Having a credit card makes shopping on Amazon easy and convenient. But even if you don't have a major credit card issued to you by a financial institution, you can still buy goods on Amazon. The online retailer offers six additional ways to pay:
- a checking account
- a prepaid credit card
- an Amazon payments account
- Amazon store credit
- a gift card
- a debit card
Register Your Checking Account
Here's how you do it: Put the item you want to buy in the Amazon shopping cart. Then, when you check out, Amazon prompts you to enter your routing number and bank account at the "Shipping & Payment" screen. Have a check handy because the numbers you need run across the bottom of it. Amazon saves your checking account information for future purchases.
Some Prepaid Credit Cards Work
Amazon accepts some, but not all, prepaid credit cards. According to information posted on Amazon, if the bank that issued your prepaid credit card requires you to enter the three-digit number on the back of the card to use it for online purchases, the transaction won't go through.
Numerous banks offer prepaid credit cards. Research the cards in which you’re interested by contacting customer service to find out if they can be used to buy stuff on Amazon.
Use Your Amazon Payments Account
In some ways, Amazon Payments works like PayPal. You can deposit money in the account from your bank account and use it to buy things on Amazon and on other websites that accept Amazon Payments. You'll also have funds in the account if you have a business -- whether you're a freelance writer or operate another business -- and allow your clients to pay you with Amazon Payments. Use your account balance to buy stuff on Amazon.
Apply for Store Credit
Amazon extends store credit -- not linked to any major credit card logo -- to customers with good credit ratings. If you have good credit, you might consider applying. Once approved, Amazon assigns an account number to you; it then automatically appears as one of your payment options when you check out. You'll receive a monthly bill with minimum payment requirements just as you would any other credit card.
If you don’t have a credit card due to a poor credit rating, it's unlikely you'll be approved for Amazon store credit.
Two Ways to Get Amazon Gift Cards
You can't buy an Amazon e-gift card without a major credit card, so consider asking a friend of family member to buy one for you. Or, put Amazon gift cards on your holiday and birthday wish lists, and make it known that's what you want. You can also buy plastic Amazon gift cards in up to $100 denominations at authorized vendors across the United States, including CVS, Wegmans and Toys R Us.
Old School Debit Cards Work
If you have an old-school debit card, with no Visa or MasterCard logo, you can use it to make Amazon purchases if it has the NYCE, the common acronym for the New York Currency Exchange, or the STAR logo on the back. Amazon allows you to decide whether or not you want to use your debit card's PIN as part of the checkout process.
Shopping with a credit card issued to you by a financial institution based on a good credit rating gives you the most flexibility shopping on Amazon -- otherwise you do face some restrictions accessing Amazon products. For example, you can't use your checking account, prepaid credit cards or Amazon Payments to sign up for Amazon Prime, the service that gives you free shipping and unlimited access to some digital media. You also can't buy downloadable digital media or e-gift cards with some of the non-credit card payment methods.