Deal of the week: Amazon launches reward credit card
Online retailer Amazon has this week launched a new credit card offering rewards for spending on its own website and elsewhere.
What’s the deal exactly?
If you’re accepted for the Amazon Platinum MasterCard you’ll earn 1.5 Amazon reward points for each £2 you spend at Amazon, and one point for every £2 spent elsewhere.
Once you’ve earned 1,000 Amazon reward points, a £10 gift voucher will be credited to your account. This is an effective cashback rate of 0.75% for Amazon purchases and 0.5% on other spending.
There is no annual fee and new customers will also receive a £10 Amazon gift voucher when they first sign up.
Holders are also given 0% interest on purchases for the first three months. The representative APR is 21.9%.
Why should I care?
Cashback and credit card reward providers have slashed the rates and rewards offered on these cards ever since an EU ruling came into force in December 2015. This capped the amount credit card providers could charge retailers to process transactions.
This so-called “interchange fees” ruling meant card providers wanted to recoup lost earnings elsewhere in their business – which they did by scaling back reward schemes.
So the launch of a decent new card on the block is unusual.
What’s the catch?
This deal is primarily of interest to people who spend large sums of money with Amazon. If you spend £4,000 at the retailer, you’ll receive gift cards worth £30.
In comparison, spending £4,000 elsewhere will earn £20 in Amazon vouchers.
What other options do I have?
There are a range of rewards credit cards still on the market. For a good all-rounder, the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card offers 5% cashback on spending up to £100 for the first three months. After that, cardholders will earn 1% cashback on spending over £5,001 and 0.5% below this amount. But remember American Express is less widely accepted than Visa or MasterCard.
Alternatively, if you shop at retailers such as Asda, John Lewis or M&S more than you shop at Amazon, their rewards credit cards may be better for you.
For a full lowdown on the best rewards cards, check out Moneywise’s best buy page.
Where can I find out more?
Full details are available on the Amazon website.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.
This is used to compare interest rates for borrowing. It is the total (or “gross”) interest you’ll pay over the life of a loan, including charges and fees. For credit cards where interest is charged at more frequent intervals, the APR includes a “compounding” effect (paying interest on interest). So for a credit card charging 2% interest a month (equating to 24% a year), the APR would actually be 26.82%.