On Monday, Amazon launched its virtual currency called Amazon Coins. To celebrate this event, the company is dumping 500 coins worth $5 in value, into the accounts of Kindle Fire tablet owners across the nation. These coins can be used to purchase apps, games and in-app items in the Amazon Appstore and on Kindle Fire tablets.
"For customers, Amazon Coins is an easy way to purchase apps and in-app items on Kindle Fire, and for developers it’s another opportunity to drive traffic, downloads and increased monetization," the company said. "With discounts of up to 10 percent for purchasing Coins in bulk, it’s also an opportunity for customers to save money on their app and game purchases."
Amazon Coins are currently offered in five quantities: 500, 1,000, 2,500, 5,000, 10,000. The more you buy, the larger the discount, costing $4.80, $9.50, $23.00, $45.00 and $90.00, respectively. "I love the new coin system," one customer states. "I use Amazon because I'm all about saving money, and this is one more way to do just that. A 10 percent discount on games and apps and other goodies is something only Amazon offers. Plus, they look freaking sweet."
Amazon Appstore developers will still earn their standard 70 percent revenue share when customers make purchases using Amazon Coins, the company said. No Coins-specific changes are required for developers with apps and games currently in the Amazon Appstore. Of course, Amazon customers can still use their current methods of payment, including credit card information stored in their Amazon account, and purchasing physical gift cards at their local retailer starting at $10.
According to Monday's announcement, "existing and new Kindle Fire customers" will receive the promotional coins. However the actual Promotion Terms, as of this article, state that in order to receive the Coins with a Kindle Fire purchase, customers must be a new Kindle Fire owner located in the United States. If customers have previously purchased a Kindle Fire or are located outside the United States, then they are not eligible for the free coins. Confused? We were too.
"Customers who currently have a first generation Kindle Fire registered to their account do still get the 500 free coins," an Amazon rep told Tom's Hardware. "I do see how that statement can be confusing. Instead of saying 'new Kindle Fire owner,' it should state 'current and new Kindle Fire owner.'" That said, the company is expected to change the Promotion Terms wording soon to match the Amazon Coins announcement.
Regardless, Amazon said these promotional coins will expire on the last day of the calendar month one year after they are dumped into the account. The current promotion expires December 31, 2013 at 11:59 PM PST. "We will continue to add more ways to earn and spend Coins on a wider range of content and activities—today is Day One for Coins," said Mike George, Vice President of Apps and Games at Amazon.
Customers who plan to purchase Android apps with these Coins will need to side-load the Amazon Appstore on their Android device. Information on how to do that can be found here. Coins can only be used on eligible products and cannot be redeemed for cash.