Amazon CoinsAmazon today announced it'll use its own "Amazon Coins" as a virtual currency for purchasing apps and in-app purchases on the Kindle Fire. The currency system will debut in May, and Amazon says it'll give customers "tens of millions of dollars' worth of free Amazon Coins" to jump-start the economy. (Insert stimulus package jokes/groans here.)

One Amazon Coin is worth 1 cent. They'll only be available to U.S. customers at launch, and they can't be used for subscriptions.

The usual rules apply, Amazon says, in that developers will still get 70 percent of the revenue when users make a purchase with Amazon Coins. There's a small catch, however -- developers need to have their apps submitted and approved in the Amazon Appstore by April 25 to be ready for Amazon Coins at launch.

Sources: Amazon Coins; FAQ


Reader comments

Amazon Coins coming in May to fuel Kindle Fire purchases


I have never been a big fan of secondary monetary systems like this. I have a feeling that a certain app will be 125 Amazon coins ($1.25) on the Amazon App Store while on the Play Store it will be $.99. Playing off the actual value disconnect once you purchase these new Amazon coins. However, it could be that I'm just a cynic and am not giving Amazon enough good faith.

No, I agree that this system is awful idea and will only serve to confuse customers. Why Amazon feels that this is a wise or necessary move and what it hopes to achieve by creating to its own currency is beyond me. Can someone please explain?

I hope this is not like other point systems where you have to buy the points in bulk amounts of $5, $10, $20, etc. (like Wii / Nintendo points). It never fails that you eventualy end up with a left over amount that can never be used (I think I still have 200 Wii points floating out there somewhere).

I agree that this is a terrible idea that will only create confusion and frustration.

Regardless of the outcome, I wouldn't worry too much.

I'm betting that Amazon will still take the 'ol credit card data for a sale.


This is the worst ever. I hate having to take my money I can spend anywhere and put it into some "disney dollar" BS. This is just a way to get $5 at a time instead of .99 If you are just releasing unlimited digital copies of something then why wouldnt you want less transactions with more dollars. So glad Im not involved in the amazon digital ecosystem.

I'd bet it has to do with the credit card companies eating them up with fees on a gazillon 0.99 charges. One $5 charge has to be more profitable than five 99¢ charges (even ignoring the 5 cents change). It's a lot of trouble to set up & maintain a separate monetary system. Certainly not something they would do on a whim. Also, you can give the kids a set amount to spend without the liability of them charging your credit card. Kids are a BIG Kindle consumer block.