Do Prepaid Cards Work for Amazon?

Do Prepaid Cards Work for Amazon?

November 3, 2020         Written By Heaven Speirs

Amazon has transformed the way people buy products online. Over one-fourth of holiday purchases are made through Amazon, and the site generates over $232 billion in sales each year.

Whether you pay for Amazon Prime or you casually use the site to shop, you can use a variety of payment methods to shop with Amazon. Here, we’ll explore Amazon’s prepaid card policies and other unique payment options.  However in short, yes, most major prepaid cards will work on Amazon and below we will highlight some of the best offers to use.

Featured Prepaid Card

Top Features:

No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card it is a prepaid card.

Which Prepaid Cards Work for Amazon?

Amazon accepts prepaid cards from Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Simply input the card’s information at checkout or add it to your Amazon Wallet. Use the dropdown menu in the upper left corner of the screen, and scroll all the way down to Your Account. Then select Your Payments under “Ordering and shopping preferences.” You can “Add a New Payment Method” from there to use for future purchases.

Here are some prepaid cards that should work on Amazon:

NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card

The NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card is a fantastic choice for a prepaid card as it offers no late fees or interest charges and a low monthly fee which ranges from $0 to $9.95, depending on how you use and fund the card. The card has no credit check, no minimum balance requirement, and no activation fee.  Applying is fast, easy, and secure.

Netspend® All-Access ® Account by MetaBank®

The Netspend® All-Access ® Account by MetaBank® is another option for a prepaid card to use on Amazon as it offers no minimum balance and all the benefits of a bank account.  This robust prepaid card offers a variety of card art options, cashback rewards, optional overdraft service, and real-time account alerts.

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard®

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard® is a strong choice because not only will it work on most major websites, but it also incorporates the powerful tools that come with a PayPal account. Easily transfer money from your PayPal account to fund your card and even earn cash back and personalized offers.

Control ™ Prepaid Mastercard®

The Control ™ Prepaid Mastercard® is issued by MetaBank and is accepted nearly anywhere Mastercard is accepted.  The card offers direct deposit and never has any late fees or interest charges since it is a prepaid card.   

Beware of prepaid card restrictions on Amazon, which are primarily around the amount of funds you have on your card versus the purchase price of your order. In order to use a prepaid card for a purchase, the balance on the card must be enough to pay for the entire transaction. You cannot split the transaction between multiple payment methods. If there are not enough funds on the prepaid card, the transaction will be declined. You can load more money onto your card, use a different payment method, or follow the hack below to bypass these restrictions.

Load Prepaid Cards onto an Amazon Gift Card to Bypass Payment Limits

There is a trick to use multiple prepaid cards for a single purchase. Amazon will let you use a prepaid card to load an Amazon gift card. This is a digital gift card that can be used for Amazon purchases. Essentially all you’re doing is transferring your balance from the prepaid card(s) to the gift card. The downside to this is that you can no longer use the prepaid card for other purchases. The funds will only be available on Amazon.

Pros of Loading Prepaid Cards to an Amazon Gift Card

  • There are no fees for loading the gift card
  • The gift card balance will never expire (some prepaid cards have expiration dates)
  • You can combine multiple cards into one card for simplicity – great for all the cards you get during the holidays!
  • You can use your gift card to buy anything from Amazon, including digital books, movies, songs, and more
  • You can track your balance and gift card purchases directly in your Amazon account
  • You can load prepaid cards even if there is no name on your card
  • There is no limit for how much you can load, so you can add a card even if you have an odd leftover balance (yes, even the $2.31 you have leftover from your coffee order)

Cons of Loading Prepaid Cards to an Amazon Gift Card

  • You can only use your balance for Amazon purchases
  • Your prepaid card may not load successfully if it fits the CVV restriction (see next section)
  • If you get a refund for your Amazon purchase, it will go to the gift card, not your prepaid card
Featured Prepaid Card

Top Features:

No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card it is a prepaid card.

How to Add Prepaid Cards to an Amazon Gift Card

  1. Go to Amazon Reload
  2. Scroll down to select “Add a credit or debit card.”
  3. Fill in the card’s information. If there is no name on the card, enter your name.
  4. Once your card is added to your Wallet, you can load however much money you want to your Amazon gift card.

If you do not want to combine prepaid cards into an Amazon gift card, you will need to use different cards for different transactions. In order words, if you’re buying three items with three different prepaid cards, you will need to have a completed transaction for each purchase with the corresponding prepaid card. Just make sure the card has sufficient funds to cover the entire order before checking out.

Other Restrictions for Using Prepaid Cards on Amazon

Some prepaid card issuers require a CVV code to approve a transaction. This is the three-digit verification code on the back of the card. Amazon does not accept those codes during checkout. A transaction may be declined because of the card issuer’s terms of agreement. In that case, you will need to use a different card for the transaction.

Are There Fees for Using a Prepaid Card on Amazon?

Amazon does not charge a fee for using a prepaid card. However, many prepaid cards have transaction fees that would be applicable for Amazon purchases. Amazon does charge a $1 authorization when the order is placed. This is meant to verify that there are funds on the card. The authorization charge is temporary and typically falls off before the card is charged for the transaction.

How to Use Cash on Amazon

Did you know you can use cash for Amazon purchases? In April 2017, the retail giant launched the Amazon Cash program to help unbanked and underbanked consumers have more opportunities to shop online. Amazon has partnerships with many retailers throughout the country, where you can deposit cash into a virtual Amazon Wallet. Here are the steps to use cash on Amazon:

  1. Go to a participating Amazon Cash location and ask for Amazon Cash.
  2. Use your phone number or barcode to verify your account.
  3. Give the cashier your cash, and the funds will be transferred to a digital gift card that can be applied to Amazon purchases. Deposits can range from $5 to $500.

There are no fees for using Amazon Cash, and the funds are available as soon as the transaction is complete. You will get an email confirming the transaction. You can also use credit cards or debit cards through the Amazon Cash program. The steps are the same, but instead of handing the cashier cash, you’ll swipe your card to pay. Your card issuer may charge a fee for the transaction, but Amazon will not.

Amazon Cash transactions are non-refundable. Once you’ve loaded money to your Amazon balance, you will only be able to use it on Amazon. Make sure to get a receipt for the transaction that includes the amount of money loaded. If there are any discrepancies between the amount you gave and the amount on the receipt, discuss those with the cashier right away.

Additional Payment Options for Amazon

In addition to prepaid cards, Amazon accepts many other payment methods, including:

  • Amazon Store Card
  • Amazon Credit Builder
  • Visa (including the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card)
  • MasterCard/EuroCard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Diner’s Club (Only for cardholders with a U.S. billing address)
  • STAR, NYCE and JCB
  • China UnionPay Credit Cards
  • Prepaid cards and gift cards issued by Visa, MasterCard, or American Express

Users can purchase digital Amazon gift cards through Amazon.com or physical gift cards through thousands of retailers nationwide.

Can I Use More Than One Card on Amazon?

You cannot use multiple cards for a single Amazon purchase. However, you can combine your digital Amazon gift card balance with a card. For example, if you need to make a purchase that’s $50 and you have $22 on your gift card, you use the gift card balance to cover the first $22 and pay the remaining $28 with your credit or debit card. If you’ve earned cash back rewards on your Amazon Store Card, you can also apply those to the transaction.

Consider Using a Secured Credit Card to Build Credit with Amazon Purchases

If you’re loading money to a prepaid card, why not load it to a secured credit card and boost your credit score? A secured card functions just like a credit card. You can use it for everyday purchases and build credit with on-time monthly payments. The only difference here is that you provide a security deposit that acts as the line of credit. The card issuer is not at risk because they’re providing no money upfront. Therefore, it’s easy to qualify for a secured card regardless of your credit history.

If you decide to cancel your secured card in the future, you will get back all of your security deposit, minus any applicable fees. You may also have the opportunity to upgrade from a secured card to an unsecured credit card after persistent positive payments. We highly recommend secured credit cards for credit building because they are easy to qualify for and allow you to develop good credit card habits without the risk of debt.

Use your secured card to purchase on Amazon, and then pay off your balance each month. You’ll build credit from the purchases you already make, which could lead to even better card opportunities in the future. Check out the LowCards Dummies Guide to Credit for even more tips on how to build and maintain your credit score.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 3, 2020. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

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Top Features: No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card it is a prepaid card. 

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First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card

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heaven

About Heaven Speirs

Heaven Speirs is a contributing writer for LowCards.com. She remains up-to-date with the latest developments in the credit card industry and the financial sector as a whole. Heaven has over 10 years of experience in online journalism, the bulk of which has been focused on personal finance. Heaven attended Oklahoma State University, where she discovered her talent for research and content creation. In her spare time, Heaven enjoys painting, playing poker, and spending time with her husband and three dogs.