Want to shop on Amazon but don’t have a credit card? Here are 5 ways to complete your purchase–no credit needed–even a way to sign up for Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime Day kicks off on July 16th. For those who don’t know, Prime Day is Amazon’s Black Friday in July with even better deals on popular tech products. This year, Amazon is looking to beat 2017’s record numbers by offering more discounts and extending Prime Day to 36 hours from 30.
But how can shoppers who don’t have a credit card cash in on the savings? We’ve rounded up the best options to shop Amazon without a credit card (including a way to sign up for Amazon Prime).
Shop With a Debit Card
If you have a bank account with a debit card, you can shop the same way you would with a credit card on Amazon. Just register your debit card number under “Payment Options” on your account page, just like a credit card.
Connect Amazon to Your Bank Account
Don’t have a credit or debit card? No problem. If you live in the U.S., you can use your personal checking account to pay for Amazon purchases with an electronic transfer (referred to as an “ACH” (automated clearing house) payment.
Under “Payment Options” on your account page, choose “add a personal checking account.” You’ll need the name on the account, bank routing number, and checking account number. You’ll also need your driver’s license number to validate you’re the owner of the account, just like if you were paying with a check in a store.
Make note, however, that if you process a payment with this method without available funds, you can face an Amazon fee. If any electronic fund transfer is returned to Amazon unpaid, they will charge a fee to your account based on where you live. The charge is $20 in CO, CT, ID, IN, NJ and UT; $10 in Puerto Rico; and $25 for all other states.
Shop With Amazon Gift Cards
Most major retailers across the United States sell Amazon gift cards with no purchase fees. Sellers include dozens of grocery, drug, and convenience store chains such as CVS/Pharmacy, Walmart, Safeway, and Office Depot.
Purchase a card in cash and load it onto your Amazon account under “Gift Card Balance.” You’ll just need to enter the 15-digit claim code on the back of the card to have it applied to your balance.
Then, as long as the cost of your items and shipping is covered by your balance, you can shop without entering a credit or debit card number.
Add Cash to Your Amazon Account With Amazon Cash
Last year, Amazon launched Amazon Cash, a no-fee way to load cash directly into your Amazon account.
Open an Amazon account and find your unique barcode on the Amazon Cash page. You can print your barcode or provide your phone number to have a copy of your barcode sent to your phone. Then, visit one of 30,000 participating stores including 7-Eleven, CVS/Pharmacy, Cumberland Farms and GameStop to instantly add cash to your card.
The cashier will scan your barcode, you specify the amount you want to be added to your Amazon balance and can pay in cash. The amount is instantly added to your Amazon account.
Amazon Cash is another no-cost way to shop online at any retailer that offers Amazon Pay, like Merrell or Purple, without a credit or debit card.
Shop With A Prepaid Debit Card
You can shop with a prepaid debit card on Amazon just like a credit card. Prepaid debit cards are basically like credit cards without the debt or checking account debit cards without the checking account. Some of the better known cards include Green Dot, RushCard, and Walmart MoneyCard.
To use a prepaid debit card for online purchases, including Amazon, your card has to be registered first. That’s because you need a billing address to complete any purchases, and an address can only be assigned to a prepaid debit card through registration. So, the temporary cards that you can buy in stores won’t work online until you setup your account online with the card issuer.
Once your prepaid card is registered, you can use it just like any credit or debit card on Amazon.
However, if you decide you’re not satisfied with that discount HDTV on Prime Day, refunds for returns on prepaid cards usually take longer than credit cards, depending on your card provider. Some refunds take up to 30 days to process.
Frequently Asked Questions About Shopping on Amazon
When you aren’t shopping with a credit card, you may wonder if all the other services Amazon offers – like returns and Prime – work the same way. Luckily, policies are primarily the same.
Can You Get Amazon Prime Without A Credit Card?
You need a valid credit card to sign up for Amazon Prime. Debit cards, checking accounts, prepaid debit cards, and gift cards aren’t eligible.
However, there is a workaround.
Amazon sells Prime Membership gifts. And you can use any of the payment methods that you can use for other Amazon purchases, including an Amazon gift card, to buy a Prime Membership gift–even for yourself.
You can choose a 3-month membership or a year–depending on how generous you feel toward yourself. You’ll get all the services of Prime, including free two-day shipping, Prime Video, streaming for millions of songs, unlimited photo storage, and more.
Unlike a regular Prime account, a Prime account gift won’t auto-renew when your membership runs out. You’ll have to gift it to yourself again.
Does the Check-Out Process Look Any Different If You Aren’t Using a Credit Card?
No. When you get to the “Choose a Payment Method” step of the check-out process, you will be given three options: Credit and debit cards, other payment methods, and balances. Other payment methods allow you to pay with ACH from your bank account or an Amazon store card. Balances will show you any Amazon Cash or gift card balances. You can also add new Amazon gift cards at that step.
Then the shipping and order completion process remains the same.
Do Return Policies Differ Depending On Your Method of Payment?
No matter the payment method, you still have the 30-day return window for Amazon purchases. The only aspect that differs is how you get your money back and when.
If you pay with a debit card or checking account, you’ll get your refund back in the same account, but it could take up to 10 business days. With a prepaid debit card, refund time depends on the issuer and can take up to 30 days. However, if you use Amazon Cash or an Amazon Gift Card, or select to have your funds returned as an Amazon Credit, your refund is immediately credited to your account.
You have a lot of options to shop on Amazon without a credit card. Shop with a debit card, ACH checking account transfer, or prepaid debit card. Or, you can use cash by instantly adding funds to your Amazon account by purchasing gift cards or using Amazon Cash.
But taking advantage of Amazon Prime perks without a credit card takes a small workaround–purchasing it as a gift for yourself.