How to use an American Express (or other credit card brand) gift card on Amazon

How to use an American Express (or other credit card brand) gift card on Amazon

I have a relative who likes to give us gift cards at holidays and such, and I always appreciate that.

They usually give American Express gift cards or Visa gift cards.

You might also get them at work or as prizes.

While they can be used at many physical stores, using them at Amazon is a bit tricky…especially if you have several with small leftover amounts.

Well, my Significant Other had several (and I had a few), so I’ve now really worked out the system!

Here’s the trick: use the credit card gift card to buy yourself an Amazon gift card. Then, apply the gift card to your account, and Amazon will automatically use it for your purchases.

It does take a minute or two per card, but it’s not particularly hard.

Here are the steps:

  1. Find out what the remaining balance is on the card. There will be a URL (Universal or Uniform Resource Locator…web address) on the back of the card for checking balances. Use that: don’t search on the web, or you may end up at scam site. You’ll be entering the card number, the expiration date, and a 3 number code (usually) on the other side of the card, the side where you sign it. Remember or record the amount
  2. Next, you are going to go to Amazon’s site, and to the Gift Cards page (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
  3. Click on eGift
  4. It doesn’t matter what design it is, but make sure you enter the amount of your gift card. If you can click on it, great. If it’s an odd amount ($4.61, for example), enter it in the Enter Amount field at the end
  5. Put your e-mail address in the “To” field
  6. You don’t need to change anything else. If you wanted to put in the message who sent it to you, that’s fine, but you don’t need it
  7. Click “Add to cart” (don’t just click Buy Now…you need the options from the cart)
  8. Click “Proceed to checkout”
  9. This is the most important step! Under “Payment Method”, CLICK CHANGE
  10. Scroll down to the bottom of your existing cards. You’ll see a choice to “Add a credit or debit card”…click that
  11. Enter your credit card gift card number. There may be a name on it, like GIFT RECIPIENT or I used PREPAID GIFT CARD when it said that. Enter the expiration date. Click Add Your Card
  12. Your card should be selected as the payment method, but double-check. Check the last numbers on the physical credit card gift card. If it’s correct, click “Use this payment method”
  13. You can use your own address as the billing address…it doesn’t matter who bought the card for you
  14. Place your order

You should get an e-mail pretty quickly with your gift. In your e-mail, you’ll see a choice to apply it to your Amazon account. Do that, as with any other Amazon gift card you may have received in the past.

One tip: after you’ve applied it, you may want to go to

Amazon – Account & Lists – Your account – Payment options

and delete it. You can do that by clicking the down chevron (like an arrow without a stick) and choosing to “Remove”.

That’s it! You’re gift card balance will show that you’ve added it. As you make purchases on Amazon, it will go to that gift card balance first (following the same rules it usually does).

Hope that helps! Enjoy!


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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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