What Is a Reserve?

Amazon Payments may require that you maintain a minimum balance in your account to secure the performance of your payment obligations. We call this minimum balance a Reserve.

Why Does Amazon Payments Need a Reserve?

Amazon Payments requires a Reserve to manage transactions that are disputed by customers, including claims under the Amazon A-to-z Guarantee. Customers can buy with confidence using Amazon Payments because the A-to-z Guarantee ensures their purchases. Reviews of A-to-z Guarantee claims, customer complaints, returns, and chargebacks can take 90 days or more. Rather than hold funds pending claim resolutions, we ensure a positive and reliable shopping experience by reserving against total sales in your account.

How Does Amazon Payments Calculate the Reserve Amount?

For the first six months with new Business and Seller Accounts, you will be placed in the Tier I Reserve. The Tier I Reserve amount is the sum of all unresolved transaction disputes (that is, chargebacks and claims) and the trailing 7 days of sales activity.

After six months of active selling or conducting payments using our services, and if you have completed more than 100 orders with us, you may be upgraded to the Tier II Reserve. The applicable reserve amount for Tier II Reserve merchants is either the merchant's Order Defect Rate multiplied by their trailing 30 days of sales or the total amount of unresolved disputes, whichever is higher.

The Order Defect Rate is defined as the number of orders with a defect divided by the number of orders in the time period under review. This defect rate is represented as a percentage. An order has a defect if we have received negative feedback, an A-to-z Guarantee claim, or a service credit card chargeback on that order. An order can only be "defective" once. Having negative feedback and a claim on the same order will only count as a single defect.

Event Account Balance Disbursable Balance
    Tier I Tier II
Customer places an order
on Aug 1
$0 $0 $100
You ship the item on Aug 3 $100 $0 $100
(Assuming no
other unresolved disputes)
On Aug 15 $100 $100
(Assuming no
other unresolved disputes)
Claim submitted on Aug 16 against
a previous order for $10
$100 $90
(Assuming unresolved
dispute for $10)
(Assuming unresolved
dispute for $10)

If your business has been actively selling for more than 6 months (not necessarily with Amazon) and has a good credit history, we may consider upgrading your account to Tier II before your 6 months of history with Amazon Payments has been reached. If you fall in this category, please contact us to request an upgrade to Tier II. When you open the contact-us form, select Merchant or Developer Account, Product or Service = Checkout by Amazon, and Reason = Reserve Tier Upgrade Request. In the Comments/Question box, be sure to enter the following information:

  • Your Merchant ID
  • Your Merchant Website URL
  • Your reason for requesting the Tier II Upgrade

We will review an account for an upgrade only once every six months.


Changing your Bank Account information will start an automatic 14-day hold on disbursements. See How often am I paid for more information.