Amazon Pay offers users the ease of utilizing payment methods already associated with their Amazon accounts to purchase from third-party retailers. It’s as simple as looking for the “Amazon Pay” button during checkout. However, this service is not without its limitations.
You cannot use Amazon gift cards to check out with Amazon Pay. Gift cards from Amazon.com can only be used for certain goods from Amazon, and it is prohibited to use them for third-party purchases.
Are you thinking of giving someone an Amazon gift card? Did someone surprise you with a gift card, and you have no idea what to use it for? This article will teach you what can be purchased using Amazon gift cards and what their limitations are.
Purchases You Can’t Make With Your Amazon Gift Card
As with anything, Amazon gift cards have their limitations. According to Amazon’s terms and conditions, selling gift cards for cash goes against their rules. Knowing what can and cannot be purchased with an Amazon gift card will help eliminate surprises when you try to use the card’s balance.
Amazon Pay works by using the payment methods saved on your Amazon account to make purchases elsewhere. Stanley, LensDirect, and Neato Robotics are a few examples of retailers that accept Amazon Pay.
Because these are third-party sellers that are not directly affiliated with Amazon’s selling platform, Amazon gift cards cannot be used for any of these purchases.
Use Gift Cards for Your Prime Membership
Amazon Prime is known for giving its users ultra-fast shipping at no additional charge. Sometimes, you can receive your purchased items in as little as one day.
Most people would agree that the most advantageous feature is the fast and free shipping that comes with Amazon Prime. Unfortunately, gift cards cannot be used to purchase a Prime membership.
That being said, if you’ve had a membership gifted to you by someone else, you can exchange the membership for a gift card if you find that the service doesn’t fit your needs. Follow the steps listed in this article from Amazon to exchange a gifted Prime membership for a gift card.
Gifting Subscriptions to Kindle Unlimited
The Amazon platform doesn’t allow to use your own gift card to buy a Kindle Unlimited subscription for someone else.
If you want to give the gift of Kindle Unlimited to someone in your life, you can check out my article on the subject to learn how to Amazon Gift Cards for Kindle. This easy guide will allow you to purchase a Kindle Unlimited subscription for someone special in your life.
Buying Collectible Coins
This may be a surprise, but it makes sense when you review Amazon’s terms and conditions. Since you can’t trade Amazon gift cards for legal tender, technically, that includes collectible coins.
Amazon offers a range of collectible coins for sale on their platform. While it is unfortunate that you can’t use a gift card to make these purchases, coin collectors should try checking Amazon for rare collectible coins.
Shopping for Goods From Third-Parties
Similar to why you can’t use Amazon gift cards with Amazon Pay, you cannot pay for purchases at stores other than Amazon itself. This includes Amazon’s other companies like Whole Foods and Zappos. This also includes some of the additional programs available through Amazon like Prime, Amazon Video, and Audible.
Downloading Audiobooks From Audible
Audible allows you to download eBooks onto your Kindle or mobile device. With an Audible Premium subscription, you can enjoy one credit per month, with one credit being equal to one title.
Although Amazon owns Audible, you cannot use gift cards to purchase audiobooks on the platform, nor can you use gift cards to purchase an Audible Premium subscription. You can learn more about using Audible with this complete guide to gifting Audible books.
Purchasing Other Gift Cards
One handy feature of Amazon is that you can buy gift cards on their website or mobile app. That said, Amazon does not allow you to use your gift card for these purchases.
This includes buying other Amazon gift cards, prepaid Visa gift cards, or gift cards from different sellers like Apple or chain restaurants.
What Purchases Can You Make With Amazon Gift Cards?
Now that you know what you can’t use your Amazon gift cards for, let’s talk about what you can purchase with them.
In addition to the points mentioned below, I’d highly encourage you to check out my other article on “Can Amazon Gift Cards be Used Anywhere?”. In it, I provide a complete guide of how to use Amazon Gift Card even outside of the Amazon ecosystem!
Order Groceries Through Amazon Fresh
Amazon Fresh is another service available through your Amazon Prime membership. The latest in grocery delivery, this service allows you to browse and purchase thousands of pantry staples and home essentials. You can visit Amazon.com and enter your address to see if Amazon Fresh serves your area.
Unlike Instacart and other grocery-delivery services, Amazon Fresh offers free delivery on orders over $35 with no additional subscription other than Prime. Gift cards can be used to pay for your grocery delivery order. Add the gift card as a new payment method, and be sure to select it before checking out.
Purchase Movies and TV Shows
While thousands of titles come free with your Amazon Prime membership, sometimes you want to watch something that isn’t included in the service. If you have an Amazon gift card, you’ll be happy to know that you can use it for any of these additional video purchases or rentals.
It’s as simple as adding the movie to your cart and using the proper payment method at checkout. You can make the purchase right from your smart TV and start watching immediately. Learn more with this step-by-step guide to purchasing Prime Video with your Amazon gift card.
Get Books From the Kindle Store
The Kindle is an e-reader created by Amazon that allows users to access thousands of books in their digital forms.
That means your books are available everywhere you go regardless of your access to the internet. You can purchase the Kindle device or buy ebooks to download on the device with an Amazon gift card.
If you’re a Prime member, you can download one free title each month through Kindle First. However, one book per month might not be enough if you’re an avid reader. To purchase digital copies of your favorite books with a gift card, follow this full guide for using gift cards on Kindle.
The service is perfect for college students as many textbooks required for your classes are available in ebook forms and can be downloaded to your Kindle or the Kindle app.
Buy From Small Businesses on Amazon
One newer feature of Amazon’s online store is the addition of small, local sellers on the platform. Like Etsy’s selling structure, small businesses can list, sell, and ship their products through Amazon.
This option is a win-win for sellers and customers. Local shops can enjoy the ease of using an all-in-one platform to keep their purchases secure and organized. Customers feel good knowing they’ve supported a small business and that their payments are secured through Amazon’s transaction system.
Customers can also use Amazon gift cards to purchase from these small businesses selling on Amazon.
To shop small local businesses on Amazon using a gift card, follow these steps:
- Log into your Amazon account or open their mobile app. If you choose to use the mobile app, you’ll find the menu on the bottom right of the homepage.
- Once you’ve entered your account, find the “Your Payments” option. From there, you’ll see an option to “Redeem a Gift Card.”
- Enter the code and click “Apply.” If you have a physical gift card, use the code on the back of the card. You can find the claim code in the original email for virtual gift cards.
Now that you’ve claimed your gift card and added its balance to your account, finding Amazon’s “Support Small” store is simple.
- Go to Amazon’s homepage and click the menu option on the far left of the banner.
- Scroll down to “Programs & Features” and select the “See More” dropdown button.
- A little further down, you’ll see an option titled “Small & Medium Businesses.”
- Once you click that, the following screen will show you all of Amazon’s small business shopping options.
You’ve now entered Amazon’s “Support Small” storefront. Along the top banner is an option to “Shop Local.” This feature allows you to filter small sellers based on the region they originate from. That means you can ask Amazon to show you businesses that craft unique, handmade goods in your state or even your own city.
Using your gift card from here is simple. All you have to do is add items to your cart and select the gift card as your desired payment method at checkout.