Amazon Prime Reload: 2% Rewards with Checking Account vs Credit Card

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 Reload

Amazon Prime Reload Details

Amazon Prime Reload is only for Prime members who agree to connect the following to their account:

  1. US bank account and routing number
  2. Debit card number
  3. 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:

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.

Bottom Line

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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