You’ll still be able to use Visa debit, Mastercard and Amex cards.
In a massive move for consumers, you won’t be able to pay with a Visa credit card on Amazon from 19 January 2022. Here’s more on what you’ll need to do, and the best alternative cards to use.
What’s changing for Visa payments?
Amazon has said that due to “the high fees Visa charges for processing credit card transactions”, it’ll stop accepting payments by those cards. However, Visa debit card and Visa Electron payments will still be accepted.
The change kick in from 19 January 2022 so if your default payment card on Amazon is a Visa credit card you’ll need to change this.
Is there a way around this?
Since Amazon doesn’t accept Paypal, you can’t still use a Visa credit card for payments this way. However you could use a Visa credit card attached to the Curve debit card.
Or you could buy Amazon gift cards from retailers such as your local supermarket using your Visa card.
And of course, this could just be posturing by Amazon in an attempt to get Visa to lower their charges. If that happens, then nothing will change.
What about Mastercard and American Express?
There’s no change here, so you can use credit cards issued by Amex and Mastercard. This seems strange as usually American Express charges higher fees to merchants, and Mastercard’s fees are broadly the same as Visa’s.
But Amazon has said you can continue to use these credit cards, along with any UK based Maestro and Solo cards (not that you see these much now).
Could other retailers do the same?
Potentially we could see other shops and businesses follow suit. American Express customers will already be familiar with the frustration of having to ask if the shop takes Amex, and it would be a nightmare for that to be replicated for Visa.
For now though it’s just Amazon so I wouldn’t worry too much. Even so it makes sense having at least one Visa and one Mastercard available to you, and perhaps an Amex on top.
The best ways to pay on Amazon
If you are an Amazon shopper this is a good opportunity to rethink how you pay for items there. I’d only use a credit card if you’re earning cashback/points or want added consumer protection. Otherwise, a debit card will do the job. But here are the top options:
Side note: I’ve not used Amazon at all in 2021 and a surprise result is I’ve spent less money! Here’s my update after six months – see if it can inspire you to cut or reduce your Amazon spending.
Amazon Platinum Mastercard credit card
If you’re signed up to Amazon Prime then their own Platinum credit card is the highest paying cashback option. You’ll earn 3 points back for every £2 spent, the equivalent of 1.5% back. This beats the next best options (more in a bit). If you’re not paying for Prime that rate is cut in half.
You’ll get this money back in Amazon vouchers – though only when you reach £10 worth of points. This means you need to spend at least £666 before you get your reward. That’s a fair amount.
If you are successful on application then you’ll also get a bonus voucher, currently worth £40.
However, I really think it’s worth ditching Amazon Prime, or at least just paying for it once or twice a year at most. In that case, you can get a better return elsewhere.
Chase Bank Mastercard debit card
Even if you stick with Prime the Chase Bank debit card might be a better option. Though the cashback is only for 12 months and lower at 1%, you will get the money earned straight back to your account. So there’s no waiting around to reach that £10 payout. Here’s my review.
In fact, the cashback is boosted to 3% at Amazon for purchases made until 31 December 2021. It’s capped on £5,000 spent on the site. You need to activate the offer in the app.
However one downside here is that you’ll lose Section 75 consumer protection on items that cost more than £100.
American Express credit cards
If you do want a non-Amazon credit card (and that Section 75 protection), then I’d go for an Amex. The highest paying Amex card for ongoing cashback is the American Express Nectar card, which earns two Nectar points per £1 spent, the equivalent of 1%.
Slightly lower than this is the Amex Preferred Rewards Gold credit card. You’ll 0.5% in Amex Reward Points, which can convert to 0.8% as Nectar points. But this has the best welcome bonus for American Express newbies.
Here’s more on the best Amex cards.
Amazon gift cards
You have to be really careful with gift cards, though it’s less so with Amazon as they’re valid for 10 years. So you could buy these gift cards with any card outside of Amazon (though not Visa credit cards direct with Amazon).
There are also regular ways to get bonuses and freebies, though they’re not going to be enough to cover all your purchases.