Kindle Fire owners receive $5 worth of Amazon Coins for free as an incentive
Amazon is debuting its new virtual currency, Amazon Coins, today as an alternative means for buying content from the Amazon Appstore on Android and Kindle Fire devices. The coins, which Amazon gave the details on back in February, can be used to purchase apps, games and in-app purchases -- but not subscriptions -- the same as you would with just dollars previously. Each Amazon Coin is worth 1 cent, so for example a $1 app can now also be purchased with 100 Amazon Coins if users prefer. Although developers receive the same cut for purchases made with Amazon Coins, Amazon seems to think this may be a good model to help fuel more purchases in the Appstore going forward.
The driving reason to use Amazon Coins over directly purchasing with dollars is that Amazon is offering a discount on bulk purchases of 500, 1,000, 2,500, 5,000 and 10,000. For example 500 Amazon Coins can be purchased for $4.80 rather than their purchasing power of $5. If you purchase 10,000 coins, you save 10-percent and pay just $90. Coins can of course only be used at Amazon, so it's banking on using the discount to lock people into having currency that can only be spent on certain purchases.
Kindle Fire users (provided you're in the U.S.) should see their 500 free coins deposited in their account today, but if they're not showing up a reboot of the device should fix that. If you're interested in checking out Amazon Coins as a way to save a few bucks on your Appstore purchases, see the source links below.