Amazon is a giant retailer that ships to millions of customers a day. If you’ve ever placed an order, you may have noticed two separate charges on your credit card.
Why does this happen? When exactly does Amazon charge you for the items you’ve checked out?
When Does Amazon Charge You In 2021?
Amazon doesn’t charge a customer when an order is placed, instead only when the order shipping process has started. Amazon Marketplace third-party sellers, however, may charge at the time of purchase or when the items is ready to ship. This can vary by retailer.
If you want to know all the nitty-gritty details about when Amazon charges you, keep reading…
When Are You Charged For Amazon Orders?
When ordering products from Amazon, like Amazon Basics, your card is charged only when the order begins the shipping process.
It can be just before or just after it ships, depending on your specific product and order size.
A lot of Amazon orders are fulfilled very quickly so the time between placing and order and being charged can be just one or two hours in some cases.
This is especially true if you have selected and short delivery timeframe, like overnight shipping.
If you are using Amazon Subscribe and Save or purchased a backordered products, Amazon will send you an email a couple of days before notifying you. again, they won’t ship until the products reach the shipping stage.
However, not there is a difference between an Amazon product and Amazon Marketplace good sold by third-party retailers.
A third-party retailer can charge your card immediately but that does not necessarily mean the product has started the shipping process.
Some third-party sellers do wait until they ship your products to charge you. This protects them against refund issues and problems with unfulfilled order.
This is completely different from Amazon products like Amazon Basics or their Kindles which you’ll only be charged when the shipping process starts.
Does Amazon Charge Before Shipping?
Amazon tends to charge right as the shipping process is starting, typically no more than a couple of hours to a day.
This protects them from regulations placed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that regulates the use of credit cards and their merchants. It is not illegal for a company to charge before items are shipped but they are required to ship within an outlined timeframe.
If retailers fail to ship in this timeframe, they must notify customers and offer them the option to either accept the new package arrival time or cancel the order for a full refund.
Thus, to save themselves headaches and legal issues, Amazon waits until right before an item is about to ship to charge their customers credit cards.
Third-party sellers on Amazon marketplace follow their own policies and procedures when charging customers for products. Some charge right when an item is purchased while others follow amazon’s lead and wait until the shipping stage begins.
How Often Are You Charged For Amazon Prime?
Depending on what you choose at signup, your Amazon Prime membership may be charged every month or once a year.
Your card is charged immediately when you first enroll in Prime, after that, your specific Prime settings dictate when your next payment is due.
If you want to cancel a Prime membership, you want to make sure you do so before the next charges com though. If not, it may be difficult to get a refund, especially if you have made Prime purchases in that timeframe.
If, however, you haven’t used you Prime membership at all, you may be eligible for a full refund of your membership cosy.
That is only valid if you haven’t ordered anything at all since the charge date
Make sure to make a note of you Amazon Prime charge date in your calendar in case you want to cancel or pause your membership beforehand.
When Does Amazon Charge Pre-Orders?
Pre-orders are not charged to your card immediately but a few days ahead of the release date. Typically when the product ships or is about to leave the warehouse.
Amazon Pre-Orders are a popular way of guaranteeing you’ll get the latest video games, tech products, and books right when they launch.
They are available for many items that haven’t been released yet.
In your Order Tab, you can keep track of pre-orders and see when you’re expected to be charged (normally 2-3 days before the release.)
When Does Amazon Charge Credit Cards?
Amazon charges credit cards at the time of shipping. This is valid for all credit card types, whether you’re using a Visa, MasterCard, AmericanExpress, or even their own Amazon Gift Cards.
Third-Party Marketplace suppliers can charge your credit card at the time of ordering or right before they ship the product. This varies from retailer to retailer.
When Does Amazon Charge Debit Cards?
Amazon treats debits cards the same as credit cards and charges them right before an item is shipped.
In fact, all retailers treat debit and credit cards the same. The only difference is one gets charged to your bank account directly rather than charged as credit.
Third-Party Marketplace sellers may choose to charge your debit card immediately or wait until the item begins the shipping process.
What If Amazon Products Are Out Of Stock?
If products go out of stock, Amazon will wait until the items are back in stock and charge your card once the shipping process begins.
This is one of the main reasons Amazon and retailers wait until they ship an item to charge a card. It protects them from upset customers and having to offer a refund.
Amazon will send you email notifications to let you know the status of your order. This way, you’ll be aware when the item is back in stock and expect the charge.
If you want to learn more about Amazon, you can see our related post on how late Amazon delivers.
On amazon products, like Kindle, Amazon Fresh, and Amazon Basics, Amazon won’t charge your card until the order is starting the shipping process and/or on it’s way.
Marketplace retailers can choose to charge right when an order is placed or wait until the order is about to ship to charge your credit or debit card.
Amazon prime membership fees are charged based on your preference, either monthly or yearly. You can change this in you Amazon Prime Settings.