There are a number of ways to order products from Amazon and with so many different options, it can get confusing figuring out when your card will be charged.
Of course, it’s important that you know exactly when your card will be charged so you can plan your finances accordingly.
In this post, we will discuss when exactly Amazon charges your card for regular orders, Prime orders as well as pre-orders.
We’ll also clear out some confusion and answer some questions regarding how pre-orders work.
Let’s get started.
When is Your Card Charged for Different Types of Orders?
From the list of different types of orders we’ve provided above, it’s easy to see why people aren’t sure when exactly their card will be charged.
Let’s start with regular orders:
For regular orders, your card is charged once the product enters the shipping process.
It will never be charged before the item is shipped out.
While it’s true that Amazon does not charge your card until your item is shipped out, please note that they can put an authorization hold on the relevant amount of funds in your account.
This is to ensure that your card does indeed have the funds available to buy the product.
So this means that if you’re paying from a debit card, you’ll need to have sufficient funds available to buy the product at the time of the purchase. Even though your card isn’t going to be charged at that very moment.
Please note that this charging process only applies to products that are shipped and sold by Amazon itself.
If you order a product from a third-party seller, then your card will be charged as soon as you click the checkout button.
For pre-orders, your card is charged once the item is released (if it’s a digital product) or shipped out to you (if it’s a physical product).
While this is the norm for most pre-orders, people have reported their cards being charged a few days prior to the release date of the item.
Regardless of when your card will be charged, it’s a good idea to have sufficient funds in your account throughout the whole process.
You never know for sure when it’s going to be charged and you want to make sure your payment goes smoothly.
If it does not, then this could delay your order and as a result, you may not receive the item on its release date as you wanted.
What Happens if the Release Date Changes?
When you pre-order an item, it’s fairly common for its release date to change.
This is especially common in video game releases. Developers want to polish their games up as much as possible which is why their releases often get delayed.
If your pre-order gets delayed, then you will most likely be charged according to the new release date.
That being said, it’s important to note that some people have reported their cards being charged according to the former release dates of the items they ordered.
So, while you’re supposed to be charged according to the new release date, that doesn’t always happen.
If you’re charged according to the former release date, it can be annoying but you’ll receive your item regardless of the new release date.
However, if you’d like to cancel your pre-order due to being charged early, then you can easily do so through your Orders tab.
If you cancel your pre-order, then the money you were charged will be refunded back to you.
What Happens if the Price of a Pre-Order Changes?
Okay, so we’ve established that your card is charged for a pre-order once the item is released.
Let’s look at a scenario for a second:
A game you’re excited about is coming out in two months and it costs $40 to pre-order it. You pre-order the item and anxiously await its release date.
However, in the week leading up to the release date, it’s announced that pre-orders for the game will now cost $60.
So, the question here is “Will you be charged $60 or $40?”
Well, the answer lies in whether or not the game had a Pre-Order Price Guarantee badge or not. This badge is often provided with most items that are available for pre-order.
It basically means that you are guaranteed the lowest price when you pre-order a specific item.
So, if you pre-ordered the item when it cost $40, then you will be charged $40. Only the people who pre-order the game after the announcement will be charged $60.
Will I Get Pre-Ordered Physical Products Delivered on Release Date?
Pre-ordering digital products is fairly common and makes a lot of sense.
When the product is released, you are emailed the download link or whatever access code you need to gain access to the item.
However, with physical products, it can get confusing.
Will the product reach your home on its release date? Or will it be shipped out to you on your release date?
Well, it turns out that with release-date delivery, Amazon strives to ensure that the physical product reaches you on its release date.
So when you pre-order a physical item and choose release date delivery, it is shipped out to you a few days prior so that it reaches you on the release date.
Important note: This might be a reason why some people report that their cards are charged a few days prior to the release date. It’s because the item is shipped out to them a few days prior to it.
Will My Card Be Charged if I Cancel an Order?
No, your card will not be charged if you cancel your order.
We mentioned how your card is charged once the item is shipped out to you. It’s also important to note that you can’t cancel orders on Amazon once the item is shipped.
So, if the item is shipped and your card has been charged, you can’t cancel the order anyway.
On the other hand, if the order hasn’t been shipped yet, your card won’t have been charged yet. So, you can cancel the order and avoid any funds being taken out of your account.
Here’s how to cancel an order on Amazon:
Step 1: Log into your Amazon account.
Step 2: Click on “Returns & Orders” in the top-right section of the Amazon home page as shown below:
Step 3: Click on the order you want to cancel.
Step 4: Tick the checkbox next to each item in the order that you want to cancel. If you want to cancel the entire order, then tick all of the checkboxes.
Step 5: Click on the Cancel checked items button.
Once you’ve confirmed the cancellation of your order, you’ll receive an email from Amazon confirming it.
When am I Charged for Amazon Prime Orders?
If you have a Prime membership, you can reap a ton of benefits on the Amazon platform.
One of these benefits includes extremely fast shipping options, two-day shipping, and even same-day shipping for selected items.
So you must be wondering when exactly you’re charged for Prime orders and whether you can cancel them to get a refund or not.
Well, the exact same rules apply to Prime orders as the ones that apply to regular orders on Amazon.
So, your card is charged for a Prime order only when the product is shipped out to you.
However, since it’s a Prime order, you’ll receive it at the most within two days.
Hence, you have very little time to cancel the order since it will most likely be shipped out to you very soon after you order it.
If you have a Prime membership and want to cancel an order, you definitely have to be quick about it.
However, if the product enters the shipping process before you can cancel the order, then you have no choice but to receive the item and then ask for a return.
The return process for Amazon is fairly tedious and it’s definitely something you want to avoid.
Options for returning products can be found in your order history.
You can check out our guide on how to return items on Amazon if you’re ever stuck with an item you don’t want.
Is There No Way to Cancel an Order Once the Item Ships?
Once the item is shipped out to you by Amazon or a third-party seller, the option to cancel the order disappears.
In this case, you have two options:
- You can keep the item since it has already been shipped out to you.
- You can receive the item and then ask Amazon for a refund.
Please note that if you don’t have a strong enough reason to return the item, Amazon will charge you for the shipping costs involved in returning the item.
Amazon only covers costs of shipping when the reason for returning an item is somehow their fault (for example, shipping the wrong item, shipping is damaged, etc.)
If you simply want to return the item because you don’t like it or don’t want it anymore, then be prepared to pay the return shipping costs.
Wrapping Things Up…
We hope you now have a better understanding of when your debit or credit card will be charged when buying items on Amazon.
It’s definitely inconsistent but it’s good to have some idea of when you’ll be charged for different types of orders so you can plan your purchases accordingly.
Has your debit or credit card ever been charged at a weird stage in the ordering process on Amazon? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.