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I wanted a MasterCard because I wanted to order items from international stores online and they didn't accept my regular maestro card. So I went for the search in finding one which would give something back to me for using the card. I was not really interested in the APR or anything like that because I had no intention of keeping credit from the bank - all money would be settled as soon as possible. All I wanted is a card which was accepted internationally for internet orders.
Finding the Card ##############
While I was surfing around for credit cards and the rewards I might get, I saw many different rewards; Airmiles, 5% cashback for the first 3 months of purchases, Tesco Points, Nectar Points - and more. I jumped onto Amazon.co.uk to look for a book which was recommended to me by a friend and staring at me was a banner on the front page saying "Amazon Credit Card - Rewards" I clicked in it and found the answer I was looking for!
If you would like to signup for the card, the simple direct link is www.amazon.co.uk/mastercard
Amazon Card ###########
The Amazon credit card is actually provided by Halifax. When you are taken to any webpage concerning the card, there is always the Halifax logo along with the Amazon logo. It's simply a re-branded template - I'm sure there are other companies doing the same thing with Halifax. It's nice to know that the card is being provided by a big name like Halifax - after all what does Amazon know about Credit Cards?
The card itself is the standard credit card size - no dodgy designs as we all know as the mint card - yes we all remember the adverts :- ) - this Amazon one is just standard, blue with a chip on it (for chip and pin use) it bears the Amazon logo and the MasterCard logo - there is no word of Halifax on it.
The Application Process ####################
Upon accessing the credit card page on the Amazon website I clicked on the "Apply Now" link and was taken to a page where I had to fill in my personal details. They also asked my job title and my yearly wage. The whole process took about 10 minutes. I clicked enter and it took about 10 seconds to process my data and come back with "Your Approved!" they calculated that they would give me a £2100 credit limit (far more than I had expected, or even needed). There was the option to add an additional card holder too, but I didn't need to do this.
The paperwork for the card arrived in my mailbox after about 4 working days, the credit agreement, you simply sign it and send it back. Then after about a week my shiny new Amazon card arrived.
As a security precaution when my card arrived there was no pin number with it; that would be sent separately. On the card itself there was a sticker on it stating that I would have to call the number printed to activate my card (another security feature). I phoned the number and they asked me some security questions, my name, date of birth, job title, yearly wage etc just the confirming the things I stated online when making the application. I have to say that they were VERY long winded, they tried selling me a card protection plan, if I was unable to repay the credit back - how would I do it if I lost a limb, died, or lost my job! I just said I wouldn't require any protection plan of this sort!
Another thing as this is a MasterCard - you are protected against fraudulent use (which you would not be when using a debit card)
The pin number arrived by post a day after I got the card. This was the usual letter with the strip you have to rub off using a coin. Pin number as always are hard to remember - you are given a booklet inside on how to change your pin number using a ATM machine.
As this is a MasterCard - online purchases from a store will take you to a special page which communicates with Halifax bank and they will ask you your passcode you made up during signup - this feature stops anyone using your credit card online without your knowledge. If you tell someone your passcode then that's the only way they are able to use your credit card online.
Overall I think this credit card is secure. I guess these above features are true for all credit cards.
Online Banking #############
When you have got your card you are invited to go to the Amazon credit card page and signup for online banking. This is a really simple process. They simply ask for a username and password. By signing up you are able to view your statements online and even pay off your credit - this can only be done by using a debt card (so this is where my old maestro card came in handy :- ) your payment into your account from your debit card takes 3 working days to credit - this is really fast.
You can apply to have your credit increased, see current transactions and also see how much more credit you have left over.
I personally found the online banking feature really easy to use. You just choose from the simple menu on the left of what you want to do, and that's it. No complicated things to go through.
The Rewards ###########
Now for the whole reason I signed up for this Card. The reward scheme is as follows
For every £1 spent on the Credit Card you get:
1 x Amazon Point (if you spent it at Amazon.co.uk)
0.5 Points (if you spend it at any other store)
And once you accumulate 1500 points Amazon will send you a voucher worth £15. if you are not a shopper at Amazon then in order to get 1500 points (for the voucher) you have to spend £3000 on it - so I use this card EVERYWHERE - I mean everything I buy goes on the card. Once the transaction is viewable online - I just pay it off. Its more simple than paying by cash - and you get points to spend at Amazon!
Introductory Offer ###############
As I signed up for this card I was given an offer - when I use my card for the first time Amazon will send me a £15 Voucher. This is excellent. Even if you don't intend on using the card any further, just get it, use it once, get your voucher, and cut it up!
You don't have to be a bookworm to want this card. Amazon has grown to sell more things than just books - electronics, shoes, and other items. If you are like me, and don't want credit and don't need it, this is a really nice thing to have as you just pay off the transaction when it appears online with your debit card.
I've gotten used to taking out my credit card whenever I need to make a purchase. Even small things like lunch. It's much simpler then to deal with cash and then having to carry around the change...it's really easy to get used to...and at the end of it all you get rewarded with money you can spend at Amazon!
In theory this is a very good credit card, but I had a bad experience with it. They allowed me to make a balance transfer and then reduced my credit limit just before the transfer went through. They then accused me of being irresponsible and going over my limit. I have since paid off the card and doubt I will use it again.
yummy.mummy 25.03.2008 12:00
Fab review -wanted to give you an E, but I have reached my daily limit -argh! Have a great day. Kerry xx