Posted by William Charles on November 9, 2018
Recaps

Published on November 9th, 2018 | by William Charles

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Recap: Keeper Cards, Amazon Account Closed & More

 

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AMEX Rewards Team
AMEX Rewards Team

Thanks for sending me to the Point Me to the Plane DoC!

>>>>>>>>Delta Diamond Forced to Sit in Feces, Receives 50K SkyMiles + Bottle of Gin to Clean Himself

Wow…I must now take a bath…smh

Oh good grief!!! I have over $2K in my Amazon account!!! Thanks for the heads up!

Regarding the Amazon closure- Same thing happened to me. But they did not give me a reason. I loaded with GC’s I purchased at Staples for $2k. Tried to log in and couldn’t.. I called many times and was never told why. I finally got reopened but my FC balance is 0. Called and told them I loaded cards and when it was in my account I threw out cards and receipt since it was in my account. I have loaded my account many times and never had this happen.After reading your article, now I know why it was shut down. Now another account specialist has to get in touch with me about my balance. Funny thing is I also loaded $2k on my husbands account and his is still ok.

I have $1000-$3000 Amazon gift card balance over the last 3 years, so far no problem.

Can someone explain to me why you would want to keep four figures just sitting in Amazon?

for me it’s like an extra bank account

ThatsNotHowThisWorks.gif

Since my family orders from Amazon several times a week, even a $2K balance doesn’t last very long. It is basically a savings account that pays no interest. BUT, the key is that I bought tons of GC’s on special deals like 15% back from Wells Fargo for $200 purchase at KMart.

I also buy a lot on amazon and it’s just easier and with Black Friday coming I wanted to be prepared. I also bought GC’s at Staples to get 5x with my Ink to max out my year.

Pays no interest and has zero regulations that savings accounts have.

Because you want to give the richest man in the world more of your money?

Discover and Freedom have 5% grocery cashback on up to $1500 at the same quarter each year. So, I buy $4500 worth of Amazon GCs (I have 2 Discover cards) during that quarter at Safeway because Safeway effectively adds 3%+ in Rewards credits on top of the 5%.

Always felt that loading the cards into my Amazon account was safer than holding a bunch of unused gift cards.

… Guess I was wrong.

damn I have 2,000 in my Amazon gift cards.. so are they really cracking down?

Imagine the outrage on this blog if, after transferring 150,000 UR points to United, United just decided to shut down DOC’s (or anyone else’s) mileage plus account and keep the points because they noticed a lotta VGC’s were purchased to accrue the UR points. And then in order to get the points and account back, you’d need to provide a receipt to prove what you used all of the VGC’s for.

Oh but with Amazon it’s ok because they’re so great. News Flash: they’re not. Prime is overrated IMHO and they are pretty unethical in many of their business practices. To the fashionable ones who read this blog and worship at the altar of Amazon, feel free to respond with a snarky comment, it would be a privilege to hear them.

Guy, you don’t need to post it on every page that says Amazon. Move on

Thanks for the book reco! Since I’m not effected by any of this I can still buy it, heck could even use an amazon gift card if I’d like.

The book could add these Positive mantras to soothe the spirit, say them each 100 times while meditating and in no time you’ll be an Amazon sheep just like the rest: “Amazon is your friend” “Amazon is fair and honest” “Amazon is the best” “Amazon knows what’s best for you” “Amazon loves you”

Lol it’s a free shipping and discount subscription I don’t see how that makes people “sheep”. You might be thinking of Facebook or Google…

I consider the Schwab Platinum.a keeper if you get the full appreciation bonus, but you need a lot of money with them to get it $1m for $200 or $250k for $100 annually.

Has Amazon been doing this for a while? I have a significant amount of gift card balance and its scary to think they would just shut someone down for this.

Yeah, it seems absolutely bizarre to me that Amazon would object to a “high gift card balance.” Ever since Amazon allowed gift cards to be bought with their gift cards, I consider Amazon money to essentially be cash. So whenever there’s a deal to buy deeply discounted Amazon GCs (like at 20% off), I buy and then load them to my account where I know the numbers can’t be lost or stolen. I haven’t hit $1000 yet, but I’ve gotten close. Since buying heavily discounted Amazon money isn’t reliable, my balance basically swings between $0 and $1000. I guess I’ll now keep my balance below $500 just to be safe, and “store” any extra cards I get unloaded.

What about when you don’t have receipts? Sometimes there are only a few ways to cash out “earnings” on sites or for other kinds of participation such as focus groups etc. and you receive an Amazon GC as a reward. As we all know, this adds up. No receipt. Are we going to track down dozens of program coordinators from half a decade ago? This is a joke. As the other poster said, if Amazon can’t handle balances large enough to buy a few new computers for a family, then don’t allow them to be stored in the first place.

Exactly. Not every gift card was purchased by the person who deposited it. What about getting them as gifts, or from reward websites like swagbucks

I guess save all the ‘you’ve received a gift’ emails, all the cashout emails, and all the physical gift cards. :-S

They have been known to shut down accounts for extremely arbitrary reasons with little recourse for at least the last 15 years. Sometimes you’re able to get it reinstated, sometimes not.

Either Chuck or William who blog here got their Amazon account shut down for buying too many gift card reloads. There was a blog post about it several years ago.

When they shut you down I believe they also shut down everyone else in your household.

My Amazon account was closed last month for the same issue. I was cycling $1500 every week for the past month or two.

I sent a couple of emails to their account specialist team after the incident, no dice, but all the sudden they reinstated my account this week. confiscated about $115 my gift balance.

Just realized that Amazon actually brought my gift balance back after I chat.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Amazon just set a hard limit on the amount of GC balance an account could have instead of doing all of these shutdowns? For example, make it so it’s not possible to have more than a $750 balance.

They have always made their shutdown reasons extremely secretive.

Daniel What was the most you deposited in one day? Was it all $1500?

Right, mostly 1500 but sometimes 2k. I use it up in a week

Is that you Andrew?

No bloody way Amazon closed because of the gift card balance. Vinh was probably doing something fishy.

Vinh is definitely one of the more “aggressive” players in this game, so there certainly could be more to this story. But better safe than sorry: I’m taking it as a lesson not to keep my gift card balance high.

I dobt generally like to keep my money tied up in unsecured non-interest bearing accounts like amazon or paypal anyway. I try to leave those accounts at $0 as mush as I can because:

1. The money is not FDIC insured so if they go under your money is gone, just like what happebed with toys r us.

2. You dont earn any interest for keeping your money in gift cards.

3. Your money is no longer fungible since its now tied up in gift cards.

Those are just a few reasons.

I will still buy gift cards sometimes but only when Theyre on sale and i know im going to buy something to drain the card very soon. Or if i plan to resell them.

I agree with you. Also, keep in mind that Starbucks has done the same thing to anyone who loaded a GC to their Starbucks account bought from one of the resellers if the card got drained before it was used up by the purchaser.

At least that is a little different. They did it as a direct result of reported fraud etc. not suspected fraud. Did they withdraw more than the amount in question or freeze funds over the amount they took issue with? Not saying what Starbux did there is ok by any means, but it doesn’t seem to be on the same level.

The article I read said that they froze all the funds ($167), not just the funds that were compromised. An advocacy group tried to help but to no avail. This is a quote from the article:

Put differently, if Starbucks believes that you intentionally tried to game the system with a fraudulent card, it will take all of your money. Worse, you can’t sue them to get your money back — there’s an arbitration clause that keeps your lawyer out. How clever.

In reviewing your correspondence with Starbucks, I thought you had a solid case. Your only “crime,” it appears, was buying a discounted gift card through Raise.com. You weren’t trying to game the system, at least not from my perspective.

I contacted Starbucks on your behalf. After several requests to comment, it finally responded with a denial.

Well, disregard what I said. Throw them to the wolves too then..How is this crap not equivalent to expiring gift cards, refusing to accept them etc. etc?

Seems like the shutdown is more about them trying to combat GC fraud than high balances. Having a high balance just means that: A) you use a lot of GCs, so the odds are better than you’ll get caught in the anti-fraud net, and B) those GCs haven’t been spent yet, so they can still take action against the supposed fraudster.

Probably Amazon is just being sloppy or taking a shotgun approach. e.g. you buy a legit GC but some A-hole also tries to load it with their brute-force script. Boom, both of you get flagged and shutdown for 2 weeks until they get around to putting eyeballs on the account and figuring out who was the bad guy.

I have $5000 in my amazon acct!!

The truth is, heavy amazon gift card users are probably some of amazons best customers. why would they think alienating and blacklisting them for no reason is a good idea?

I’m really hoping the Amazon GC shutdowns are corner cases and not what we have to look forward to.

While I’ll never let my balance get as high as some, I do tend to keep a few hundred loaded, usually maxing out around $600-$700. With me it’s always a slow ramp-up, and I often ‘wipe out’ the balance on Prime Day (the last two years I’ve used the balance to get a new mobile phone). The cards I buy aren’t from questionable sources… nearly always physical cards from a brick-and-mortar store.

Like others I tend not to keep receipts – there was previously no reason to – but I will going forward. My Amazon account is just over 20 years old, and it would be a shame for them to pull something like this with me now.

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