cropped shot of young couple shopping online with credit card and laptop at christmas

How to Shop with CASH at Amazon

I can think of only a few things worse than waking up on Dec. 26 with a raging debt hangover—an all-too-common after-Christmas condition.


cropped shot of young couple shopping online with credit card and laptop at christmas

The only reason you paid for everything with a credit card is that it was convenient. Besides, it’s not safe to shop online with a debit card, so what were your options?

Of course, you promised yourself that you would be paying the balance in full the minute the statement arrives, but who are we kidding here?

You were already carrying a balance on every card in your wallet, so now all of those new purchases will exacerbate the problem by plunging you even deeper into debt. Worse, you don’t even know for sure how much you spent because who keeps track when you pay for everything with a credit card?

Just imagine if you’d kept your promise that this year would be an all-cash Christmas—that you locked those credit cards away where they were safe from you. You’d be heading into the New Year with a much different attitude. No excuses, no hiding the holiday bills; no worries, and no regrets.

I’ve got some good news for you. This year really can be an all-cash Christmas. You can do it and make your cash stretch even further when you take advantage of the lower prices when you shop online. You really can shop with CASH at Amazon, absolutely no credit card or debit card required.

Purchase a Gift Card

Step 1:

Stop into the nearest Walgreens drugstore (or any number of supermarkets, drugstores, and convenience stores nationwide, which sell Amazon Gift Cards with no fees) and purchase an Amazon Gift Card in any denomination from $15 to $500. Pay for it with cash.

Step 2:

Go to and log in to your account (create a new account if you do not already have one.) Go to Redeem a Gift Card. Follow the simple instructions to add your Gift Card’s unique claim code to your account. It is super easy, takes only a minute. Now those funds will be available immediately or held safely in your account; will not expire, have no activation or maintenance fees, and will automatically apply to your next Amazon order.

Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn from qualifying purchases, at no cost to you.


Got a lot of loose change? You can take your change and cash to any of the more than 20,000 Coinstar kiosks located in grocery stores everywhere and have it converted to an Amazon Gift Card—with no fee deducted (but if you convert it to cash, you will pay a hefty fee.) Every penny you put into the machine will be added to your Amazon Gift Card. Follow Step 2 above to add these funds to your Amazon account.

Western Union

You can purchase an Amazon Claim Code with cash in any amount from $25 to $2,000 at 42,000 Western Union Agent locations across the US. Add the Claim Code to your Amazon account (follow the Step 2 instructions above).


Visit a participating MoneyGram agent location (there are more than 350,000 worldwide) to purchase an Amazon Gift Card claim code with cash and no fees. Follow Step 2 above.

There you go. Simple, convenient ways you can enjoy the convenience of Amazon shopping while still experiencing an all-cash Christmas!


  • Buy an Amazon Gift Card with cash and use it to pay for your Amazon purchases
  • Amazon Gift Cards are for sale for any amount from $15 to $500 at:
  • Walgreens, supermarkets, and drugstores just about everywhere
  • Coinstar machines in grocery stores will accept cash and coins and payout in Amazon Gift Card with no fees deducted
  • Western Union locations sell Amazon Claim Codes, which work the same as an Amazon Gift Card
  • So do the 350,000 Moneygram locations worldwide


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8 replies
  1. pattypam says:

    I too buy mine at Safeway and end up with $$ off on my fuel purchase! Thank you Mary for more money saving ideas!

    • Mary Hunt says:

      I assume you are referring to say a restaurant Gift Card or Kohl’s Gift Card … and the answer is no. You can transfer funds from a prepaid debit card with Visa or MasterCard logo.

  2. Mary says:

    Hi Mary! I buy giftcards for Amazon and Lowe’s at Kroger, I get 2X fuel points and sometimes 4X fuel points for buying gift cards. For every $ 100 I spend on groceries, prescriptions, gift cards etc you earn points. Some months I get $ 1 off per gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel for up to 35 gallons in a one time purchase. We love the $ 1 off per gallon of diesel fuel when filling our motorhome. Before Covid, Anytime we go out to eat we would stop in to Kroger and buy a gift card for the restaurant we are meeting friends at. I love the fuel points program. Merry Christmas everyone, stay well!

  3. Sherry Morgan says:

    Thank you!!! I have a debit card that I only use to pay for household expenses from bank account. I didn’t want to start purchasing other stuff with it. I got rid of all credit cards after I messed up big time (!) and don’t want to use them again. Since I am older and have asthma I didn’t want to go into stores shopping…. this is the perfect solution. Thanks you again!!

  4. Liz says:

    This is very helpful information; I just wish people would buy local with cash to help out small businesses. If we don’t step up and support local businesses, in the future our only option will be to use large companies like Amazon.

    • Vickie says:

      Hello Mary
      Can you also purchase a Visa card with cash and use it for store shopping? Do they charge money to use it? Thank You. Vickie

      • Mary Hunt says:

        Yes you can do that and while you won’t pay any fees to use it, you will pay a huge fee to purchase it——$4.95 to $6.95 depending on the denomination.

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