If you’ve ever thought that REI stands for “really expensive inventory,” you’re not alone. The outdoorsy retailer isn’t known for rock-bottom prices, but there’s hope.
We’ve researched all the REI sales, savings tips, and the incomparable benefits of an REI membership — like free shipping, 10% cashback on everything, and REI coupons.
But saving at REI goes deeper than simply having a membership. We’ll tell you everything we know.
1. Sign up for REI emails to get a 15% off coupon.
I know, I know, I just raved about the REI membership, and the first thing I tell you is to sign up for… emails? Hear me out.
Before you sign up for an REI membership, get yourself a free 15% off coupon by signing up for their emails. They won’t send you the coupon if you’ve already signed up to be a member. (Although if you’re already a member, just give them a different email address than the one associated with your membership — it worked for me.)
The coupon is, sadly, only usable on full-price items, but still. It takes two seconds and is worth the extra time.
See this week’s best outdoor deals.
2. REI membership will get you 10% back on most purchases.
An REI lifetime membership only costs a one-time payment of $30, and there are plenty of ways to make that money back.
The first is free shipping, which REI members get on all purchases (with no minimum spend).
Members also get a 10% cashback “dividend” every March. It’s store credit that you earn on your full-price purchases throughout the year. The dividends (now known as “Member Rewards”) work like an REI gift card, and once you get them, they’re good for up to two years.
The only thing that would make REI’s membership better would be if it were free, like these store loyalty programs.
3. You’ll get high-value REI member coupons every 1 – 2 months with your REI membership.
I can’t remember the last time I’ve gone more than two months without getting REI member coupons in my email.
Plus, they like to send coupons during their Anniversary Sale (which runs for 10 days leading up to Memorial Day) and their Cyber Monday sale (starts the Saturday after Black Friday).
Here’s some of what I got:
- Exclusive members discounts for REI or REI Outlet (usually 15 – 25% off regular priced items)
- 20% off all regularly priced REI items, as well as an additional 20% off of any REI Outlet item
If you’re looking for a free rewards alternative to REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods rewards program is 100% free.
4. Sign up for the REI Mastercard to get 5% cashback on REI purchases.
Another way to stack savings is with the REI Co-op Mastercard. The card has no annual fee, gives you 5% back at REI and 2% on mobile wallet purchases, plus 1% cash back on everyday purchases. And that’s on top of your member dividend.
Need more convincing? If you make a purchase with your new REI Co-op Mastercard within 60 days upon approval, you’ll get a $100 gift card!
Plus, REI Mastercard holders can choose to get their annual cash back as a check instead of store credit, if you’d rather just put that money back in the bank.
Before you choose REI, though, be sure to read our roundup of the best store credit cards.
5. Members get 20% off all bike and snow shop services and free flat tire repair at REI.
Some REI stores have full-service bike and snow shops (see what’s available near you) where you can get things like a bike tune-up (reg. $90), bike assembly ($100 for standard adult bikes), and more.
Saving $18 on your next tune-up is a good start to making back your $30 membership fee.
Some services — like flat tire repair or even a snowboard/ski wax (reg. $35) — are free for members.
And hey, while we’re getting free stuff, why not get one of these 31 things for free, too.
6. REI gives 10% bulk discounts on socks, energy food and drinks, and cross-country ski equipment.
REI always runs bulk discounts across multiple departments. Save money in the long run by stockpiling items for your future needs:
- Socks: Save 10% when you buy three or more pairs of full-priced socks.
- Bike tubes: Save 10% when you buy three or more full-priced bike tubes.
- Cross-country skiing: Save 10% when you buy three or more full-priced cross-country skis, boots, bindings, and/or poles.
- Freeze-dried food: Save 10% when you buy eight or more full-priced freeze-dried food items.
- Energy food and drinks: Save 10% when you buy 10 or more full-priced performance bars, gels, or beverages.
- Snacks: Save 10% when you buy 10 or more full-priced snack foods.
7. Don’t miss any of REI’s sales, deals, and rebates — they’re listed on the REI promotions page.
Instead of scanning the entire site, save yourself some time and check the REI promotions page first for extra coupons, discounts, and rebates.
If you don’t see what you like, you might be able to find the right deal with our ultimate DICK’S Sporting Goods savings tips.
8. Put REI’s Deal of the Day items in your online shopping cart ahead of time to make sure you get the deal.
REI offers a Deal of the Day featuring 50 – 60% off your favorite products. You can see what’s coming up to six days ahead of time.
To make sure you don’t miss out on a good deal, add upcoming Deal of the Day items to your cart, and on the day the deal goes live, you’ll be ready to check out! Here’s an example of recent savings:
Buy 1 Giro Venture Cycling Jersey-Women’s (
reg. $75) $34.73 sale price
Free store pickup
9. Sign up for free REI backpacking, paddling, and hiking classes.
REI offers a ton of outdoor events, and while most are paid classes, I’m always able to find 1 – 3 free events each month.
Just check your local store’s schedule to see what they’re offering.
PRO TIP: Use your REI membership to save $20 – $30 on paid events (the discount is automatically applied after you sign in to your account).
10. Create an REI gift registry and get 10% off any items that weren’t purchased by the event date.
You don’t actually need to get married to create an REI gift registry. In fact, you don’t really need a special event at all.
Simply create an event, add your gifts, and set a date. REI will send you a code for 10% off any items on your registry that went unclaimed two weeks after your event date. The coupons are good for up to one year.
By the way, if you’re expecting, Target’s baby registry gives you $75 in freebies.
11. REI’s Anniversary Sale is the best time to buy jackets, sleeping bags, and tents.
REI’s best sale is their Anniversary Sale, which happens 10 days leading up to (and including) Memorial Day.
The sale offers 30% off of most departments in the store, including premium brand jackets, tents, and sleeping bags.
REI matches these savings during their Black Friday sale, which always starts the day after Black Friday (REI closes their stores on Black Friday).
These sales are even better for REI members; they get 20% off any full-price REI item and 20% off any REI outlet item.
12. Price tags ending in $0.73 indicate the item came from REI Outlet.
Formerly known as the REI Garage, REI Outlet stores feature a ton of new outdoor gear and apparel that gets marked down simply because they’re out of season.
A lot of times — especially when you shop online — REI will lump Outlet merchandise together with clearance merchandise. Fortunately, it’s always easy to tell when an item from REI came from REI outlet — its price tag will end in $0.73 every time.
13. Save 25 – 65% when you buy used gear through REI Re/Supply.
Another great benefit of the REI membership is the Re/Supply program, where members can buy and resell used gear. Aim for 25 – 65% savings (which I found on these women’s sunglasses).
While you can buy and sell used items online and in store, for best results, buy online and sell in store.
REI gives you 30 days to return the used items you buy online — while all in-store Re/Supply sales are final.
And while REI allows you to sell used gear online, they deduct $6 from the sale to cover shipping costs. Instead, go into the store and sell your gear.
14. Skip REI for The North Face outerwear — shop Macy’s instead during their January clearance sale.
REI simply isn’t the spot for discount outerwear from The North Face.
Instead, look to Macy’s during their post-holiday clearance sales; that’s when we found this jacket for 50% off the regular price:
Final Price: $49.97
See all The North Face coupons.
15. Rent camping gear from REI — not DICK’S — if your trip is more than four days long.
Unlike DICK’S, which charges a flat rate for each day of rentals, REI charges significantly less starting on the second day of a trip.
Starting on the fourth day of a trip — even taking into account the cost of a membership — REI’s camping kit costs less and includes more than their counterpart.
The camping kit REI offers includes:
- One 4-person tent
- Two Adult sleeping bags
- Two self-inflating sleeping mats
- Two headlamps
- One lantern
- One cooler
- Two chairs
- One camp table
- One 2-burner camp stove (fuel sold separately)
- One set of pots and pans
Rent 1 REI Car Camping Kit for four days ($491 for non-members) $195, member price
Pay $30 for REI membership.
Final Price: $225
Compare to $238 from DICK’S
See our full breakdown of the best and worst things to buy at DICK’S.
16. REI members have a year to return most items — non-members only get 90 days.
REI members get a better deal on REI returns, too. Instead of the 90 days that non-members have to make their returns, REI members may return almost any product within 365 days.
Outdoor electronics have a 90-day return window (membership or not), and members have 30 days to return those used Re/Supply purchases.
You don’t need a receipt to make a return if you’re an REI member; your cashier will be able to pull up your purchase history. Non-members, though, need their receipts to make a return.
17. REI does not price match their competitors — they don’t even price match their own online prices.
Womp womp. No price matching at REI — unlike these major retailers that price match.
18. REI will do a price adjustment within 14 days of purchase.
If something you bought from REI goes on sale (or gets a markdown) within 14 days, head back to the store to collect the difference. And like with a return, members don’t need a receipt, while non-members should provide one.
And if monitoring prices sounds exhausting to you, you’re not alone. Good news — you don’t have to; monitoring prices is as simple as signing up for Paribus.
19. Buy discounted gift cards from Raise.com for extra savings.
You can’t stack REI membership coupons and sales, but you can stack savings by using a discounted gift card.
Raise.com sells REI gift cards for less than the amount loaded onto them. I found savings of 2.5% on the site. While that’s not much, it’s 2.5% you didn’t have to pay!
20. Decode REI Outlet lingo to get exactly what you want.
You won’t really find this language when you’re shopping REI Outlet online, but most of the REI Outlet store employees I spoke with recognized the language when I asked them to point me in the direction of these specific deals:
- Closeouts (50 – 70% off): Items in discontinued colors, sizes, or styles that are no longer part of a current product line. Most closeout prices are temporary, so act fast.
- Overstocks: Basically REI over-purchased these items and needs to clear them out.
- Special Buys (up to 70% off): Items made specifically for REI by a vendor, or items that REI obtains from a vendor at a discount, which they are allowed to sell in the current season for a discount.
- Seconds: Items offered to REI at a discount because of minor blemishes, discoloration, or other imperfections. These may include refurbished or reconditioned items.
21. Non-REI members can avoid shipping fees with free in-store pickup.
Any $50 online purchase makes you eligible for free shipping within the US. But, if you aren’t spending that much, just opt for the free in-store pickup option!
During certain sales, like REI’s holiday sale, they’ll drop the free shipping minimum or even offer free shipping on certain orders, too.
22. Work at REI for a 50% discount and killer benefits.
REI employees receive some major perks:
- 50% discount on REI gear and apparel
- 30% off vendor items, plus an additional 10% off sale items
- Access to the ProDeal discount program where items are priced at or below wholesale
- REI Adventure discounts from 10 – 30% off REI member price
- A “Yay Day” which is one day off every six months to get outside
- Access to the Challenge Grant program, which gives employees the opportunity to set a personal outdoor challenge and apply for a grant to achieve their goals
And here are our favorite employee discounts from dozens of other national brands.
23. There’s no REI military discount.
But we’ve got more than 100 other opportunities for veterans and active-duty military to get a military discount.
24. Get 5% cashback on full-price REI gift cards when you shop through Ibotta.
If you’re just not into the idea of getting an REI membership, you can still get cashback from your REI purchases.
Ibotta offers 5% cashback when you buy full-price REI gift cards from them.
Ibotta does have a ton of offers for other retailers, though, and if you want more chances to get your cashback — read our full guide to saving with Ibotta.
I hope this helps make saving money at REI a walk (hike?) in the park for you. Drop any questions you have in the comments below. Thanks for reading!