How Do Amazon Gift Cards Work? (All You Need To Know)

Gift cards are always a safe option when choosing a present for a friend or family member, and some of the most popular are Amazon Gift cards, as they can be redeemed for a number of different things.

However, if you’ve given or received an Amazon Gift card, you may be curious as to how they work and how you can use them. If you’d like to find out, keep reading to see what I found out!

How Do Amazon Gift Cards Work?

Amazon gift cards can be purchased in physical or digital form and can be bought with pre-loaded amounts. Customers can give gift cards either through email, in person, or through postal mail, and they can be used to purchase any item on Amazon. Additionally, customers can use the gift card indefinitely after it’s added to their account.

If you’d like to learn more about how to redeem Amazon gift cards, where you can use an Amazon gift card, and more, keep reading for more facts, tips, and useful information!

How Do I Redeem an Amazon Gift Card?

When a customer receives an Amazon Gift card, they have to add the card to their account in order to make a purchase.

To add a card to an Amazon account, customers must do the following:

  1. Log in to your Amazon account and click the “Gift Cards” option at the top of the website
  2. Once at the Gift Cards page, select the “Redeem an Amazon Gift Card” option
  3. Locate the claim code, found either on the back of a physical gift card or in an email containing an e-gift card
  4. Type the claim code into the text box and press the “Apply to Your Balance” button

If customers would like to keep their gift card balance for another time, they can select the “Keep Your Gift Card Balance to Use Later” option.

Otherwise, the gift card amount will be applied to their next purchase.

Do Amazon Gift Cards Stay on Your Account?

Unlike many other companies that issue gift cards, Amazon gift cards stay in customer accounts and do not expire!

If customers wish to use their gift card at a different time than they received it, they can select the “Keep Your Gift Card Balance” option.

Most Amazon gift cards will remain valid for up to 10 years. However, once the actual balance is added to an account, it will not expire and may be used at any point. 

Is There a Purchase Fee to Buy an Amazon Gift Card?

Amazon gift cards do not require a purchase fee!

Amazon gift cards are available in denominations of $15, $25, $50, and $100 and are only required to be purchased with the gift card balance. 

How Long Do Amazon Gift Cards Last?

Amazon gift cards will expire at different times depending on where the gift card was purchased.

For most countries, Amazon gift cards last for up to 10 years and indefinitely after the amount has been added to an Amazon account.

However, other countries such as India may only have use of an Amazon gift card for up to one year.

If customers are unsure about the expiration rules in their area, they can find the information under Gift Cards > Terms and Conditions.

Do Amazon Gift Cards Need to be Activated?

Do Amazon Gift Cards Need to be Activated?

In order to use a gift card from Amazon, customers have to activate it by entering the information into their Amazon account due to the gift card being for online use only. 

Customers simply have to type in their claim code on the “Gift Cards” page and then either use the amount immediately or save it to their account for later use.

Can You Use an Amazon Gift Card for Everything?

Amazon gift cards can be used for almost any purchase on Amazon! This includes third-party seller items, and customers can also add their gift cards as partial payment for another product.

However, customers cannot use gift cards to purchase Kindle subscriptions for magazines, newspapers, and blogs. As well, gift cards cannot be used to purchase other Amazon gift cards.

Can You Use an Amazon Gift Card at Other Stores?

Unfortunately, Amazon gift cards cannot be used in other retail stores or in other online shops.

However, Amazon gift cards can be used for nearly every department on Amazon.

Gift cards can be used to purchase electronics, Amazon Prime memberships, Kindle book purchases, items from the Amazon Basics line, third-party seller shops, and items sold through Amazon and most other products.

However, customers cannot use Amazon gift cards for other gift card purchases.

Can I Transfer an Amazon Gift Card Balance to Someone Else?

Unfortunately, Amazon gift card balances cannot be transferred to someone else’s account once the claim code has been redeemed and entered into an Amazon account.

Therefore, if customers wish to give their gift card to someone else, they must do so before they claim the amount.

If they were sent an e-gift card, they can simply forward the email to the person they’d like to give the card.

As well, if they were given a physical card, customers may transfer the amount to someone else by giving them the card in person or through the mail before the card has been activated online.

Can I Cash Out an Amazon Gift Card?

Currently, Amazon gift cards cannot be returned either to Amazon or the third-party seller who issued the card for cash. 

If recipients do not wish to use their Amazon gift card, they can either sell it to someone else or gift it to a friend or family member.

How Do I Redeem an Amazon Gift Card if the Code is Unreadable?

If customers cannot read the code on the back of their Amazon gift card, they must call Amazon customer service and provide them with the following information:

  1. The 16 or 30-digit serial number of the card
  2. The order number (if it was provided)
  3. Purchaser and recipients names
  4. Email address or home address to where the gift card was sent

Customers who have purchased Amazon gift cards are recommended to keep their receipts in case the claim code is unreadable, as this will help to further verify the purchase of the gift card.

However, without providing the above information, customers may not be able to activate their gift cards.

Why Isn’t My Amazon Gift Card Working?

If customers cannot get their Amazon gift card to work, they can contact Amazon customer service for help with the issue. Amazon may be able to activate the card manually or offer a replacement.

Some issues preventing the card from working could be due to a system glitch or if the person who purchased the card did not have their transaction go through properly. 

To find out more, you can also see our posts on if you can see who redeemed an Amazon gift card, where you can use your Amazon gift card, and if Safeway sells Amazon gift cards.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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