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The Amazon Credit Card - They've got it right!

Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, has just offered me a credit card. And they did it right...Amazon recognizes that banking is a companion activity. It's something we do in support of something else. In this case, some retail therapy on my part. 

And it was offered to me right in the Amazon Check-out experience, along with a $70 discount on the purchase I was about to make along with discounts on future Amazon purchases. Now that's a compelling offer delivered at the right time and in the right place. 

And with $75bn in 2013 sales (and growing in 2014), I expect the Card divisions of Chase (the bank behind the Amazon card) is on to a winner. Think about it...

  • Amazon sells just about everything. And it is a retail juggernaut
  • Amazon has approximately 250m customers...similar to the entire adult population of the US.
  • Millions of customers are willing to pay $99 a year for an Amazon Prime Membership with 2 day delivery and Amazon are looking for ways to achieve same day delivery with drones
  • Beyond, there's fresh food delivery and diapers

Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has a relentless focus on Customer Experience - he wants customers to be able to find WHAT THEY WANT every time they browse Amazon and THE LOWEST PRICE available anywhere to ensure they buy from Amazon if they're going to buy.

NOW - with the added benefit of offering an Amazon credit card that provides a 3% discount on all purchases. Along with 2% off at gas stations, restaurants and drug stores and 1% off all other purchases. 

Everyone knows Amazon has an incredible track record for effectively using customer data in marketing relevant products and services. It would be interesting to understand if they get data on the non-Amazon purchases made on the card to better understand their customer's buying behavior. 

I don't want a credit card - I want to buy stuff. I think Amazon and Chase have recognized this. 


(Note - the comments relating to this post were based on a previous version of this post where I incorrectly thought the Amazon card was "new"). 


Comments: (5)

Matt White
Matt White - Finextra - Toronto 08 September, 2014, 10:321 like 1 like

I think there’s some confusion here…

Unless we're talking about different things, this card isn’t new – on the Amazon forum there are posts about it dating back to 2009.

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 08 September, 2014, 10:531 like 1 like

Maybe I’m suffering from some drastic case of misunderstanding about this Amazon credit card but, for more than one reason, I fail to see much newsworthy or exciting about it:

  1. Retailers have been having cobranded, open-loop, rewards credit cards like this for decades. I remember one from Amazon itself in 2007-8.
  2. While exact earn / burn ratios keep changing with time, many of these cards do offer rewards for purchase at their own as well as 3rd party merchants' stores.
  3. Although this article says it's  "just launched", I was able to find reviews as old as 2 years naming the Amazon credit card as "The 27th Best Rewards Card".
  4. Amazon hasn't suddenly turned into a Bank / Issuer with this card. Therefore, it has access to exactly the same data about its cardholder’s shopping history at, say, WalMart, as WalMart does to a WalMart cobranded cardholder’s shopping history at

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 08 September, 2014, 11:31Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Store Credit facilities (which evolved into Store Cards - either as a Charge or Credit facility) are almost as old as retailing itself.  This isn't something new (another magstripe plastic card with favourable T&C's) - something new arrives on Sept 9th...

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 08 September, 2014, 11:55Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Apologies...I thought this was new and then found a story about the card. I think what is different is that

1. The card's $70 store credit is integrated into the shopping cart checkout. At least that's new for me.

2. The application for the card is also pushed at checkout. 

Apologies. I'll correct the story when on my laptop. Thanks for the comments. 


Ritesh Agarwal
Ritesh Agarwal - On My Own - Bangalore 09 September, 2014, 15:56Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Dear Derek,

It appears to me that you have missed giving the message.. by miles. Your article might have intended to say:

1. Amazon gives competition to cards and saves 3% in doing so.

2. This saving is passed to customer, which would reduce card dependency. But unfortunately you are writing about yet another card.

All said... Amazon is either myopic or deaf..or I don't know what to say...but wasting investors' money..


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