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Just when you thought you knew everything about Amazon Prime membership, I’m here to throw more perks at you. (You’re welcome.)
Don’t worry: you won’t find free shipping and free Prime Video access on this list — everyone knows about those. Instead, I’m going after the lesser-known features on Amazon along with hacks to get the most out of your Prime shopping experience.
Read on for ways to get free Amazon credits, make Amazon returns painless, and more.
1. Pay monthly for Amazon Prime membership — unless you want it for more than nine months.
Seems like a backward way to start, but if you only shop Amazon during the holidays, if you just want Prime Day access, or if you only want to binge-watch Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, switch to a monthly Prime membership instead of a yearly plan.
With the monthly plan, Amazon Prime membership is $14.99 a month. If you’ll use Prime for less than nine months, it’s a lot cheaper to pay by the month instead of shelling out $139 for the yearly plan. At the 9-month mark, it’s cheaper if you pay annually (it comes out to about $11.58 per month).
You can always cancel your monthly Prime membership and start it up again whenever.
Tip: Your first month of Prime is free! Be sure to take advantage of the Amazon Prime free trial offer.
2. College students get 50% off Amazon Prime membership.
There are plenty of great perks for your college student if they join Amazon Prime Student:
- 50% off Amazon Prime membership.
- Amazon Music Unlimited for just $0.99 a month.
- Access to deals on essentials for students like computers, snacks, and clothing.
3. Utilize government programs? You can get 50% off, too.
The 50% off membership offer also applies to people who are on certain government programs like:
- SNAP (formerly known as food stamps)
- A Direct Express card
- National School Lunch Program
4. Find Amazon Prime shopping deals in the ‘Just for Prime’ section.
Yes, there are special deals just for those with an Amazon Prime membership! To find them, use Amazon’s search dropdown to shop “Just for Prime” offers. Even though we’re bummed Amazon doesn’t take manufacturer’s coupons, you may still find some exclusive digital coupons just for Prime members (you can “clip” them right on the product page).
5. Save up to 65% when you shop Amazon Outlet.
Check out Amazon Outlet to get deep discounts on just about anything you’re looking for. I’m talking about furniture, fashion, electronics, grocery, and more.
You’ll find overstocked and out-of-season items. I found stuff for up to 66% off the last time I checked. For example, I found a $40 Ambertronix lighted selfie stick for around $13. That’s 66% off!
6. Shop Amazon Warehouse deals for up to 50% off used items.
Amazon Warehouse deals offer high-quality (some opened or used) products like TVs, tablets, cameras, home appliances, makeup, lawn and garden items, and fitness equipment. Shop now.
For example, I saw a previously opened air fryer marked down to $57.79. Normally, it sells for $119.99.
Here’s how to find the best Amazon Warehouse deals.
7. Drop off your Amazon returns at Kohl’s.
Sure you can still drop your Amazon return off at UPS for free, but you know what’s even easier? Take it into a Kohl’s store and don’t bother with boxing it up at all.
To make an Amazon return at Kohl’s, open the Amazon app and follow this process: My Orders → Return or Replace Items → Reason for Return → Select Kohl’s Dropoff.
Amazon will send a QR code to your email. The QR code is essential for processing your Kohl’s Amazon return — you’ll show it to the Kohl’s associate when you hand over your items.
8. Get free stuff from the Amazon Treasure Truck if it’s in your neighborhood.
The Amazon Treasure Truck isn’t in every area yet, but you’re lucky if you’re one of 30 or so cities with it.
It’s a truck that delivers one handpicked item to the community by parking food-truck style and sending out a text. (Now that COVID-19 happened, they’re sending text alerts about offers that you can click and order shipped.)
To opt in, text “TRUCK” to 24193. Amazon will text you daily updates so you know what items are on a treasure truck in your town. You can find everything from succulents to turkeys to skin care products. It’s random but fun.
Some past Treasure Truck deals and freebies:
- Sony Wireless On-Ear Headphones $39.99 (42% off the regular price!)
- Free RX Bars
- Free Neutrogena Hydro Boost samples
- One 4.5-pound bag of M&M’s (regularly $25) and a free pumpkin for $10
9. Use Amazon Subscribe & Save to save 15%.
Amazon Subscribe & Save gives you the opportunity to set up regular, recurring orders for household goods. Examples include cleaning supplies, trash bags, groceries, and laundry detergent.
Here’s where the savings comes in:
- Get 10% off if you have four or fewer subscriptions.
- Get 15% off if you have five or more subscriptions.
Each subscription has to be for a separate item, so you can’t order five bananas and get the 15% discount. You’d only get 10% off. To get the 15% off, you’d have to order bananas, flour, milk, laundry detergent, and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. Or any other five unique items. Shop now.
Tip: We keep tabs on Amazon Subscribe & Save deals. Make sure to follow along to maximize your savings.
10. Preorder new books, movies, and more and get them instantly upon release.
With Amazon Prime membership, you can preorder items like books, movies, albums, games, and more. If you order electronic versions (like a Kindle e-book, for example), your book will be available to you instantly once it’s released.
Shipped items should arrive by 9 p.m. on the day of their release.
Tip: Here’s how to get free Kindle books from Amazon.
11. Cancel your Spotify membership — Prime members can listen to 100 million songs, free.
No need to pay for another streaming service — Amazon Prime subscribers now have access to the entire library of Amazon Music for free. (Although you can only shuffle songs — there’s a separate subscription if you want to pick specific songs or have unlimited skips.)
Just click the Listen Now button on the Prime Music page, download the Amazon Music app, or ask Alexa to play your favorite artist.
12. Get a free Twitch subscription with Amazon Prime Gaming.
Your Prime membership comes with Prime Gaming, which gives you access to a bunch of different PC games for free.
Notably, it also gives you a free Twitch subscription which would normally cost you $4.99/month — complete with free in-game loot.
13. Choose No-Rush Shipping and get Amazon credits.
If you’re not in a hurry (sometimes you’ll need to wait up to six days), you can earn Amazon credits for selecting No-Rush Shipping. These credits sit in your Amazon account, waiting to be applied to your next purchase.
Earlier this year the offer was $1 off select e-books, digital music, videos, and apps. You’ll get the rewards after your order is shipped. In the past, I’ve also seen straight Amazon Balance credits offered.
Learn more about free Amazon credits.
14. Add money to Amazon Cash and get free bonus credit.
Amazon runs regular promotions where you can get a $5 bonus for adding at least $20 to your Amazon balance. In the past, they’ve partnered with retailers like CVS and Rite Aid or other companies. I’ve seen deals where if you add $20 to your Amazon Balance from an AllPoint+ ATM, you’ll get a $5 Amazon Cash bonus.
These offers rotate on and off, so if you don’t see one now, check back in a month or so.
15. Get Amazon credit with Amazon Trade-In.
You can get immediate trade-in values for your used movies, books, tablets, readers, gaming equipment, and other gadgets with Amazon Trade-In.
Just print a free shipping label and send it off. Amazon will make you an offer, and an Amazon credit will show up in your account once they receive your item. Trade-in values vary and can start as low as a couple of dollars for an old book to $500 dollars for a barely used phone.
Definitely use Amazon Trade-In when you’re ready to upgrade your Amazon device. For example, depending on its condition, you can trade in your device for an Amazon gift card and get 25% off a new Fire tablet, Echo device, or other Amazon tech.
Tip: We explained everything you need to know about Amazon Trade-In.
16. Transform your Visa gift card balance into Amazon credit.
Do you have like $3.12 left on a Visa gift card that you keep forgetting to use up? Clean out your wallet by transforming it into Amazon credit. It’s easy — buy an Amazon eGift card in the exact amount, using your Visa gift card to pay for it, of course. Then apply the Amazon gift card to your Amazon Balance.
17. Create a Holiday Gift List (aka a registry).
An Amazon Holiday Gift List is like a registry for Christmas presents. The cool part is that you can add items for everyone in your household on one list. I can think of a lot of uses for this, but one comes to mind immediately: Out-of-town relatives who typically ask what you or your kids want for Christmas. This way, they don’t even have to ask!
Here’s how it works:
- Choose “Create a Gift List” on the Amazon registry page.
- Add your name, select the day you plan to open presents, where gifts should be shipped, if you want to see what’s been purchased, and whether you want your list to be public, shareable, or private.
- Create a “gift tag” for each person in your household. These tags help you organize each person’s list.
- Shop Amazon, and when you find something you want to add to a list, tap the “Add to Registry & Gifting” button below the purchase options.
- Select the correct gift list and tag from the options. Rinse and repeat.
Amazon tracks who bought what from the list, so thank you notes are easy to whip up after the holidays.
Tip: You can also set up Amazon Birthday Gift Lists, which makes it super easy for relatives to send gifts to your kids.
18. Quadruple your return window when you shop from Oct. 1 – Dec. 31.
Amazon’s return policy gives you 30 days to decide if you want to keep items. But as the holidays ramp up, anything you buy between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 has an extended return policy, which means you have until Jan. 31 to return any purchases.
19. Use the Amazon app to keep Target (and other stores) honest.
It’s called sophisticated price matching.
Scan your Target item with the Amazon app while you’re still in the store, and if Amazon is offering it for a lower price, march over to customer service and ask for the Amazon price.
Target is just one example of a store that’ll do it. This process will work at any store that offers an Amazon price match — like Best Buy, The Home Depot, Joann, and more.
20. Check CamelCamelCamel to make sure you’re getting Amazon’s lowest price.
If you try this trick, you can be absolutely sure you’re getting Amazon’s best price — no guesswork needed.
CamelCamelCamel.com tracks Amazon items and gives you examples of a “good” vs. “bad” price based on pricing trends over the past year. Use it to see if an Amazon sale price is as low as you think it is compared to past pricing.
Or create price alerts for items you want, set your ideal price, and CamelCamelCamel.com will email you when Amazon drops the price.
21. Get 3% – 5% cash back when you buy Amazon devices through Ibotta.
You can’t get cash back through Ibotta for every Amazon purchase, but you can for Amazon device purchases.
Here’s what you can expect to see when you open the Ibotta app:
- 3% cash back on Ring doorbells and Amazon smart home devices.
- 5% cash back on Amazon devices like Fire Tablets, Echo smart speakers, Fire TVs, and Kindles.
- Free 30-day trials of Kindle Unlimited, Amazon Music Unlimited, Audible, and Amazon Kids+ Unlimited.
Tip: When you cash out through Ibotta, you can choose to receive your payment in the form of an Amazon gift card!
22. Ship donations in Amazon boxes to charities for free.
After unpacking your Amazon order, take the empty box and fill it with all those things you’ve been meaning to donate.
23. Share your Amazon Prime membership with your BFF.
Technically, you can only share your Prime benefits if you have an Amazon Prime Family Account, but that’s only for people who live in the same home.
So here’s where the “alternative sharing method” comes in. Your Prime address book and payment options are virtually unlimited. Meaning if your best friend or your grandma wants to use your Prime account for the free 2-day shipping, just give them your login and they’ll add their own address and credit card info to your account.
Just make sure you don’t accidentally mix up payment info on your next order!
24. Earn $18 – $25 per hour making deliveries for Amazon Flex.
Amazon Flex is a delivery service where you can make $18 – $25 per hour driving packages to doorsteps in your community. You’ll use your own car and only work when you want to.
Full-time work isn’t really a thing with Amazon Flex, so it’s more like supplemental income.