When Does Amazon Charge You?

We’ve all been there. You’ve just found that perfect item on Amazon, the price is right, and you’re ready to click ‘buy now.’

But then, you stop and wonder: “When does Amazon actually charge my credit card?”

This is a common question, and with a myriad of purchasing options available, it can get a little confusing. In this guide, we’ll take a detailed look into the payment processing system of Amazon to help you understand when you’ll see those charges appear on your account.

When Does Amazon Charge for Regular Purchases?

Typically, Amazon does not charge you for an item until it has shipped. When you place an order, Amazon’s systems will do an authorization hold, or pre-authorization, to confirm that your card is valid and has enough funds for the transaction. This isn’t an actual charge, but it might appear on your card as a pending transaction. Once your item ships, the authorization hold will be removed, and your card will be charged.

How about Pre-Orders?

Pre-ordering is popular on Amazon, especially for new releases. But when are you charged for pre-orders? Well, Amazon’s policy states that you won’t be charged until the item is shipped. Just like regular purchases, Amazon performs a pre-authorization check to ensure your card is valid and has sufficient funds.

However, it’s important to note that if your pre-order item doesn’t ship within 30 days, Amazon will need to perform another pre-authorization check. If this check fails due to insufficient funds or expired card details, you’ll receive a notification to update your payment information.

Prime Membership and Amazon Subscription Services

Your Amazon Prime membership fee will be auto-renewed and charged to your card annually or monthly, depending on the plan you’ve selected.

The same goes for Amazon subscription services like Kindle Unlimited, Audible, and Amazon Music. If you have a free trial for any of these services, you will be charged when the trial ends unless you cancel beforehand.

Amazon Digital Purchases and Rentals

For digital purchases like eBooks, movies, and songs, Amazon charges you as soon as the purchase is completed. The same applies to rentals; once you click on ‘rent now,’ your card will be charged immediately.

What about Returns and Refunds?

In case of returns, Amazon processes a refund as soon as they receive the item. It typically takes 2-3 business days for the refund to reflect in your account. However, this time can vary depending on your bank’s processing time.

Amazon Pay

Amazon Pay is a service that lets you use the payment methods associated with your Amazon account to make purchases on third-party websites. For transactions made through Amazon Pay, the charge process works similarly to regular Amazon purchases – you are charged when the seller ships the item.

Changes to Your Order

If you add more items to your order or change the shipping speed, it may affect the charge amount. If your order total increases, Amazon will reauthorize your card to ensure sufficient funds. If the reauthorization fails, you’ll need to update your payment method or reduce the order total.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take for Amazon to Charge Your Card?

Amazon typically charges your card as soon as the item is shipped. If it’s a digital purchase, the charge is immediate upon purchase completion.

Why Hasn’t Amazon Charged Me Yet?

If you haven’t been charged yet, it’s likely because your item hasn’t shipped. Amazon doesn’t charge until items are on their way to you. If the order status isn’t updated or if there’s a delay in shipping, you might not see the charge.

Does Amazon Charge Right Away?

Not usually. Amazon performs a pre-authorization to ensure your card has sufficient funds, but it doesn’t charge you right away. The exception is for digital content like eBooks, songs, or movies, where the charge is immediate.

Does Amazon Only Charge When Shipped?

Generally, yes. Amazon usually only charges your card once your order is shipped. The exception is digital purchases, which are charged immediately upon purchase.

Is It Illegal to Charge Before Shipping?

Laws vary by country, but in the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that sellers ship items within the promised time frame or, if no delivery time was stated, within 30 days of order receipt. If the shipping delay is too long, the seller must obtain the buyer’s consent for the delay or refund the money. Charging before shipping isn’t illegal, but not delivering within the stipulated period without customer consent is.

How Long Does It Take for Amazon to Process an Order?

Once you’ve placed an order on Amazon, it usually takes 1-2 days to process, package, and ship the order. However, this timeline can vary based on the item and its availability.

What is Amazon Digital Charge on My Credit Card?

An “Amazon Digital Charge” usually refers to charges for digital content purchases you’ve made on Amazon. This can include eBooks, digital music, movie rentals, or purchases, and any other digital content available on Amazon’s platform.

Bottom Line

Understanding how and when Amazon charges your card can help you manage your finances more effectively and avoid any surprise charges. Remember, if you ever have concerns or issues, Amazon’s customer service is there to assist. With this guide in your hands, you’re now equipped to navigate the Amazon purchasing process like a pro. Happy shopping!