Posted by Chuck on June 2, 2019
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on June 2nd, 2019 | by Chuck

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Amazon Cracks Down on Excessive Small $.50 Reloads

Lots of us use small $.50 Amazon reloads as a way of meeting transaction requirements for various credit or debit cards. Three separate readers report being recently blocked by Amazon from doing excessive small $.50 reloads. System simply block the reload from going through.

One good thing is that these readers have not experienced an account freeze, just a block. I’ve had my Amazon account frozen in the past, and it’s not fun. Hopefully, that won’t be an issue here.

It’s yet unclear if doing reloads of higher amounts will help, e.g. maybe multiple reloads of $1-2 are fine. Another option is to buy $1 Amazon gift cards instead, unclear if the sensitivity is there too. (Reloads have a $.50 minimum while e-gift cards have a $1 minimum.)

Lots of people use Amazon reloads for things like the Amex Everyday Preferred requires 30 transactions per month to get the increased rewards rate, or various other credit and debit cards that have transaction requirements. This Amazon crack down will certainly make those more difficult. Check out our post How To Meet Minimum Debit & Credit Transaction Requirements for additional suggestions, including things like using the self-checkout at the grocery to break up your purchase or pumping small amounts of gas in separate transactions.

Reader Gadget gives another tip: by removing all cards from your Amazon account and adding them back in will reset your account and allow additional loads (removing a single card and adding it back does not work). Of course we don’t yet know the long term viability of this idea.



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akjohnny
akjohnny

oh, sheet… let’s get some data points on what exactly is “excessive” amount of .50 reloads… is .51 ok? I do 32 amazon reloads per month for 3 accounts that pay 4%… I wonder if that is too many? one way to find out… do they get annoyed if it is a per day amount or per month cumulative amount?

Frank
Frank

That seems like too many. Any more than 10 seems unreasonable (realistically 5+ is a bit much)

mary w
mary w

Let us know when you next do it

akjohnny
akjohnny

I just reloaded 9x today and had no issue what so ever… I was only asked to enter my debit card # for confirmation purposes and it was bau. I have been amazon customer since 2012…. my 32 transactions are 16 for origin bank 4% account and 8 each for Orion FCU 4%.. so 32 transactions per month…

I did get an offer to change my payment method to discover card for a $10 bonus…

vince
vince

you’ll be the data point we’ll want to see for sure 🙂

Randy C
Randy C

I have experienced the same issue over the past week. It’s a pain but it seems that after one reload it resets after about 12 hours. I have been able to do one in the morning and one at night. I tried different amounts up to $3 and it made no difference. Certainly annoying but at least not totally locked out from reloading.

Gadget

Randy C This was a symptom I was having, starting about a week ago, however, I am too impatient and not waiting 12 hours. I did get two reloads to take place in the last week, but then it would error out again. Clearing out all my payment options fixed the issue for me. Did 20x reloads on 7 different cards this AM.

I really think what happened was less of a crackdown and more of a case where a transaction got hung up in the system. But, that’s just my opinion and I have no facts.

J2
J2

gadget, I signed up with your pei code. But I have no store offers showing in my area. Could you tell me if Mcdonalds or Subway are on the list.

Gadget

Thank you. Maybe you need to enable GPS to get the list?

But yes, I see Subway 5%, McDonalds & Sonic “$2 off $20”. Taco Bell & Chick Fil A 2%, plus Great Clips and SuperCuts 2%. Panda Express & Domino’s 1.5%. Wal-Greens, Target & Starbucks 1%, plus 7-11 (doesn’t appear to be all 7-11 locations) 1%. The big money, 10% at Denny’s. Hope this helps.

Gadget

J2 Yes 🙂

Randy C
Randy C

Thanks for the info. I have been trying everything and the only way I can get a reload after the 1st one is waiting about 12 hrs. I have tried all different amounts and times. Every time I get a error we can’t process your transaction. I will try the clear out. Historically I can done 22 loads a month for years usually in quick succession for ~5-10 and no issues

joE
joE

make a dummy account and link the card you do transactions with, for me it’s for a rewards checcking debit card which I would never use for amazon purchases in the first place. If the account gets blocked who cares, at least it’s not your primary account.

Josh
Josh

Just don’t associate it with any address that you care about. They’ve been known to ban accounts and block addresses.

Snorlax
Snorlax

Yep, they block everyone else at your address when they ban accounts.

David
David

I don’t think this post is entirely accurate. Amazon simply flags the card you are using if you use it repeatedly for loads across different months. I have loaded the same dollar (no penny) amount on my card once every month and still received an error when reloading using the same card.

nik
nik

No. I have had this issue before. My Amazon loads on BBR are on Auto. And for no reason, the transaction will get declined. And once one transaction gets declined the Auto feature is lost. You have to setup the whole Automated reload again. I tried talking to Amazon once but one CSR didn’t even know what allowances were and I had to tell her. I didn’t bother after that. Hasn’t happened for a few months now for me but was common before that. You just need to keep an eye on your Amazon account.

Frito Pendejo
Frito Pendejo

Ive been doing up to 25 fifty cent reloads a day, about a hundred total per month, for years. Over 25 or 30 in a day i would sometimes be locked out of reloads for a day or two.

I did last month no problem

Matthew
Matthew

I was wondering WTH last weekend as well! Now I know

P
P

I can’t even buy $1.12 or $1 reloads? Anyone know the threshold?

They even advertise it on their site about reloading with prepaid cards so you can combine those small prepaid balances, but I can’t do that anymore.

I wasn’t able to do any Friday, then only once Saturday and have not been able to do any today.

Celia
Celia

I had the same issue the other day trying to get rid of a couple small balances. I was able to do one at less than what was on there but the other didn’t go though at all. For some reason, both now have a single dollar on them after swiping them through Target self checkout. Going to wait a week or so to see if it’s a preauth that happened when I loaded the cards in my Amazon wallet.

JuicyJosh
JuicyJosh

Just did 8 or 9 in a row on Friday night. I did have to input my whole card number on the 3rd reload. No issues otherwise.

Gadget

Hey JuicyJosh, do you just search for “Crack” articles? This isn’t the forum for that.

Personally, I think one of my transactions just got hung up in the system from trying too fast. This happened right after I pumped out 10x transactions about as fast as I could about a week ago. As you know, since I am an old man, I didn’t think it would cause a problem. Today I did 10x on one debit card, and 6x on another, and no issue. Took a short, at least a few second pause, between each.

Jeff
Jeff

Does Amazon not want our business? Stupid.

Frank
Frank

No they do not want your .50 a transaction business. That’s why they’re stopping it

Ann
Ann

And Amazon is well-aware they’re the 8000lb gorilla of ecommerce at this point. They know most people will come crawling back when they have a real need to buy something.

Dan
Dan

They certainly do want to sell you all their overpriced shit.

Gadget

Chuck Removing one card did not reset my account. That was one of the first things I tried.

whodidntante
whodidntante

They should just increase the limit to $10 or whatever is cost effective for them.
*ducks*

sybloc
sybloc

“pumping small amounts of gas in separate transactions.”

No bonus is worth that. That’s a seriously skewed sense of effort vs reward.

sybloc
sybloc

Wow I just realized an Uber Pool driver did this to me (us) once. He stopped 3 times during our trip to get gas and each time he only pumped a tiny amount. At the time I thought he must have borrowed the car or something but now I realize what he was doing. Good to know…

jobin
jobin

OR maybe to increase the driving time?
Uber charges the riders a cost/minute fee.

sybloc
sybloc

Do you even Uber bro?

Rates are pre-determined.

aubergine
aubergine

That’s worth a complaint. Filling up gas shouldn’t be on the riders time.

Barkley
Barkley

Can you imagine sitting behind that guy at the gas station.. and you watch him swipe his card 10 times while you have to sit and wait 20 minutes for him to finish. lol

Midnight
Midnight

Most debit cards would limit you to two pin and two credit transactions per gas station so I don’t think someone could do that. You can double to 8 if they have the contactless pump payments.

sam
sam

I did many more PIN transaction than 2 at a time before. At least 5 or so, and then across several BOA keep the change accounts. That was a time…1k in the end. And no, I was careful never to do it when anyone was waiting. One time they locked a card and a bank rep was like “were you having trouble pumping gas?” uh huh…..lol

sybloc
sybloc

Quick way to a beat-down.

john m
john m

Money in Amazon’s pocket. It’s all automated(assuming) so they’re not paying a human to add to your account.

Ann
Ann

It’s not about it being automated or not, it’s about the transaction fees Amazon has to cover to process so many small payments.

Andrew D
Andrew D

exchange fees eat them. if its 10 cents plus 1.5% to transact that means on a $50 item they pay 85 cents. not bad.
If they are paying 50 cents reloads and you reloaded $50 over the course of 2 months… that means they are paying $10.75 in transaction fees on a $50 order just to process the order.

DaveC
DaveC

I’m surprised the credit card bank didn’t notice first.

Ann
Ann

People are mostly doing this on debit cards to meet transaction quantity requirements to keep a bank account fee-free and/or at a higher interest rate. Most banks don’t care because they’re the ones making money off the disproportionate transaction fees that Amazon is having to pay when people do a bunch of small reloads.

DaveC
DaveC

Oh, I see. I was thinking of doing it on Rewards+, but even 100 transactions would just get 1000 TYP, not worth the trouble and risk.

pato
pato

I am having the same issue I only use this though 3 times a month or so to put use on my useless cards here and there. Added a brand new card to Amazon and got that error was forced to buy $1 gift card to make it happen.. This sucks bad

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