Amazon Launches Card To Help Consumers Build Credit

credit cards

Amazon is linking with Synchrony Financial to offer a new credit card for Amazon Prime members who have bad credit.

As reported Monday (June 10), the card, known as “Amazon Credit Builder” will let users build up their credit profiles through the use of a secured card, and the firms also will offer budgeting tools. Upon establishing credit, those users can obtain other Amazon cards, which may be unsecured cards.

Secured cards require that individuals deposit $500 in an account to secure cards with commensurate credit limits.

In an interview with the news outlet, Tom Quindlen, Synchrony executive vice president and CEO of retail card operations for the bank, said that “There’s always going to be people that we can’t give credit to — this is a large population that we weren’t able to reach. It’s a new segment of the market.”

Among other features of the card are perks such as 5 percent cash back on purchases, and Quindlen told the site that such offerings will help boost loyalty among holders.

The move comes as 11 percent of the U.S. population has a credit score below 550, as determined by a FICO survey. And as much as 3 percent of the population has a credit score of between 300 to 499, considered a bad score. In addition, 25 percent of U.S. households are defined as being unbanked or underbanked.

As noted in the report, the applications for the credit-building cards take their place alongside other Amazon cards. If Amazon members are in turn not approved for some Amazon card offerings, they are then prompted to consider the “Amazon Credit Builder” offering, which in turn can only be used for Amazon purchases, and the card limits can range from $500 to $1,000. There are no annual fees, but in order to get the cash back rewards, holders have to pay the $119 annual fee for Amazon Prime membership.