Amazon has long offered credit cards to shoppers, just like Apple is currently doing with Apple Card, but Amazon is now targeting people with poor credit.
It partnered with Synchrony Financial to launch a new program, called Amazon Credit Builder, that will lend to Amazon shoppers with either bad credit or no credit history, CNBC first reported. These are people who normally wouldn't be allowed to get one of Amazon's store and loyalty cards. Keep in mind roughly 25 per cent of US households are either unbanked or underbanked, the FDIC says.
Amazon's Credit Builder program includes a card with 5 per cent cash back on purchases. That's the same percentage you'd get with the Amazon Store card, which Synchrony also services. It also offers tips on how to build credit, such as why someone should pay a minimum. The new card application is available next to the other Amazon cards - but the interest rate, or APR, is 28.24 per cent.
If you don't get approved for a typical Amazon credit card, you'll be prompted to apply to “Amazon Credit Builder” instead. To start, Synchrony is issuing what are known as “secured” credit cards - where people can deposit $200, for instance, and have a $200 credit limit.
Synchrony told CNBC that borrowers can eventually qualify for an unsecured Amazon credit card - if they’ve shown they're able to pay it back.
How to apply for Amazon Credit Builder
You must be a US resident, have a US Social Security number (or US ITIN), and be at least 18 years old (19 in Alabama and Nebraska).
- Go to Apply for Amazon Credit Builder.
- Click Apply Now.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.