I cannot recommend that anyone purchase these. Of course, my story is only the experience of one guy over the attempted purchase of 3 gift cards on separate occasions, but here's my Amazon gift card buying experience:
I purchased one of these print-at-home gift cards for $250. The following day I printed out the gift card and set it via US mail to the recipient. When the recipient tried to use it, it was identified as having already been redeemed. The recipient called Amazon and Amazon said they could not help and they would need to contact the original purchaser of the gift card (me) which they did. I then contacted Amazon who told me the gift card had been used basically immediately upon my purchasing it (on day 1, before I'd even ever opened the PDF) by some person with a name that was completely unknown to me. The Amazon representative informed me that the only way this could happen is if my account was compromised. Essentially they suggested that someone "hacked" my account and did no other damage other than stealing a gift card code off of a PDF that I had never opened. I find this story extremely unlikely and suggested to the Amazon representative (actually several different representatives) that this theory could be proved or disproved by an analysis of my login activity, which Amazon completely ignored. Nevertheless I reset my password as Amazon suggested.
I was told by 3 different Amazon people that my $250 refund had already been processed and I'd be seeing that soon. "Ok, Great." I thought at this point.
This still left me, though, with no gift for my intended recipient. I decided then that this must be an isolated incident so I then purchased another $250 gift card. I sent the number to my friend immediately which he immediately redeemed without issue.
OR SO I THOUGHT... I then went to look at my orders list and wouldn't you know... the most recent gift-card purchase had DISAPPEARED! I contacted Amazon about this new issue, which I assumed was just some mix-up relating to my earlier purchase, and was told by the Amazon representative that this order had "been suppressed for a reason" and that I'd receive some further information about it soon.
I never did. The representative again told me my refund for the earlier gift card (which still shows up in my orders to this day, the second gift card still does not) was already processed and that I'd see it within a few business days. Ok... fine.
BUT WAIT, IT GETS SO MUCH WORSE!
I then attempted to purchase a third gift card, days later... and after hour or so the purchase had not gone through. So, I contacted Amazon yet again. Basically the story at that time was "It's your bank not giving authorization quickly enough, you just have to wait." Again... OK, fine. I'll wait.
A few minutes later after I had ended my conversation with the Amazon representative, my Amazon account was completely disabled. I then had to spend yet MORE time on the phone with Amazon to get my account re-instated. The guy from the "password reset team" that I talked to actually seemed the most knowledgeable of anyone I'd talked to thus far, and was able to re-instate my account, but told me I was barred from purchasing any more gift cards for at least 48 hours. He told me the security issue occurred because I purchased the gift card on my mobile device but then opened the pdf from my work computer (which I do not normally use for Amazon purchases). This still all seems quite odd to me though, considering that when using my work computer I had to go through extra authentication to prove it was me.
It seems like I have not been successful explaining any of this to Amazon in such a way that anyone understands the problem. In short, no one from Amazon was ever able to help me, I wasted hours and hours of my time on this nonsense, and I never got the $250 back.
Yes, I could contact Amazon YET AGAIN (for now the 9th time or something like that) to ask about the missing refund that I was promised several times (in writing, even), but considering that I seem to end up being punished in some way every time I do contact Amazon about this, I've just let it go and resigned myself to being out the $250. I don't really want to lose access to my Amazon account again nor do I want to end up spending more time on the phone with them.
It feels like maybe Amazon doesn't really have the appropriate infrastructure in place to be able to adequately support this product when issues do arise. Of course I'm just theorizing on cause, here.
I have been an Amazon customer since they only sold books. I have had very few issues over the years and the customer service in the past has always been great. This was certainly not the case here.