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Amazon Prime Smile Charity Program: Android & iPhone Mobile App + Link

Jordan Beaumont
Financial Guru
Updated: 6/2019
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Amazon Smile Program ReviewWhat Exactly Is AmazonSmile?

In a nutshell, AmazonSmile is simply Amazon. The sites are exactly the same. Everything that you can find on Amazon.com can also be found on AmazonSmile. Everything that you can purchase on Amazon.com can also be purchased on AmazonSmile. Everything that you can do on Amazon.com can also be done on AmazonSmile. They have the same products on both sites, the same prices, the same shipping options, the same gift-wrapping availability, and the same everything else. Every benefit you can find on Amazon.com, you will also be able to find on AmazonSmile, and this includes all Amazon deals.

So Then What Makes Them Different?

As has already been established, in layout, design, price points, and product availability, the two sites are absolutely identical; however, there is one main difference. When you makes a purchase at AmazonSmile, a small portion of 0.5% of the proceeds is donated to a charity or non-profit of your choice.

Does That Mean the Price for Items is More Expensive?

No. Absolutely not. Whatever the price of an item is that you are looking to purchase on Amazon.com, it will still be that same price on AmazonSmile. For example, if you visit Amazon.com to buy a copy of Jim Butcher’s Brief Cases for $16.81, you would still pay the same $16.81 price if you decide to buy it on AmazonSmile instead. The only difference is that the AmazonSmile Foundation will then take 0.5% of your purchase price and donate it to whichever charity or non-profit for which you have specified. You, yourself, will not be charged so much as a penny more.

Amazon Smile Program Review

Okay. But There Has to Be a Catch Somewhere, Right? Someone, Somewhere is Getting Charged for This?

 Nope. There is no registration fee for signing up; there is no increase in prices to buy your items. You don’t have to pay a single cent more for shopping on AmazonSmile than you would if you had simply went to Amazon.com instead. If you are an Amazon Prime member who receives free two-day shipping, you will still receive your free two-day shipping even if you purchase your products through AmazonSmile.

Furthermore, there is no registration fee for charities or non-profits to sign up to be recipients of AmazonSmile donations either. They simply have to provide their 501(c)3 number to Amazon to prove their non-profit or charity status, and they can then be recipients of AmazonSmile. Also, AmazonSmile does not take a cut from the donations. When they say they take 0.5% from eligible purchases, that is exactly how much they take, and that is exactly how much they give. There truly are no hidden fees.

Okay, Then. Sounds Good. How Do I Use It?

 AmazonSmile is incredibly simple to use. If you know how to make purchases on Amazon.com, then you can just as easily make purchases on AmazonSmile. The first step is setting up your AmazonSmile account.

How Do I Set Up an Account on AmazonSmile?

 To set up your account on AmazonSmile, the first thing you need to do is visit smile.amazon.com. Once there, you will be asked to log in to your Amazon account. You do not have to set up a separate account to use this service; your regular Amazon account is all that you need.

Once you’ve logged into your Amazon account, you will be directed to a page that allows you to pick which charity to whom you want your 0.5% donation to be sent. There is a list of popular charities to choose from or you can type in the name of your own charity. This is a great feature because in addition to the big, national charities, you can often find smaller, local, less well-known charities to donate to by typing them into the search field. You can even search for local charities by searching based on your location.

Once you find your charity, there will be a button to the right that says “Select.” You simply click that button, and you will be directed to a new page that asks you to confirm that you have selected the right charity or non-profit. You check the box that says “Yes” and hit continue. Your charity will be set, and you will be redirected to the smile.amazon.com homepage, which looks identical to the regular Amazon homepage. Then, you simply shop as you usually would.

After this first time, all you have to do is make sure that when you go to shop at Amazon, you type in the correct address, which is smile.amazon.com. If you forget and go to Amazon.com, there will be no donation made. Purchases made through the Amazon mobile app will also not result in a donation.

What if I Want to Support a Different Charity Later?

 If sometime later down the line, you decide you want to support a new non-profit or charity, that is absolutely okay, and it is very easy to accomplish. Every time you visit smile.amazon.com, directly beneath the search for products bar, there is a section that shows which charity you are supporting. If you hover over the name of the charity, it will pop up a box that shows how much you have contributed to charities since you’ve been using AmazonSmile, how much in total donations AmazonSmile has contributed, and info about the charity that you are supporting. Furthermore, it will also give you the option to change your charity. If you wish to do so, you simply click on the “change” button, and it will take you to the original page to search for a charity. You can change the charity or non-profit you want to support as often as you choose.

Amazon Smile Program Review

Does It Actually Work?

 As of data reported in February of 2018, consumers just like you using AmazonSmile have supported almost a million different charities. According to the data in November of 2018, over $100 million in donations have been given to those charities and non-profits.

What Happens if the Charity I Donate to Has Not Registered with AmazonSmile?

 If you try to send money to a non-profit that has not registered with AmazonSmile, an email will be sent to that non-profit saying that someone is trying to send money to them and that they need to register for free with AmazonSmile to be able to receive those funds. Most of the time, when non-profits see emails like this, they do register and the funds go to them. However, if for some reason the charity decides not to create a free account, the funds you donate go to another charity after eight quarters.

Sounds Awesome. I’m Sold. Is Every Item For Sale on Amazon Eligible for AmazonSmile Donations?

 Regrettably, there are some things on Amazon which are not eligible for donations to charities via AmazonSmile. Digital purchases such as Kindle books and digital movie and television downloads are not eligible for AmazonSmile; neither is the monthly or yearly fee for Amazon Prime. Items that are sold by third parties instead of Amazon directly are also often not eligible. Donations are also not made from items that are returned. If you are curious as to whether or not an item is eligible for AmazonSmile donations, simply look underneath the item for the “Eligible for AmazonSmile Donations” stamp. If you see this on the item, then it is definitely eligible for donations.

Is My Donation Tax Deductible?

 Unfortunately, no, the donations are not tax deductible for you the consumer because the money is not actually coming from you. Because you are paying the same price for your items as you normally would, it is actually Amazon that is donating the money. Therefore, you cannot claim these donations as tax deductions. There are several other donations you, yourself, can make that are tax deductible. Do a Google search or speak to an accountant or tax specialist if you are looking for ideas on how to donate for deductions.

Amazon Smile Program Review

That’s All Great Information, But I Actually Run a Non-Profit. What Information Can You Give to Me?

 Actually, lots of information. As has already been mentioned, nearly a million different charities and non-profits already use the site and over $100 million dollars has been donated to these charities. Literally the only thing you need is your 501(c)3 number, and it is completely free to sign up. There is no charge, which means there is no reason not to give it a try.

How Will My Charity Receive its Donations?

 Once you are registered as a designated charity, people will be able search for your charity and add you as their beneficiary. At the end of each quarter, the sum of all donations from all of the Amazon customers who chose your charity will be automatically electronically transferred to the account you added during your charity’s registration.

Aside from the Free Money, Are There Any Other Perks for Signing Up?

 Well, the free money is definitely the big draw, but yes, there are a few other good reasons to sign up for the program. First of all, tons of people shop at Amazon. It isn’t a website that is likely to lose popularity anytime in the near future. This means that the donations you receive will likely be regular, steady, long-term donations.

Furthermore, every so often, Amazon showcases a particular charity for a week, a month, or another set period of time. This brings a lot of extra – free – exposure to your charity that it might not have received otherwise. This is particularly great if you are a small, local charity that people outside of your area may not know about.

Amazon also reminds people who visit their regular, Amazon.com site that they are not at the smile.amazon.com site, which means even if a person forgets to go to the charity site, they get a reminder before they actually spend any money. This means that people won’t often forget to pledge their donations to you.

Okay. Be Real with Me. Are There Any Downsides to AmazonSmile?

 In theory, no, there are no downsides. Free money is free money, right? In reality, though, there may actually be one downside that some of the non-profits that have used AmazonSmile have noticed. It doesn’t seem to be a common problem, but it has happened to a few charities that have signed up on the site, and when it does happen, it is a pretty big issue.

People who donate to their favorite charity through AmazonSmile may feel as though they do not need to donate to them directly. Since AmazonSmile only donates 0.5% of each purchase to the charity, this could cause a significant drop in monetary donations to that person’s usual charity. This is certainly not going to happen with all donors; however, it is a possibility that you might want to consider when signing up for AmazonSmile.

 Will AmazonSmile Take the Place of My Other Fundraising Activities?

 If enough people choose your charity to donate their percentage to and they buy enough stuff throughout the year, then the proceeds from AmazonSmile can definitely be a nice, fat addition to your charitable donations. However, that being said, you should never depend on AmazonSmile for the bulk of your fundraising.

FAQ

Amazon Smile is an innovative way of letting people donate to their charities of choice while purchasing products. Since it is a fairly new concept to everyone especially on a large scale, we have answered your most frequenty asked questions on the matter.

Getting to Know Amazon Smile

In this section, we have compiled general questions about Amazon Smile. They are as follows:

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What is Amazon Smile?

Amazon Smile is a website that is operated by Amazon. The only difference is when you make a qualified purchase, a portion of your total bill goes to the charity of your choice.

What is Amazon Prime Smile?

Amazon Prime Smile offers what Amazon Prime does. It is also a paid subscription service but a part of your recurring bill is donated to charity.

Is Amazon Smile legit?

Yes, it is just as legitimate as Amazon, offering the same protection and quality of service as the latter.

How does Amazon Smile work on mobile?

Using Amazon Smile on mobile is essentially no different than that of your Amazon app.

Is there an Amazon Smile app?

Yes. Now, you can shop and donate to a charity at the same time even on mobile.

When did Amazon Smile start?

Amazon Smile was launched in October 2013.

Is Smile Amazon safe?

Absolutely. As it is operated by Amazon as well, consider it as safe as shopping with Amazon itself.

What happened to Amazon Smile?

Nothing. However, there have been critics saying that Amazon is capitalizing on charity to increase sales.

Is Amazon Smile the same as Amazon?

Yes and no. While both offer the exact same services and products, Amazon Smile carries the distinction of being a charitable endeavor.

What is the difference between Amazon.com and Smile.Amazon.com?

Amazon.com takes you to Amazon, while Smile.Amazon.com directs you to Amazon Smile.

Who's the head of Amazon Smile?

As Amazon Smile is considered a part of Amazon, it is also headed by Jeff Bezos, its CEO.

Is Amazon Smile more expensive?

No. All products in Amazon and Amazon Smile are priced the same.

Is Amazon Smile worth it?

It depends on how you look at it. Amazon Smile relieves you of the hassle of donating to a charity because they do it for you. However, the rebates you may get for purchasing certain products may be larger. You can donate your savings to a charity instead.

How to turn off Amazon Smile?

First sign into your account. Then, click on “My Account”, which is in the top right corner of the page. Once you’re there, you can go to settings. You can turn off Amazon Smile from there.

How to change Amazon Smile account?

You can change your account by logging out of Amazon and logging back in with the account you wish to use.

Is Amazon Smile only Prime?

No, all Amazon users have access to Amazon Smile. Prime customers can get the same discounts that they’d normally get as well.

How do I explain Amazon Smile?

It’s easy to explain Amazon Smile. Just say that a portion of every sale goes to a charity of the buyer’s choosing.

Is selection on Amazon Smile the same as regular Amazon?

Yes, Amazon Smile has the same selection as regular Amazon and Amazon Prime.

Using Amazon Smile and Encouraging People to Do the Same

If you want to make sure that all your purchases are helping charities, read this section to find out how to use Amazon Smile:

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How do I use Amazon Smile on the Amazon app?

You can’t. You must uninstall your Amazon app first before using Amazon Smile.

How to sign up for Amazon Smile?

Simple go to Amazon Smile’s registration page then select a charitable organization you want to donate to.

How to use Amazon Smile?

As Amazon Smile is exactly like Amazon, use it to browse around and purchase goods as how you would on Amazon.

How to get Amazon Smile on app?

You can’t. There is no Amazon Smile app as of writing.

How to add Amazon Smile button?

After you have removed Amazon from your mobile device, tap the Share button on the Amazon Smile website then tap Add to Homescreen.

How to cancel Amazon Smile?

You would have to email Amazon’s personal service line to have your account deleted. Also, you can just stop using your account.

How to make Amazon Smile my default?

You can’t. You always have to log in through Smile.Amazon.com or tap the Amazon Smile button on your screen.

How to switch to Amazon Smile?

You can’t switch from Amazon to Amazon Smile. You need to sign in to a different website (Smile.Amazon.com) to benefit a charitable organization.

How to get Amazon Smile on iPhone?

Whether on Android or on iPhone, there is no existing app so you have to create a shortcut button to directly take you to Amazon Smile.

How to login to Amazon Smile?

Once you are in the website, simply use the log in information you have provided when you registered.

How to default to Smile.Amazon.com?

You can choose to make Amazon Smile your default by looking in the preferences part of your settings. This can be found by clicking on “My Account”, which is in the top right-hand corner after you log in.

Can I buy corporate gift cards on Amazon Smile?

You can buy giftcards on Amazon Smile, but we couldn’t find any information about whether you can get bulk purchase discounts while using the service.

How to use Smile on Amazon iOS app?

First tap the share button at the bottom of the screen. Then select “Add to Home Screen”. This will add an Amazon Smile icon to your phone that you can use to shop on Amazon Smile.

How to transfer Amazon Smile funds?

To transfer Amazon Smile funds, you’ll need to search for your organization based on its EIN number or name. Select your organization and create an administrator account. Verify your email address and submit your bank information. Finally, upload a copy of a voided check. This will allow you to transfer funds and access your account.

Charities on Amazon Smile

Whether you are part of a charitable organization or want to know more about the charities Amazon Smile supports, you shouldn’t skip this section.

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What charities are on Amazon Smile?

As there are over 1 million charities on Amazon Smile, you need to search through their website to see if the charity you want to donate to is supported by the site.

Are churches eligible for Amazon Smile?

Yes. However, churches also need to go through the same registration process as any charitable organization.

How to change Amazon Smile charity?

After signing in to Amazon Smile, go to Your Account and select the option Change your Charity.

How to add a charity to Amazon Smile?

You cannot add a charity that is not already registered with Amazon Smile. However, you can select from the ones that are already registered by name.

How to become a charity on Amazon Smile?

Register first as a charitable organization at org.Amazon.com. When you have signed in already, navigate to the Help link and select Spotlight Charities to access the application form under General Program Information.

How to support planned parenthood on Amazon Smile?

If you just registered in Amazon Smile, simply select Planned Parenthood as your charity of choice. Else, follow the procedure of changing your charity.

How to invite a user to Amazon Smile?

There are many platforms to do so like a charity using their unique link to direct people to Amazon Smile. However, you can just send the link to the website directly to the people you want to invite.

How to add Amazon Smile banner to mailchimp?

There is no official Amazon Smile banner, so you may need to create one that fits what you are representing and what it is for. Once you have created one, upload it to mailchimp and add it to your email.

How to do an Amazon Smile hyperlink?

Once you are approved for Amazon Smile, you automatically get a unique URL which you can use on emails or other marketing materials.

Does Amazon Smile support the NRA?

Yes, the NRA is eligible for donations from Amazon Smile. You can find it by searching for them when you pick your charity.

Can schools register for Amazon Smile?

Not usually. The only organizations that are eligible for Amazon Smile are 501(c)(3) organizations, which most schools aren’t.

Is Wikipedia on Amazon Smile?

Yes, you can donate to Wikipedia by picking the Wiki Media Foundation as your charity when you’re shopping on Amazon Smile.

Donating through Amazon Smile

Find out how you can donate and where your donated money goes when you purchase through Amazon Smile.

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How to donate through Amazon Smile?

You automatically donate to your chosen charity by making qualified purchases through Amazon Smile. However, if you want a bigger donation, we suggest going directly to the organization.

How do you know if products qualify for Amazon Smile?

All products marked “Eligible for Amazon Smile Donation” would count in calculating your donation. Other products would not.

How much does Amazon Smile donate?

For every purchase, the amount Amazon Smile donates is different as it is based on your purchase. So, the more expensive the qualified purchase, the higher the donation.

How much have I donated Amazon Smile?

To see how much you have donated so far, go to your past orders. From there, you can see how much you have donated per order. Then, you can just add them up.

How much has Amazon Smile donated?

Amazon Smile has already donated over $30 million to different charities in a span of five years.

Can Amazon Smile use PayPal?

Yes, you can use PayPal to make purchases on Amazon Smile the same way that you’d be able to use it to make purchases on normal Amazon.

How much has Amazon Smile donate to my charity?

When you have already purchased through Amazon Smile to support a charity, it would show how much you donated as well as the total amount that particular charity has gotten so far.

What percentage of Amazon Smile goes to charity?

0.5 percent of your qualified product purchase (excluding taxes, shipping fee, etc.) goes to charity.

How often are deposits made on the Amazon Smile program?

Every time the charity accumulates at least $5 in donation. However, if that does not happen after one year, the amount is automatically transferred to the charity’s account.

How to add bank account for Amazon Smile?

You can add a bank account the same way you’d add a payment method for standard Amazon or Amazon Prime. Just log into your account and enter a new payment information when you’re making a purchase.

Completing your Purchase

Amazon accepts different payment methods, but does the same hold true for Amazon Smile? Find out in this section.

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Does Amazon Smile work with giftcards?

Yes. You can spend your giftcards via Amazon Smile without any reduced benefit to you or to your charity.

Can you use ebates with Amazon Smile?

No. You won’t get ebates as well when you shop with Amazon Smile.

Can I use Amazon Smile after I place the order?

No, to make this work you’d need to cancel the order, log into Amazon Smile, and place the order again.

How do I see how much money from Amazon Smiles?

You can see how much money you’ve given and how much has been given overall by clicking on the charity you’re currently supporting. This will bring up your personal stats and the stats for the whole service.

Will Amazon Smile work in Canada?

Yes, Amazon Smile works with the Canadian version of the Amazon.com site. That means you can use it in Canada.

Can a PTO sign up for Amazon Smile?

The only organizations that can sigh up for Amazon Smile are those that are registered as 501(c)(3) organizations with the IRS.

Does Amazon Smile accept Paypal?

Yes. You may use Paypal to make a purchase with Amazon Smile.

Where can I share my unique Amazon Smile charity link?

You can share your unique link anywhere you promote your charity. This makes it easier for people to support you by simply following the link.

Does Amazon Smile work outside the United States?

Sometimes – Amazon Smile works in the US, Canada, and may work in select other countries. Amazon is looking to expand the program so new options are always being added.

Does Amazon Smile slow down Prime shipping?

Using Amazon Smile doesn’t slow down Prime shipping at all – Amazon will still give you two-day shipping from the time the order is processed.

Does Walmart do a program like Amazon Smile?

Walmart has its own private charity and will engage in cooperative programs with other charities, but they don’t have a program similar to Amazon Smile.

How to add Amazon Smile to Google search engine?

You can add your unique link to Amazon Smile in your webpage, this will help it get noticed on Google Searches for Amazon Smile and for your organization.

You may, but you must make a note that the logo is property of Amazon and used with permission.

Do subscribe and save count for Smile Amazon?

At the moment recurring purchases like the subscribe and save items are not eligible for Amazon Smile.

Jordan Beaumont

Jordan Beaumont

Financial Guru

Jordan's work focuses on helping people reach their financial goals so they can spend more time with family and friends and less time worrying about their budget. After finishing college with a degree in Accounting and Communication, he realized that these are the most important things in life and that people shouldn’t miss out because of money.

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