How To Use an Amex, Mastercard, or Visa Gift Card on Amazon
So, you’ve received a gift card and have decided to use it to purchase something on Amazon. This should be an easy process, or so you would think. You may have difficulty using one of these gift cards for an Amazon purchase because of certain restrictions, exceptions, or limitations. This article covers what you should know about how to use gift cards on Amazon.
1. Properly Register Your Gift Card
Before using your card, you must register it with its registered financial institution unless the supplier already did that for you, like for rebates or your employer. Without this crucial step, your card won’t work anywhere, not just on Amazon. Simply follow the online instructions for your AmEx, Visa, or Mastercard prepaid card. Once correctly verified, you can also check the balance to determine how much is on it. This will be required for one of the methods you use on Amazon.
Note: Some prepaid Visa, Mastercard, and AmEx cards don’t require registration. You may be able to use them on Amazon by utilizing a different method (more on this below).
Try the next step if you can’t purchase anything on Amazon using the added prepaid gift card.
2. Convert your Prepaid Card to an Amazon Gift Card
One way to use your Visa, American Express, or MasterCard gift card on Amazon is to convert it to an Amazon gift card. First, you need to register the prepaid card as a payment method (Step 1 above) and then use it to reload your Amazon gift card balance.
You can load the prepaid card’s entire amount or a portion of it, but you must deduct any temporary holds placed on it when adding it to Amazon unless you wait until they get credited back. Reloading your Amazon gift card means adding funds to it for future purchases. This method is preferred because you can use the balance on an Amazon gift card and still use a regular bank credit/debit card to pay the remainder.
To add a prepaid Visa, MC, or AMEX card to your Amazon account by way of an Amazon prepaid card, here’s what you need to do:
- Go to the “Amazon website“ and log in to your account.
- Using the top menu, locate and select “Gift Cards.”
- From this new page’s menu at the top of the screen, click on “Reload Your Balance.”
- Select a dollar amount on the right side using preselected amounts, or use “Other.” Ensure you deduct any held amounts placed by Amazon during the “registration” process from above. Visa and MasterCard may have a $1.00 hold, while AMEX should be $0.10. If registration attempts were made more than once, calculate the hold amount to reflect each attempt. You’ll get it back later.
- Click “Buy Now.”
- Log in to your account again if prompted.
- Click on “Change” under the “Payment method” section.
- Select “Add a credit or debit card.”
- Using the labeled fields, enter the gift card’s number and expiration. If it didn’t require registration or wasn’t registered in your name, type “Gift Card Recipient” or “your name” or something similar for the “Name on card” box.
- Click “Add your card” once all information is correctly entered.
- Choose the new gift card as your method of payment.
- Click “Done.”
- On the following page, confirm all your gift card information, and if correct, tap “Reload.”
You’ll now have the funds from your gift card available for Amazon purchases. A handy feature of this method is that if your gift card expires, the funds added to your Amazon account won’t be affected. The money will still be available in your Amazon account even after the expiration date. This is a great way not to lose the money on the card if the expiration date is approaching and you aren’t ready to spend the money.
Adding a Gift Card as a Payment Method
An alternative to reloading your Amazon gift card balance is to add your gift card as a payment method. This is similar to the other process but has a few differences. It does have its limitations. You’ll only be able to make purchases that are less than or equal to the amount on the gift card. If this isn’t an issue for you, here’s how it’s done:
- Navigate to Amazon and log in with your credentials.
- In the upper-right corner, select “Accounts & Lists.”
- Using the drop-down menu, choose “Account.”
- If prompted, enter your login information.
- Click on “Payment Options.”
- Add your gift card information as a new payment option in the box that opens.
- Tap “Done.”
Now, when making an Amazon purchase, you can use the gift card as a payment method. As mentioned above, you can only purchase items that are less than or of equal value. At first, this may not seem like much of an issue. However, if you have $50 on the gift card and make a purchase that totals $47, you won’t have a way to spend that $3 later. Amazon doesn’t allow for mixing multiple payment methods, so with this option, you can’t transfer that $3 left on the gift card to your Amazon gift card balance for future use. Since the card was already added to your Amazon account, there won’t be a holding amount. You can add the complete remaining balance.
The next time you make an Amazon purchase, the funds in your balance will be subtracted from the item’s cost. If there’s not enough to cover the total, your primary payment method will be used to make up the balance. Although Amazon doesn’t permit splitting the purchase cost over multiple cards, you can use your primary payment method and any available gift card balance.
Using Gift Cards for Amazon Purchases Explained
Although not as easy as you might have thought, you now know how to use an Amex, Mastercard, or Visa gift card for online Amazon purchases. You can reload your Amazon gift card balance or add the gift card as a payment method. Each option only takes a few minutes, and once completed, you’ve converted a gift card to a convenient payment method that you can easily use on Amazon.