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Amazon Allowance Enables Recurring Gifts and Payments

Amazon launched an offering called Amazon Allowance, positioning it as a way to give friends or family a recurring gift in the form of shopping sprees on Amazon. As its name implies, parents can use it to give children an allowance – though recipients who are ages 13 to 17 are only permitted to receive Amazon Allowances if they set up Amazon.com accounts and use the Allowances with the involvement of a parent or guardian.

Amazon Allowance can also be given to employees. It’s not a “PayPal killer,” since the funds are added directly to the recipient’s Amazon.com Gift Card Balance, but there may be instances where givers may choose Allowance over PayPal as an easy way to pay a debt or provide a bonus.

Givers have had the option of purchasing a gift card that could be sent via email or snail mail, and still do. But the obvious advantage with Allowance is the recurring nature of the feature. You can set up an allowance on a one-time, weekly, or monthly basis.

“It is an easy way to fund shopping on Amazon without sharing your account or credit cards,” Amazon explains. “Amazon Allowance is instantly available for shopping and no fees are required to give, use, or manage it.”

Amazon makes it easy to give an Allowance – all you need is the recipient’s email address. If no Amazon.com account is associated with the email address, Amazon will send the recipient an email to set up an Amazon.com account and claim the allowance. The recipient and the sender will receive a notification each time an Allowance is delivered.

Givers will be charged on the scheduled delivery date of their one-time, weekly, or monthly Allowance. And, Amazon explains, “Once an Allowance is added to the recipient’s Amazon.com Gift Card Balance, the Allowance cannot be refunded or cashed-out except as required by law.”

It also notes that Allowance funds added to recipients’ gift card balance do not expire and are subject to Amazon Gift Card Terms and Conditions.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.