First launched in 2013, Amazon Coins are a digital currency used by Amazon for mobile apps and games. The value of Amazon Coins is pegged on the US dollar, with one Amazon Coin being worth one cent, though if you purchase a load of these coins all at once, you can get bulk discounts unlike real currency – for example, 50000 Amazon coins will cost you $400 (you save $100).
Amazon Coins can be bought through Amazon’s website or using the Amazon Appstore. Simply launch the app store on your Kindle or Android device, swipe to ‘Coins,’ and purchase away.
The Amazon Coins are a great way to save money on your microtransactions, as Kindle Fire owners get a blanket 20% discount on coins, and if your local currency is strong compared to the US dollar, purchasing in-game items can be significantly cheaper than making direct payments to the developer.
You can also earn Amazon coins with selected purchases. Games like Hearthstone have previously had promotions dishing out coins, so consider hoarding some coins when you see a sweet deal! You can get Amazon Coins back when you buy eligible apps, games, and in-app items through the Amazon Appstore.
These coins can also be used to purchase apps and games – for example, Minecraft: Pocket Edition can be bought for up to 20% of its list price by using Amazon Coins to make the purchase.
The gift that keeps on giving!
Amazon Coins also present a fantastic gift opportunity! If a friend or family member is an avid Amazon Fire device user, consider gifting them their very own sack of virtual coins. Simply pick the denomination you’re interested in and send them over to your desired recipient.
Can I exchange Amazon Coins for real money?
Unfortunately, no. Once you purchase Amazon Coins, you cannot turn them back into real-life currency. Though Amazon Coins never expire, so it’s a good idea to stock up when there are available deals.
It’s also important to note that you can’t buy subscriptions and some other items using Amazon Coins. Neither can coins be spent on any apps or games that aren’t sold on the Amazon Appstore.
Also, Amazon coins can’t be used in addendum with real money. For example, if you don’t have enough coins to make a purchase, you can’t pay the rest of the sum with your credit/debit card. To complete a transaction you don’t have enough Amazon coins for; you’ll have to either switch to paying entirely in real currency or purchase more coins. Don’t worry though, Amazon will offer you a discount to make up the extra amount, so it’s likely you’ll be better off anyhow.
Is it worth it for me?
Whether it’s worth it or not to jump headfirst into the Amazon coin echo-system (pun intended, sorry) really depends on who you are – or rather how invested, you are into in-app purchases on apps available on the Amazon Appstore. The pricing of apps, games, and microtransactions in terms of Amazon coins is designed so that you’ll always have a little leftover.
For example, Minecraft costs 699 coins, but Amazon only offers denominations of 500 and 1000 coins. To purchase the game using Amazon coins, you’ll have to spend more to get the 1000 denomination. If you plan on purchases extras in game-like skins or resource packs, then overall, you’ll be better off. But, if you’re only planning on purchasing the game, and that’s it – you’ll end up spending more with Amazon coins than without.
If you buy a lot of in-app purchases and you can easily control your spending habits, then go for it: Amazon Coins will be a great way to save a bit of cash whilst going to town on those digital purchases. But, if you only buy the odd thing here and there, or more importantly: if you tend to get ‘carried away’ with digital purchases, don’t use Amazon Coins.
Self-Control: How Amazon Coins can be addicting
Take this: you’re playing your favorite game, and you’re about to lose a big boss battle you’ve been training up for. Your heroes are stacked, you’ve stocked up on potions, and you’re nearly there, but the tide turns, and your characters are quickly running out of HP. You go to the game menu, look at what power-ups and special guest heroes you can zap onto the battlefield, and you notice the micro-transaction screen. For $3.99, you can enlist the help of Adrena, the Duchess of Lightning, and with her help, you’ll be guaranteed to win. You couldn’t justify spending the money on that, but you notice you’ve got 300 Amazon Coins in your wallet, and whilst that isn’t enough pay for this micro-transaction, you reason that you’re only paying for a few extra coins will mean you’ll be better off in the long run and you hit the purchase button and get some more Amazon Coins.
If this sounds like you, smash the stop button and don’t use Amazon Coins. If you weren’t going to make the micro-transaction in the first place, don’t let Amazon Coins incentivize you into making purchases you wouldn’t normally make if you were paying with cash. This can lead to your spending increasing instead. Don’t feel obliged to spend your remaining Amazon Coins by purchasing more to balance it out. If you don’t have enough coins to purchase what you need, just leave them in your wallet for a future offer.
Amazon Coins are only worth it if:
- You were going to make the purchase anyway: then you could be saving up to 20%.
- You understand that you’re not likely to spend every single coin you purchase, and you know that you won’t feel obliged to do so.
Forget these basic rules, and you may be paying more, not less.
What the Amazon customers say
Amazon Reviewers appreciate the added value and potential money saved through Amazon coins. One reviewer wrote:
Amazon coins are an amazing incentive to use IAP in games; for me, I use the coins for hearthstone, and the larger pack of coins gives a discount. Better still, when you purchase things within apps using coins, you get some coins back and have easily saved up to around 20-25% on purchases. If you ever plan to spend money on Apps, this is THE BEST way to do it.
Reviewers like the fact that unlike gift cards, Amazon Coins don’t ever expire, and they are easier to save money with than sifting around for voucher codes.
Most appreciating deals are in Hearthstone, where the use of Amazon coins can save you around 10-15% on packs, or even more if there’s a particularly lucrative deal on.
Conclusion: perfect for avid IAP fans
If you make loads of purchases on apps and games on the Amazon app store on your Kindle Fire or Android devices, Amazon Coins are a great way to save a few bucks whilst giving back to the creators of your favorite games.
If you’re not going to make repeat purchases, or if you don’t use the Amazon Appstore often, there are perhaps better ways to spend your money, but if you’re ready to go all-in on the Amazon Coin ecosystem and you’re able to stop yourself from spending too much, Amazon Coins is basically free money.
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