Amazon Payments can help meet minimum spend for new credit card signup bonuses, since you can send up to $1000 per month via credit card with no fee (unlike Google Wallet, which now charges a fee) but be careful: there have been reports on Flyertalk and Dan's Deals of recent account shutdowns. Some of the key triggers for the shut downs appear to be:
- Sending money back and forth between two accounts (this has long been known to prompt a shut down)
- Logging into multiple Amazon Payments using the same IP address
- Using the same bank account for the different accounts
- Using the same credit card for the different accounts
- Having too many accounts open with the same SSN
While, to be honest, I use Amazon Payments only occasionally and for legitimate transactions, since we meet minimum spends even without Amazon Payments, here are some tips gleaned from others' experiences:
- Set Up a Unique Amazon Payment Account for Each Person: different SSN, credit card and bank account (see above risk factors)
- No Sending Money Back and Forth: As noted above, this is pretty much guaranteed to lead to the shutdown of both Amazon Payments accounts. Instead, you'll want to set up a chain, for example A > B > C > D > A where A, B, C and D are all different Amazon Payments accounts, each with a unique SSN, bank account and credit card. Or simply send the occasional payment A > B if you are spouses/partners, as long as you don't send funds back and forth.
- Use a Different IP Address: A red flag can be multiple account logins all using the same IP address, so either have each person log in under a different IP address or buy a VPN service that will change your IP address.
- Browse Incognito: To avoid cookies, which could also track you, consider browsing incognito. Use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+Shift+N (Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS) and ⌘-Shift-N (Mac) to open an incognito window.
- Withdraw Funds Promptly: While withdrawals aren’t authorized immediately, as soon as the money does appear in the recipient’s account, ensure that it’s withdrawn right away to the bank account. Also note that if the recipient doesn’t claim the money promptly, it will be returned to the sender.
- Take Screenshots: Take a screenshot of your account(s) and have anyone you send money to also take a screenshot of their account when sending money. One Dan's Deals poster reported that after sending money it showed “pending” for the sender and “completed” for the recipient, but that the money wasn't received and Amazon suspended his account, then removed the entire transaction so that there appeared to be no trace of it. Fortunately, he had screenshots of both accounts, and that helped him receive his $1000 back.
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