Many Amazon users would agree that its gift cards are one of the best things about Amazon. It makes gift-giving more convenient and lets you pay for a vast assortment of Amazon products on the Amazon store.
Amazon gift cards can be used to buy Kindle Books or to make single-purchase products on Amazon. However, Amazon gift cards are not recommended to use for a Kindle Unlimited subscription or any other similar service as subscriptions usually renew monthly, and your gift card balance could run out.
The rest of this article explains how you can use Amazon gift cards to purchase books on Kindle and how to gift time-capped subscriptions to friends. If this is something you’re interested to learn more about, keep reading until the end of the article.
How Kindle Works
Non-Kindle users may be a little confused about the service. To understand how it all works, one would have to know what a Kindle is, to begin with. If you’re not a Kindle user, let me bring you up to speed.
Simply put, a Kindle is a stand-alone e-book reader designed and marketed by Amazon that lets you take the titles on your reading list with you wherever you go. It’s like having a digital library in your purse.
A Kindle subscription, known as Kindle Unlimited, gives you access to millions of titles ranging from popular, self-published, and Amazon originals for a monthly subscription fee of $9.99/month. It works much like a library in the sense that you can “borrow” and “return” titles.
How You Can Use Gift Cards on Kindle
Not being able to use Amazon gift cards to pay for Kindle Unlimited doesn’t mean you can’t use gift cards to buy a Kindle or an individual Kindle book. Your Kindle account has an abundance of e-books, apps, and other digital reading materials with various genres and titles.
You can own any of these with a single purchase that will be deducted from your Amazon account or your redeemed Kindle gift card balance which will be applied to your Amazon account. Kindle gift cards can be purchased online on Amazon or in selected stores.
All you have to do is follow the steps below to start filling up your reading list with Kindles:
- Get on your device and log into your Amazon account. If you’ve received a gift card or bought yourself one, you’ll first need to claim the code and add the balance to your account.
- Go to your Amazon “Account” page, and click on the “Your Payments” option. Scroll down past your card payments until you see the “Gift card” option.
- Click on the “Amazon Gift Card” option and then click on the “Redeem a Gift Card”. On the next prompt, enter the claim code and click on “Apply”.
- If it’s an e-card, the claim code will be included in the email it was sent through. If it’s a physical gift card, the claim code should be located on the back under the UV ink—scratch off the ink to reveal the claim code.
- Next, when you’ve selected your Kindle title, proceed to check it out. The purchase will be deducted from your gift card balance.
One thing to note is that, sometimes, if you’ve enabled one of your credit cards as the default payment method, Amazon may charge your credit card instead of the gift card.
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A quick fix to this problem is to disable the card as the default payment method or remove your credit card as a payment method entirely until you are left with only the gift card. (Don’t worry, you can always add the credit card back).
Once you have the gift card working, you can make as many transactions as you want as long as your gift card balance covers the cost. When your gift card fund runs out, you can either reload the balance on your gift card or add another payment method for the purchase.
How To Gift Kindle Unlimited to Others
While it’s unfortunate that you can’t use Amazon gift cards to pay for Kindle Unlimited, you can certainly gift your friends a subscription. You don’t need a gift card to be able to give the gift of a Kindle to a loved one.
Kindle Unlimited is a monthly-based subscription that costs $9.99/month. The subscription automatically renews monthly, and the fee is deducted from your Amazon account balance. However, you can gift longer Kindle Unlimited subscriptions to friends and family.
Here’s how to gift Kindle Unlimited to the e-bookworms in your life:
- Head over to the Kindle Unlimited Gift Subscription page.
- On the Unlimited Gift Subscription page, you will be given available subscription options to choose from 6 months, 12 months, or 24 months.
- Select the subscription option you would like to gift.
- Tick the ‘This is a gift’ box at the bottom of the page and add the subscription to your cart.
- Click ‘Add Kindle Unlimited to Cart’ to start the checkout process.
- Enter the recipient’s email address and the date of “delivery”.
Even a six-month subscription is already quite generous. And you can always prolong the subscription should you decide to later on. You can choose what day the receiver can redeem your gift. Amazon will email redemption instructions so they can “unbox” their gift. This service is currently only available in the US.
If you’re wondering how much these subscriptions cost, here’s a breakdown of the three gift subscription options available:
- 6-month gift subscription: $9.99 × 6 months = should cost $59.94 (available for $47.86)
- 12-month gift subscription: $9.99 × 12 months = should cost $119.88 (available for $80.30)
- 24-month gift subscription: $9.99 × 24 months = should cost $239.76 (available for $143.80)
If the receiver is not interested in redeeming the gift subscription, they may have it exchanged for an Amazon gift card.
How To Redeem a Kindle Unlimited Gift
If you happen to be a first-time receiver of a Kindle Unlimited gift subscription, you might be unsure how it all works or how to proceed with redeeming your gift. Instructions on how to redeem it should be provided in the email that the gift came in, but if you’re still confused, here’s a step-by-step:
- Click the ‘Redeem You Kindle Unlimited Subscription’ button in your email.
- Clicking the redeem button takes you to a page. Here, choose what you will do with your gift subscription: load up the subscription or exchange the gift subscription for a gift card.
If you decide to load up the subscription, you can start enjoying your Kindle Unlimited. However, suppose you already have a Kindle Unlimited subscription the gift giver didn’t know about. In that case, Amazon lets you choose to have the gift subscription exchanged for a gift card valued at the same price for which your subscription was purchased.
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For example, if the gifter got you a 6-month subscription, you can trade it for a gift card worth $47.86. This means the gift doesn’t go to waste on a subscription you already have because that would be a waste and might be a source of embarrassment for the friend who thought it would make a nice gift.
How To Gift Kindle Unlimited to Yourself
Gifting a Kindle subscription to oneself may not make much sense, but I assure you, it does. Allow me to explain. Sometimes, there are Kindle deals that allow you to get the gift subscription at a 20%, 33%, or 40%, depending on whether you have a 6-month, 12-month, or 24-month subscription.
Instead of paying the monthly $9.99, you can save up by buying a 6-month subscription at 20% off. You can grab the deal and enter your email address in the checkout process, essentially sending it to yourself. And, yes, this is allowed. These deals aren’t around that often, but keep your eyes peeled on special occasions like Prime Day.