Published on February 23rd, 2016 | by Chuck35
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.
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.
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.
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.