Thursday, September 11, 2014

Eine Kleine Götterdämmerung- Amazon Payments is Going Away

The single most lucrative manufactured spending opportunity ever was The Mint.  Many people netted millions of miles and points courtesy of the Golden Dollar boondoggle.  When The Mint shut down, it was if the world were ending.  Yet, people found new ways to meet spending requirements and earn miles cheaply.

Now word comes that we are about to lose another lucrative avenue for spending: Amazon Payments.  For years, Amazon has allowed users to make payments, up to $1,000 per month, with a credit card and has not charged a fee.  Though this wasn't an enormously lucrative opportunity, it was an extremely reliable way to meet spending requirements for new cards.  Over at One Mile at a Time, Lucky reports a change in Amazon Payments terms and conditions that signaled the demise of this opportunity, effective October 13.  This is bad news.

As Glenn Reynolds is fond of saying, "If something can't go on forever, it won't."  The free transfer option was a money loser and had to come to an end eventually.  But since no one knew when it would end, MS-oriented users had the Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads for years.  Amazon Payments was a golden goose that laid reliably for years and almost no one wanted to kill it by abusing the system.  Consequently, many users refrained from having multiple accounts, sending money directly to themselves, or other practices that, being verboten under the Ts & Cs, could get their accounts shut down.  But, as Justice Marshall said, "The value of the Sword of Damocles is that it hangs - not that it drops."  This particular sword has dropped and, as a result, I predict a lot of misbehavior between now and October 13.

UPDATE:  Just reviewed the revised Terms.  This seems to be the operative language:


So, I looked at the old terms and conditions.

They provide the following with regard to personal accounts:

That's intriguing.  If I'm reading this right, personal accounts weren't supposed to be able to receive credit card payments prior to the October 13 update.  However, those with personal accounts have been able to do so.  It appears that the new language removes the right to receive any payments of any kind if you have a Personal Account.

I guess we'll have to wait until next month to see whether Amazon's coders can do what what Amazon's lawyers want done.

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