or other retailers). Once you find the shopping portal that is best for you, simply click the link (you’ll need to be logged in and have an account with the portal before doing so) and you’ll be redirected to Amazon. Once you submit your order, your additional rewards or cash back will be added to the rewards program you selected.

Credit card shopping benefits

Unfortunately, there are cases where Amazon packages show up damaged or they’re stolen from your doorstep. In these cases, there are credit cards with shopping protections which can help consumers who find themselves with lost or damaged gifts. These benefits include purchase protection, return protection and extended warranty.

However, for coverage to kick in, the purchase must be made with the credit card that offers the benefits. Check with your credit card provider to see what protections your card offers. A few examples of credit cards with these benefits are the Amex Platinum, Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

Amazon Prime student

If you’re currently enrolled in college courses, don’t forget that you can qualify for a discounted Amazon Prime membership. Prime includes free shipping (sometimes as fast as same-day delivery), access to Prime video and music as well as to exclusive Amazon Prime deals. Amazon Prime is $12.99 per month or $119 per year, plus taxes, but if you enroll in Amazon Prime Student, it is only $59/year, plus taxes.

BNPL with Amazon

If you want a bit of repayment flexibility for your holiday shopping, Amazon offers a buy now, pay later service through Affirm. Launched in late Aug. 2021, consumers can spread out their payments over three to 48 months for orders over $50. While there are no hidden or late fees when using Affirm, you could be charged up to 30% interest when financing purchases. Make sure you understand the terms before you sign up.

Affirm might be useful to some customers but be sure to consider the potential negative impact it could have on your credit score. And if you’re in need of flexible financing for your holiday shopping, consider a 0% intro APR credit card.

Bottom line

Black Friday sales continue to be the true kick-off of the holiday shopping season. However, because of the supply chain issues faced by retailers, some shoppers and retailers have gotten an early start. But regardless of whether you’ve begun your shopping, if Amazon is your preferred retailer this Black Friday, be sure you are paying with the best credit card possible to earn rewards and protect your purchases.

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For rates and fees of the Platinum Card from American Express, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

By Amalia