How to use your American Express gift card for online shopping

How to use your American Express gift card for online shopping

American Express Gift Cards can be used for in-store shopping almost immediately after their purchase. However, to use your American Express gift card online, you must follow the proper registration process to add your billing address to the card.

  1. Call American Express customer service

    Call the American Express Gift Card Customer Service Center. That number is retrievable on the back of the AMEX Gift Card (or try 1-877-297-4438).

  2. Enter your AMEX gift card number and code

    The automated system will first ask for your AMEX Gift Card number. It will then ask for the security code, which is located on the front of the card. It is four digits long.

  3. Request to speak to a customer service agent

    After hearing your current available balance, the system offers you several choices on further inquiries – choose the option to speak with the customer service agent. The wait for the agent can range based on the time of year and call volume.

  4. Provide the billing address you want to use

    Once you have the customer service representative on the line, explain to him/her that you want to register a billing address to be able to use the card online, and provide the information that the AmEx rep requires. You can use your home address as the billing address. This process normally takes 3-5 minutes.

After your American Express customer services representative confirms that the billing address has been registered correctly, you may begin to use it immediately.

Making online purchases

To actually make your purchases, the process will be the exact same as if you were to use your personal debit card. You would enter in your name, billing and shipping addresses, the gift card number (15-digit number on the front) and the 4-digit security code (located on the front of the card).

Just like when using your personal debit card, your purchase will not be approved if there are insufficient funds on your American Express Gift Card. Thus, you have to make sure that your purchase is for an amount equal to or under the credit available on your gift card, unless the online merchant allows splitting the charges over multiple payment cards.

You can check your balance of the AMEX Gift Card at any time by going online to or by calling AmEx Customer Service at 1-877-297-4438.

American Express Gift Card restrictions:

Your Gift Card cannot be used for certain transactions such as:

  • ATM withdrawals
  • Recurring bill payments (utility bills or subscriptions)
  • Reservations and deposits (hotel reservations or car rental reservations)

Finally, please keep in mind that you cannot “charge back” the purchases you make using your gift card. This means that any cancellations would need to be taken up with the merchant.

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