Posted by Chuck on June 26, 2019
Deals

Published on June 26th, 2019 | by Chuck

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How to Use an Amazon Gift Card with a Shop-with-Points Order

[Update 6/26/19: Reposting as the 20% deal has returned.]

If you’ve been following this blog, you’re probably aware that there’s a great offer available now on Amazon to get 20% off when you use at least one American Express Membership Rewards point at checkout, and even working a second time for many people, up to $100 discount.

Separately, some people have been noticing an offer on their Amazon account to get $30 off $60 when using shop-with-points, presumably that’s from this deal we posted a while back which they never got around to using up. You can do both of these deals if targeted, and you can even order third-party gift cards with these deals (affiliate links are in this post), but you can’t get both discounts on a single checkout, they need to be used independently (use the $100 one first). Be sure to activate each of these offers separately and see if they work for you.

When using shop-with-points, the way it works is that you assign how many points you want to use (as little as one point or as much as the entire order), then Amazon automatically charges the remainder to the associated card. For example, with this Amex deal, most of us are ordering $500 in gift cards for $400, applying 1 MR point, and the remaining $399.99 gets automatically charged to the Amex card.

Using a Gift Card

In brief:

  1. If your gift card balance is less than the purchase amount.
  2. If you apply a gift card it ‘unlocks’ your gift card balance.
  3. If you set the points card as your default payment method.

Longer explanation:

  • A lot of people want to use up their Amazon gift card balance, yet Amazon won’t always allow them to use a gift card on a Shop-with-Points purchase. For a while I’ve been vaguely aware that it sometimes works and sometimes does not, without quite figuring out why. I now bumped into an explanation that if your Amazon gift card balance is less than the purchase amount, the Amazon system uses up the gift card and allows you to apply Shop-with-Points for the balance. But your Amazon gift card balance covers the entire purchase amount, it won’t allow you to then apply the Amex point to the purchase. (hat tip to myi on DDF)
    • You can ‘trick’ the system by adding a larger quantity than desired so as to make your cart higher than your gift card balance. Then, at checkout, adjust the quantity down and it’ll keep the gift card payment.
  • Another trick I discovered yesterday is that you can initiate the Amazon checkout with Shop-with-Points alone, then on the final checkout screen apply a new Amazon gift card to the order, and the system will allow you to pay for your entire order with the Amazon gift card. A reader notes that when using this method, you can even apply a small $1 Amazon gift card, and this ‘unlocks’ your Amazon gift card balance and allows you to pay for the order using the gift card balance already attached to your Amazon account.
  • A third method mentioned by a reader is to set the points card as your default payment method. This then allows you to apply points along with gift card payment. (Update 7/1/19: I can’t seem to get this one to work anymore. YMMV.)

These methods help for using an Amazon gift card in conjunction with Amazon Shop-with-Points. It also helps someone who doesn’t want to put the remaining charge on their Amex card: simply purchase an Amazon gift card with your chosen card type, and use the methods described to have the gift card applied in conjunction with shop-with-points.

Reader Kyle adds the caveat that some/all of these methods won’t work if you are buying something pegged “This is a gift”.



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Max
Max

Thank you!

Shu
Shu

I discovered you could set the default payment with Amex card, and when you checkout, the system will use the Amazon gift card balance automatically (you only need to change the Amex point to 1 MR). I tried many times today. Hope you can.

Eric
Eric

that’s my understanding too. once it becomes default, the gift card balance is applied automatically, no matter whether the order cost is larger than the amazon gift card balance or not.

Kari
Kari

This is how it worked for me. Dumb luck, though, and only realized in retrospect since my Amex was already set up as default.

Eric
Eric

This is definitely a useful tip.

When you say that you “tried many times today” do you mean that you had the 20% discount while using 1 MR on several different orders? If so, how many orders have you made so far?

Mjs
Mjs

For the new trick (adding a new Amazon gift card at the pay step), I added one less than the cart amount, but it let me then use the full amount of my existing GC balance to pay for the order.

Another words, I think you could conceivably add a 10 new Amazon GC at that time to “unlock” the existing hefty Amazon card balance already in the account

Eric
Eric

Just so you know, it should be “in other words”.

Hari
Hari

“From the errors of others, a wise man corrects his own”

Jswd60
Jswd60

From the app I had a check box that said use amazon gift card balance. First time around i purchased $100 third party and $400 amazon gift card. I just now used that same $400 gift card to purchase $500 in 3rd party cards (less the 20% amex discount) in the end i paid $399.98 and 2 amex points for $600 in 3rd party gift cards.

Corridor
Corridor

How long did it take to receive your e gift cards that you paid with your amazon GC?

Jswd60
Jswd60

They are physical gift cards so they will come Tuesday.

beat2def
beat2def

What gift cards did you buy? To resell? Where do you resell?

Jswd60
Jswd60

Personal use. Just for places I usually shop/eat

Credit
Credit

It is not working for me a second time. Tried gift cards abed non gift cards. The 20% does not get applied. Only one time for me.

Corridor
Corridor

I purchased $500 worth of gift cards. It let me use my amazon gift card balance, 1 point, and cc for payment. I haven’t received the e gift cards yet. It’s been an hour. Is it an issue paying for third party gift cards with amazon gift cards?

Shu
Shu

It is no problem. Should be sent within several hours.

Sam
Sam

Thanks for the tips. Should have wait to apply the amazon giftcards at checkout the second time around before apply to the balance 🙁

Information Booth
Information Booth

Thanks… I bought physical Amazon Gc with 20% off promo. I’ll wait until next shop with points deal to see which accounts have been targeted. That will be the account I’ll redeem Gc on… stacking is a beautiful thing!! John 3:16

AKSF
AKSF

What does the Bible have to do with churning? I’m not even religious and I feel ashamed on your behalf when I see your comments.

Information Booth
Information Booth

I appreciate your empathy on my behalf!! Do you know what projection is? I recommend you look that up next!! John 3:16

Jack
Jack

$30 off $60 Promo
I activated the promo, got confirmation. I bought an item and added a third party gift card to make the order $60. Used 1MR and paid for the rest via AmEx. It doesn’t seem to be applying the $30 off. Does it not work on combined orders?

Abey

I can confirm that I was able to cancel (via the app) my 2nd order of 20% off and then re-order the same items and use the $400 Amazon gift card balance I had from the 1st time (yesterday) and use that $400 for payment.
So technicaly I’m getting $500 in gift cards for $299.98!

Orin
Orin

Maybe this is a stupid question – but can you buy amazon gift cards somehow with this? Like gift cards which you can then use to reload you amazon balance?

I currently have a $70 gift card balance on my account. I tried to use the 30 off a 60 purchase with points. I wanted to buy 100 of amazon gift cards, get the 30 off so I only pay 70 plus one Amex point. I use my gift balance. Then I pay nothing.

And then I get $100 amazon gift card and can reload my balance to $100. So in essence going from 70 to 100 for free.

Then embark on using the 20% discount. I could buy $200 amazon gift card, knock off 20% and it would go down to $160. I would use my new found gift card balance of $100 (paying $60 in total).
Then my amazon gift card balance on account would have gone from $70 to $200 (increase of $130 for a cost of $60 to me, and two Amex points)

P
P

All right! Paid $400 out of pocket for amazon gift cards and got ~$600 in third-party gift cards with this trick and all the discounts offered (MR, Amazon assistant, etc.).

Gatrix
Gatrix

I got his offer from Amazon:
“Thank you for joining Prime! Prime Day is just around the corner and we want to make sure you get the most out of your membership during the largest shopping event of the year. We’ve put together a few simple steps to help you get started. As a thank you, we’ll give you a $10 reward.”
The first step to get $10 reward is “Buy a Prime item before Prime day”. But I am not sure what is a “prime item”. Anyone get this promo and know what it is?

Ann
Ann

“I am not sure what is a “prime item”.”

Anything that ships with Amazon Prime free shipping. You’ll see the little Prime logo on the product page of eligible items.

Randy
Randy

At 5:20PM EST I cannot get the 20% off to show up again on Lowe’s gift cards. I did get the 20% with $400 in Amazon plus Lowe’s a day ago. FYI.

Jeff L.
Jeff L.

Great info here, Doc. Yesterday I got $300 Amazon GC w/ $50 airbnb and $50 Starbucks for $320. Today turned around and added $300 of airbnb GC and did the trick you described (adding a new small Amazon GC) to pay for it with $239.95 of my Amazon balance and 0.05 of MR points

Because Amazon is usually careful about what does/doesn’t qualify for certain promotions, I have a theory that Amazon may know this isn’t working as intended and are using it as a kind of viral marketing tactic as a lead-up to Prime Day, although it would benefit them most if we couldn’t liquidate the Amazon GC balance into third-party GC. Either way, maximizing this promo alone ($400 amazon GC -> $600 third party GC) recoups the cost of a Prime membership.

And as an added DP, I have a Prime Student membership, and this promo worked fine (twice) for me

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