Gift giving can be a stress-inducing experience, especially when trying to find the perfect present for someone special. Amazon Gift Cards offer a convenient and versatile solution to this problem, as they allow the recipient to purchase whatever they desire on the world’s largest online marketplace!
But, gift cards often come with hidden fees and charges. Thus, it is natural to wonder whether Amazon Gift Cards too have a fee?
In this article, I’ll share with you all the details of whether an Amazon gift is truly with no fees or should you be expecting any hidden charges. Plus, I’ll share with you the ins and outs of gifting Amazon Gift Cards and provide helpful tips for making the most out of your gift giving experience.
So, let’s get started!
Do Amazon Gift Cards Have Any Fee?
Generally speaking, Amazon gift cards don’t have any fees. When you buy an Amazon gift card, the price you pay is the amount the recipient will receive. Furthermore, there are usually no additional fees for activation, shipping, or any other hidden costs either.
However, there are some instances when fees may apply when purchasing gift cards from Amazon:
- If you purchase an Anytime Amazon gift card, you will have to pay for the shipping charges.
- If you purchase a physical Amazon gift card from a store and personally ship it to your family, shipping and handling fees may apply.
- In some rare cases, if you use a credit card to purchase an Amazon gift card, your credit card issuer may charge a cash advance fee.
- If you purchase a non-Amazon gift card from Amazon (such as a Visa Gift Card), a purchasing fee may apply.
Furthermore, if you use an international credit card to purchase an Amazon gift card, you will be charged a currency exchange fee. This is especially applicable if you plan to buy a gift card for your loved one in another country.
If you purchase a physical Amazon gift card from Amazon, you will get a FREE one-day shipping if you choose the “one-day shipping” option at checkout. However, keep in mind that you will have to pay for the shipping if you buy an Anytime gift card.
Once the recipient receives the gift card, it can be easily activated and the balance can be applied to the Amazon account. There are no charges for activation of the Amazon gift card. So, once the card is redeemed, the recipient receives the full value of the card in their Amazon account.
Another thing to note is that Amazon gift cards never expire. Furthermore, Amazon gift cards don’t even have any inactivity fee; a fee that is often charged by traditional cards if your card is not used for a certain period of time.
Why Doesn’t An Amazon Gift Card Have Any Fees?
This is a great question! Not having a fee and an expiration date makes Amazon gift cards a great gifting solution!
To understand why Amazon gift cards don’t have any fees, we need to know why prepaid cards, gift cards or other credit cards charge a fee in the first place.
Generally speaking, traditional gift cards/credit cards are designed to be used across merchants. Meaning, a VISA gift card can be swiped at any store checkout and can be used to pay any retail store irrespective of what bank they use.
There are often multiple third-party channels involved to enable such a transaction and there is a cost to it. As a result, there is often either a transaction fee, annual fee, activation fee, or any other fee involved as a way to recover some of the cost. Most of these cards have a chip or a magnetic strip for processing the payment.
However, if you notice, an Amazon gift card doesn’t have any chip embedded in it. Nor does it have any magnetic strip for swiping on POS machines. This is because an Amazon gift card is essentially designed to be used only on Amazon and not across retailers.
As a result, once you give money to Amazon for the gift card (in other words purchase an Amazon gift card), that money remains within the Amazon system and doesn’t change hands right until you’ve purchased a product!
You can think of it this way – when you purchase an Amazon gift card, you’re basically paying cash to Amazon upfront for a purchase that you will make in the future. And, when you finally purchase a product using your Amazon gift card balance, Amazon deducts this amount from your account (or its own servers).
In essence, there is no third-party involvement in processing the payment other than the credit card used for purchasing the Amazon gift card. This allows Amazon to provide its gift cards without any fee!
Full disclaimer – even though I’ve tried my best to check with financial experts, fact check and provide this answer as accurately as possible, there is no official answer on this topic from Amazon. Thus, I do not guarantee the accuracy of the answer!
Where to Buy an Amazon Gift Card?
There are two ways to buy an Amazon gift card i.e. online on Amazon or physically at a store.
At a store, you will be able to purchase only a physical card. However, when purchasing an Amazon gift card through Amazon, you can choose to purchase either an e-gift card, or a physical gift card.
I’ve covered both these methods in detail in my other article on how to buy an Amazon gift card for someone. In it, I walk you through a step-by-step process with pictures to help you understand the exact process. Make sure to check that out!
In a nutshell, here are the steps involved in purchasing a gift card on Amazon:
- Log in to your Amazon account.
- Navigate to the gift card section of your account
- Click on “Purchase a gift card”–this will bring you to the gift card purchase page.
- Choose the eGift card option.
- Pick a denomination and add the recipient’s details. You can send it to them via email or text, so ensure you get the details correct!
- Complete the purchase.
Remember, you will need the recipient’s email address handy when purchasing an e-gift card on Amazon. If you plan to purchase a physical card from Amazon online, keep the address of the recipient with you.
If you plan to buy a physical Amazon gift card, checkout the aforementioned article for a detailed list of stores from where you can purchase the gift card.
How to Activate or Redeem an Amazon Gift Card?
Once the intended recipient receives the Amazon gift card, redeeming it is quite easy. All they need to do is use the claim code and enter it into their Amazon gift card account dashboard.
I’ve written a detailed guide on how to redeem an Amazon gift card. Make sure you check out that guide for all the details with pictures irrespective of whether you’re redeeming an e-gift card or a physical Amazon gift card.
Here are the brief steps involved for redeeming an Amazon gift card –
- Login to your Amazon account and click on the “Account” button
- On the next page, click on the “Gift Cards” option. This will open the gift card dashboard
- On the dashboard, click on the “Redeem a gift card” button
- Enter the claim code and click on the “Apply to your balance”
You can also redeem the gift card on the Amazon app. For all the steps, click on the link to the previously mentioned article.