Amazon has announced that, starting today, users can purchase apps, games and in-app items in the Amazon Appstore and on Kindle Fire using the company's own Amazon Coin currency. To get buyers up and running with the new payment option, the online retailer is giving all existing users 500 coins (valued at $5) free.

So why would anyone want to use Amazon coins to make a purchase? The company says, "Amazon Coins is an easy way to purchase apps and in-app items on Kindle Fire." In addition, it is offering up between 4% and 10% off the price of coins when purchased in bulk as an additional incentive to use their currency.

Currently, the Amazon Coins page shows that $5 worth of coins is selling for $4.50, so even a small quantity saves buyers a little bit of money. The two largest bulk packages, 5,000 ($50) and 10,000 ($100) Coins, are selling at a 10% discount for $45 and $90, respectively.

The main problem for consumers when it comes to Coins (or points on other services) is the issue of leftover money. It's a problem on Xbox Live especially, but it might be less of an issue in this case, as there are actually applications that cost $1 on Amazon's Appstore, and each coin is worth 1 cent.

For app developers, nothing should change with the usage of Amazon coins. They will still receive their standard 70% of the sale price of apps. This is important, as the last thing the company would want to do is change the way its growing app store works and discourage more developers from putting their apps on Kindle Fire devices.

Will you use Amazon Coins? Let us know in the comments section!