All you need to know about Amazon Coins virtual currency

By Frank Lewis,
Amazon Coins, the new virtual currency for the Amazon app store, was rolled out with convenience in mind. Amazon Coins, which will cost one US cent each, will launch in May, and can be bought and spent for Kindle Fire apps and games, as well as in-game currencies for games on its mini-tablet device. Read our compiled FAQ below.

What are Amazon Coins?
Amazon Coins are the new virtual currency that customers can buy and spend on apps, games and in-app items on Kindle Fire.

What can you purchase with Amazon Coins?
Amazon Coins can be spent on apps and games for Kindle Fire, whether exclusive to the Kindle Fire platform or shared with the Android platform. Amazon Coins can also be spent for in-game currencies and in-app items being sold on Kindle Fire games.

What can't you purchase with Amazon Coins?
Amazon Coins cannot be spent on subscriptions.

How much are Amazon Coins?
One Amazon Coin will cost one cent, according to the Amazon Coins FAQ. This means that for a customer to purchase a $1.99 app, he or she will need to buy and spend 199 Amazon Coins for the app.

How and where can you buy Amazon Coins?
No word on yet from Amazon on the process and platform for purchasing Amazon Coins.

So Kindle Fire apps and games can no longer be purchase with credit cards?
No. Amazon Coins will coincide with existing credit card payment options for Kindle Fire apps and games.

"For customers, Amazon Coins are an easy way to spend money on Kindle Fire apps and games. They'll be able to purchase as they do now, but with the ability to choose to pay with a credit card or using Coins," said Amazon in its announcement blog for Coins.

Will Amazon Coins be available internationally?
Maybe. But as of this writing, Amazon said only US customers will be able to buy and spend Amazon Coins at launch this May.

Will anything change for developers when Amazon Coins roll out?
Amazon has said that developers will be paid exactly the same royalty amounts as before. Amazon Coins only broadens the payment options for Kindle Fire users.

"For you, it's another opportunity to drive traffic, downloads, and increased monetization. Plus, there's no integration required--you'll get paid the same 70% revenue share whether the customer chooses to use Coins or their own money," said Amazon.

How can developers make their digital items eligible for purchase with Amazon Coins?
Developers will not have to do anything special. They only need to upload their digital items through the Amazon developer portal. Apps and app updates need to be submitted and approved by April 25 for the best chance of being eligible for purchase with Amazon Coins on its May program launch.

"As long as your app or game is available for sale on at least one member of the current Kindle Fire family, no additional work is required on your part to make your digital items purchasable with Amazon Coins," assured Amazon.

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