Note: Due to quite a few reader emails, this is a repost from 2013 so it may be old news for some of you. If you are trying to meet a $10,000 or $6,000 minimum spend then this is an easy way to liquidate any prepaid gift cards you may have purchased…
I have talked many times about how awesome Amazon Payments is to “spend money” for free.
At a minimum, you should be able to “spend” $1,000 a month on your credit card and earn 12,000 miles a year for free.
If you have other family members & friends involved, you can easily “spend” $5,000 a month.
Now while you could hypothetically use the same card on all of your family’s Amazon accounts, that is just asking to get shut down…
While you certainly can use Bluebird, if you want to use Amazon then the workaround is to simply use prepaid cards. This way you can still “spend” $5,000 in a month but when you liquidate the prepaid cards on Amazon it won’t show up as all coming from the same credit card.
This is also useful if you have to “spend” a lot of money in a short amount of time. If you have the cash to float, you can simply buy a bunch of prepaid cards to hit your minimum spend and then slowly liquidate them over a few months using Bluebird and Amazon.
Unfortunately when I first tried liquidating prepaids cards on Amazon, it kept giving me an error, so I thought Amazon knew it was a prepaid card and that was why it was being blocked.
Turns out Amazon was just “pre-authorizing” the cards, so when I tried to move $500 at a time, it probably “pre-authorized” the card for $500+, hence why I got the error.
Through some trial and error I figured out there is an easy way to override Amazon’s “pre-authorization” and liquidate prepaid cards for their full value.
1. Check Your Prepaid Card Balance
For this example I will use a OneVanilla prepaid Visa card but the steps are applicable to any prepaid card that has debit functionality.
The first thing you need to do is check the balance of your prepaid card.
To do this, look on the back of your card. Normally there is a website you can check or a phone number you can call.
In my case, the website is OneVanilla.com.
Once you go to the website, enter the details of your card.
My OneVanilla prepaid card had a whopping $1.71 left on it.
It is also recommended that at this time you input your zip code on OneVanilla because you will need to enter it later on Amazon.
2. Enter Your Card On Amazon Payments
After you have your card balance, head over to Amazon Payments and log-in.
Once you are logged in, click on Your Account, then Edit My Account Settings, and then Add, Edit, or Delete My Credit Cards.
Click on Add New Card
Go ahead and enter your card information here.
I use my real information, but it doesn’t really matter because it isn’t actually tied to your prepaid card.
2 IMPORTANT THINGS:
1. Put in the WRONG expiration year. If the expiration is 2021, then put in anything else. This is extremely important or it won’t work properly.
2. Make sure the zip code matches what you have on your prepaid card’s website (if applicable). OneVanilla makes you enter a Zip Code on their site if you want to use the card for online purchases, so make sure the zip codes you enter match, or again it won’t work.
After you do all that, scroll to the bottom and hit Add Card.
Your prepaid card will now show up in your credit card section on Amazon.
Since we entered the credit card expiration date wrong in the step above, we now have to go in and fix it, so click on Edit.
Go ahead and change your expiration date to the correct year and hit update.
Now when you go to your credit cards section, your updated prepaid card should be there.
You can now use your prepaid card like any credit card you have on file.
In my case, I only had $1.71 left on my card, so when I went to send money, I entered $1.71 as the amount I wanted to send.
Obviously you can use this technique with the $500 OneVanilla prepaid card or AMEX gift cards if you can still find them but use caution because not all of them may work with Bluebird or Amazon.
I am about to sign up for the INK Bold and Citi AA 100,000 mile offer so I will be using this technique to hopefully complete the minimum spend.
Let me know if you have any questions!
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