Why Didn’t Amazon Charge You for Your Purchase?

This is why Amazon didn’t charge you for your purchase.

It’s mostly because Amazon does not charge you until the item is shipped.

If you want to know all about it and the other 5 possibilities why Amazon didn’t charge you, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

6 Reasons Why Amazon Didn’t Charge You

Perhaps it’s better not to look a gift horse in the mouth. Then again, if you’ve purchased something on Amazon and they didn’t actually charge your card for the purchase, you are no doubt wondering what’s going on. 

Is Amazon just throwing you a bone? Have you unlocked a secret ability to purchase items without having to pay for them? 

Unless you’ve discovered a glitch in the matrix, chances are the reason behind the purchase not showing up on your card isn’t quite so extraordinary.

It turns out that there are several reasons why a purchase from Amazon may not immediately show up on your card. To help clear up some of the confusion, we’ll take a look at every possible explanation for why Amazon didn’t appear to charge you for your purchase.

Possibility #1: Your Card Won’t Be Charged Until the Item Is Shipped

Courier staff taking notes on parcel for delivery.

Many states have laws that prevent e-commerce stores from charging for a purchase until the time purchased is actually shipped. These laws are designed to protect customers from fraudulent companies, but even reputable companies like Amazon are required to abide by them. 

Since there is always at least some delay in the time between when an item is purchased online, and when it is actually shipped, your card may not be charged right away if you live in a state where it is illegal to charge for items before they are shipped.

Possibility #2: Your Item Was Purchased With a Gift Card or Rewards Points Balance

Woman ordering Christmas gifts online.

If you have an Amazon gift card with a remaining balance, the option to purchase your item with your gift card balance will show up at checkout. Not realizing that you’ve checked this box at checkout is one possible explanation for why the purchase isn’t showing up on your credit or debit card.

In addition to purchasing items with your gift card balance, you may also have purchased the item with a rewards points balance. Amazon currently offers 5% cashback reward points on all Amazon purchases made using an Amazon Prime Visa card. As with your gift card balance, you’ll be given the option when you check out to apply however much cashback you’ve accrued toward your purchase.

If you’ve unknowingly selected the option to apply either your rewards or gift card balance toward your purchase, then the reason why the purchase isn’t showing up on your credit card is that it has already been paid for via other means. 

The easiest way to see if this is the case is to check the receipt for your purchase and see what method was used to pay for the item. You can find this receipt by going to the “orders” page of your Amazon account and clicking on the order or by checking your email for the receipt that is automatically emailed to you anytime you make an Amazon purchase.

Possibility #3: The Purchase Was Canceled and Refunded By the Seller

Unhappy woman having a customer cancel their order, reading on her phone.

Amazon is known for its outstanding customer service, and it isn’t very often that purchases on Amazon are canceled. However, there are rare instances where an Amazon purchase might be canceled and refunded. 

If, for instance, the Amazon seller you purchased the item from ran out of stock and didn’t update their product page to reflect the lack of availability then they might have no other choice but to cancel and refund your order.

If you feel that your order might have been canceled and refunded, check your inbox for an email from Amazon. Amazon always notifies its customers when orders are canceled.

Possibility #4: You Purchased the Item on Another Card

Senior man holding two gift cards, green background.

Amazon gives you the option to add multiple credit and debit cards to your account. It also gives you the option to select a default card that will be used for all purchases unless you select otherwise. 

If you have multiple cards on your account, though, and accidentally select the option to use a card other than your default payment method at checkout, then the purchase obviously won’t show up on the card that you are expecting it to. 

If you think you might have purchased the item using a different card than the one you intended to use, you can always check by looking at the receipt for your purchase.

Possibility #5: The Cost of the Item is Much Less Than You Were Expecting It to Be

Astonished friends using a card while buying online with a laptop.

If a charge for your Amazon purchase does show up on your card but is less than you were expecting it to be, you may have more cause for celebration than concern. 

There are a couple of reasons why a purchase on Amazon may end up costing less than you were expecting. Sometimes Amazon sellers run flash sales on items that deeply discount their price. These flash sales can sometimes create deep and unexpected discounts.

Other times, Amazon sellers may make a mistake and input the wrong price for their items. This doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, Amazon honors the price that you were shown-even if it is a mistake. This leads to the uncommon but not unheard-of instance where an Amazon shopper is able to purchase an item for pennies on the dollar compared to what it would normally cost.

If you purchase an item without realizing that it was on sale or without realizing that the seller has inputted the incorrect price for the item, then the charge on your card will still show up but may end up being a lot lower than you were counting on it being.

Possibility #6: Your Bank or Credit Card Company Flagged the Purchase as Suspicious

Worried man having a problem with his card, looking at his laptop.

Banks and credit card companies are constantly on the lookout for instances of fraud, and there are several reasons why they may decide that a purchase is suspicious. 

For example, if you’ve never purchased an item online before, then suddenly decide to spend a thousand dollars purchasing throw pillows on Amazon, your bank or credit card company may determine that the purchase doesn’t fit your normal spending patterns and flag it as suspicious. When a purchase is flagged as suspicious, the charge will be delayed until it can be verified and won’t immediately show up on your account.

If the purchase is flagged by your bank or credit card company, you should receive a call from a representative asking you to verify that you were indeed the one who made the purchase. Once you’ve verified the authenticity of the purchase, the charge should go through.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions about why Amazon didn’t charge you:

Why Can You Order on Amazon Without Any Money in Your Account?

There are a variety of ways to pay for purchases made through your Amazon account. 

In order to avoid adding funds to your account, simply add debit or credit card information instead. Once you set it as the default form of payment, Amazon will automatically charge purchases to your card. 

If you have no money in your bank account, you’ll most likely get an email at a later point saying the charge didn’t go through.

Please note, if you wish to use another form of payment after a default has been set, you will be provided with the option before a final purchase has been made.

Does Amazon Charge Immediately?

As with most retailers, Amazon places an authorization charge on debit and credit cards upon purchase. When the items ship, the full amount will be charged to your card. 

However, if you use an Amazon gift card, the charges will be subtracted immediately from your balance. 

To ensure a smooth transaction, ensure the proper funds are available on your card before placing an order.

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

Considering most items ship within a 24- to 48-hour window, you can typically expect to see the Amazon charge go through after that timeframe. 

If you have purchased with a debit card, you will likely see an authorization charge upon purchase. This will resolve itself once the item ships and your card is charged the full amount. 

For this reason, you may see multiple charges for a single order, especially if they ship from various fulfillment centers.

How Do You Know if Your Order Went Through on Amazon?

There are a few ways to confirm whether or not your Amazon order was placed successfully. Click the Returns & Orders tab to view your most recent purchases. 

Alternatively, you can go to the Account & Lists tab and click Orders under Your Account

Once an order has been placed and confirmed, you should receive an email with further details, including a confirmation number, tentative delivery date, and more.

Why Does Amazon Take So Long to Take Payment?

When you make a purchase using a debit or credit card, Amazon cannot charge the full amount until the items ship. Before the items leave the facility, Amazon will place an authorization charge on your card. 

Once the items ship, Amazon will charge the full amount to your card. However, if you use an Amazon gift card, or funds otherwise deposited into your account, the purchase amount will be removed.

How Do I Know if My Payment Went Through on Amazon?

Amazon will send the account holder a notification whenever issues with payment methods arise. For example, if a credit card has been canceled, the order may process initially. 

It won’t be long, though, before you receive an alert via email or text message regarding payment problems. This will require you to input another form of payment, before the order can move forward.