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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. If you’ve been asking the question, “When does REI have sales? We’ve got the answers. In fact, not only have we researched all the REI sale event and savings tips, but I’ll also tell you about incomparable benefits of an REI membership. It costs $30 for your entire lifetime and includes free shipping, 10% cash back on everything, and REI coupons.
But saving at REI goes deeper than simply having a membership. We’re about to tell you everything we know.
Text HACKS to 57299 for money-saving tips sent to your phone. And download The Krazy Coupon Lady app for easy access to the latest sales.
Does REI Price Match?
According to REI’s website, REI does not offer price matching. They focus instead on “providing discounts to [their] members through coupons, annual rewards, and other promotional events throughout the year.”
But, when does REI have sales?
You’ll find modest sales throughout the year, but the biggies are the REI Anniversary Sale in May and their post-Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales (they are closed on Thanksgiving and Black Friday). I’m digging into what items to pick up when below.
Here are some of the coupons, rewards and promos you can take advantage of to save some money while shopping this outdoor retailer.
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. You’ll have 30 days to use the coupon code so choose when you sign up for REI emails wisely.
RELATED: 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% cash back Co-Op Member Rewards (once called “dividends”) every March. It’s store credit that you earn on your full-price purchases throughout the year. The 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. There’s no REI military discount.
It’s a bummer. But we’ve got more than 100 other opportunities for veterans and active-duty military to get a military discount.
4. 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 typically 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.
5. 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 in rewards at REI and 1.5% rewards on everyday purchases. And that’s on top of your Co-op Member Rewards.
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!
Before you choose REI, though, be sure to read our roundup of the best store credit cards.
6. 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. For flat tire repair, labor is covered but you will have to pay for any necessary parts.
RELATED: While we’re getting free stuff, why not get one of these 31 things for free, too.
7. 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.
8. Don’t miss any REI sale, deal, or rebate — they’re all 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. It’s super quick to navigate.
9. The REI Deals page has savings up to 75% off on everything from apparel to camping gear.
REI used to offer a Deal of the Day, but they retired that feature in 2022. But fear not, there is still a deals page! And the getting is actually pretty good on it! For example, I found a Women’s Patagonia Insulated Jacket for $98.93, marked down from $199.99 (50% off). Not to mention a REI Co-op Zephyr 25 Recycled Sleeping Bag for $38.83 (reg. $159.99 — 75% off).
10. 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. It might be a Hiking Basics Presentation or a Running Basics info session, you’ll find different topics to choose from.
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).
11. 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.
12. The REI Anniversary Sale is the best time to buy jackets, sleeping bags, and tents.
The best REI 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.
13. Price tags ending in $0.73 indicate the item came from REI Outlet.
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.
14. 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,
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.
15. 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. You might find tees, sandals, and shorts for 50% off or more, but not the big ticket jackets and coats.
Instead, look to Macy’s during their post-holiday clearance sales; that’s when I find The North Face outerwear at 50% off regular price.
See all The North Face coupons.
16. Rent camping gear from REI instead of purchasing if you aren’t an avid camper.
Unlike other equipment rental shops that charge 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 is a real steal.
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 ($291 for non-members) $195, member price
Pay $30 for REI membership.
Final Price: $225
17. 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.
18. REI does not price match their competitors — they don’t even price match their own online prices.
Womp womp. Like I mentioned before, no price matching at REI — unlike these major retailers that price match.
19. 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.
20. Create your own REI sale with discounted gift cards from Raise.com.
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!
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. Don’t expect to shop an REI sale on Thanksgiving or Black Friday — they’re closed.
REI hasn’t been open on Thanksgiving or Black Friday since 2015, and in 2022 they announced that they’ll ALWAYS be closed during those days. Instead of offering Black Friday sales, the company will give their employees paid time off to enjoy time outside.
You can still place an order at REI.com on Black Friday, but REI won’t begin processing the order until the next day. It’s totally possible to still get REI Black Friday-style deals, though.
24. 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
25. 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!