How To Use Amazon Payments to Meet Minimum Spend On Credit Cards

by Living Proof on August 6, 2014

in Travel Hacking

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Update:

Amazon Payment is currently dead!

Introduction

Do you know about a web-based payment system called Amazon Payments? Did you know you can send/receive money through Amazon Payments, just like with Payal? So why use Amazon Payments over Paypal? Because you can fund these payments with a credit card with no fees!

But why would Amazon allow this? Because they want to gain market share, and the best way to attract new customers is to waive any credit card fees. The catch? Amazon limits the monthly amount to $1,000 before any fees kick in. But by using Amazon Payments, you can now manufacture spend $12,000 in one year. This is truly an amazing way to meet minimum spend on new credit cards with $0 out of pocket! It’s a fantasy come true for Travel Hackers =)

So let’s get started on the process!

Step 1: Create An Amazon Payments Account

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If you already have an Amazon account, then you can just simply login to Amazon Payments with the same login and password. If you don’t have an Amazon account, then you must first create one. In addition, you will need to include an email address to register, so try to avoid using any spam email addresses.

Step 2: Add a Bank Account

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  • Navigate to the “Your Account” tab, and click on “Edit My Account Settings“.
  • Click “Add a bank account” and fill out the routing number and bank account number.
  • Next, Amazon Payments will initiate two small deposits into your bank account.
  • Finally, Amazon will ask for the deposit amounts to verify ownership of the bank account.

Step 3: Add a Credit Card

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  • Click “Add, edit, or delete my credit cards” to begin adding a new credit card to your Amazon Payments account.
  • To keep organized, I only add one credit card at a time.

Step 4: Send Money

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Now the fun begins! What we want to do now is to send money to someone we TRUST. Why? Because this person will be sending the money back to you either by ACH or check. So pick this person wisely (e.g. spouse, parents, relative, or close friend).

  • Sign up the trusted person for Amazon Payments.
  • Login to your account, and click the “Send Money” tab.
  • Type the email address for the trusted person receiving the money.
  • Enter the amount ($1,000 limit).
  • Make sure “Goods/Services” is selected. Do not select “Cash Advance“!
  • Write a small note saying what the payment is for (e.g. rent, food, tickets, etc.).
  • Finally, choose the credit card you want to use.

Step 5: Getting Your Money Back

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If you made it to this step, then your credit card has been charged, and I sincerely hope you sent the money to someone you trust! Because if you didn’t, it might be very difficult to get your money back!

Now if everything went smoothly, that person should have $1,000 in their Amazon Payments account. Next, have them transfer the $1,000 into their own personal bank account.

Finally, there are two ways to get your money back:

  1. Have the trusted person write you a check.
  2. Have the trusted person ACH the funds to your bank.

My Amazon Payment Strategy

Every month I make two Amazon Payment transactions to my brother, FI Fighter. Why two? I just feel more comfortable making two transactions instead of one lump sum of $1,000 every month. Also, I make sure to add a note for each transaction (e.g. one for “rent”, and the second for “groceries”).

Then, at the end of the month, FI Fighter simply transfers the $1,000 from his Amazon Payments account into his personal bank account. And since we use the same bank, he then simply ACH’s to my bank account for free, and I use the funds to payoff my credit card bill. And as a reward for his kindness, I occasionally buy him a cup of tea for helping me amass thousands of miles/points each month! Thanks brother!

Will Amazon start charging credit card fees in the future? Most likely YES! All lucrative deals eventually die. But for now, Amazon is working hard to gain traction in the person to person payment space. And if Amazon can gain market share now, it will pay them back handsomely in the future, especially if the new Amazon phone takes off!

In summary, Amazon Payments is by far the Easiest, Fastest, and Cheapest way to meet minimum spend on those big credit card sign-up bonuses! You can easily manufacture spend $12,000 in the comfort of your home with $0 out of pocket!

So what are you waiting for? Go sign up now, and start reaping the benefits!

Fight On!

About the Author: Living Proof (14 Posts)

Living Proof is an avid real estate investor with a strong case of Wanderlust. He enjoys talking about his crazy lifestyle of collecting frequent flyer miles and hotel points. Within the next year, he hopes to declare early FI and to travel the world!


{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kbNo Gravatar August 6, 2014 at 7:56 am

That’s awesome. I’m going to take advantage of this for sure.

Do you think adding 2 or 3 cards would throw up any red flags?

Reply

2 Living ProofNo Gravatar August 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm

I typically just add one card at a time, but I don’t see why adding multiple cards with throw any red flags.

Also, if you already had an Amazon account, then all your credit cards registered would be visible in the Amazon Payments account.

Reply

3 BrandonNo Gravatar August 6, 2014 at 8:58 am

I think your amazon payments account can only be tied to one address/one credit card.

My friends and I do this monthly as well, but we have a rotation of 3-4 guys so that the payments never have to go in the same order. (I know another group of guys who do the same also)

I’ve heard of them catching on quick if you’re just sending back and forth between 2 people.

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4 BrandonNo Gravatar August 6, 2014 at 8:59 am

Let me clarify – multiple cards, but pretty sure you’re limited to ONE amazon payment account which is limited to transfer total of $1000/mo.

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5 Living ProofNo Gravatar August 9, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Yes, you can have only one AP account. But when I transfer to FIF, he doesn’t immediately transfer the $1k back to me. He transfers it out to his bank, and then transfer it to my bank.

Reply

6 Andrew@LivingRichCheaplyNo Gravatar August 6, 2014 at 12:01 pm

I’ve done this with my wife…she’s my trusted person! I’m hoping they don’t get rid of free Amazon Payments anytime soon, but all good things come to an end.

Reply

7 Living ProofNo Gravatar August 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm

All good things eventually die and this one is no exception.
Enjoy it for now!

Reply

8 No Nonsense LandlordNo Gravatar August 7, 2014 at 5:10 am

I was not aware of this! It beats buying gift cards…!

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9 Living ProofNo Gravatar August 9, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Yes, it sure beats buying gift cards and driving to Walmart! But it’s not very scalable if you plan to apply for multiple cards. But hey, free miles/points in the comfort of home and in my pajamas, who’s to complain???

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10 Mr. 1500No Gravatar August 7, 2014 at 6:07 am

Wow, this is great. Now I have a new project for this weekend!

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11 Living ProofNo Gravatar August 9, 2014 at 2:47 pm

I would say your first primary objective is to find your trusted person!

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12 Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful LifeNo Gravatar August 8, 2014 at 6:45 am

Wow, I’m definitely going to have to sign up for this!

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13 Living ProofNo Gravatar August 9, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Absolutely the best way to meet minimum spend =)

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14 Steady FinanceNo Gravatar August 10, 2014 at 3:16 pm

So I’m in the process of buying another investment home and I’ve been travel hacking quite a bit in the past year. In your experience how has the underwriter reacted to multiple deposits of cash throughout each month that don’t come from your regular salary? Have you had any problems with this?

Reply

15 Living ProofNo Gravatar September 10, 2014 at 11:37 am

Hey Steady Finance,

Not sure I understand your question on the “Multiple deposits”?
Are you referring to the Amazon Payments $1,000 ACH deposits?

If yes, I actually don’t even provide the underwriter this checking account statement. It doesn’t have much money inside anyways, and I have a different savings account which holds enough liquid funds which I provide to the underwriter.

Reply

16 Steady FinanceNo Gravatar September 10, 2014 at 11:42 am

Interesting. I usually transfer all the money from my bluebird account into my checking account on a monthly basis since is have automatic bill pay. In answering my own question, however, I did learn that the underwriter could care less, as long as any credit card balances were paid in full. They didn’t ask me about funds being places into my checking account through a non-employment source. I found it off, but it worked for me!

Reply

17 Living ProofNo Gravatar September 10, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Yes, from my experience, the underwriter only cares about how much DEBT you have. Therefore, as long as your credit card balances show $0, then they don’t really care if you have 100+ credit cards open.

Also, I usually just use Bluebirds bill pay to pay off credit card bills. Saves me the trouble to transfer over to my checking.

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18 WilliamNo Gravatar October 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Amazon has shut down Amazon Payments! What is the new way to meet minimum spend?

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19 Living ProofNo Gravatar October 20, 2014 at 11:25 am

Crazy! Only 2 months after I wrote this post it gets shut down…..although it’s been alive for ~4 years. Sadly, all good things come to an end eventually.

And as they say, when one door shuts, another one opens.

I’m looking into AMEX SERVE right now.
It’s similar to AMEX Bluebird, but allows you to use CC’s to load, up to $1,000 a month.
You can’t have both SERVE and Bluebird, so I’m in the process of canceling Bluebird.

Will update later!

Reply

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