Amazon Shop With Points – Not a Good Deal for Most!
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Amazon allows you to use credit card points for purchases. But most folks should NOT use points that could also be used for travel! I’ll explain why AND I’ll show you better ways to save money at Amazon.
Most of us collect miles and points to get Big Travel with Small Money. But some folks might not have travel plans, or may have small points balances they don’t know what to do with.
I’ve written about using Citi ThankYou points to pay Amazon purchases. But did you know you can use Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards points at Amazon, too?
I’ll show you how to set-up your Amazon account to shop with Chase Ultimate Rewards and AMEX Membership Rewards points. And I’ll explain why most folks (even those who don’t travel often) should NOT do this!
How Does It Work?
Link: Amazon Shop With Points
Not all Amazon items are eligible. Kindle downloads, some digital items, Subscribe & Save items, Amazon Fresh, or pre-ordered items don’t qualify.
But your points will NOT be worth much:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards points: 1 cent per point
- American Express Membership Rewards points: ~0.7 cents per point
Here are some of the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards you can use to pay with points:
And you can use these American Express Membership Rewards cards:
Again, I don’t recommend using points to pay for Amazon purchases unless you’re definitely not going to use them for travel!
Using Chase Ultimate Rewards Points at Amazon
To link your Chase Ultimate Rewards earning credit card to your Amazon account, go to this page and click “Get Started.”
You’ll be asked to log into your Amazon account. If you already have Chase cards saved to your account, you’ll be prompted to choose which card you want to register for Shop With Points.
You can add more than one. Or, you can select a different card and add your details.
Once you’ve linked the your card account(s), select the card as your payment method at check-out.
You’ll see an option to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points on the check-out screen. Each point is worth 1 cent, so 100 points = $1. Use points to pay for the whole purchase, or just part of it.
If you use points to pay for only part of the order, the balance will be charged to your Chase card.
No deal! Because you could be EARNING Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you buy from Amazon. Then you can use those points for a statement credit later on!
Note: The minimum number of points for a statement credit or direct deposit is $20.
Chase points are worth 1 cent each when you use them for Amazon purchases, or if you redeem them for cash back or statement credits on your Chase card. Either way, that’s not the best value.
That’s because they’re worth 1.25 cents each when you use them towards travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
And you’ll get much more from your points by transferring them to travel partners like United Airlines, Southwest, or Hyatt.
If you really want to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to pay for an Amazon purchase, you’ll do better by paying for the purchase with your card, then redeeming points for a statement credit afterwards.
- $100 Amazon purchase earns 100 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, worth $1 in statement credits
- Redeem 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a $100 statement credit (pays for Amazon purchase)
- This way you gain 100 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($1)
- Final cost of item = $99 ($100 – $1 in Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned)
This works out even better if you use your Chase Freedom at a time when Amazon purchases earn 5 points per $1 you spend! That’s because you’d earn 500 points on the purchase, worth $5 in statement credits. So your final cost is $95 ($100 – $5 in Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned).
Folks looking to save money at Amazon could also use their Chase Ink Plus, Ink Bold, or Ink Business Cash Credit Card to buy Amazon gift cards at office supply stores. Because you get 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (good for 5% cash back) at Staples, OfficeMax, etc.
For these reasons, I’d avoid using Amazon Shop With Points with your Chase cards!
Using American Express Membership Rewards Points at Amazon
The process for linking your American Express card to your Amazon account is similar to adding a Chase card. Click “Get Started” on this page and sign-in to your Amazon account.
Again, you can add cards that are already saved to your Amazon account. Or, add a new AMEX card by filling in your billing and card details.
After linking the your card account(s), choose the card as your payment method at check-out.
On the check-out screen, you’ll see the option to use American Express Membership Rewards points. In this case, each point is only worth ~0.7 cents, so ~143 points = $1.
You can pay for the entire purchase or just part of it with points, and the balance will be charged to your AMEX card.
Read my post about what American Express Membership Rewards points are worth before using points for Amazon purchases! Redeeming points for ~0.7 cents each is a very poor value!
American Express Membership Rewards points are worth 1 cent each when you buy flights, hotels, or cruises through the American Express Travel portal, which could be good for folks who can’t find available award seats but still want to travel using points.
And it’s usually much better to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to airline and hotel partners, like Delta, Air Canada Aeroplan, or British Airways. Your points will be worth much more!
I would NOT consider paying for an Amazon purchase with my AMEX card, then redeeming points for a statement credit (like I described with Chase).
That’s because points are only worth ~0.6 cents each when used towards AMEX statement credits. Even worse!
Instead, you can save 5% on Amazon purchases by using your AMEX SimplyCash card at US office supply stores to pick up Amazon gift cards.
Or use any of the AMEX cards that earn cash back or points at supermarkets. Because many groceries sell Amazon gift cards.
Again, using American Express Membership Rewards points for Amazon shopping is NOT a good deal. I’d only do it if I absolutely had no other use for the points!
This is NOT a good deal, as you’ll only get ~0.7 to 1 cent value per point. But if you have no other use for the points (or have a small balance you just want to get rid of), it’s an option.
You’re almost always better off transferring your points to airline, hotel, and rail partners. Or using them to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Travel portals.
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