What is an Amazon Courtesy Credit?

If you’ve used Amazon for retail purchases (and most of us have), then you may have seen an e-mail or an in-app notification about something called an Amazon Courtesy Credit. This notification may have confused you, because Amazon doesn’t go out of their way to publicize or explain the credit. In this article, I will show you what the credit is for, how it applies for your purchases, and how to know whether you have any courtesy credits on your account.

What is an Amazon Courtesy Credit?

The most likely way you’ve heard about the courtesy credit is via an e-mail from Amazon that reads something like this:


We are writing this email because you were eligible to receive a courtesy credit for your recent order(s), but it didn’t apply correctly. 
To correct this, we’ve issued a $10 courtesy credit to your account. 

You can use this credit to buy an eligible item shipped and sold by amazon.com and it will automatically apply the next time.

We value your business and hope to see you again soon.


Customer Service


Please note: this e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.

How Do I Get the Courtesy Credit?

There are three basic ways to get the courtesy credit.

One way is if you are an Amazon Prime customer, and you are shopping in the Toys & Games category (primarily), and you purchase some items in that category. When you go to checkout, you may have several options for shipping. For example, you might have an option to use your Prime shipping to get the items in two days or less (free shipping), and you might also have the option to use regular shipping and get the items in seven days or less (also free shipping). Well, why would you ever choose to use the regular shipping? Because sometimes if you do, Amazon will issue you with a $5 Courtesy Credit. There are no guarantees here – Amazon does not have to offer you anything at all. But if you’re ordering a gift for your kid’s next birthday and it’s a month away, you might try the slower shipping option to see if it gets you something for nothing.

The second way is if Amazon makes a mistake in your shipping process somewhere or fails to give you a credit that you were otherwise entitled to. If this happens, rather than issue you a refund on the extra shipping you paid, Amazon will give you a Courtesy Credit for use on a future purchase. Other common reasons for this credit appearing are a late delivery or a delay in order processing.

The third way to get a Courtesy Credit is to call Amazon with a complaint about something you have purchased. If the customer service representative you are talking to feels like Amazon was at fault in your complaint, they may offer you a $5 or $10 (or even more) Courtesy Credit by way of apology for the inconvenience or expense you were put to. This is again entirely their option; calling up and demanding Courtesy Credit is probably not a winning strategy.

How Can You Spend Amazon Courtesy Credit

Generally speaking you can only spend Amazon Courtesy Credit on items that are both sold and shipped by Amazon. That is, if you order something that is listed on Amazon but provided and shipped by a third party, you can’t use your Courtesy Credit. Your Courtesy Credit will automatically be deducted from any transaction that qualifies when you check out, for example:

How Can You Check Your Credit Balance

Checking your credit balance is easy. Simply visit the credit balance link and click the button, and all your credit balances will be displayed. If you don’t see a category for Courtesy Credit, you haven’t got any.

We’ve got more Amazon resources for you to check out!

We’ve got a guide to getting the lowest price on Amazon.

Here’s our tutorial on watching Prime Video on Chromecast.

Here is our overview of some of the best Amazon price trackers.

We’ve got a tutorial on whether you can get a refund from Amazon after a price drop.

For the privacy minded, here’s how to delete your purchase history on Amazon.

One thought on “What is an Amazon Courtesy Credit?”

Chris says:
Courtesy credit doesn’t show up this way – I currently have $40 of courtesy credit on my account and it shows only my shipping credits for slow shipping when I click that link.

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