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Chase's partnership with Internet retailer Amazon.com means good news for online bargain hunters. Both companies announced updates to the Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card that enable cardholders to easily earn and redeem reward points on the merchant's website.

The "shop with points" function on Amazon's checkout pages now allows customers to pay for all or part of their purchases using points earned by using their Amazon.com Rewards Visa Cards.

Rewards credit card programs have embraced online redemption and bonus programs. Under traditional merchandise reward programs, cardholders must wait until their points balance reaches a specific threshold to request gift cards, books, DVDs, or other premiums.

Instead, Amazon's new checkout feature permits customers to split payments between their rewards balance and their credit cards. Amazon.com redeems reward points at the ratio of one point per penny of merchandise, or 100 points per dollar.

How it works

For instance, let's say that an Amazon.com shopper has 800 rewards points and wants to purchase a bestseller like George R.R. Martin's "A Game of Thrones" boxed set at the site's $19.77 sale price. She doesn't have to wait to accumulate 1,977 reward points. She could use her entire balance of 800 points and pay the remaining $11.77 with her credit card.

Under Chase's and Amazon's partnership, that purchase would earn her an additional 33 points, since the Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card earns three points for every dollar spent on the website. Cardholders also earn two points for every dollar spent on gasoline, in restaurants, at drugstores, or with office supply stores. Every other purchase made on the card earns one point per dollar.

In a statement to reporters, Chase Card Services spokesperson Chris Conrad cited the partnership's "terrific value" for cardholders. "Amazon.com cardmembers have enjoyed combining a great rewards program with the convenience, selection, and value of Amazon," Conrad said.