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Amazon Black Friday hack: Get 5% cash back on every purchase with Prime Rewards Visa

CNET logo CNET 11/23/2020 Justin Jaffe
a close up of a sign: Ben Fox Rubin/CNET © Provided by CNET Ben Fox Rubin/CNET

With Black Friday on the horizon, shoppers are gearing up for one of the strangest holidays ever. Navigating social distancing, lockdowns and an uncertain retail environment will undoubtedly have an impact on many holiday shopping traditions. But not everything will be different this year. Having banked more than $10 billion in sales during the Prime Day period in 2020, according to one analyst's estimate, it's clear that Amazon will again be a go-to source for millions of shoppers around the world. 

If you're one of those shoppers, you should know that the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card earns you 5% cash back on every purchase at Amazon and Whole Foods. We think it's one of the best cash-back credit cards around -- if you're a regular shopper at those stores. And, at the moment, there are two other compelling benefits. First, the company will drop a $100 gift card in your Amazon when you're approved. And, once you're a cardholder, you're eligible for an additional 10% cash back on certain products through the end of this month.

See it at Amazon

That noted, the Prime Reward Visa's cash-back rates for purchases at other stores aren't as impressive. You get only 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores and 1% back on other purchases. So, if you're not a regular Amazon or Whole Foods shopper, you may be better off with the Citi Double Cash Card, which offers 2% cash back on every purchase. And if groceries are your primary focus, the Blue Cash Preferred from American Express offers a whopping 6% back on groceries at US supermarkets -- including Whole Foods -- up to $6,000 per year. 

Still, the Amazon Prime rewards card has no annual fee and the eligibility requirements aren't particularly stringent. Applicants with a "fair" credit score (approximately 580 or higher) stand a good chance of being approved.

Amazon also offers a slimmed-down version of its Rewards Visa for people who are not Prime members, but the Amazon and Whole Foods cash-back rate is only 3% and signup incentive is lower: a $50 Amazon gift card. But if you're looking to maximize your Amazon cash-back potential, you're probably better off becoming an Amazon Prime member first -- which costs $119 per year -- and then applying for the full-featured Prime version of the card. In effect, the Prime card's $100 signup bonus just about covers your first year of Prime membership, which features many worthwhile benefits

graphical user interface: Amazon Prime Day 2020 © CNET

Amazon Prime Day 2020

Sign up for prime

Once you have the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, you can redeem your rewards points when checking out at Amazon or as a statement credit, starting at 2,000 points -- which is equivalent to $20. Check out all of the rewards and redemption details here.

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