8 Reasons for Unknown Amazon Charges [And How to Solve It]

Amazon has many features that allow you to make the most of your shopping experience. One of them is easy payment methods.

But what happens when you get unknown Amazon charges? What do you do? Find out eight reasons for unknown Amazon charges and how to solve them.

What Is an Unknown Charge on Amazon?

An unknown charge on Amazon is a charge on your credit card that you didn’t authorize. Amazon’s unknown charges could be anything from a shipping fee to an unordered item. It could also be a price that doesn’t match what you ordered or even a subscription that you didn’t activate.

If you have been getting unknown charges on Amazon for purchases or transactions you didn’t make, you may wonder what’s going on. Keep reading to find out the common reasons for unknown charges on Amazon and how to solve it.

1. Amazon Has Just Renewed Your Prime Membership for Another Year

Amazon Prime is a paid membership that allows customers to access premium services for a monthly or annual price. People who sign up for Amazon Prime enjoy access to free delivery and some other exclusive deals.

Suppose you have signed up for a free trial or membership period at one point or another. In that case, Amazon will automatically charge you for the next membership period when your free trial or membership period is over. This may be the reason for your unknown Amazon charges.

Follow these steps to cancel your subscription:

  • Visit your account to change your membership settings.
  • Choose prime membership.
  • Select, Update and then Cancel.

If you haven’t used any of the services you are charged for Prime membership, you are eligible for a full refund. You’ll get your money back in three to five days.

2. Retained Bank Authorization Holds on Recently Canceled or Altered Orders

Authorization is the bank’s method of indicating that a buyer has the necessary cash or credit to make a transaction.

When you place an order, Amazon checks with the bank on your payment method to ensure it is still valid. Your bank holds the money until the transaction goes through or the authorization runs out.

This is not an actual charge, though. If you cancel your order, your bank will remove the authorization from your account according to its regulations. But sometimes, it can take 7–10 days before your cancellation or change is applied.

Follow these steps to cancel a bank authorization hold:

  • Contact your bank to clarify if it was a bank authorization hold.
  • Ask how long they hold authorization for online orders.
  • Wait until the stipulated time for the next action.

3. A Family Member, Friend, Work Colleague, or Thief Has Access to Your Payment Card

Sometimes you are unsure when, how, or who placed an order for the item in your transaction history. It’s possible that a family member, friend, or colleague at work had your credit card payment details and used them without your knowledge.

It could also be that your kids had access to your device where you have your Amazon account logged in.

However, if you have misplaced your card or don’t know where it’s been in the past few days, getting an unknown Amazon charge is a sign that your payment card details could be in the wrong hands.

If you haven’t given anyone permission to use your card, then you must take the following steps immediately:

  • Reach out to your bank or credit card company to dispute the charges.
  • Cancel your bank authorization to Amazon if payment details have been leaked.
  • Block your online card payment process if necessary.
  • Reach out to Amazon, cancel the order, and ask for a refund of the charges if they were made without your permission.

4. Additional Cards Are Associated With the Credit or Debit Account

If Amazon charges you more than once for an item, it’s likely because you have linked your credit or debit account to more than one card.

So you can always cross-check this on your Amazon account. If you find out that’s the case, you delete one of the payment methods.

To delete payment methods, follow these steps:

  • Log in to your Amazon account.
  • Click on your account.
  • Go to payment methods.
  • Select the payment methods you wish to delete.
  • Click on delete and then submit.

Don’t forget to request a refund as well.

5. A Back-ordered or Pre-ordered Item has been Shipped

An item on backorder is currently out of stock but will be dispatched to you by a specific date when it’s back in stock. When you preorder an item, you buy something that has not been produced or published.

A few days before the delivery date, Amazon often charges customers the full price of the back-ordered or pre-ordered items. Because a preorder might take up to 30 days before it is shipped, you might have forgotten that you’ve made one.

Follow the steps to cancel your order.

  • Navigate to “your orders” and click on it.
  • Select “cancel items.”
  • Tick the checkbox of items you wish to cancel or “select all items.”
  • Select “cancel selected items.”
  • Confirm if your order has been canceled by clicking on “your orders” again.

You won’t see the “cancel items” option if your order has been shipped already.

Follow these steps to cancel an already shipped order.

  • Go to “your order.”
  • Select “Track Package”
  • And select “cancel this delivery.”

Otherwise, you may decline or return the shipment using Amazon’s Online Returns Center.

6. Your Amazon Pay Account Orders Outside Amazon.com

Amazon Pay allows third-party websites and apps to access your account. This means you can use the balance in your Amazon Pay Balance account to make payments on third-party websites and applications supporting Amazon Pay.

Orders made with Amazon Pay start with “P01” followed by 14 digits.

To track the payment, go to the “Order History” section of your Amazon Pay Account and review the payment authorization on your Amazon Pay account.

Follow these steps to review it:

  • Go to Amazon Pay, sign in, and click “Check your Amazon Pay orders.”
  • Sign in using your Amazon credentials.
  • Choose the Merchant Agreements Tab
  • Look for the payment authorization you wish to see.
  • Then click Details to review information about the authorization.

7. A Gift Order Has Been Shipped

With Gift Options, customers can indicate that an order is for a gift. When a buyer labels an order as a gift, the items’ prices won’t appear on the packing slip. Further customization, like gift wrapping, could also be added.

Once a gift is shipped, Amazon will charge you for it. If you are unaware of such a gift item, you should quickly disable it.

Follow these to disable a gift item:

  • Go to “Your orders.”
  • Find your gift card delivery schedule.
  • Select cancel items.
  • Select the items you want to cancel by clicking on the checkbox.
  • Select “cancel checked items.”

You can confirm your cancellation was successful by checking “your orders” again.

8. A Single Order Is Delivered to Several Addresses or in Many Shipments

There are no restrictions on the number of addresses you can have on Amazon, which makes your ordered items simple to share with others who don’t live with you.

Also, you can use various delivery options to ship to multiple locations, including in-store pickup, direct shipping, or gift card delivery.

If any of the above happens, you will be charged separately for each delivery method or multiple shipments. You can solve this by ensuring you specify each delivery and shipment method for every ordered item.

If you have carefully reviewed all the above reasons and believe that none of them apply to you and your charge results from fraudulent activities, please immediately report it to Amazon.

How Do I Contact Amazon About an Unknown Charge?

You may call Amazon toll-free at 866-216-1075 to report any suspected fraudulent activity or illegal access to your account. Alternatively, you can visit Amazon’s web page to report any unauthorized charges incurred.

Can I Look up an Amazon Transaction Number?

Yes, you can look up an Amazon transaction number. You can get a transaction ID by going to the Your Account Overview page, searching for a specific transaction by choosing a date range, and then clicking the View button.

For a complete breakdown of a purchase, click on “Details.” The last digits are labeled “transaction ID.” You can copy that transaction ID and paste it where you need it.

Why Do I Have an Unknown Charge From Amazon Digital Services?

Amazon Digital Services offers a free trial period that automatically turns into a paid membership that costs money every month.

Even if you did not accept the offer to become a prime member, charges would still be made to the credit card you provided on your free trial.


You can resolve every Amazon unknown charge if it agrees with Amazon policy. But you have to identify the reason for the charge before knowing how to solve it. You can always seek a refund and report to Amazon immediately when you suspect fraudulent activity.