An In-Depth Look at Synchrony Bank for Amazon
Amazon and Synchrony Bank have partnered to offer the Amazon Store Card and Amazon Prime Store Card, providing financing options for Amazon customers. These credit cards allow cardholders to finance Amazon purchases over time with special financing offers, rewards, and other benefits. This article will take an in-depth look at Synchrony Bank, its partnership with Amazon, and the key features of the Amazon Store Card and Amazon Prime Store Card.
Overview of Synchrony Bank
Synchrony Bank is the largest provider of private-label credit cards in the United States. Their other major retail partners include Lowe’s, Walmart, PayPal, eBay, and more. Synchrony Bank offers store-branded credit cards that can only be used at specific retailers.
In 2017, Synchrony Bank became the exclusive issuer of the Amazon Store Card and Amazon Prime Store Card in the United States. They took over from Chase Bank, who previously issued Amazon cards. The partnership with Amazon is significant for Synchrony Bank, as Amazon is one of the largest retailers in the world.
Synchrony Bank offers two different credit cards for Amazon customers:
- Amazon Store Card
- Amazon Prime Store Card
These cards provide financing options for Amazon purchases and other benefits like rewards points and special financing offers. The key differences between the two cards are outlined below.
Amazon Store Card
The Amazon Store Card is the basic credit card Synchrony Bank offers for Amazon purchases. Here are some of the key features:
- No annual fee – There is no annual fee for the Amazon Store Card, making it a free financing option for Amazon customers.
- Special financing offers – The Amazon Store Card offers promotional offers on eligible Amazon purchases. For example, no interest if paid in full within 6, 12, or 24 months.
- 5% back rewards – Cardholders earn 5% back on all Amazon purchases, with no caps or limits. Rewards can be redeemed for Amazon purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees – The Amazon Store Card has no foreign transaction fees, making it suitable for international Amazon purchases.
The Amazon Store Card requires applicants to have average credit (scores between 670-739) or better for approval. It’s a great starter card for building credit history.
Amazon Prime Store Card
Amazon Prime members can apply for the Amazon Prime Store Card. This card has all the benefits of the Amazon Store Card, plus additional Prime-exclusive perks. Here are some key features:
- 5% back rewards – Cardholders earn 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. No caps or limits.
- 2% back rewards – Earn 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores. 1% back on all other purchases.
- Prime financing benefits – Special financing offers on eligible purchases for Prime members.
- No foreign transaction fees – No fees on international Amazon purchases.
- No annual fee – There’s no annual fee for the Amazon Prime Store Card.
The Amazon Prime Store Card requires good to excellent credit (scores of 670+) for approval. It offers better rewards for Prime members compared to the basic Amazon Store Card.
Applying for an Amazon Credit Card from Synchrony
Applying for the Amazon Store Card or Amazon Prime Store Card is quick and easy. Here is the step-by-step process:
- Go to the Amazon Credit Card Application Page.
- Select the card you want to apply for – Amazon Store Card or Amazon Prime Store Card.
- Provide your personal information, including name, address, date of birth, and Social Security Number.
- Review the terms and conditions of the card, then submit your application.
- Synchrony Bank will process your application and provide an instant decision in most cases.
- If approved, you can use your new Amazon credit card immediately for purchases. An actual plastic card will arrive in the mail within 7-10 days.
The entire application process can be completed online in around 5 minutes. You don’t need to talk to a representative or visit a bank.
Benefits of the Amazon Credit Cards
There are several advantages to using the Amazon Store Card or Amazon Prime Store Card for your Amazon purchases:
- Special financing – Take advantage of promotional financing offers for large Amazon purchases. Pay over time with no interest when you pay your balance in full by the promotional due date.
- 5% back rewards – Cardholders earn 5% back on all Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. This essentially acts as a 5% discount on Amazon purchases.
- Build credit – Responsible card use can help establish a credit history and improve your credit score.
- No annual fee – There’s no annual fee for Amazon credit cards—an affordable financing option.
- Easy online account management – Manage your account fully online. Check balances, make payments, view statements, etc through your online account.
- No foreign transaction fee – No extra fees on international purchases from Amazon.
For frequent Amazon shoppers, using the specialized Amazon Store Card or Amazon Prime Store Card can provide great benefits and rewards.
Drawbacks to Consider
While the Amazon credit cards have excellent benefits, there are some drawbacks to consider as well:
- High APR – The Amazon Store Card and Amazon Prime Store Card have relatively high variable APRs, currently 26.24% as of January 2023. This makes carrying a balance expensive.
- Must pay on time – To avoid interest charges, your entire statement balance must be paid on time each month. There is no interest-free grace period.
- Store card – The Amazon cards can only be used on Amazon.com and Whole Foods. Not useful as an everyday spending card.
- Hard inquiries – Applying for the card causes a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can temporarily lower your credit score.
- Credit limits – Credit limits on store cards tend to be lower than general-purpose credit cards. Limits as low as $500 for new cardholders.
While the cards have great perks for Amazon shopping, customers should know the drawbacks above before applying. Responsible usage is key.
Tips for Managing Your Amazon Credit Card
Here are some tips to effectively manage your Amazon credit card from Synchrony Bank:
- Pay in full monthly – Avoid interest charges by paying off your monthly statement balance. Do not carry a revolving balance.
- Set payment reminders – Set up alerts or calendar reminders for your bill due date so you never miss a payment.
- Check your credit limit – Be aware of your spending limit so you don’t accidentally go over your credit limit and risk fees or penalties.
- Create an online account – Sign up for an online account at Synchrony to easily manage payments, check statements, etc.
- Look for financing deals – Take advantage of special offers on large Amazon purchases. Review deals before making a big purchase.
- Use the card responsibly – Only charge what you can afford to pay off. Responsible usage helps build your credit profile.
- Pay down balances quickly – Avoid accumulating long-term balances that accrue interest charges. Pay down large purchases aggressively.
Properly managing your Amazon credit card account will help maximize the benefits while minimizing the risks and costs.
The Amazon Store Card and Amazon Prime Store Card issued by Synchrony Bank provide great financing options for frequent Amazon shoppers. Special offers, 5% back rewards, and no annual fees make them attractive credit cards for Amazon purchases. However, customers should be aware of the high APR and practice responsible usage of the cards. Overall, Amazon credit cards can be excellent tools for financing Amazon purchases over time or earning rewards back on spending.
Frequently Asked Questions About Synchrony Bank and the Amazon Credit Cards
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Synchrony Bank and their Amazon credit cards:
Is Synchrony Bank reputable?
Yes, Synchrony Bank is a reputable financial institution in business since 2003 (previously known as GE Capital Retail Finance). They are the largest provider of private label credit cards in the U.S. and have an A health rating from Weiss Ratings.
What is the minimum credit score needed?
It would be best if you had an average credit score of 670 or higher to qualify for the Amazon Store Card. The Amazon Prime Store Card requires a score of 670+ as well. Applicants with no credit history are unlikely to be approved.
Can the credit cards be used outside of Amazon?
No, the Amazon Store Card and the Amazon Prime Store Card can only be used to make purchases on Amazon.com and at Whole Foods Market (for Prime cardholders). The cards cannot be used at other retailers or for cash advances.
Do the cards have an annual fee?
Neither the Amazon Store Card nor the Amazon Prime Store Card have an annual fee. There are no costs to maintain the card each year.
What are the APRs on the cards?
As of January 2023, the variable APR is 26.24% on both the Amazon Store Card and Amazon Prime Store Card. This rate may fluctuate over time. There is no interest-free grace period.
How do I make payments on the credit card?
Payments can be made online through your Synchrony account, by phone, by mail, or at select retail stores. You can also set up autopay directly from your bank account.
What credit bureau does Synchrony Bank report to?
Synchrony reports your account activity to all three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. On-time payments will help build your credit score.
How do I redeem rewards earned on the cards?
Rewards earned on Amazon cards are automatically applied as credits to your Amazon account balance. You can redeem these rewards on future Amazon purchases.
Can I product change between the two cards?
Yes, existing cardholders can request a product change between the Amazon Store Card and the Amazon Prime Store Card if they join/cancel Prime. Contact Synchrony Bank to initiate a product change.
Q: What is an Amazon Store Card?
A: An Amazon Store Card is a credit card issued by Synchrony Bank and is primarily used for making purchases on Amazon.com.
Q: How can I manage my Amazon Store Card account?
A: You can manage your Amazon Store Card account by logging into your Synchrony Bank online account. You can view your account information, make payments, and track your transactions from there.
Q: What is the payment due date for my Amazon Store Card?
A: The payment due date for your Amazon Store Card is when you need to make a payment to avoid any late fees or penalties. It is important to make the payment on or before the due date to maintain a good payment history.
Q: How can I make a payment on my Amazon Store Card?
A: There are several ways to pay on your Amazon Store Card. You can pay online through your Synchrony Bank online account, over the phone by calling the customer service representative, or by mailing a check or money order to the address provided on your billing statement.
Q: What happens if I pay late on my Amazon Store Card?
A: If you make a late payment on your Amazon Store Card, you may be charged a late fee, which could hurt your credit score. It is important to make payments on time to avoid any additional charges and maintain a good credit history.
Q: Can I pay my Amazon Store Card bill without a Synchrony Bank account?
A: No, to pay your Amazon Store Card bill, you need to have a Synchrony Bank online account. This allows you to manage your card and make payments online conveniently.
Q: What is the minimum payment amount for my Amazon Store Card?
A: The minimum payment amount for your Amazon Store Card is the smallest amount you can pay to keep your account in good standing. It is important to remember that paying only the minimum amount will incur interest charges on the remaining balance.
Q: How can I pay for Amazon Prime with my Amazon Store Card?
A: You can make an Amazon Prime payment with your Amazon Store Card by logging into your Synchrony Bank online account and paying towards your Amazon Store Card. This payment can be used to cover the cost of your Amazon Prime membership.
Q: Can I use my Amazon Store Card for financing or equal monthly payments?
A: You can use your Amazon Store Card for financing or equal monthly payments on eligible purchases. This allows you to spread out your purchase’s cost over time, making it more manageable.
Q: What should I do if I have lost my Amazon Store Card or if it has been stolen?
A: If you have lost your Amazon Store Card or if it has been stolen, you should contact Synchrony Bank as soon as possible. They will be able to assist you in canceling the card and issuing a new one to ensure the security of your account.
The Amazon Store Card and Amazon Prime Store Card from Synchrony Bank are excellent options for financing Amazon purchases and earning rewards back. For frequent Amazon shoppers, the 5% back rewards provide great value. Just be sure to pay your bill on time and in full each month. Consider getting pre-qualified to see which Amazon credit card you may be eligible for.