Although it’s not exactly a secret, Amazon Payments is by far one of the cheapest and quickest ways I have found to reach a minimum spend on a welcome bonus or to just earn some additional miles and points. I just recently used it to hit the $3,000 spending requirement on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard (OFFER EXPIRED), and by sending $1,000 per month I could have earned the 40,000 mile welcome bonus by not actually spending any money.
The service is very simple to use and lets you make immediate payments to other individuals using a credit card without a fee for up to $1,000 per month. This post is for anyone wanting to get the basics on how to use Amazon Payments.
Since you have to meet all minimum spend requirements within a certain amount of time (normally 3 months), it makes sense to hit that spend as soon as possible so the bonus miles/points can post to you account sooner. The problem is that in reality not all of your expenses are payable through credit cards or that you may not be able to spend the total amount during everyday spending.
For example, if you hire a babysitter, you probably pay them cash, or say that you rent your home and usually pay your landlord with a check because they either don’t have a credit card setup for you to pay with and if they do, they charge a fee for using one.
Amazon Payments allows you to pay for ‘goods and services’ using a credit card without being charged a fee (up to $1,000 per month) which can make reaching your minimum spend requirements faster and easier. If you are really in a crunch or want to maximize the amount you can send per month you can send a trusted friend or relative money and have them cut you a check, a tip is just not to have a closed loop of repayments using Amazon Payments.
How Amazon Payments Works
Amazon Payments allows you to transfer up to $1000 per month for ‘goods and services’ to a friend or an individual you’re doing ‘business’ with.
To set up an Amazon Payments account you will have to register your Social Security number, so if you’re not willing to provide this you won’t be able to create an account. When you send money make sure you always select “Good and Services” instead of “Cash Advance”. Note: DO NOT select “Cash Advance” because your credit card will charge you a cash advance fee. You will have to register the credit card that you plan to make payments with (the credit card you plan to meet the minimum spend with), if you plan to receive payments as well you will also have to enter your bank account information.
To begin making payments, activate the “send money online” feature under the Your Account tab and input all of your credit card and bank account information so that you can withdraw funds paid to you by others. Normally, before you account is active Amazon Payments will make a small deposit to verify that your bank account is valid, you will have to confirm the amount sent to your account.
If you decide to go the route of making payments through Amazon to ‘loan funds’ to a friend or family member, have them pay you back with a check rather than with Amazon Payments unless you plan to wait about 5-8 days before getting money back so that you don’t raise any red flags or suspicious activity.
Don’t even consider paying yourself back through Amazon Payments, it can be considered fraudulent. Also, once you have reached $20,000 in payment or 200 transfers per year, Amazon is required by law to report it to the IRS, so be selective with your Amazon Payments account and only use it for minimum spends that you really need and will benefit from.
1. Go to Amazon Payments
2. Sign up and verify account
3. Send money to someone using a credit card that will not post the transaction as a cash advance (I have yet to have any of my credit cards post the transaction as a ‘cash advance’ when I select ‘goods and services’)
5. Send up to $1,000 per month to avoid any fees
Avoid Being Flagged
You always want to make sure that you have a legitimate reason for your transaction. Don’t abuse the service because if you begin to overuse Amazon Payments and they catch on, they may terminate your account. Also, they may begin to implement greater regulations and restrictions to users so be particular on what you consider a service and use your descriptions wisely. “Credit Card bonus” won’t cut it. “Paying back the money I borrowed from Joe” is probably okay.
Credit Card Companies
As consumers, using Amazon Payments is a perfect way to meet the minimum spends for deals like the recent 60,000 bonus offer from Chase Ink and Bold cards (OFFERS EXPIRED). The fact of the matter is that credit card companies don’t really want you to take advantage of services like Amazon Payments because you’re essentially paying yourself back and actually using the card for everyday purchases. It’s a tricky game and usually credit card companies don’t catch on to this or don’t seem to care, however, American Express issued cards like the PRG or Platinum get a red flag sent to them when you meet the minimum spend using Amazon Payments.
Some cards that are particularly useful for using Amazon Payments to meet the minimum spend requirements with are ones with a lucrative welcome bonus that has a higher spend requirement such as the Chase Ink Bold (OFFER EXPIRED), Chase Ink Plus (OFFER EXPIRED), Chase apphire Preferred ($3000 spend in 3 months), and any other credit card offers that have minimum spends.
The Bottom Line
Amazon Payments can be a great way to meet the minimum spend requirements when you are aiming for a few card bonuses at once. Most credit card bonuses require a spend of anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 which makes Amazon Payments one of the easiest and fastest ways to meet your minimum so you can redeem your travel awards on free flights and hotels sooner! The fact that it doesn’t charge a fee for up to $1,000 per month for using the service is a great reason to begin using it.