You Can Now Use Venmo to Pay at Amazon (but You Shouldn’t)

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The Amazon Prime logo on the Amazon box.

New payment methods are never a bad thing — but some are worse options than others.

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Venmo is one of the most popular ways to send money electronically. It can come in handy for paying rent to your landlord or paying for dinner for a friend.

In recent years, Venmo has expanded its availability to merchants as well. The latest to join is Amazon; Venmo is officially an option when paying for your Amazon shopping cart.

It’s nice to see more flexibility with Amazon payment options, but they’re not always a good idea. For example, Amazon allows you to pay for your shopping cart using credit card points – but the value you receive is too low to be ideal for most people.

Also, under (almost) no circumstances should you use Venmo to pay Amazon. That’s why.

Insider Recommended Rewards Credit Cards

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Earn unlimited 3X points on restaurants, tours, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services and phone plans. Earn 1x points on other purchases.

Limited time offer of 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in the first 3 months of account opening (offer expires January 10, 2023)

Earn 3x ThankYou® points at restaurants and supermarkets. Earn 3x ThankYou® points at gas stations, air travel and hotels. Earn 1x ThankYou® point on all other purchases.

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Earn 5X points on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Earn 3x points on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out. Earn 3x points on select streaming services. Earn 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and Wholesale Club). Earn 2x points on other travel. Earn 1x points per $1 on everything else.

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

We’re here to focus on the rewards and perks that come with each card. If you’re going to pay interest or late fees, these cards won’t be worth it. When using a credit card, make sure to pay off your balance in full each month, make your payments on time, and only spend what you can afford.

Why you should ditch Venmo and shop on Amazon

Chase Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Introduce quotation

Get a $200 Amazon Gift Card Instantly Upon Approval

award

With a qualifying Prime membership, earn 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. Earn 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores. Earn 1% back on all other purchases. Earn 10% or more back on a rotating selection of Amazon products and categories.

Chase Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Introduce quotation

Get a $200 Amazon Gift Card Instantly Upon Approval

award

With a qualifying Prime membership, earn 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. Earn 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores. Earn 1% back on all other purchases. Earn 10% or more back on a rotating selection of Amazon products and categories.

award

With a qualifying Prime membership, earn 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. Earn 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores. Earn 1% back on all other purchases. Earn 10% or more back on a rotating selection of Amazon products and categories.

Introduce quotation

Get a $200 Amazon Gift Card Instantly Upon Approval

Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

17.24% – 25.24% variable

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chevron icon It represents an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous/next navigation options.

chevron icon It represents an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous/next navigation options.

I can only see one real reason to use Venmo at Amazon: You don’t have a credit card. You pay with a checking account or debit card and want to add a layer of encryption to your purchases. By using Venmo as a middleman, Amazon does not receive any of your account information, such as your debit card or checking account number.

Beyond that, paying for Amazon through Venmo isn’t necessarily a good idea. Here’s why: When you pay with your Venmo balance or checking account, you don’t get rewards on purchases. You probably won’t get the rewards on your debit card either — and even if you did, the rewards are the same as if you paid directly at Amazon.

If possible, you should always use a rewards credit card to shop on Amazon. Aside from the fact that paying with a credit card is generally much more secure than paying with a debit card or checking account, you’re sure to make money on your spending. Here are the best credit cards for Amazon shopping:

Even low-tier cash-back credit cards can earn you handsome returns. For example, the $0 annual fee Citi® Double Cash Card earns 1% back when you make a purchase and 1% back when you pay off that purchase. Effective 2% is everywhere. You’d be surprised how quickly it can add up — especially if you’re used to using your bank account or debit card for purchases.

Instead of using your Venmo balance to shop on Amazon, simply transfer that money to your bank account, use the Amazon shopping cart rewards credit card, and then effectively use your Venmo balance to pay your credit card bill.

the only one possible A development that could make Venmo a valuable option at Amazon checkout involves the Venmo debit card. This card earns cash back (called Venmo Offers) at select rotating merchants. We’ve seen offers as high as 6%. If at some point Amazon is listed as a Venmo Offer (far from certain), Venmo will become a viable option for Venmo debit card holders — but again, you’ll still earn the same as paying directly through Amazon.

How to Checkout with Venmo on Amazon

Adding and using your Venmo account as a payment option on Amazon is easy:

  1. At checkout, click “Select payment method”
  2. Click “Add Venmo Account”
  3. Follow the prompts to allow Amazon to charge Venmo for future purchases

You can then choose Venmo as a one-time purchase or as the default payment method for subsequent Amazon purchases. You can pay with your current Venmo balance, an attached bank account, or a debit card. To be clear, you can’t use a credit card to pay for Amazon purchases through Venmo.

Amazon already lets you pay with debit cards and checking accounts — so the only real addition here is the ability to use your Venmo balance (money you’ve received from other people) to pay for your cart.

the bottom line

Venmo has partnered with Amazon to allow users to pay for online purchases through Venmo using their Venmo balance, bank account or debit card.

More payment options are never a bad thing — but using Venmo with Amazon isn’t the smartest way to maximize your spending. Instead of making purchases with payment methods that don’t yield anything in return, pay Amazon directly with a rewards credit card.

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