How to earn extra points with Amazon

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Using the right card can help rack up major rewards on the giant e-tailer

Personal Finance Writer
Rewards expert who writes the “Cashing In” reader Q&A column for CreditCards.com

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In the holiday season that just ended, chances are that
Amazon delivered something to your house. The company started as an online bookseller
but over the years has become a retailing juggernaut offering just about
anything you would want to buy – and plenty that you wouldn’t. 

Amazon now accounts for nearly half of all online sales to
consumers, which is causing major headaches for traditional retailers trying to
compete. 

But when it comes to earning extra reward points for
purchases, Amazon can be a tough nut to crack. Ordinarily, if you are buying
online, you can go first to a shopping
portal
that links to a retailer and earn extra points. For instance, if you
have a Chase card, you can go to Chase’s shopping portal and select from nearly
300 retailers – some that give you as much as 10 points per $1 spent, in
addition to the points you earn from charging the purchase on your card. It can
be a smart way to add points for online shopping. Airlines also offer these
shopping portals for extra frequent flyer miles. But Amazon generally does not
participate in online shopping portals. 

Still, if you are a heavy Amazon user, there are ways to reap
extra points. Consider these strategies:

1. Amazon gift cards.

A lot of shops and even online retailers sell Amazon gift cards. If you have a
credit card that gives bonus reward points with certain kinds of retailers, see
if you can find a store in that category that sells Amazon gift cards. For
instance, if you have a card that offers extra points at grocery stores, check
to see if your grocery store sells Amazon gift cards. If you have a card that
gives category bonuses at office supply stores, check a nearby Staples or
Office Depot to see if it sells Amazon gift cards. This way, you will receive
extra reward points for the purchase of the gift card, which you can then apply
to Amazon. 

2. Credit cards with
bonuses for online purchases.

If you do a lot of online shopping, you might
consider signing up for a card that gives bonus points for online purchases.
Card issuers are rolling out more cards with this as a bonus category. The Citi
AT&T Access Card (no annual fee) gives two Citi points per $1 on online
purchases and on AT&T purchases. The Barclaycard Uber Visa (no annual fee)
gives double points for online purchases as well as bonuses in other
categories. In addition, there is a class of cards that rotate bonus categories
quarterly, such as Chase Freedom and Discover It. They often provide big
bonuses for a quarter on certain online purchases or on Amazon. For instance,
Discover It will give
5 percent back
at Amazon in the fourth quarter of 2018.

3. Amazon credit card.

If you buy a lot from Amazon, an obvious tactic would be to sign up for an Amazon
credit card
. There are two different kinds, each with no annual fee: the
Chase Amazon Prime Visa Signature card, open to Amazon Prime members ($99/year),
which gives 5 percent back at Amazon and 2 percent at restaurants, gas stations
and drugstores. Then there’s the Chase Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card,
which gives 3 percent back at Amazon and 2 percent at restaurants, gas stations
and drugstores. As with most retail cards, these Amazon cards make the most
sense for frequent Amazon buyers.

As Amazon grows bigger and more dominant, it might make
sense to consider some of these strategies to pad your rewards accounts. The
retail landscape is shifting. Maybe it’s time for your rewards strategies to
shift along with it.

 See related: Which is the best card to use on Amazon.com purchases?, Guide: How to maximize your cash back on Amazon.com, Is Amazon Prime worth it?




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