February 15, 2012 9:04 PM   Subscribe

I am not in Canadabut I have a credit card loaded with 75 Canadian dollars. What is the smartest way to buy something in canadian dollars off of Amazon ( I will need any purchase shipped to the U.S.. Will there be crazy unforeseen delivery charges buying through Is there a way to get this money onto my account as credit? Is there some other smart way to spend Canadian dollars while living in the u.s.? Is there some way to get it transferred through the credit card company to an account of mine? The card says it is only for electronic use.

I called & already tried buying gift certificates - no good.
posted by cashman to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If it is on a credit card, you should be able to spend it anywhere that accepts cards.
posted by alaijmw at 9:05 PM on February 15, 2012

Yeah, you can take any credit card from any country and spend it anywhere else. So, clarification questions:

1) are you sure you don't have a gift card rather than a credit card?
2) And does it have to be Amazon that you buy from?
3) What types of things are you interested in buying? books? dvds? electronics? what?
posted by Kololo at 9:12 PM on February 15, 2012

Response by poster: Yeah, it is a gift card. I thought those spent like credit cards (when they had a cc logo) but apparently not.
posted by cashman at 9:13 PM on February 15, 2012

What credit-card company's logo is on it?
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:19 PM on February 15, 2012

I know that most US gift cards can only be used at US-based businesses. I suspect CA cards are the same. Blame the money launderers.

You could try and use it to buy stuff from Amazon's US site and when you got through the checkout it wouldn't allow it if there's a geographic restriction on the account. Worst case: You'd still have the $ to use from an Canadian merchant. Best case: you have CDN$75 worth of stuff heading to you.

Or you can use it at and most items will ship to the US for extra postage. Last time I checked (a million years ago) at least. Or you can use a merchant like Chapters w/o a US presence. They ship to US address for a few dollars more than their usual rates.
posted by birdherder at 9:25 PM on February 15, 2012

If you ship something to yourself, check what the duty thresholds are. For a Canadian shipping to Canada, the limit is $20. But if you are sending a gift to someone in Canada, there's no duty till $60. So, of course, I always make sure to think about whether what I am ordering is for me or for my children or parents. You might want to see if it's the same sort of thing in the US, although you probably don't have a lot of offshore importing of gifts going on, so maybe there is no limit.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 9:32 PM on February 15, 2012

Sell it to a Canadian? Shipping the card via mail will be cheaper than trying to send something back to the states. Find someone trustworthy, use Paypal or another escrow service, and off you go.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 9:35 PM on February 15, 2012

Also came in to say sell it to a Canadian. Post it on Craigslist for a modest discount (don't forget to take currency conversion into account!).
posted by vignettist at 9:44 PM on February 15, 2012

If you are buying books, on, click the "new" (like "used") link to buy from an independent seller; for new books there are usually one or more that would be shipping from the US anyway into Canada. You'd still have to pay the higher (than US) shipping charge adds to the independent listings, but you can use up the card that way without duty hassles. The US book shipper will be a little grateful for saving/keeping that extra cost (which you won't get back).
posted by caclwmr4 at 9:56 PM on February 15, 2012

Gift card exchanges are becoming popular.
posted by fso at 5:15 AM on February 16, 2012

For the record,'s shipping rates to the U.S. are $8 per shipment plus $2 per item. I wouldn't put that in "crazy" territory myself, but it's not exactly cheap either.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:31 AM on February 16, 2012

Response by poster: the answer was, the card has to be registered before it will work at all. No sticker on it, no hint that it wouldn't work, but there it is.
posted by cashman at 8:24 PM on February 25, 2012

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