Can You Split Payments On Amazon In 2023? The Complete Guide

Hey there! If you‘re wondering whether you can split an Amazon order payment between multiple debit/credit cards or gift cards, you‘ve come to the right place.

I know it can be super frustrating when you want to split payment on a bigger Amazon purchase, only to get an error saying your card combo isn‘t allowed.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll explain exactly how and when you can split payments on Amazon, including:

  • Why Amazon restricts split payments
  • What payment split combinations Amazon allows or prohibits
  • Detailed workarounds to effectively split your purchase
  • How Amazon‘s policies compare to other major retailers
  • Tips for budget shoppers, rewards maximizers, and gift buyers

I‘ve been researching and analyzing Amazon‘s payment systems for years, so I‘m excited to share everything I‘ve learned to help you split payments and save on Amazon!

Can You Use Multiple Cards on Amazon? The Short Answer

Before we dig into the details, here‘s the quick short answer to whether Amazon allows split payments:

Unfortunately,Amazon prohibits using multiple debit/credit cards together for a split payment.

The only split payment method Amazon allows is:

  • 1 Amazon gift card
  • 1 debit/credit card

You cannot use:

  • 2 debit/credit cards
  • 2 Amazon gift cards
  • 2 Visa/Mastercard gift cards
  • Any other combination

I know, I know…major bummer! But don‘t worry – keep reading and I‘ll explain why Amazon has this restrictive policy, share workaround tips, and compare to what you can do at other retailers.

Ok, now that you know the short answer, let‘s dive deeper into the details on splitting payments with Amazon!

Why You Can‘t Split Payments on Amazon with Credit Cards

I‘m sure you‘re wondering – why does Amazon prohibit splitting orders between multiple debit/credit cards?

There are a few key reasons driving Amazon‘s strict one-card-per-order policy:

1. Fraud Prevention

Requiring customers to use one credit/debit card per order makes it much harder for someone to make fraudulent purchases with stolen card numbers.

Here are some stats on how much of an issue fraud is for card payments:

  • $24 billion in losses from credit card fraud worldwide in 2018 [[1]](https://

  • 47% increase in US credit card fraud losses from 2015 to 2018 [2]

As you can see, credit card fraud is a massive and growing problem. By prohibiting split credit card payments, Amazon reduces the chance stolen cards are used on their site.

2. Cost of Split Payment Processing

When an order is split between credit cards, Amazon pays higher processing fees to the card networks and issuers involved:

  • Visa charges 0.14% + $0.21 for card-not-present transactions [3]

  • Mastercard charges 0.13% + $0.20 for card-not-present [4]

For a $1000 split purchase, that equals over $3 extra in fees vs a single card payment. With Amazon‘s scale, those extra pennies per transaction add up to millions.

3. Customer Service Costs

Allowing split credit transactions creates extra customer service issues when folks run into declinations, expired cards, or billing mixups across multiple payments.

Research shows handling customer service contacts costs companies $5 to $15 on average [5]. More complex split payments result in more contacts.

4. Added Checkout Friction

Amazon wants to keep checkout as quick and simple as possible. Requiring a single payment method avoids extra steps to split across multiple cards.

Every additional checkout click costs Amazon sales. Their research shows:

  • 21% of shoppers will abandon their cart with just 1 extra click in checkout [6]

  • 26% abandon with 3 extra clicks [6]

The easier Amazon makes paying, the more customers complete their purchase.

So in summary – fraud risks, processing costs, customer service load, and checkout friction are the key factors that prevent Amazon from allowing split credit card payments.

Official Amazon Policies on Split Payments

In case you‘re curious about the exact wording of Amazon‘s policies, here is what their help articles state:

On splitting payment between two credit/debit cards:

"We‘re unable to divide an order total between two credit cards. To pay for your order, please use one credit card or choose another payment method."

And on using multiple Amazon gift cards:

*“You can redeem multiple Gift Cards on a single order as long as they are of the same type and currency. To use multiple gift cards:

  1. Apply the gift card balances to Your Account.
  2. When checking out, choose ‘Gift Cards‘ as your payment method.
  3. Select the gift cards you want to use.”*

So the only split payment combo allowed by Amazon is 1 gift card + 1 credit/debit card. No other multiple payment methods are permitted.

Next let‘s look at clever ways to work around these restrictions and effectively "split" payments.

Smart Workarounds to Split Your Amazon Payment

While you can‘t directly use multiple credit cards, there are some savvy tricks to mimic splitting your Amazon purchase:

1. Place Multiple Smaller Orders

Rather than one big order, break your purchase into multiple smaller orders and pay individually with different cards.

Pro Tip: Choose free shipping items or reach the minimum for free shipping on each order to avoid extra delivery fees.

The main downside is not getting all your items together. But for digital purchases or non-urgent items, separate orders work great.

2. Use Amazon Gift Cards to Partially Pay

Buy Amazon gift cards at retailers like supermarkets and drugstores to add gift card money to your account.

When checking out, use the gift card balance to pay for part of your order, and pay the remainder with your credit card. Essentially using the gift cards like a second form of payment.

3. Set Up an Amazon Allowance for Your Teen

Parents can create an Amazon Allowance and fund it with gift card amounts.

Then teens can use their allowance money to pay for part of an order and charge the rest to the parent‘s authorized payment method. Allows "splitting" purchases between the gift card allowance and parent‘s card.

4. Reload Your Amazon Balance Before Each Purchase

With Amazon Reload, link your bank account to your Amazon account.

Right before you buy, log into Amazon and reload your gift card balance with the amount you want to "pre-pay." Use that amount during checkout plus your other payment for the remainder.

5. Apply Visa/Mastercard Gift Cards to Amazon Balance

Instead of Amazon gift cards, buy Visa or Mastercard gift cards and apply the full balance to your Amazon account.

Once transferred over, you can use the Visa/MC gift card money just like Amazon gift card balance to split payments.

So in summary, while not as easy as directly splitting across multiple credit cards, you can mimic split payments on Amazon by:

  • Placing multiple smaller orders
  • Using Amazon gift cards or reloadable balance
  • Setting up allowances for teens/relatives
  • Applying other gift cards to your Amazon balance

These tricks essentially let you split your total purchase amount across different payment sources, even if Amazon doesn‘t support direct credit card splits.

Next let‘s see how other major retailers compare to Amazon‘s split payment limitations.

Split Payment Policies at Top Retailers

To give you an idea of the wider payment landscape, here are the split payment policies at 10 of the largest merchants:

Retailer Split Payment Policy
Amazon 1 Amazon gift card + 1 debit/credit card ONLY
Walmart Split between credit cards, gift cards, cash, etc allowed online + in-store
Target No credit card split allowed online or in-store, gift cards only
Best Buy In-store only – online orders must use 1 credit card
Home Depot Credit cards, gift cards, combined – allowed both online + in-store
Lowe‘s No split payment allowed between credit cards – gift card only
Apple No split payment allowed between credit cards – gift card only
The Home Depot Credit card, debit card, gift card – allowed both online + in-store
Bed Bath & Beyond Gift cards only for online orders, credit card & gift card split allowed in-store
Kohl‘s Can split between credit cards, gift cards, Kohl‘s Cash, etc in-store. Online allows gift card only.

As you can see, policies are all over the place! Some retailers like Walmart and Home Depot allow multiple card splits both online and in-stores.

Others like Amazon and Lowe‘s are more restrictive for online transactions. And a few like Apple prohibit card splits entirely.

The overall trend shows online orders tend to be limited to one credit card to minimize fraud and processing costs. Amazon certainly isn‘t alone in restricting ecommerce split transactions.

But in-store, retailers have more flexibility since customers are physically present. So if you need to split payment between credit cards, your best bet is to do it at the checkout counter.

Why Shoppers Want to Split Transactions

After seeing how limited split payments are across top retailers, you might be wondering – why do shoppers even want to split transactions in the first place?

There are a few common reasons shoppers want to use multiple forms of payment:

Budgeting & Cost Control

34% of shoppers say they want to split transactions to better track spending across multiple budget categories [7].

For example, putting your grocery items on one card and beauty purchases on another to separately track those expenses.

Rewards & Cashback Maximization

29% of shoppers split payments to maximize rewards across different credit cards [7].

You could put travel expenses on one card that earns extra airline miles, and dining on a card with higher cashback for restaurants.

Using Up Gift Card Balances

9% of shoppers split transactions to use up gift card balances [7] – like you‘d need to do on Amazon.

Hitting Minimum Spend for Signup Bonuses

Some savvy shoppers will split payments to quickly meet minimum spend requirements for new card signup bonuses.

Teaching Financial Responsibility

Parents splitting payments with teens on shared purchases teaches responsible spending habits.

Based on these drivers, it makes sense why shoppers want more flexible split payment options. And why tools like Amazon Reload and Allowance help provide alternatives.

But the fraud risks for merchants online results in restrictive policies that disappoint many shoppers.

The Reaction: Consumer Complaints & Confusion

Given the demand side wants more split flexibility, how are consumers reacting to the tight restrictions placed by Amazon and other retailers?

In a word – frustration.

Here are just a few of the angry complaints I found across blogs, forums, Twitter, and Reddit:

"This is absolutely ridiculous! Why can‘t I just pay half on one card and half on the other?"

"Amazon‘s payment system sucks! I don‘t want to buy a gift card just to split my order."

"What difference does it make to Amazon if I use two cards vs one? Stop making life difficult!"

"Walmart let‘s you split payment with multiple cards…why can‘t Amazon get with the 21st century?"

"I cancelled my order after getting an error that my two credit cards can‘t be used. I‘ll take my business elsewhere!"

Many consumers are mystified and irritated at the split payment limitations imposed by Amazon and other retailers online.

It‘s understandable – on the surface, using two credit cards seems simple. But all the backend complexities make it impractical, despite consumer demand.

This frustration creates an opportunity for retailers who can clearly explain the rationale for single-card checkout and offer helpful workarounds.

Tips for Specific Shopper Scenarios

Now that you understand the landscape, limitations, reactions, and workarounds, let‘s talk about some specific tactics and tips for:

  • Budget shoppers
  • Rewards maximizers
  • Gift card users
  • Parents with teens

This way you can optimize your Amazon purchases and payments for your situation.

For Budget Shoppers

If you want to separate budget categories across payments:

  • Use Amazon Reload to allocate specific amounts from your bank account to pay for certain categories from your Amazon Balance payment.

  • Create category-specific gift cards by purchasing Amazon gift cards in rounded amounts that match your budget buckets.

For Rewards Maximizers

If you want to maximize rewards across different cards:

  • Focus category spend – only put category purchases that earn the most rewards on each card. Like 5% cashback categories.

  • Purchase Amazon gift cards at grocery/gas stations to earn category points, then redeem gift cards on Amazon for reward multiplier effect.

For Gift Card Users

To use gift cards while minimizing balances left over:

  • Buy gift cards in denominations that divide nicely into your anticipated purchase total.

  • Check your account gift card balance right before you buy so you know exactly how much more you need to cover with another payment.

  • Reload your Amazon Balance in increments that align with your remaining gift card amounts.

For Parents of Teens & College Students

To split costs on Amazon purchases with your kids:

  • Set up an Amazon Allowance funded with gift cards to pay for a portion of purchases.

  • Agree upon categories you‘ll cover vs your child – like you pay for textbooks, they pay for dorm supplies.

  • Gift your child Visa/Mastercards they can apply to their Amazon Balance to use as their payment contribution.

I hope these specific tips help you optimize and work around Amazon‘s split payment restrictions for your personal situation!

Final Thoughts on Splitting Payments with Amazon

I know it can be disappointing and confusing when your attempt to split an Amazon order between multiple credit cards gets rejected.

But now that you understand the real reasons behind Amazon‘s one-card checkout policy, you can avoid frustration and use smart workarounds.

While not as seamless as directly splitting across cards, tools like Reload, Allowance, and gift cards provide flexibility to mimic multi-payment purchases.

And by applying specialized tips for your specific shopping scenario – like rewards, gifts, teens, or budgets – you can further optimize your Amazon checkout process.

In the future, if processing costs come down dramatically, fraud is better controlled, and consumer demand grows even further, maybe Amazon will change their policy. But for now, single payment remains the standard for online purchases.

Thanks for reading this comprehensive guide! Let me know if you have any other Amazon payment questions.

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