How to Use Amazon Payments to Earn Free Miles and Points

DEAL IS DEAD AS OF 10/13/14

This is a method that has been around for quite a while now. But I have received a lot of questions and emails around this topic in the last couple weeks so I figured it was probably about time to cover this again as a lot of new people have gotten into this hobby since I last posted on the subject.

Amazon payments is one of the easiest and cheapest methods (its free) to earn a 1,000 extra miles each month and is also an excellent way to help you hit your minimum spending requirements on a new card. This can also be used as a great way to help you hit annual spending thresholds on cards that offer annual spending bonuses.

What is Amazon Payments?

Amazon Payments is an online wallet of sorts that allows you to checkout quickly at many different websites across the web without having to enter payment info every time. Amazon payments is similar to PayPal in nature.

But the reason miles & points fanatics love Amazon Payments is that it allows you to send up to $1,000 each month to anyone else with an Amazon account using a credit card as the funding source. These transactions in turn count as a purchase on your credit card earning rewards just like any other purchase!

What is the cost?

Nothing – Amazon allows each person to transfer up to $1,000 per month and does not charge a fee.

How do I send money using Amazon Payments?

In order to take advantage of Amazon Payments, both you and person you trust will need to have an account with Amazon.

1. Sign up for Amazon Payments using your existing Amazon account or create a new one. You will be required to enter your name, address, email, DOB, & SSN in order to have access to Amazon Payments.

2. Verify your email – If you created a new account, then you will need to verify your email before you can proceed. You will be sent an email with instructions to activate which is pretty simple.

3. Link you bank account and your credit card(s) – located under “Your Account – edit your account settings” or on the Send Money page shown below.

Send money with amazon payments tutorial image 1

  • Depending on your bank you will have the option to instantly verify your bank account by signing in to your bank via Amazon or confirming the amount of 2 small deposits that Amazon will make into your account in the next day or so.
  • You must link your bank account or you will not be able to send the full $1,000/mo.
  • You can add multiple credit cards if needed.

4. Send Money – Once your account is set up and the person you want to send the money to also has an account set up, then you are ready to go.

  • Click Send Money tab 2nd from left at top of screen
  • Enter the email address for whom you are sending the money to. Be sure this is the email tied to their Amazon Payments account.
  • Enter amount up to $1,000 (once your bank account is verified)
  • Select Goods/Services under heading of “Payment is for
  • Hit continue

Send money with amazon payments tutorial image 2

  • Select a Payment Method – here you will select the credit card you wish to fund this transaction with from the list or add a new one.
  • Hit continue and confirm the payment
  • The $1,000 will be charged as purchase on your credit card and you will earn 1,000 miles or points (assuming your card earns 1:1). Your credit card balance is now $1,000.

You will receive a confirmation email that your payment has been sent and the recipient will also be sent an email confirming they have received the money.

5. Cash Out – Once the transaction confirmations show complete, the recipient can then log into their Amazon payments account and select Withdraw Funds under the Your Account tab. From here it is pretty easy.

Send money with amazon payments tutorial image 3

  • Select your bank account from the drop down menu.
  • Type in $1,000 and hit continue.
  • Confirm your withdrawal on the next page and then wait for the funds to show up in your bank account. This can take a few days before the money is deposited into your bank account.

6. Pay your credit card – Now that the money is in your bank account you simply use the money to pay off the $1,000 that was charged to your credit card back in step 4

7. Rinse & Repeat – You have now sent $1,000 to another person using your credit card as the funding source in order to earn miles for the transaction. You have taken this money and paid off the card used to fund the transfer and are back to where you started.

How does this look in a real example?

Let’s say I have a new card and I need to spend $1,000 to meet the minimum spending requirements to earn a 25,000 point sign-up bonus and let’s just say the card earns 1 point per dollar spent for my example.

1.       I use my credit card to send my wife $1,000 via AP.

  • My card is charged for a $1,000 purchase.
  • Balance on my credit card is now $1,000.
  • I earn 1,000 points for purchase (1pt/$ spent) plus I have now met the spending requirement and earned the 25,000 point sign up bonus.

2.       Wife withdraws funds from her AP account and deposits into her bank account.

3.       I use funds from step 2 to pay my credit card off & now my credit card balance is $0

Now you can turn around and do the same process but in a reverse order. If you sent money from person A to person B the first time, then now you would run through the steps but sending money from person B using person B’s credit card.

Is there a way to charge more than $1,000 in a month?

  • As described in the above process you can do a max of $1,000 per person per amazon account per month.
  • The key is per person. However, you can actually add your significant other to your credit card account as an authorized user. They could in turn send a payment to you using their auth card as the funding source while you do the same using your card. You will end up with $2,000 in purchases going on the same account per month which will help with hitting larger spending bonuses or thresholds.

Random questions tips & pointers

  • The $1,000 monthly limit is per calendar month and is not based on a rolling 30 days.
  • Should I break the $1,000 down and send 3 or 4 smaller payments? – The idea here is that Amazon is less likely to notice by doing it this way. I send my wife $1,000 every month in 1 transaction and she does the same. We’ve been doing this for a few years now with no problems. But do what you are comfortable with and know that there is always the potential of getting your account shutdown
  • No one really knows what triggers Amazon to shut down accounts but there have been reports of people having their accounts shut down for using the same credit card with multiple Amazon accounts and/or associating the same bank account with multiple Amazon accounts.

What other questions, concerns, or random comments do you have in regards to the use of Amazon Payments to earn miles & points?

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38 Responses to How to Use Amazon Payments to Earn Free Miles and Points

  1. cga says:

    I never thought this blog would progress to this. This is almost as bad as MMS.

  2. Kurt says:

    I’d recommend against sending $1000 from A to B and then sending $1000 from B to A. This type of back and forth has been known to get people shutdown.

  3. Don says:

    Jeremy, thanks for the helpful information. Your time and updates are very much appreciated.

  4. Raul says:

    I have a question .. Idk if anyone has tried having more than one authorize user on their account and having like 3 thousand or more dollars on the credit card that way you can make more profit example having my credit card and having like 3-4 authorized users

    • This could be a method to get a larger amount of spend onto 1 account. I have had my wife use her auth user card for $1000 and I use my card for 1000 resulting in all $2,000 of the spending going onto one account and counting towards 1 spending requirement. I wouldn’t get crazy with this. Don’t want to throw up red flags with the cc company seeing many users all spending large amounts at AP. Proceed with caution. Also, I would only do if the auth user card is a different card number as with business cards.

  5. Emmanuel Ruiz says:

    Hi there! My wife is an AU of mine. I just checked and we both have the exact same credit card #. Will this present a problem with AP? This same credit card is already registered with AP under my name only.

  6. Emmanuel Ruiz says:

    Thanks man! I just deleted the credit card # from my AP Profile. Do you think it’s safe now to add my wife using the same credit card #? Would they try and trace it? Just being paranoid……..

  7. Lori says:

    Has anyone ever had any IRS issues using AP back and forth?

    • The IRS does no require Amazon to file a 1099-K unless you have $20k in transactions & at least 200 annual transactions so this should not get reported to the IRS as you will not be able to exceed these thresholds just sending money back and forth.

  8. Carl says:

    In your example you paid $1000 to the credit card company to qualify for a 25,000 point bonus. What is that bonus really worth? Maybe $250?

    To me it seems you just lost money. How is this worth it? I can see using a card to get points for things you would already be buying such as groceries, gas or maybe paying cell phone and insurance bills. This just seems like it probably isn’t worth it.

    Am I missing something here?

    • How can you lose money Carl? You used Amazon Payments to pay a bill that you would otherwise pay for anyway. So the theory is, use your credit card to send or pay someone and at the same time help you reach the minimum spend required on a new credit card to get the 25,000 bonus pts/miles. The $1000 is not lost Carl. Amazon Payments compliments your second paragraph.

    • I’m using Amazon Payments to send $1,000 to my wife and then I withdraw the $1,000 from her Amazon Payments account and deposit into my bank account – Then that $1,000 is used to payoff the charge on the credit card resulting in no actual cost and no actual money spent.

      • Carl says:

        Ahhhh I gotcha. Brain fart!

          • Jorel says:

            Perhaps this is the result of a lifetime of refusing to engage in the debt game (until recently), but this still makes no sense to me. I’ve read multiple blogs and forum posts covering this same concept (along with all of the Blue Bird & Vanilla Reload stuff), but it still appears that the end result is a payment to your credit card company with no goods/services to show for the money spent.

            If you send $1,000 to your wife and she, in turn, hands you a check for $1,000 dollars (based on the new funds in her Amazon Prime account) everything seems fine. But now you have to give that $1,000 dollars to the credit card company to cover your bill and have successfully lost that money with nothing to show for it…save a few miles/points.

            I’m clearly missing something, but for the life of me I’ve yet to find any explanation that clears things up. Help!

          • Good question Jorel,

            The part you are missing is where that $1,000 came from in the 1st place. That $1,000 was never my money but rather borrowed money. in the 1st step when I sent my wife the $1,000 I am basically borrowing $1,000 from the credit card. Once I receive the $1,000 from my wife back, then I am sending that borrowed money back to the credit card company. it was never my money but rather I borrowed 1000 and in the end I paid back the credit card with the money I borrowed in the 1st place.

          • Jorel says:

            Wow, I completely missed that part. Thanks for the clarification.

            I know that this is pretty basic and that the Amazon Payments manufactured spending seems to be going away soon, but it was driving me up the wall not understanding how this worked.

            Thank you for helping to alleviate at least a little of my ignorance about this topic.

  9. randoguy says:

    Has anyone ever tried to scale this up? For example, suppose I’ve got 3 cards, and I want to hit them each for 1k thru AP every month. I get 3 friends to open AP accounts (using their own SSN and their own bank accounts). I have each of them add one of my cards to their account. Each of them sends 1k to the next one round robin style each month (making sure to withdraw before making the payment so that they are sending with my CC not the balance they received), and then just write me checks for 1k each, every month. Do you think Amazon will flag this activity because these people are all using CC’s that 1) are not their names, and 2) are all my name?

    • Good question. I would not want to rely on my friends with something like that personally. But I have heard of people adding there card to someone else’s AP account and not having issues (usually a spouse scenario). I think you would likely be fine but there is risk especially when you are relying on other people.

  10. Very nice post! I’ve been looking for ways like this quite a while now. Does anybody know if you can collect the 5% cashback on for example Chase Freedom when they have the Amazon/Online shopping rotating category every 4th quarter of the year?

  11. Carly says:

    If I have a shared bank account with my spouse, can I use Amazon Payments to send money to that account?

  12. raul says:

    So the person I’m sending money to would have to report this as income to IRS wouldn’t they?

  13. Emmanuel Ruiz says:

    of course not.

  14. Kim says:

    I thought I read it somewhere that when I make $1000 payment to someone, Amazon can cut a check and send a check to the recipient via mail. Is there a such a option? I would like to use this AP for paying monthly rent to landlord (we currently mail him check for).

  15. Somebody says:

    “As of October 13, 2014 Amazon WebPay will no longer be available to send, receive, or request money from other Amazon Payments users. Amazon Payments customers will no longer see the option to Send Money once they log into their account.”

    https://payments.amazon.com/help/76056

  16. Antonnio Gomez says:

    Hi there, thank you very much for this info. I am trying to activate my Amazon Payment – I am already a Primum Member with Amazon, but it appears this feature is not avaiable in the UK. If that is the case and I am unable to access Amazon Payment woudl you know of a similar system in the UK.

    Thank you very much for your help in advance.

    Best wishes,
    Antonio

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