Published on June 26th, 2019 | by Chuck50
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
- If your gift card balance is less than the purchase amount.
- If you apply a gift card it ‘unlocks’ your gift card balance.
- If you set the points card as your default payment method.
- 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”.