When Does Amazon Charge You? (Orders, Prime, Pre-Orders, Out Of Stock + More)

Amazon processes millions of orders daily as a global e-commerce leader that ships to more than 100 countries.

If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon or plan to do so soon, you must use a credit/debit card. You may be wondering when does Amazon charge you for your order? I had the same thought, and here’s what I learned about it!

When Does Amazon Charge You?

When you order items sold by Amazon with a credit or debit card, Amazon doesn’t charge immediately, only when your order shipping process starts. Additionally, Amazon Marketplace third-party sellers may charge at the time of purchase or when it’s ready to ship, depending on the retailer. 

If you want to know more about when Amazon charges your card, keep reading for all the details on Amazon payments.

Does Amazon Charge Before Shipping?

Like many other e-commerce companies, Amazon charges for orders a few days before shipping or once the order ships.

The Federal Trade Commission has fairly strict regulations for credit card issuers and merchants, so many e-retailers wait to charge until the product is close to shipping or has already shipped.

According to the FTC, it’s not illegal for companies to charge before items have shipped.

However, if the order is not shipped within the outlined timeframe, then the merchant is required to notify shoppers of the updated shipping date and offer the option to either accept the new package arrival date or cancel the order for a full refund.

To save that time and trouble, Amazon typically waits until an order moves to the shipping process stage before charging customer cards unless a third party is involved.

Additionally, Amazon marketplace third-party sellers follow their own policies and preferences when collecting payment via Amazon, so more of them will charge before shipping when you first buy the item.

When Are You Charged For Amazon Orders?

When Are You Charged For Amazon Orders?

If you order Amazon products like Amazon Basics budget private label range or Amazon Fresh grocery delivery, your card is only charged once the order proceeds to the shipping stage.

Additionally, depending on your order and how long it takes, it may be just before or after it ships.

Due to the sheer volume of orders and efficient warehousing around the country, many orders are fulfilled quickly.

If you select a short delivery timeframe within a few days, you will be charged not long after you place your order just because that’s how quickly the Amazon shipping process begins.

For Amazon Subscribe and Save or back-ordered products, Amazon sends an email notification several days before shipping and charges once the boxes are en route.

Side note: Just remember the difference between ordering direct Amazon products and Marketplace goods.

If the items are sold by Amazon, such as a Kindle e-reader or an Amazon Basics office supplies item, you won’t be charged until shipping begins.

Also, if you buy from one of the millions of Marketplace third-party sellers, they can charge your card as soon as you hit purchase.

However, some third-party sellers wait until items enter the shipping stage too, to protect against unfulfilled orders and refund issues.

How Often Are You Charged For Amazon Prime?

How Often Are You Charged For Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime membership fees may be charged every month or once a year, depending on what you choose during sign-up.

When you first enroll in Prime, your card is charged when confirming sign-up. Then your Prime settings will indicate when the next payment is due.

Keeping track of this date is essential because customers agree to pay their membership fees on the nominated month or yearly date in the Amazon Prime terms and conditions.

If you’re thinking about canceling a Prime membership, you want to ensure you do so before the next charges come through.

Otherwise, it can be difficult to get a refund, especially if you’ve already made Prime purchases since then.

Additionally, the end membership option on Amazon Prime outlines how members who haven’t used their Prime benefits are eligible for full refunds of the current membership cost.

That’s only if you haven’t ordered anything off Prime or used your digital subscription services since the charge date.

It’s a good idea to take note of your Amazon Prime charge date in your calendar and also stay on the lookout for emails from Amazon when the charge date is close.

When Does Amazon Charge Pre-Orders?

Amazon pre-orders are popular for in-demand items that people want but haven’t been released quite yet.

Things like video games, gaming consoles, tech products, and books are a few of the top pre-ordered items on Amazon.

Pre-orders are not charged to your card immediately but instead charged only a few days before the release date when the product ships or is about to leave the warehouse.

You can keep track of pre-orders and when your card is charged within your orders tab.

By monitoring the order shipping status, you can get a pretty good idea of when your charge will show up on your credit or debit account.

When Does Amazon Charge Credit Cards?

Whether someone has an Amazon credit card or one of the currently accepted cards like Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Diners Club, and JCB, most Amazon charges appear during shipping.

Anything sold directly by Amazon will be charged to credit cards once the order is shipped.

If a credit card is used for a third-party Marketplace purchase, the retailer can choose to charge at the time of ordering or once shipping is confirmed.

When Does Amazon Charge Debit Cards?

When Does Amazon Charge Debit Cards?

A debit card functions much the same way as a credit card, except the funds are taken directly out of the bank account rather than charged to credit.

This means Amazon treats debit cards as credit cards and follows the same charging schedule and policy.

Anything directly sold by Amazon won’t be charged until shipping.

The only time a card payment is charged right away on Amazon product orders is if you’re using a gift card to pay.

Don’t forget that charges may appear from some third-party Marketplace sellers within minutes of ordering.

What Happens If Amazon Products Are Out Of Stock?

One of the main reasons why Amazon and many of its third-party Marketplace sellers don’t charge until items ship is because it protects against stocking issues.

If products go out of stock but already orders are waiting to be fulfilled, then the merchants have to supply either more stock or offer a refund.

Watch for email notifications or check your order status to make sure nothing is out of stock. In a lot of cases, your card wouldn’t be charged anyway until the item was nearly ready to ship.

If you are looking to learn more about shopping at Amazon, you can also see our related posts on how late Amazon delivers, if Amazon Prime delivers on Sunday, and what “Renewed” means on Amazon.


As an e-commerce giant, Amazon processes millions of transactions every day.

On direct orders sold by Amazon, such as Amazon Basics, Amazon Fresh, or Kindle e-readers, Amazon doesn’t change credit or debit cards until the order is almost ready to ship or on its way.

Amazon Prime membership fees are charged on the nominated date either monthly or annually depending on your preferences.

The only other occasion when your card may be charged at the time of purchase is when you buy from an Amazon third-party seller.

Marketplace retailers can choose when they charge, and if they are reasonably confident the order can be fulfilled, they may charge at the time of purchase.

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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 QuerySprout.com.

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