What is an Amazon Courtesy Credit?

Posted by Jamie on February 4, 2019

Have you ever seen an entry in your Amazon statement that says ‘Amazon Courtesy Credit $XX?’ Or see a checkout statement that said ‘Amazon Courtesy Credit applied’? I have and it took me ages to find out what it was for and what it meant. From the volume of TechJunkie readers asking the same thing, it seems I’m not alone in now knowing what the Amazon Courtesy Credit and how I got it.

The Amazon Courtesy Credit seems to be a discretionary tool used by the company for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s a credit in response to poor service, disappointment, as an inducement, as a thank you or something completely different. You may be notified of the credit via email or it may appear on your account without notifying you at all. There seems to be no hard and fast rule.

The email looks a bit like this:


We are writing this email because you were eligible to receive a courtesy credit for your recent order(s), but it didn’t apply correctly. 
To correct this, we’ve issued a $10 courtesy credit to your account. 
You can use this credit to buy an eligible item shipped and sold by amazon.com and it will automatically apply the next time.

We value your business and hope to see you again soon.


Customer Service


Please note: this e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.

Not everyone receives such an email and sometimes you will just see ‘credit applied’ once you’re past checkout. It seems if you buy something fulfilled by Amazon and have a credit anywhere on your account, it will be used up there. The key here is ‘something fulfilled by Amazon’. If you buy something from a marketplace seller, any credits you have will not be applied. If you buy something sold by Amazon, it will.

An Amazon Courtesy Credit is treated differently to a gift card or promo code so you cannot combine the two as far as I know. It’s a completely separate system. I think it is also automatically applied to purchases at or after checkout. I do not think you can choose when and where to apply it. Only on purchases directly from Amazon and not a marketplace seller.

Amazon Courtesy Credit

The Amazon Courtesy Credit seems discretionary. When I was researching this piece, some people I asked received a credit for late delivery, some for delays in order processing and a few when they either signed up for Prime or when they went to cancel and then changed their mind.

It seems like a discretionary tool Amazon can use to sweeten a deal or take the disappointment out of an aspect of service. So even if they are the largest retailer in the world, they still care (a little) about their customers.

How to get Amazon Courtesy Credit

Quite a few questions on the subject of Amazon Courtesy Credit we received asked how you got it. The simple answer seems to be by experiencing service below the standard Amazon expects. As you can see from above, if you buy something from Amazon directly and something went wrong, chances are high that you will see an Amazon Courtesy Credit.

For example, if you pay for next day delivery but it took longer, you may receive a credit. If you paid for gift wrapping and it wasn’t wrapped, you may get a credit. If you raised a complaint or had negative feedback and contacted Amazon, you may get an Amazon Courtesy Credit.

As it is discretionary, there seems to be no specific rule. I’m sure Amazon staff will have a criteria list but I couldn’t find one online.

A few people I had asked received Amazon Courtesy Credits when they called Amazon chasing a delivery. These seemed to be both Amazon Prime customers and non-Prime customers so I don’t think it is restricted in that way. Where delays were experienced, the agent applied credits of $5 or $10 depending on the severity of the delay.

You can apparently see if you have any Amazon Courtesy Credits on this page. I don’t have any so nothing showed up on mine. You may have some though so it’s worth checking.

Do you know anything else about Amazon Courtesy Credits? Know anything about the criteria used to offer them or any specific action we can take to earn them? Tell us below if you do as we would all love to know!

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