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

How to Shop Online and Pay With CASH!

I can’t think of many things worse than waking up on Dec. 26 with a raging debt hangover—an all-too-common after-Christmas condition. Been there, done that, and live to tell!

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

Of course, you promise yourself you will pay the balance in full the minute the statement arrives, but who are we kidding here? That’s an easy promise to make but hard to keep especially at this time of year.

Perhaps you were already carrying a balance on every card in your wallet, so now all of those new purchases 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 plastic?

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.

As you wake up the day after Christmas, 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 everyone and not only those who are already carrying credit card balances. 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 deals and free shipping when you shop online.

You really can shop with CASH at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s and hundreds of stores with online shopping sites—absolutely no credit card or debit card required.


Step 1: Purchase an Amazon Gift Card

Stop into the nearest Walgreens drugstore (or any number of supermarkets, drugstores, and convenience stores nationwide, which sell Gift Cards in denominations from $15 to $500 for all major retailers with online shopping sites.

You’ll find Target, Amazon, Walmart, Apple, Netflix, Nintendo, Home Depot, Kohl’s, Sephora, Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot etc., in denominations from $15 to $500. Make your selection(s) and pay for that Gift Card with … CASH!

Step 2: Deposit It to Your Amazon Account

Go to and log in to your account (create a new account if you do not already have one.) Go to Redeem a [Amazon] Gift Card. Follow the simple instructions to add your Amazon Gift Card’s unique claim code to your account. It is super easy, takes only a minute.

Now those funds are available immediately andheld safely in your account; will not expire, have no activation or maintenance fees, and will automatically apply to your next Amazon order (unless you select a different payment method at checkout).

See how easy that was?

Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Etc.

You can use the same tactics= to shop online with cash at other retailers, too. Just follow the steps above for Amazon. The process is the same:

Step 1

Using cash, purchase a Gift Card for your online retailer of choice from a store that sells Gift Cards such as Kroger, Walgreens, Safeway, etc.

Step 2

Add the Gift Card to your online account at that store’s website. Do this first, before you start shopping.

(You’ll see a field at Check Out to pay with a gift card, but that is not for store’s gift card but rather where one would add a 3rd party gift card, i.e. MasterCard Gift Card or Visa PrePaid Debit Card, which by the way comes with hefy fees.)

  1. Sign in.
  2. Navigate to your Name
  3. Select Account
  4. Select Gift Cards
  5. Select Save a New Gift Card or the + sign.
  6. Input the Gift Card # and Access code
  7. Add it to your account

  1. Select Account.
  2. Select Wallet.
  3. Select Add new payment method
  4. Select the payment type
  5. Enter your details
  6. Select Save Card

  1. Sign in.
  2. Navigate to Wallet.
  3. Select Store Kohl’s Gift Cards
  4. Add Gift Card # and PIN


The routine is generally the same. You go to that store’s online shopping site, sign in, go to your account and look for a place to upload or add that store’s Gift Card.

Other Ways to Spend CASH Online


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 a Gift Card (Amazon is only one of the dozens of retail and restaurant options)—with no fee deducted. But if you convert to cash, a hefty 11.9% fee will be deducted.

Every penny you put into the machine will be added to your Amazon Gift Card. Follow the steps above to add these funds to your Amazon or another favorite online retailer 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 Step 2 Amazon 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 or other online Retailer’s Gift Card with cash and use it to pay for your online purchases at those sites.
  • Amazon Gift Cards are for sale for any amount from $15 to $500 at:
  • Walgreens, supermarkets, and drugstores, discount stores—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


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.

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5 replies
  1. char says:

    Brilliant! I began using cash on Friday and have now extended to everything local. Once used CC for everything–record keeping, miles, etc. However economists reporting the ability to use cash is being threatened , bring us closer to New World Order..Please do some research and be aware Todd Self –everyone.

  2. Todd Self says:

    Why in the world would you pay with cash? Use your credit card that gives you the most cash back or “points” to buy online then turn around immediately and pay the card balance off from your bank account. By running EVERYTHING thru our credit cards we get a couple thousand dollars back every year that we use for all our Christmas shopping. We haven’t paid a penny for Christmas presents for the kids or grand kids in years.

    • Mary Hunt says:

      In theory that sounds great, Todd. But there are so many pitfalls here. Let me name a few. Points and cash back cards come with hefty annual fees. Another: Unless you clear that balance every single month back to $0.00 you’re playing a fools game (fewer than 30% of active credit cards are paid off every month). The interest you pay on roll-over balances so far outweighs the “gifts” you receive, it can be astonishing. If your balance does not return to $0.00 at the end of every month, you LOSE your grace period. Many people do not understand that. You start accruing interest from the moment you hit that “purchase” button or walk out of the store. Have you calculated that cost? It is verrrrry expensive. Do you REALLY believe credit card issuers are in the game to bless and reward you? It’s a ploy. They’re just waiting for one slip up them BAM! they’ve got you where they want you—in perma-debt (a state where you always carry balances forward for ever, and those balances grow and grow.

      DEBT is a killer. It destroys relationships, destroys trust; it takes away a person’s options in life.
      and debt is what the credit card industry is built on. That is their reason to exist. Think I don’t know what I’m talking about? Check THIS out.

    • Sara Winters says:

      Earning points while using credit cards is a bonus. But you’re possibly putting your identity and your credit at risk. There are so many scams going on these days. My mother recently found this out the hard way. By contacting a large on-line retailer for a return label, she unknowingly became the victim of a well executed on-line scam. Many of us are quick to spot a scam. Many are not.


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