By Sally McDonald, Clark.com
Whether you use plastic online or in-store, debit cards are full of hidden dangers and credit cards can tempt you to run up dangerous balances. Fortunately, Amazon has launched a new service that allows you to use real cash to shop online — and protect your wallet!
Cash is king with Amazon Cash
Amazon Cash lets you add money directly to your Amazon account at any participating store so you don’t have to link your debit or credit card to the site. In essence, you’re using cash to shop online.
Participating retailers include CVS Pharmacy, D&W Fresh Market, GameStop, Speedway, Kwik Trip and more, with additional stores coming soon.
Ready for the best part? There are no fees!
In fact, that’s the major difference between Amazon Cash and similar program, PayPal My Cash. While they both eliminate the need for debit cards, PayPal My Cash is a physical card and requires a $3.95 activation fee.
Here’s how to use it
- Go to the Amazon Cash site and tap “Get your barcode”
- Amazon will send a barcode to your smartphone in a text message (you can also print it out if you prefer to keep it in your wallet)
- Visit one of the participating retailers (listed above), show your barcode for the cashier to scan and let them know that you want to add cash to Amazon
- Pay the amount you want to add to your Amazon Balance and you’ll receive an Amazon Gift Card online immediately (Important: Make sure you receive a receipt for the Amazon Cash transaction)
- You can use your Amazon Gift Card to buy anything Amazon sells, and you can refill your funds at the participating retailers anytime with your barcode
You’ll never have to use your debit or credit card again!
Quick tip: If your phone’s screen is cracked, bring a printed version of your barcode because cashiers can’t type in your barcode manually.
If you’re interested in trying Amazon Cash, Charis at ClarkDeals.com found a great deal for the payment service: Load $20 onto your Amazon Cash account and earn a $10 credit towards your next Amazon purchase (expires August 31).