Posted by Chuck on February 23, 2016
Checking Accounts

Published on February 23rd, 2016 | by Chuck

38

How to Use Amazon 50¢ Reloads to Meet Transaction Thresholds

A couple times per month, readers will comment about their Amazon purchases not working to meet a transaction threshold.

Amazon 50¢ Gift Cards

Amazon allows us to purchase gift cards for as little as $1, or to reload our gift card balance for the same amount.  This option is incredibly useful for meeting transaction thresholds. Some checking accounts require using the attached debit card any number of times over the course of the month to help waive the monthly fee or for some other rewards or benefit associated with the account.

For those who shop a lot on Amazon, an easy way of meeting these transaction requirements is to buy a bunch of $.50 reloads online and be done with it quickly.

The Problem

People will sometimes complain that these $.50 purchases don’t work for them. Most often, the problem lies in the settings of your Amazon account. By default, Amazon runs debit card transactions as if it were a PIN-based transaction being processed online, without having to input the PIN. It’s called PIN-less debit. Amazon saves money on PIN-less debit transactions, and the bank loses out on those additional profits.

Some banks require a signature transaction to meet the required thresholds, and PIN-based transactions don’t work. Since Amazon is running it as PIN-based, the transaction won’t work to meet the required threshold.

The Solution

Luckily, it’s very easy to resolve this problem since Amazon allows us to opt out of the PIN-less debit. While they use PIN-less debit by default, you can adjust the setting so that all your debit purchases will run as signature purchases, as if it were a credit card purchase. The purchase should then qualify for any transaction threshold.

Instruction for opting out of PIN-less debit can be found here.

One final note, it may be worth limiting the number of 50¢ purchases made in quick succession to avoid a possible temporary account freeze as has happened to me and others as well. After five or ten transactions, give yourself a breather and do some later on or the next day.

Read some other ways of manufacturing debit card transactions in the post How To Meet Minimum Debit & Credit Transaction Requirements.



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Mark O
Mark O

The link to amazon account freeze article is not working…fyi

Robin
Robin

Thank you!

joe
joe

Not all the CUs reject the pinless debit transactions though right? Mine is saying that the pin-less transactions are accepted like any other — they accepted standard pin based transaction too, though. One advantage of the pinless transactions is that they seem to post faster.

I’ll be following your tutorial though… I’d like the CU to make something for offering a half way decent yield (at least in this rate environment) on a half way decent amount of money.

I shop a lot at amazon they can take an extra hit on their gift cards!

joE
joE

why stupid CU (GLCU) posts the transactions as bill pay. Just blows my mind how that’s even possible. Only thing I can think of is they programmed Amazon purchases to post as bill pay on purpose because they saw a trend.

When I inquired about this they blamed it on amazon and said that that’s how they process the transaction. Bull Fing $hit!

Scott
Scott

I have the exact same issue with GLCU! It’s so freaking annoying. Now I have to resort to .01, .02, etc manual payments to comcast. Ugh.

thershope
thershope

The account Freeze link is also not working. It seems that the links are 2x times. Need to remove one.

paul5795
paul5795

You mention only debit cards. Can I do this multiple transaction deal with credit cards, such as the AMEX Everyday, in order to meet the minimum transaction requirement to get the MR bonus?

William Charles

Yes

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

Has anyone had this happen with a visa debit card? My LMCU card isn’t showing the option to run as credit when managing the payment option within Amazon.

Matt
Matt

I noticed the same thing when LMCU switched from MasterCard to Visa. The MasterCard was processed as PIN-less debit by default, but you could opt out and have it run as credit. On the Payment Methods page on Amazon, the LMCU MasterCard said Debit next to it before opting out of PIN-less debit, but then said MasterCard after opting out. The LMCU Visa says Visa next to it as soon as you add it to your account, meaning it’s processed as credit by default – no need to opt out of PIN-less debit. I can confirm that Amazon reloads from my LMCU Visa debit card counted towards the LMCU purchase requirement without needing to edit any payment options on Amazon.

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

Thanks for this.

Ron
Ron

This is incorrect. I just tried mine out and waited 6 hours. It took the money out of my account but did not count toward my debit transactions.

If anything changes I will reply back again

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

It worked for me when I used it for the first time this month. Not sure whats up with your situation.

Ron
Ron

Checked back 24 hours later and it worked.
Guess there was a delay in the system.
So just add the card on amazon and you are set…..no unchecking that silly box needed

bill
bill

I went on Amazon and did everything as stated, however, I did not see anything regarding “Uncheck the box that is next to Processed as a debit card.” Does this mean it will be processed as credit? Note: The card is a WF debit card.

yoyo
yoyo

Yea I’m on the same boat. BoA Debit card. Don’t have the “Processed as a debit card” checkbox at all

trackback

[…] Amazon Gift Card load 0.5 刀来完成这件事情。请注意在这篇文章里提到,Amazon 刷呆逼卡默认是 Pin-less debit,但有的同学万一以前操作过改成 […]

arch
arch

No “Processed as a debit card” option shown for just added PNC debit card. Anybody know a workaround?

m
m

just this past month something has changed. i do have the checkbox under payment options>edit> uncheck “Processed as a debit card” for each of my debit cards. but even though the box is unchecked, they suddenly seem to be running as pinless debit anyway! i checked and unchecked again and this made no difference. all of my rewards checking accts showed “pos puchase” last month, but this month show “atm amazon” or “pinned purchase” or semething like that. there has been a change somewhere and it looks like these won’t count, though i won’t know for sure until stmnt closes. anybody else?

Max
Max

When I go to edit my payment method and select the debit card, I do not have any check boxes that can be checked or unchecked. Tried messaging amazon support, but they were no help. They said that the check box should be there and that is the only way to do that. And the fact that I don’t have it – Too bad, they can’t do anything. Has anyone run into this? Successfully dealt with this?

Devin Lieberman
Devin Lieberman

Yeah the option is gone so now I can’t do this anymore for the hancock whitney bonus.

John
John

Inside the comments here, there appeared to be conflicting reports on whether using one’s Wells Fargo debit card at Amazon — without changing any settings — is considered by WF to be legitimate debit transactions (and hence can be used to waive monthly fees).

Do we have any recent data points on this? I just got my $400 Wells Fargo checking bonus and need a way to avoid the monthly fee.

Brian Redman
Brian Redman

My automatic daily Amazon gift card reloads had been working as signature purchases on my Orion FCU premium checking account, but when I changed the amount, the next daily debit charge for the reload showed up as a POS purchase. I just went through the steps on Amazon to opt out of PIN-less debit again for my Orion debit card, and I hope this resolves the issue. I am posting this information to let others know that if they make changes to an automatic reload setting on Amazon, it may cause the reloads to be reset back to PIN-less debit resulting in POS instead of Signature purchases on the debit card.

howardc64
howardc64

Ditto same for me. I do manual reloads and just found out Amazon automatically opt in my Orion card back to as Pin-less debit and show up as POS. I had to op out again. So just check your Pin-less debit setting prior to doing reloads if doing it manually and check up on it periodically if automatic.

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