How to shop Amazon Prime Day using Bitcoin
Investing in cryptocurrency is a bit like winning tokens at an arcade. It’s exciting — thrilling even — but once all is said and done, you can’t exactly cash in those tickets for anything in the real world. Or can you?
If you’ve found yourself with some unexpected spending money thanks to a timely investment in crypto — or maybe you’re just looking to stop and cash out before the next market downturn — you might as well turn that found money into something you’d like. There’s no better opportunity to pick up some great tech or other goods that you’ve been eyeing than during Amazon Prime Day.
The annual event, which falls on June 21 and 22 in 2021, is an opportunity for Amazon Prime subscribers to get their hands on Amazon devices and other products from beloved brands at discounted prices — with free shipping to boot. While you can’t make direct purchases on Amazon using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, you can convert your gains and and take advantage of the savings. Here’s what you need to know.
Can you use Bitcoin on Amazon?
Put simply: No, not exactly. But while you can’t purchase things directly on Amazon via cryptocurrency, you can turn your existing currency into an Amazon gift card. There are a couple different apps that support this option.
Among the most popular is BitPay, a payment app that essentially lets you turn your cryptocurrency into a payment method. While you can buy and sell cryptocurrency directly in BitPay, you can also link your existing account from Coinbase and use it to fund your BitPay wallet. Once you’ve done that, you can turn your crypto assets into an Amazon gift card. BitPay supports a number of different cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, and others. All you have to do is cash out and select the option to redeem as an Amazon gift card in order to use your gains directly on Amazon.
Another option that allows you to turn your crypto holdings into gift cards is Bitrefill. Again, you can link your Coinbase account or transfer directly from a wallet by using your direct address or QR code. Once you’ve funded your Bitrefill account with cryptocurrency — options like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and others are supported — you can use it to purchase an Amazon gift card. The app will give you a code for the card, which you will redeem on Amazon and be able to use to make purchases.
While it doesn’t allow you to turn cryptocurrency holdings directly into an Amazon gift card, Crypto.com does give you the option to fund a debit card with your crypto holdings. Set up an account and transfer your holdings in any of 1,300 different cryptocurrencies to your Crypto.com account. The company will issue you a Visa card, which you can use to make purchases through Amazon and other sites. It works just like any other debit card, except you’re pulling from your cryptocurrency balance instead of a bank account.
Cash out of an exchange
If you bought into Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency back in the day when things were a little less streamlined than it has become recently, you likely bought in via an exchange like Binance or Coinbase. In order to use the money that you have on these exchanges, you’ll have to withdraw the funds to your bank account. Typically you will have to use use the same account that you initially used to deposit your funds. This is a security feature as well as a way to prevent money laundering.
Depending on the exchange that you used, the process will vary, but will typically be some version of this:
Transfer times can vary depending on the exchange. Typically, you can expect that your withdrawal request will be processed within a day, but sometimes can take multiple days, so plan accordingly so you have enough time for the money to hit your account before your start to shop. (Alternatively, you could shop using a credit card and then use the cryptocurrency you cashed out to pay off your bill.)
Cash out via investment apps
In the last few years, stock trading and investments apps like Robinhood, Public, Webull, and Cash App have all gotten into crypto trading. If you’ve been riding the wave and want to enjoy some of your gains, you can cash out at any time by selling your holdings.
In order to cash out of your position in any cryptocurrency that you may hold on these platforms, you’ll need to log in to your account, select the cryptocurrency that you have invested in, and sell off part or all of your holdings. When you do this, you’ll create a selling position that should allow you to turn those theoretical earnings into real ones that you can spend. Unless the market is in free fall and there are no buyers, you should likely be able to sell.
Once you have sold off some or all of your cryptocurrency investments, you can transfer that cash to your bank account. This process can take several days. Some apps, like Robinhood, have premium features that you can pay for that allow you cash out instantly. This may be worth it if you’re trying to get your hands on that money fast.