That jingling sound you hear is the arrival of Amazon Coins for Kindle Fire users.
The e-commerce giant and tablet contender is marking the launch by disbursing 500 free coins -- the equivalent of a $5 bill -- into the Amazon accounts of existing and new Kindle Fire customers in the U.S. Amazon unveiled its virtual currency in February.
"Today we are giving Kindle Fire owners $5 worth of coins to spend on new apps and games, or to purchase in-app items, such as recipes in iCookbook, song collections in SongPop or mighty falcon bundles in Angry Birds Star Wars," said Mike George, vice president of apps and games at Amazon. "We will continue to add more ways to earn and spend Coins on a wider range of content and activities -- today is Day One for Coins."
Consumers can get discounts of up to 10 percent when they buy the coins in bulk, which in low volumes are priced at $1 for 100 coins. To get that 10 percent discount, shoppers have to place an order for 5,000 ($45) or 10,000 coins ($90).
Clearly hoping that software makers will work to encourage in-app spending in their apps, Amazon said that its Appstore developers will earn the standard 70 percent revenue share when customers make purchases using Amazon Coins.