Just when you thought you knew everything about Amazon Prime shopping, 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. Create a Holiday Gift List (registry) so your loved ones know what to buy.
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 have to ask!
Here’s how it works:
- Add your name, select the day you plan to open presents, where gifts should be shipped, and opt for your list to be public, shareable, or private.
- Create a “gift tag” for everyone in your household. These serve as each person’s specific lists.
- Shop Amazon, and when you find something you want to add to a list, tap the “Add to Registry & Gifting” dropdown on the right side, below the “Add to cart” option. Select the correct gift list 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: This is also an option for birthdays! Create an Amazon Birthday Gift List to make it easier for relatives to send gifts to your kids.
2. Don’t pay for a yearly Prime membership unless you want it for more than nine months a year.
Seems like a backwards way to start, but if you only shop Amazon during the holidays, you just want Prime Day access, or you only want to binge watch Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, switch to a monthly Prime membership.
With the monthly plan, Prime is $12.99 a month. A lot cheaper than $119 a year, but only if you’ll use prime for less than nine months. At the nine month mark, it’s cheaper to pay annually.
Cancel your monthly Prime membership and start it up again whenever.
3. Find Amazon Prime shopping deals in the “Just for Prime” section.
In Amazon’s search dropdown, select “Just for Prime” to find Amazon Prime shopping deals — you guessed it — just for Prime members.
From here you can browse through deals listed or search for specific items in the search bar.
4. 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.
I’ve seen straight Amazon Balance credits and digital purchase credits. If your account is eligible, you get what you get, but I don’t complain about free money.
Learn more about free Amazon credits.
5. Drop off your Amazon returns at Kohl’s — you don’t even need a box.
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.
6. 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 65% off last time I checked. For example, I found a pair of $87 Kygo Life headphones for around $30. That’s 65% off!
7. Use Amazon Subscribe & Save to save 15% on loads of stuff you’re buying.
With Amazon Subscribe & Save, you can set certain household essentials on auto-order to arrive as often as once a month and as infrequently as once every six months. Cleaning supplies, trash bags, groceries, and laundry detergent are the most common items available.
The best part is if you subscribe to five or more items, you’ll get 15% off. Fewer than five items in a shipment will still get you 5% off, but timing it so you can get the whole 15% off is the way to go. Learn more about how Subscribe & Save works or see Subscribe & Save deals.
8. Shop Amazon Warehouse deals for up to 25% off used items.
Amazon Warehouse deals offer high-quality (some opened or used but not all) products like TVs, tablets, cameras, home appliances, makeup, lawn and garden items, and fitness equipment.
For example, I saw a previously opened slow cooker marked down to $24.33. Normally, it sells for $31.49.
Here’s how to find the best Amazon Warehouse deals.
9. Pre-order new books, movies and more and get them instantly upon release.
As a Prime member, you can pre-order items like books, movies, albums, games, and more. If you order electronic versions (like a Kindle ebook, 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.
10. Add $20 to your Amazon balance using Amazon Cash and get a free $5 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.
11. Get Amazon credit in exchange for used items 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 $400 dollars for a barely used phone.
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 20% off a new Fire tablet, Echo device, or other Amazon tech.
12. Transform a low prepaid 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.
13. Double or triple your return window when you shop from Nov. 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 Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 has an extended return policy and you don’t have to return it until Jan. 31.
14. Get free stuff from the Amazon Treasure Truck if it’s in your ‘hood.
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. (During COVID-19, 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 hometown. 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 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
15. Use the Amazon app to keep Target 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. This works at any store that offers an Amazon price match — like Best Buy, The Home Depot, JOANN, and more.
16. Check CamelCamelCamel to make sure you’re buying at Amazon’s lowest price.
You can be absolutely sure you’re getting Amazon’s best price — no guesswork.
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 that item’s 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.
TIP: Put the Camelizer browser extension on your Chrome browser so you can view price history directly on Amazon without jumping over to CamelCamelCamel.com.
17. 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, and Kindles
- Free 30-day trials of Kindle Unlimited, Audible, and Amazon Kids+ Unlimited
- 3 free months of Amazon Music Unlimited
TIP: When you cash out through Ibotta, you can choose to receive your payment in the form of an Amazon gift card!
18. 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.
19. Save up to 40% on hardcover children’s books with Amazon Book Box.
Keep story time fresh and save money on kids’ books with Amazon Book Box. Just order two hardcover books or four board books for delivery every one to three months.
Amazon editors handpick book titles, and it’s $16.99 for your first box and then $19.99 for every box after that.
20. 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.
21. Share your Prime membership with your BFF and you’ll both save.
Technically, you can only share your Prime benefits if you have an Amazon Household 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 two-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!
22. College students get 50% off an Amazon Prime membership.
There are plenty of great perks for your college student if they join Amazon Prime Student:
- Free 6-month trial of Prime
- 50% off Prime membership after the trial
- Amazon Music Unlimited for just $0.99 a month
- Access to deals on essentials for students like computers, snacks, and clothing
23. Paribus can help get you a credit if Amazon is late to deliver your package.
The Paribus app will help you get compensated when an Amazon delivery is later than its guarantee (Two-Day, One-Day or Same-Day shipping, whichever you requested).
Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.