questionsdid amazon change the amazon store card benefits?

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I used to have an Amazon card, which I originally took out solely for the $50 discount upon qualifying. I then used it only very sporadically, and they closed it for non-usage a year or two ago.

They did not offer any kind of cash-back reward at that time, although they may have done so in the last 2-3 years without my noticing it. If they're offering 5% now I may look into re-applying.

And yes, if you apply for any credit card and the company pulls your credit as a result it will indeed be a "hard" pull. It's a "soft" pull only when they request very basic info to determine to whom they should send offers.

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Amazon Store Card is not the same as the Amazon Rewards Visa card. The store card is more geared toward financing, while you say you're more interested in paying off your balance each month. The store card is more a "charge" card. It's not a Visa like the credit card, which is accepted anywhere.

If you are trying to build credit, IMO it's not the card for you. Find a credit card with some nice rewards perks, no annual fee, etc and apply for that.

Any store card, charge card or credit card will have a hard credit pull and they hurt your credit score if you have too many of these checks, but one isn't going to hurt that much. If you're going to also be getting a car, two other credit cards, buy a new house - then maybe think it over a little more.

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I understand that this is a store "charge" card; I have two actual credit cards, a BofA Rewards Visa (which I want to ditch ASAP) and a Discover card, both of which I got around the middle of last year. I don't intend on buying a house or a car any time in the next year or so, but I'd like to hit the 750+ mark as soon as I can (currently around a 700). But the new perk of 5% cash back (if indeed this is true) made me think about this card a little bit more.

The Amazon Rewards Visa card is actually a premium card, so it's a bit difficult to get, for someone like me. According to Credit Karma, almost half of the holders have a credit score of 750+. Even if and when I do get that kind of a credit score, I don't think I would consider applying for that card.

The charge card does seem to be aimed at people with lower credit scores, with an average closer to a 650.

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@wheretheworldmeets: I'm sorry -- I used to have an Amazon Visa credit card and mistakenly thought that's what you were referring to. Next time I'll read more closely!

But may I suggest that if you're trying to build credit you reconsider your plan to ditch the BoA card, especially if you've had it a couple of years? A significant part of your credit score involves the length of time you've had credit, and you might find it more advantageous to keep the two cards you have and just use them three or four times a year. (I buy a tank of gas once every quarter with each "spare" card I have to keep them active. A couple of them go back to the early 80's, so I don't want to close them, but I have better reward plans with newer cards.)

If you can obtain membership at a local credit union, you'll find they generally offer better terms on cards and loans and will be genuinely interested in helping you build your credit.

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+1 for talking wtih a credit union. And +1 for not ditching your old cards. If you already have a couple cards, opening a new account will not help your credit score, unless you're carrying high balances on those cards and have a poor debt to credit ratio. Sometimes you've done everything right and the problem is that you are young and your credit history isn't long enough.

Also, while I totally recommend it personally and use it lot, do use Credit Karma with caution. While they state they use TransUnion to get your score, they do not get access to your full TU credit report and your score on Credit Karma is often slightly to significantly higher than your actual credit score. My actual TransUnion score, obtained from my a report at my Credit Union is approximately 25 points lower than what Credit Karma reports. Doing some research, CK is sometimes not aware of all accounts and factors, and they are independently calculating your score from the info from TU. It isn't TU directly.

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@meh3884: I second your comments about Credit Karma, even though my own experience with them has been pretty good. While I take advantage of the annual free credit reports mandated by federal law, I also pay for a report from Equifax once a year just for funsies. (Not only is it the largest of the three reporting agencies, but it is also the agency used by my own credit union.) The last couple of years CK has been pretty close to the current Equifax scoring.

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@meh3884: I don't use CK for my credit scores. I only use it to check the credit score ranges for credit cards that I'm interested in. I get a monthly update about my credit score from Discover, which is an awesome and free benefit of the Discover It card! (I know I sound like a broken advertisement, but I really like that card!) Discover claims to report scores from TransUnion.