AMAZON LAUNCHES A CREDIT CARD FOR THE ‘UNDERBANKED’ WITH BAD CREDIT

  • Synchrony Financial and Amazon are partnering on a credit card for Prime members who might not have good enough credit to get one otherwise.
  • “Amazon Credit Builder” lets users build up credit through a secured card, alongside budgeting tools and tips. It allows people eventually to “graduate” to another Amazon Store card card once they’ve established credit.
  • “It’s putting credit in the hands of people in a responsible way,” says Synchrony executive vice president and CEO of the bank’s retail card operation Tom Quindlen.

Amazon is finding a way to get its rewards credit card in the hands of more people.

The e-commerce giant partnered with publicly traded bank Synchrony Financial to launch “Amazon Credit Builder” — a program that lends to shoppers with no credit history or bad credit, who would otherwise be exempt from Amazon’s loyalty cards.

“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,” Tom Quindlen, Synchrony executive vice president and CEO of the bank’s retail card operation, told CNBC in a phone interview. “It’s a new segment of the market.”

The card has the same perks, like 5% cash back on purchases, that come with the popular Amazon Store card, which Synchrony also powers. These rewards cards incentivize shoppers to use Amazon instead of an alternative and helps drive loyalty within its customer base, Quindlen said. Banks like J.P. Morgan have also bet on rewards cards would theoretically make customers spend more, and in turn bring in more interest and returns…

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