Amazon has introduced a new program, Amazon Prime Reload, in the newest instance of companies trying to move away from paying high credit card transaction fees. This new Amazon Reload program, quite simply, allows you to get 2% in rewards as a Prime member when you reload gift cards with a debit card or bank account.
Amazon Prime Reload Details
Amazon Prime Reload is only for Prime members who agree to connect the following to their account:
- US bank account and routing number
- Debit card number
- US driver’s license number
Once you connect those items you then need to reload your gift card balance. Once you reload the gift card you receive the 2% in additional funds.
Amazon is making this process surprisingly complicated to try and reduce credit card transaction fees. It’s not a simple process where any debit card usage receives rewards since it is only offered to Prime members who are already paying an annual fee and they only are offering it on gift card reloads.
I am not a lawyer but Amazon may have set this up awkwardly for legal reasons based on various state laws that the Supreme Court somewhat addressed this part March. Or, they like the idea of being able to have some extra cash on the books. Or, the most frightening option, is this is some sort of test to then try and roll out to everyone.
Amazon Reload – Good Deal?
Amazon Reload is a perfectly good deal for the average person who may use a debit card or a 1% cash back card. However, I would still suggest the following instead of Amazon Reload:
- Any 2% or higher cash back credit card such as Citi Double Cash or Limitless 2.5% Cash Back Card
- Blue Business Plus which gives you 2x points on every purchase. With an approximate value of 1.7 cents each your return would be 3.4%
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa for 5% back on Amazon purchases
Overall there are plenty more cards that will provide a better return than 2% but it’s certainly not a bad option for the average person.
This should be a concerning sign for all of us points lovers. When a behemoth like Amazon is beginning to heavily discourage credit card usage others will probably follow. There are lots of ways to earn points of course, but everyday purchases getting what is effectively a credit card surcharge could very much impact this hobby of ours!
On the other side, those who use debit cards routinely for purchases will definitely come out ahead. Unfortunately that’s probably not anyone reading this article…
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