Are you looking for an Amazon.ca Rewards Mastercard review? Then no look further as this post focuses on everything you need to know about the card.
If you’ve made any purchase on Amazon Canada in the last two years, you’ve likely been prompted to apply for the card. Yes, it’ll give you an instant discount and some cash back, but is the card any good? I can tell you right now that it’s great for people who use Amazon Prime and shop at Whole Foods a lot, but compared to the best cash back credit cards in Canada and the best travel credit cards in Canada, you may be a little disappointed. Read my Amazon.ca Rewards Mastercard review now for the full details.
Amazon.ca Rewards Mastercard benefits
What’s interesting is that this credit card gives you different benefits depending on if you’re an Amazon Prime member or not. If you’re a member, you’ll get the following with the Amazon rewards credit card:
- No annual fee
- $10 Amazon gift card at sign up
- 5% back at Amazon.ca, grocery stores and restaurants for six months after your account is opened
- 2.5% back at Amazon.ca, Whole Foods Market in Canada and foreign currency transactions
- 1% back per dollar spent on all other purchases
- Purchase assurance
- Extended warranty
- Common carrier insurance
For non-Amazon Prime members, your earn rate is much lower:
- 1.5% back per dollar spent at Amazon.ca, Whole Foods Market, physical amazon stores (no forex earn)
As you can see, the card is clearly aimed at people who do a lot of their shopping on Amazon and have an Amazon Prime membership. It’s honestly tough to beat 2.5% back on Amazon purchases since they don’t typically fall into a merchant category that gives you a higher percentage of cash back. I should note that you’re not earning cash-back, you earn Amazon Rewards but since it takes 2,000 Amazon Rewards to claim a $20 Amazon.ca gift card, the program is similar to cash back.
That said, you could technically earn up to 5% in points back on your Amazon purchases if you used your American Express Cobalt Card. You’d have to purchase Amazon gift cards at grocery stores where you earn 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent which may seem like a lot of hassle, but those points can add up. American Express Membership Rewards Select points are also arguably more valuable since they can be used for the fixed travel program or transferred to Marriott Bonvoy.
Speaking of 5%, you will earn 5% back at Amazon.ca, grocery stores and restaurants for the first six months, up to $3,000 in eligible purchases. This is a great way to get some extra rewards if you have some large purchases coming up. Remember, this credit card has no annual fee so it can really benefit you to sign up.
Getting 2.5% back at Whole Foods Market is great if you happen to shop there, but with the prices they charge, 2.5% back won’t even seem like much. There are already other credit cards out there that give you 4-5% on groceries such as the Amex Cobalt Card and the Scotiabank Gold Amex, so you could argue that the Amazon credit card isn’t that good for grocery purchases.
The 2.5% in rewards you get on purchases you make in a foreign currency essentially washes the 2.5% fee you pay for purchases not made with Canadian dollars. This is a nice benefit and it just helps grow the list of credit cards without foreign transaction fees which is clearly great for Canadians.
I think it’s a bit silly that non-Amazon prime members only earn 1.5 Amazon Rewards per dollar spent on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, but this is clearly a marketing decision to get people to signup for Prime. Just like the instant $10 off when you sign up. Sure, it’s $10 off, but there are much better sign up offers out there.
The included purchase assurance and extended warranty are standard benefits that come from Mastercard and are nothing special. Since this is a no-fee credit card, you won’t be getting any premium benefits such as travel insurance, lounge access, or mobile device insurance.
How Amazon Rewards works
Amazon Rewards is pretty simple. There is no expiration date on your points and 2,000 Amazon Rewards will earn you a $20 Amazon.ca gift card.
It’s essentially a cash back program with nothing extra to it. I personally prefer travel rewards since I can usually claim flights or hotels which have an incredible value, but I certainly understand why some people prefer something simple such as Amazon Rewards.
I also want to note that unlike PC Optimum, Amazon never has any special promotions where you can earn more points on purchases or get more cash-back when you redeem a set amount of points.
Amazon.ca Mastercard pros and cons
There’s no denying that the Amazon.ca Mastercard is great for people who shop at Amazon regularly, but that doesn’t mean you should apply right away and use it as your everyday card. You need to look at the Amazon.ca Mastercard pros and cons before you make a decision.
What credit score do you need for Amazon Rewards Card?
As a traditional credit card, you’ll likely need a credit score of at least 660 to be approved for the Amazon.ca Rewards Mastercard. Note that your credit score takes a hit of 10 points when you apply.
Besides the credit score, you only need to be a resident of Canada and the age of majority in the province or territory where you live. Getting approved is easy, so it could be handy for people who are looking to maximize their rewards.
Amazon.ca Mastercard pros
- High earn rate on Amazon purchases – You’ll get 2.5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases.
- Rewards on foreign transactions – The 2.5% in rewards you get on foreign transactions negates the 2.5% fee you pay.
- No annual feel – Getting this card won’t cost you anything.
- Welcome bonus – You get a $10 Amazon gift card and 5% back on grocery stores and restaurant purchases in the first six months.
Amazon.ca Mastercard cons
- Base card is weak – If you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership, the base card you get is not very good.
- Low base earn rate – Getting 1% back in rewards on all other purchases is nothing special.
How the Amazon.ca Mastercard compares to others
Beyond the Amex Cobalt and Scotiabank Gold Amex which I mentioned above, there are quite a few credit cards that compare to the Amazon.ca credit card, but it really comes down to where you shop.
For example, the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard gives you a much higher earn rate at Loblaws owned stores, Shoppers Drug Mart and Joe Fresh. If you paired that with PC Insiders, you could be rolling in the PC Optimum points. Despite the higher earn rate, this card only benefits you if you shop at stores where you get a higher earn rate. In other words, the PCF World Elite Mastercard won’t benefit you if you do all your shopping on Amazon.
The other comparable card is the Triangle World Elite Mastercard which is targeted at people who do a lot shopping at Canadian Tire, Sports Check, Mark’s and Atmosphere locations. Like the PCFWEMC, the Triangle card is good where you can earn additional points, but it’s pretty basic if you’re shopping on Amazon.
It’s also worth noting that many people treat the Amazon.ca Mastercard like a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. While I don’t disagree with this assessment, it’s not totally accurate. This card gives you 2.5% back in rewards when you make a purchase that’s not in Canadian dollars. You’re still technically paying the 2.5% foreign exchange fee. Credit cards such as the STACK Mastercard completely waive the foreign transaction fee and you get $25 for free when you sign up with my referral link. Note that you must click this link via your mobile device for it to work.
My Amazon.ca Rewards Mastercard review is positive. This is a no-fee card that gets linked to your Amazon account immediately so it’s perfect for those who shop a lot on Amazon. That being said, it lacks many other benefits that some of the best travel rewards credit cards offer and it’s not the best credit card without foreign transaction fees.