Bernie Sanders blasts Amazon — again

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Bernie Sanders blasts Amazon — again

By Marianne Wilson - 06/14/2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders is no fan of Amazon’s new proposed credit card offering.


The senator and presidential candidate took to Twitter to criticize Amazon’s plans to launch a secured credit card in partnership with Synchrony Financial that is targeted to folks who might otherwise not have good enough credit to obtain a credit card. The card, “Amazon Credit Builder,”  would allow holders who are Prime members to receive the same perks as the Amazon Store Card — such as 5% back for online purchases. The new card has an interest rate of 28.24%.


In May, Sanders and  progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ocasio-Cortez introduced  legislation that would cap interest rates on consumer loans at 15 percent.


“Can you believe it? Amazon is issuing credit cards with 28% interest rates to "help" people with bad credit,” Sanders tweeted. “This kind of greed makes the poor even poorer and @AOC and I intend to outlaw it. Corporations will have to survive on a 15% cap on interest rates.”


Amazon’s secured card has received mixed reviews. Ted Rossman, industry analyst for CreditCards.com, called it “a solid option for people who are new to credit or rebuilding their credit after prior missteps.” At the same time, he said, there are risks to be aware of.


“It’s always important to pay your credit card bills in full, and that’s especially true with this card,” Rossman said. “The interest rate is very high – 28.24% – and if you fail to pay a 0% promotional offer in full by the time the term expires, you’ll be charged retroactive interest on the average daily balance going back all the way to the original purchase date.”


Sanders has been a frequent critic of Amazon. He also has taken on Walmart, most recently appearing at the retail giant’s annual shareholders meeting in Bentonville, Ark., calling for the company to pay its employees at least $15 per hour and introducing a proposal to allow hourly employees to join the company’s board.

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