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Amazon takes aim at Target's RedCard with 5 percent cash back credit card offer

Amazon is taking its cue from Target by upping cash back rewards for its credit card holders.
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Amazon appears to be taking some inspiration from rival Target by upping the cash back rewards for its credit card holders.

The online retail giant is upgrading its Amazon Rewards Signature credit card for Prime members. They'll now qualify for 5 percent cash back on purchases made on Amazon.com.

The offer is similar to what's available for Target RedCard holders – 5 percent off in Target stores and on Target.com, as well as free delivery for online orders.

Previously, Amazon offered 3 percent cash back on goods bought from its website. It also offers 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, then 1 percent back on every other purchase.

Prime members who already have the 3 percent rewards card, which is provided by Chase, are able to upgrade to the 5 percent offer here. (Amazon Prime members also get free two-day delivery.)

For context, another major Target and Amazon rival, Walmart, only offers 3 percent cash back for purchases on its credit card – and that's only at Walmart.com, not in-store.

Is it worth getting?

As with any credit card, you should only take one on if you are confident you can make – at the very least – the minimum payment every month. But really you should look to pay off the whole bill to avoid accruing interest.

If you're going to use credit cards, it's worth looking into ones that give you something back for your spending. So if you're a Prime member who makes regular purchases, then it's worth looking at as a way to make the most of your money (provided it doesn't spark a wild spending spree).

Same goes for the RedCard: If you shop at Target all the time, then it makes sense to get a card that gives you 5 percent off every time.

Looking at reviews of the card on Amazon's website however, there do seem to be caveats as to what qualifies for the 5 percent cash back offer.

One reviewer said that only purchases from Amazon.com – and not "Marketplace" or the many third-party sellers who use the website – qualify for the top cash back rate.

Amazon card vs. RedCard

RedCard

Annual fee: None

Benefits: 5 percent off Target purchases (some exclusions apply) – this is applied at checkout. Free online delivery, plus an extra 30 days to make returns.

Interest: 23.15 percent variable APR (for credit card)

Late payment penalty: Up to $38

Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card

Annual fee: Prime membership costs $99 (if you don't have Prime membership, you don't get the cash back rewards).

Benefits: 5 percent cash back on Amazon.com purchases, 2 percent cash back on restaurant, gas station and drug store purchases, 1 percent on all other purchases – these are applied as statement credits at the end of the month. Also no foreign transaction fee, and travel insurance coverage is provided. $50 Amazon gift card given upon credit card approval.

Interest: 14.74 to 22.74 percent variable APR (depending on credit worthiness).

Late payment penalty: Up to $15 for less than $100 balance, $27 for $100-$250, and $37 if $250 or more.

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