It’s not uncommon for large companies to issue courtesy credits in certain situations. For example, Southwest may offer travel funds if they botch a flight situation and credit card companies may offer you points for inconveniences you experienced.
Well, Amazon is no different and in this article I will tell you everything you need to know about Amazon courtesy credits, including information on how to find your balance and how to deal with returns.
What is in Amazon courtesy credit?
An Amazon courtesy credit is a special (and sometimes random) credit that can be issued to your account by Amazon after you take certain actions or file complaints. It’s different from a gift card balance or promo code discount and has a few quirks related to things like refunds that you need to know about.
I will explain the different circumstances that you can get one of these credits below and talk about some of the quirks related to refunds.
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How to get an Amazon courtesy credit?
There are a few different ways that you might get an Amazon courtesy credit.
Choose a slower shipping method
One of the most common ways to get an Amazon courtesy credit is to opt to not receive your free one day or two day shipping that you might be eligible for due to your Amazon Prime membership.
Sometimes when you proceed to check out, you will see the option to select a slower shipping method, such as a shipping method that will take several days to reach your address. This could be “FREE No-Rush Shipping.”
As a token of appreciation for choosing a slower delivery method, you can sometimes be issued an Amazon courtesy credit.
But note that sometimes when you choose “FREE No-Rush Shipping,” you may only get a credit like a $1.50 digital reward that you can use on things like select eBooks, digital music, videos, and apps.
To use those, find an eBook, Prime Video, Digital Music, or app from Amazon Appstore that you want to purchase and they will automatically apply the reward at checkout.
These offers will expire so be sure to check out the expiration date.
Filing a dispute
Another way to be issued the credit is if you contact Amazon to resolve some type of dispute. For example, you might have never received your package and need to file some type of dispute with Amazon.
Or in another instance, Amazon may take an exceptionally long time to deliver your package. (I heard many of these credits were once issued after deliveries were delayed on Prime Day).
Anytime there is a problem with your order, you should contact Amazon and inquire about getting some type of compensation for the inconvenience and they might issue you an Amazon courtesy credit.
Regardless of which method you obtain a courtesy credit with, you should be on the lookout for an email that explains to you your credit.
Many of these credits are issued in increments of $10 so that is likely a common amount you will find. However, you may also receive an amount for $5 or even $20 depending on the reason for your credit (I’ve even heard of people getting $1).
If you ever view your invoice, it’s possible that the credits will be listed as many smaller individual credits so just keep that in mind.
How to use an Amazon Courtesy Credit?
The first thing you need to know about using an Amazon courtesy credit is that you will likely be limited to products shipped (fulfilled) and sold by Amazon.com.
When you are shopping for items, you should be able to see who the seller and “fulfiller” are and you just need to make sure that both are Amazon.com so that you can trigger this credit.
Amazon courtesy credit will be automatically apply to your purchase at the time of check out. You should see these credits whenever they give you the breakdown of your purchase.
For example, when you check out you should see the subtotal, the price of shipping, and any other fees. It is at this point in the checkout process were you should see the balance of your courtesy credit.
If you would like to not use your courtesy credit, you might be able to deselect it when confirming the payment details.
How to check the balance of your Amazon courtesy credits
If you are wondering how the heck to check your Amazon courtesy credit you are not alone. Unfortunately, Amazon does not make this process very intuitive because you have to check your balance on a page that is seemingly unrelated to your account.
To check your Amazon courtesy credit balance go to Digital Music Credit balance page. Select check your balance and you will be able to see your account balance if you have one.
Issues with refunds
You need to be careful when processing refunds when it comes to your Amazon courtesy credits.
The reason is that sometimes you will not be refunded your Amazon courtesy credit if you only use them for a partial portion of your entire purchase amount. Let me give you an example to make it clear.
Let’s say that you made a purchase using your credit card and your Amazon courtesy credits. If you put $10 on your credit card and used five dollars as your courtesy credit, when you get refunded you may only receive the $10 refund on your credit card. And if you follow up to try to get those five dollars back you might receive pushback from customer service.
This may not always happen but there are reports of it happening to others so it is definitely something to look out for.
Amazon courtesy credits are credits you can get when things go wrong or when you opt for a slower shipping method. These credits can be automatically applied and are easy to use but you need to be careful when processing refunds because you could lose out on some value.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.