How To Use a Vanilla Gift Card on Amazon

image of a vanilla gift card

Imagine finding something you need online. You just received a Vanilla gift card, and you want to know how to use it on Amazon.

A Vanilla gift card is an amazing gift to receive. Sure, it might be a bit generic, but it means you can purchase what you want, and you can use it in stores and even on Amazon.

Instead of using your standard debit or credit card, a Vanilla card is great. It works like any other debit card, but there are some limits, such as the card’s balance.

You can keep your debit card number off of the internet to help avoid fraud.

If you know what you want to buy on Amazon, you can even convert the card to an Amazon gift card. That way, you’ll be able to combine it with another payment method to cover the cost.

Luckily, using a Vanilla gift card on Amazon is relatively easy. You can do so on the website or in the app, whichever you prefer.

Plus, you can keep the card in your account if you don’t use the whole balance. That way, you’ll be able to finish it off with a later purchase.

Read on to learn more about how to use a Vanilla gift card on Amazon.

How To Use a Vanilla Gift Card As the Payment Method

When shopping on Amazon, the quickest way to use a Vanilla gift card is as the main payment method for a transaction. On the Amazon website, you’ll want to go to your account settings and click on Your Payments.

Next, you’ll look under Wallet to find “Cards & accounts,” then “Add a payment method.” Click on that option and select “Add a credit or debit card.” While Vanilla gift cards aren’t technically debit cards, that’s the closest thing Amazon offers.

Enter the card number, name on the card, and expiration date. Then, you can go shopping on Amazon and use your new Vanilla gift card to check out.


One of the most significant benefits of this option is that it’s fast and easy. You can even add the payment method within the checkout screen if you’ve already decided what to buy. Adding the Vanilla gift card only takes a couple of minutes.

If you don’t want to use your debit or credit card, a gift card is great. You can keep from overdrawing your account. And if you don’t enter a new card until you’re ready to buy, you can slow down your purchase to help decide if it’s truly worth it.


Unfortunately, using the Vanilla gift card as the payment method comes with some restrictions. If your gift card is worth $25, you can’t buy anything more expensive than that. Amazon doesn’t let you combine two cards to cover your purchase.

Also, you may need to go through your account regularly and delete old cards. If you get a lot of Vanilla gift cards, you can clutter your account. That can make it hard to find the card that does have a sufficient balance for your purchase.

How To Use a Vanilla Gift Card in the Amazon App

If you prefer to shop in the Amazon app, you can also add a Vanilla gift card there. In the app, you’ll want to tap on the three lines in the bottom right corner. Look for the Your Payments section, and tap on Wallet.

Once again, tap on “Add a credit or debit card.” Input the details of the Vanilla card and save them. Then, you can go shopping in the Amazon app and use the card right away.

Alternatively, you can save the card as a payment method and shop in the app or on the Amazon website later. Just make sure you know which gift cards you’ve used if you have multiple in your list of payment methods.


The nice thing about knowing how to use a Vanilla gift card on Amazon in the app is that you can use it no matter where you are. If you need to order something immediately, you can do it without needing to find a computer.

As long as you have an internet connection and your phone is charged, you can open the app. You can add the card for a purchase. However, you can also add it right after receiving it so that you don’t have to worry about losing the physical card.


Using a Vanilla gift card in the app comes with the same disadvantages as the website. You can only buy things that cost as much as or less than the balance of your gift card.

And if you have a lot of cards in your account, finding them in the app can be more difficult. The smaller screen means you can see fewer details at a time. Keep that in mind before adding a new card.

How To Convert a Vanilla Gift Card to an Amazon Gift Card

After you add your Vanilla gift card as a payment method, you should convert it to an Amazon gift card. You can buy an Amazon gift card, and you can select the specific amount based on the balance of your Vanilla card.

amazon branded gift card

Search for an Amazon eGift card and select the amount you want. Then, you’ll check out and use the Vanilla gift card as the payment method. Now, you can add your new Amazon card to your account.

Another option is to visit Your Payments within your settings. Under Rewards & balances, select “Add rewards and balances,” then “Reload your balance.” You can type in the specific amount you want to reload down to the cent.


One of the advantages of converting your Vanilla gift card is that you have more flexibility. You don’t have to stick to small purchases or risk wasting the last few dollars of your card. The rest of the balance will remain in your account until the next time you buy something.

You can combine multiple Vanilla gift cards to meet the transaction total. If that still doesn’t work, Amazon will use up the entire gift card balance. Then, you can select a debit or credit card in your account to cover the remaining portion.


Unfortunately, you can’t use your Vanilla gift card balance offline after you convert it to an Amazon gift card. Make sure you need to turn it into an Amazon card first.

Also, going this route takes an extra few steps compared to simply adding your Vanilla card to your Amazon account. If you’re looking to buy something quickly, you might not want to deal with the extra work.

Drawbacks of Vanilla Gift Cards

If you don’t yet have a Vanilla gift card, consider if it’s worth getting one. You may be able to use it on Amazon, but it’s far from perfect.

Fraudulent Activity

Sadly, Vanilla gift cards have been part of fraudulent activity. For one, hackers may be able to get into your gift card and withdraw the remaining balance after you first use the card. So if you have a massive balance but make a small purchase, you could lose a lot of money.

Also, if someone does hack your balance, Vanilla can take up to 90 days to refund you. In that case, converting the entire balance to an Amazon card may be the best way to keep your funds safe. 

Not Reloadable

While you can reload your Amazon balance, you can’t reload the Vanilla card itself. If you need more funds, you have to get a new card with a new number.

Maybe you use Vanilla gift cards on Amazon. Your account may have dozens of card numbers, and it can be hard to keep track of which ones have a balance or not. You’ll need to spend time deleting cards every so often to organize your payments.

No Cash Access

Outside of Amazon, you can only use the Vanilla gift card as-is. You can’t take it to an ATM to get cash like you can with a standard gift card.

Also, you have to use the Vanilla gift card for partial transactions to use up the balance. This is true whether you use it on Amazon or at a retail store. Splitting transactions is usually possible in stores, but it can be inconvenient.

Wrap Up

If you shop online often, you should know how to use a Vanilla gift card on Amazon. You can use the gift card as-is and purchase smaller items for less than the card’s balance.

That way, you don’t have to risk overspending, and you can keep your debit card information off of Amazon.

non-branded gift card

However, you can also convert the Vanilla card into an Amazon gift card. You can use your balance to offset the cost of larger purchases on the platform. It may take extra steps, but it offers more flexibility than using the Vanilla card itself.

Be sure to consider the pros and cons of both methods before you buy something on Amazon.

Want to learn more about using Vanilla gift cards? Consider how to transfer your balance to your bank account!