Try This IRL Trick for Shopping Incognito on Amazon

published Dec 10, 2018
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(Image credit: Nicole Baas Photography)

Gift-giving season means we all have to be a little stealthier about our online shopping—especially if you share accounts with the people you’re trying to surprise. Or maybe you found the perfect thing to finish your shopping list, but don’t want to give your credit card info over to the Amazon machine to get it.

Whatever your reason for wanting to shop incognito, we have the answer: Amazon Cash.

What it is:

Amazon Cash, my friends, the answer is Amazon Cash. Kind of like a reloadable gift or prepaid credit card, it lets you automatically add cash to your Amazon Balance so you can buy stuff on the site without ever having to share your credit card info. There are no fees and you can load up to $500 to your Amazon account in seconds, no CVV code necessary!

Who it’s for:

Anyone who doesn’t have a credit or debit card, or just doesn’t want to give their card info over to Amazon. Or it’s great for sneakily shopping for gifts online if you share a main Amazon account or bank account with family members or friends; you can start an Amazon Cash account with a separate email address and some cash in your hand to keep all your purchases low key.

How it Works:

If it seems super easy, that’s because it is. Amazon has partnered with thousands of brick-and-mortar convenience and drug stores across the country, including CVS and 7-Eleven, so that customers can add funds to their Amazon balance in person. Simply show the cashier your unique barcode (the one you get when you sign up for Amazon Cash) to scan and then pay the amount you want to add to your Amazon Balance.

Or you can provide the mobile phone number associated with your Amazon account to the cashier or kiosk and specify the amount you wish to add and voila: An Gift Card will be automatically purchased and claimed to your Amazon Balance if your phone number is verified.

Your funds are instantly available after the cashier hands you a receipt for your transaction and if you have Amazon’s mobile app notifications enabled, you will immediately receive a push notification confirming your balance. You can use your Amazon Cash to pay for anything your heart desires on the site; the only thing you can’t do is get your money back after you add it to your balance, because all Amazon Cash transactions are non-refundable.

Who knew shopping credit-and-debit card-free on Amazon would be such a breeze?