Cashing Amazon Affiliate Cheque In India - Everything You Need To Know


I have been an Amazon.com affiliate marketer since December 2013. Recently, I received my first cheque. Since it was a cheque in foreign currency, I wasn't sure how to cash it. I searched the whole of internet for help. Unfortunately all information were in bits and pieces. I couldn't find a good answer to my questions. So I believe, as an Amazon.com affiliate no one else should have the same kind of experience as mine. So I am going to give you all information required to clear Amazon affiliate cheques in India.

Cheque Arrival

Amazon sends cheques to its affiliates once the amount reaches the threshold of $100. The cheque will only be send after 60 days on reaching the threshold. So if your earnings reach $100 in December, Amazon will send the cheque by the end of February.

I am living in a rural area in Kerala. Amazon sends the cheque to me on 30th of every month and it reaches me on 10th of the new month. So it takes 10 days for the cheque to arrive by speed post.

How To Cash Amazon Affiliate Cheque In India?


Amazon sends cheques in US Dollars drawn on Wells Fargo bank. Unfortunately Wells Fargo bank doesn't have a branch in India (they have plans to start one soon). But almost all Indian banks have tie up with Well Fargo. So you can cash your cheque through any bank. If your bank doesn't have a tie up, you don't need to worry, they will send the cheque directly to U.S and cash it.

All banks in India accept foreign currency cheques. SBI, SBT, HDFC, ICICI, AXIS are some of them. You can deposit the cheque as if you deposit the normal Indian rupee cheques. I have heard that some people saying that you need to fill and sign special forms to deposit foreign currency cheques. Actually you don't need to. 

I had a bad experience from ICICI bank. I think it is worth mentioning here.Once, ICICI bank asked me to sign a Foreign Currency Deposit form and I deposited the cheque after signing it. It was my first cheque and I didn't know the drill at that time. Finally, after keeping the cheque at the branch for 1 month, they returned it to me saying that it will take a lot of time (45 days) and you will have to complete quite a lot of formalities. Till that day, I had a lot of respect to ICICI bank guys. Not anymore, I have withdrawn all my funds from ICICI bank and is planning to close the account. At that time, I was more worried about the validity of the cheque, as 1 month has already passed sitting idle at ICICI branch. Cheques in India are now valid only for 3 months, formerly it was 6 months, RBI has reduced it now. I was panicking a bit, I wanted to clear my cheque before it expires. Meanwhile, I wrote to Amazon asking about the validity of the cheque. The reply mail is given below,

"I received your email and understand you'd like to know how long the checks are valid for. Our check payments are valid for 1 year.

If you are unable to cash your checks within that time, please let us know and we'll take further action, such as reissuing a new check. You can contact us again by using the secure form on our website located here:

affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/contact

Should you need to contact us again for this issue, please provide your complete mailing address with your message and the information about the check that is missing or unable to be cashed.

I hope this helps. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Best regards,"

So now, I can breathe more easily as Amazon cheques are valid for 1 year. I have ample time to sort out all the issues.

Depositing Amazon Cheques

I have already said that you can cash Amazon or any other foreign currency cheque through any bank in India. Even if I had an issue with ICICI bank, I know other guys who cleared amazon cheques through ICICI without any problem. 

It will take around 21 - 30 days to clear the cheque. I normally deposit my cheques at HDFC bank and it takes 29 days to clear. I have heard that SBI clears the cheques faster in about 21 working days, I am not sure. I always prefer private banks, as it is easier to track back just in case it is overly delayed. Tracking your deposited cheque at nationalized banks can be difficult. 

Always choose a main branch to deposit foreign currency cheques. Bank officials in rural areas might not know the correct procedure to clear FCY cheques and they may cite some petty reasons for not accepting them. HDFC bank has some branches that specialize in foreign exchanges called FOREX branches, they know how it is done. Most district headquarter branches of all banks tend to be FOREX branches, you will be better of depositing the cheque there.

Before depositing the cheque, take a photocopy just in case if there is any unnecessary delay. Some banks like SBI will ask you to give a photocopy along with the cheque. In my opinion, you should wait at least 40 days before asking the bank why the cheque is not credited. Foreign currency clearing does take time.

One more thing, you should not deposit the cheque at cheque drop box at ATMs or branches, as you won't have any proof that you have deposited the cheque. Deposit the cheque at branch cash counter and keep the customer copy of deposit slip with you for any future reference. Do not forget to sign at the back of the cheque. A copy of deposit slip is given below



You don’t need to fill or sign any special forms to deposit foreign currency cheques, unless it is of huge denomination like $1000 or so. If the bank official asks you to submit the form, he/she probably is not experienced in handling FCY cheques.

Finally, the bank charges. HDFC bank charges me around Rs.280/cheque as collection fee. It may vary according to the cheque amount though. Below is the proof of cash credit I got by clearing my Amazon affiliate cheque. It is a cropped version of mini statement by the way. Of course I am not going to give away my personal bank account details lol.

UPDATE : RBI has changed the rules now. HDFC bank after couple of cheques, are asking about the source of the cheque. If you don't provide the source, they will keep it on hold. In this way, my cheque was kept on hold for 27 days before sending for clearance. You just need to tell them that it is your affiliate commission earnings for Amazon's affiliate program.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks a lot for your valuable information. Please help me - Amazon send cheque in India via courier services or India Post? I cannot get the cheque if the cheque is not send via India Post, because I live in a village where courier service is not available.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rakesh, Amazon sends cheque via India post. They will send the cheque on 30th of every month. It will take 10-15 days to reach your home depending on the location.

      Delete
  2. Thanks Buddy, i deposited my check in SBI , no info from last 30 days, i need to check Now with bank.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait for 10 more days, sometimes it does take 40 days. It depends on when the bank sends it for collection. If there is no information then, contact your bank.

      Delete
  3. Great information man.

    I have some questions?

    Do you fill the Tax form with EIN number?

    Are you face any Non-US Self-Publisher Tax Issues? That mean they are withhold 30% amount from your earnings. http://catherineryanhoward.com/2012/02/24/non-us-self-publisher-tax-issues-dont-need-to-be-taxing/

    Are they reduce any amount from your original earnings?

    How to provide my name for payment? Because our Indian names contain initials. But Passport name includes our father name.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi ,

    Thanks for the information.
    is their any other option to credit money fast ? It took too much time to credit.
    please let me know if their any other option ...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Im also from kerala .My amazon affiliate cheque hadn't arrived after 35 days.Do you ever experience these sort of delays before.?

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...