Can’t Use American Express Gift Cards on Amazon? Do This Instead

Troy Reeder

American Express Gift Card

American Express gift cards are supposed to provide a convenient way to shop without cash, but sometimes you may run into trouble trying to use them online. For example, many online retailers refuse to accept them for various reasons (most due to fraud) with the largest being Amazon. If you tried to enter an American Express (AMEX) gift card into your Amazon account to pre-load it or to buy something and it failed, then you will be unable to use that method. Contacting support won’t help, unfortunately. However, there’s a really useful workaround that a lot of people have had success with: purchasing an Amazon gift card in a physical retail store.

Go down to your local grocery store or pharmacy and use your American Express gift card to buy Amazon gift cards, then easily enter those on Amazon.com to get access to the money. Almost all physical in-store grocery stores accept American Express gift cards and most allow them to be used on gift card purcases. If you are looking for a specific example of where this would work, Kroger accepts them. The Kroger family of companies includes:

The Kroger Co. Family of Stores:

  • Baker’s
  • City Market
  • Dillons
  • Food 4 Less
  • Foods Co
  • Fred Meyer
  • Fry’s
  • Gerbes
  • Jay C Food Store
  • King Soopers
  • Kroger
  • Mariano’s
  • Metro Market
  • Pay-Less Super Markets
  • Pick’n Save
  • QFC
  • Ralphs
  • Ruler
  • Smith’s Food and Drug

So while it is a hassle to have to go down to a store just to do an extra step, this trick will at least allow you to finally use that Amex Gift card that is way harder to use than it should be. With this strategy, you can sidestep the limitations that come with directly using American Express gift cards online, making your shopping experience smooth and hassle-free.

American Express Gift Cards and Amazon: Workarounds

While American Express gift cards aren’t directly accepted on Amazon for purchases, there are several ways to use your AMEX gift card balance to buy items on the platform.

Buy Amazon Gift Cards with Your AMEX Gift Card

Many retailers sell Amazon gift cards, and they often accept American Express. Here are some options:

  • Best Buy: Purchase physical or digital Amazon gift cards in various amounts.
  • Other Retailers: Check major drugstores, grocery stores, and online retailers like Walmart or Target.

Add Your AMEX Gift Card to PayPal

  1. Link your AMEX gift card to your PayPal account as a funding source.
  2. Use PayPal at checkout on Amazon. This works because Amazon accepts PayPal, and PayPal will use your AMEX gift card balance.

Use Your AMEX Gift Card at Amazon Fresh stores

If you have a physical American Express gift card, some Amazon Fresh stores may accept it as payment.

Table of Options

MethodProsCons
Buy Amazon gift cardsEasy, widely availableExtra step involved
Link to PayPalConvenient for online purchasesRequires a PayPal account
Use at Amazon Fresh storesDirect payment optionLimited to physical cards and participating stores

Remember, these methods may not always be guaranteed, and policies can change. It’s always a good idea to check with the retailer or Amazon for the most up-to-date information.

Key Takeaways

  • American Express gift cards may not work directly on Amazon.
  • Buy an Amazon gift card at a store using your American Express gift card instead.
  • This method ensures your American Express gift card balance can be used on Amazon.

Navigating American Express Gift Card Limitations

When American Express gift cards do not work for online Amazon purchases, often this is due to how Amazon requires a registered card. This section explains how to handle these gift card restrictions and how one might still use an American Express gift card for Amazon purchases indirectly.

Understanding Gift Card Restrictions

American Express gift cards are meant to be as flexible as possible and can be used where American Express is accepted. However, transactions can be declined if the gift card has not been properly registered with a name and billing address. Some online retailers require gift cards to be registered before they can be used for online purchasing to confirm the card’s validity.

Alternative Methods to Use Amex Gift Card on Amazon

If a direct transaction with an American Express gift card is not possible, you could buy an Amazon gift card at a local store using the American Express gift card. After completing this in-person purchase, they can redeem the Amazon gift card on the Amazon website and use the balance for any product.

Registering Your Amex Gift Card for Online Purchases

Before using an American Express gift card online, one must register the card with the American Express gift card website. This includes providing the card’s details as the financial institution needs to validate it. Once this process is complete, the card can be used as a payment method for online purchases where American Express cards are accepted.