Warning: One week to go before Amazon stops accepting Visa credit cards – and there's a trick for some shoppers to get a free £10 or £20 credit
Shoppers have just one week to go before Amazon stops accepting Visa credit cards to purchase items on 19 January. However, those with a Visa credit card set as their default payment, or those who only have a Visa credit card in their Amazon wallet, may be able to get a free £10 or £20 account credit if they update their details now.
Below is what you need to know. If you're buying from Amazon in the meantime, check out our 30+ Amazon buying tricks for short-lived codes, a free delivery loophole and more.
Amazon will no longer accept Visa credit cards from 19 January, so you'll need to use a different card
If you've got a Visa credit card linked to your Amazon account you'll need to change it – and there's more info below on how some can bag a free £10 or £20 credit by doing so.
Amazon blamed the move on Visa's card fees, and MoneySavingExpert.com founder, Martin Lewis, said at the time of the initial announcement that he suspected the shake-up was was a possible negotiating tactic by Amazon to get Visa to lower its credit card transaction fees.
Those with a subscription taken out via Amazon, such as Audible, BritBox, Hayu or Prime, will also need to update the payment method on those if they use a Visa credit card. If you don't update your details before 19 January you'll be given a grace period to do so after this date before your subscription is cancelled – check your terms and conditions as these grace periods will vary.
If you're paying for an item in instalments, you'll continue to be able to use your Visa credit card until you've repaid in full – so long as the repayment plan is set up before 19 January.
My default card is a Visa credit card - how do I check if I can get the £10/£20 voucher?
Here's what you need to know:
- Amazon Prime customers will receive a £20 credit, non-Prime customers get £10.
- There are two groups of people who can benefit. In both cases you'll need to add a card or update your preferred payment method to a non-Visa credit card or any debit card. The two groups are:
- Those who have a Visa credit card set up as their default card and who update their preferred payment method
- Those who only have a Visa credit card in their Amazon wallet (and no other method of payment) who add a new card.
- It's best to update your default payment as soon as possible in case the deal is pulled. Technically, you have until 19 January to update your default card and get the freebie but it's possible Amazon could pull it sooner. Amazon's T&Cs state that it "reserves the right to modify or cancel the promotion at any time".
- Eligible Amazon customers will be sent an email telling them to update their payment details. You need to click on the link in this email to qualify for the payment. Alternatively, you can click on Amazon's onsite banner or pop-up about the credit. We previously stated that you could qualify for a credit by changing your payment details directly, HOWEVER, we have since been told by Amazon that users must follow the link in the email from Amazon, or click the link in the banner or pop-up on the app or website to get the payment. You may also be able to call customer services and follow the instructions but you can't simply go to the 'your payments' section of your Amazon account and update your payment method
- Once you've updated your payment details, you'll receive a second email from Amazon notifying you of your account credit expiry date. You can then add the credit to your Amazon wallet. Once the email comes through, you can log in, click 'your account', select 'top up account' and then follow the instructions.
- There are some limitations on what you can spend the £10 or £20 on. You can't use it on certain subscriptions or certain digital content or products, including Alexa, Fire and Kindle products and devices. You also can't exchange it for cash. If you buy an item worth less than the credit, you can save the rest to go towards another purchase.
You can't benefit from the free £10 or £20 credit offer if you simply update your Amazon-linked subscription payments, for example, for Hayu or BritBox.
Alternative cards you can switch to include Visa debit, Mastercard credit and debit and American Express - but do your research first
Alternative cards to Visa credit cards that Amazon will continue to accept as of 19 January are as follows:
- Visa debit cards. Just bear in mind if switching to this that you won't have Section 75 protection, under which the card provider is jointly liable if something goes wrong with purchases of over £100. You also won't be able to use debit cards to help boost your credit score or for cheap borrowing.
- Mastercard credit and debit cards. This includes UK-based Maestro cards. Many UK banks and credit card providers issue these as standard, so check your wallet to see if you have one.
If you're getting a new credit card, Amazon's own-branded credit cards offer a free £20 Amazon gift card on acceptance, which you can get on top of the free £10 or £20 credit for switching. See our Credit card rewards guide for more info on these cards, and other options.
If you don't want a new credit card, consider the Curve card. It's an all-in-one Mastercard payment card that links to your existing non-American Express debit and credit cards, and passes on the transaction to the linked card. See our Curve guide for how it works and full pros and cons.
- American Express. Again, see our Credit card rewards guide for the best buys, but bear in mind American Express (Amex) cards aren't as widely accepted as Mastercard and Visa.
- Eurocard - this is a credit card you can use to pay with online or withdraw cash from in the UK, but it's not among any of our best buys.
In addition, you can continue to buy Amazon gift cards from third party retailers using your Visa credit card and then use the gift card to make purchases online.
What do Amazon and Visa say?
An Amazon spokesperson said: "The cost of accepting card payments continues to be an obstacle for businesses striving to provide the best prices for customers. These costs should be going down over time with technological advancements, but instead they continue to stay high or even rise."
A Visa spokesperson added: "We are very disappointed that Amazon is threatening to restrict consumer choice in the future... We have a long-standing relationship with Amazon, and we continue to work toward a resolution, so our cardholders can use their preferred Visa credit cards at Amazon UK without Amazon-imposed restrictions come January 2022."
Additional reporting by the Press Association.