Amazon release new MasterCard credit card

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Amazon have released a new MasterCard credit card, which offers customers 0.75 points for every £1 spent on Amazon and 0.5 points for each £1 spent anywhere else.

It also loads a £10 gift card onto customers' cards for every 1,000 points accumulated, meaning that customers will have to spend £1,333 at Amazon and £2,000 with all other outlets to receive the gift.

Added to this, the Amazon Platinum MasterCard provides an immediate £10 gift to new cardholders, as well as a £500 Instant Spend for qualifying customers to use at amazon.co.uk.

However, while these might seem like enticing offers, there are other credit cards from other retailers which offer more benefits.

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There is, for example, the Tesco Bank Premium Clubcard Credit Card, which earns customers one Clubcard point for every £1 spent at Tesco (in addition to normal Clubcard points), and one point for every £4 spent elsewhere.

This means that if you want to earn a £10 voucher from the card, you'd have to spend £1,000 at Tesco, rather than the £1,333 you'd have to spend at Amazon with their new card.

In addition, since the credit card doubles as a normal Clubcard, you'll earn Clubcard points as usual. This means that, if you spend £1,000 at Tesco you'll actually be eligible for a £20 voucher, rather than a £10 one.

However, to be fair to Amazon, the Premium Tesco Bank Clubcard credit card comes with an annual fee of £150, whereas their credit card has no such charge.

Added to this, Tesco Bank's normal Clubcard Credit Card - which doesn't require a fee - earns only one Clubcard point for every £4 spent, thereby requiring customers to spend £4,000 for a mere £10 voucher (or £2,000 if you count normal Clubcard points as well).

That said, there are other credit cards on the market, with the Marks and Spencer credit card offering 1 reward point for every £1 pound spent at M&S and every £2 spent elsewhere.

This rate rewards customers with a £10 voucher after £1,000 of spending, as does the rate provided by Sainsbury's credit card, which provides two Nectar points for every £1 spent at the supermarket.

APR and credit limits

As such, the Amazon Platinum MasterCard isn't the most generous card on the market, although it should be said that its credit limit - £1,200 - is equal to pretty much every other comparable card out there.

On the other hand, its representative APR is 21.9%, putting it 3% higher than the 18.9% of the Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks and Spencer cards.

Similarly, the three months of 0% interest it provides on all purchases isn't quite as long as that provided by Sainsbury's, Tesco and M&S, who all have purchase cards with interest-free periods of anything from 25 to 29 months.

And it's in view of such features that, despite making sense for frequent Amazon customers, the card doesn't seem to offer too much to those who like to spend money with other retailers as well.

Indeed, it's likely that, rather than simply being a genuine card intended to provide customers with credit, it's also yet another entry in a long line of devices - such as the Kindle and the Echo - designed to encourage people to direct as much as their spending as possible towards Amazon.