One advantage brick & mortar stores have over their online counterparts is that most are happy to split payment methods for you. Say you want to buy a new TV, but you want to use three $50 Visa gift cards and pay the rest in cash. Walmart and Best Buy would have no problem doing this, but it’s impossible to do on Walmart.com or BestBuy.com. Online, it’s either this Visa or that MasterCard, not this Visa and this MasterCard.
Although Amazon doesn’t offer a way to use multiple payment methods directly, there is an easy workaround: just use gift cards (or regular credit cards) to buy Amazon gift cards for yourself! If you order them online, you can have Amazon send them to you via email, so you can easily apply them to your own account. Using my TV example, you could convert the three $50 gift cards into three $50 Amazon gift codes, which would total $150 in Amazon credit. You could buy the TV using your gift balance and charge the difference to another card.
There are a couple of other reasons why you might want to convert a gift card to an Amazon gift card.
For one, your Amazon gift balance never has any fees and never expires. Although most Visa, MasterCard and American Express gift cards no longer have expiration dates or “dormancy fees” for not using them after a time, some still do. Plus, you can always lose or misplace a plastic gift card. If you’re a big Amazon shopper, convert a Visa gift card to Amazon credit immediately to ensure that you get the full value of the card.
Secondly, Amazon gift cards can be ordered in almost any amount. If you have several “leftover” gift cards with balances of $2.13 or $3.27, why not convert them to Amazon credit and get rid of the near-useless gift cards? Yes, you’ll have to process each card individually, but even $5 can buy you an MP3 album on Amazon, so why waste the money?