Here’s a question I received via email from a blog reader named Carol:
I have been downloading Kindle books for my iPod for quite a while, always the free ones. In fact my account is so old I don’t have a credit card attached to it anymore, so I couldn’t download a priced book even if I wanted to. I really like the freedom this gives me, in that, I don’t have to worry about making a mistake, clicking the button, and getting charged for something I didn’t realize was free.
Here’s the dilemma… I now own a Kindle Fire and would like to download a Solitaire game, which is not free. Is there a way to do this without using a credit card? I’m not quite sure how gift cards work. Any ideas?
Thanks again for your great website and for all the suggestions and hints you give us.
An Amazon account without a credit card – I’ll bet it’s rare, but it could happen if your initial credit card expired or you got rid of it and never updated your Amazon account; seeing as how Carol gets her Kindle material for free, I can envision a situation where someone could download the free books, games, music, and apps from the Amazon website and never pay a cent.
That doesn’t answer Carol’s question – how to purchase something from Amazon without a credit card? She can’t purchase an Amazon gift card, as it would take a credit card or a draft from an existing checking account to buy it from the Amazon website. While I am sure there are other ways to do this, three ways I can think off the top of my head to get an Amazon gift card without using an existing credit card:
- Have someone give you an Amazon gift card. I’m assuming that option is not available for Carol.
- Turn in your spare change to a Coinstar machine and receive an Amazon gift card in exchange for no fee (click here or type in http://smarturl.it/fagc into a web browser for my post on instructions on how to do that).
- Most major grocery stores and other large retailers have a gift card display, where you can purchase gift cards not only to that store but to the big box retailers and online retailers such as Amazon and the iTunes store. You could take cash to one of those stores and purchase an Amazon gift card in varying denominations.
Assuming you tried one of the three methods above, you would then go online to the Amazon store, login to the My Account section, and apply the gift card code (and funds) to your Amazon account – all without having to whip out a credit card.
Can anyone think of another method? If so, please leave a comment in the comment field below.
Hope that helps!