Amazon became the world’s largest retailer by establishing a reputation for low prices, fast shipping, and friendly customer service. Today, it’s shocking that Amazon accounts for 49% of all e-commerce sales in the United States.
You can buy just about anything imaginable on Amazon, and it’s extremely convenient. And fortunately, there are also plenty of ways to save money while you’re shopping at Amazon. This article covers 21 different ways that you can save money with Amazon.
To get the most out of Amazon you should have a Prime membership. If you’re a frequent Amazon shopper there is a good chance you’re already a Prime member. If not, you may want to consider getting a Prime membership to get access to the best deals and savings.
Ways to Get Discounted Prime Membership:
1. Shop for Deep Discounts on Amazon-Based Deal Sites
One of the best ways to score some great deals and discounts is to use one of several websites, like Snagshout, that exist specifically for Amazon deals.
These sites started popping up a few years ago, and originally most of them were set up to help Amazon sellers get reviews for their products on the Amazon platform. Sellers would offer very deep discounts to customers who would agree to leave a product review on Amazon in exchange for the free or discounted product.
A couple of years ago Amazon changed their policies and they no longer allow incentivized reviews, but many of these sites are still around. The difference is, you’re no longer required to leave a review, but you are encouraged to leave a review. These sites help companies who are selling on Amazon to start to get some exposure for their products.
The deals you’ll find at these sites can vary from one day to the next. Some of the discounts are pretty significant, and others are small. You can find products of just about any kind, but in general you will not find the biggest name brands.
In order to get the most out of these sites you’ll need to be a Prime member so you can get free shipping. There are a lot of these types of deal sites, but here are some of the best ones:
2. Get Alerts When Prices Drop
The prices of products on Amazon change all the time. Amazon changes their prices, plus many of the products on the site are actually sold by other companies, and they can change prices at any time.
My wife and I used to sell on Amazon, and as a former seller I can tell you that third-party sellers experiment with prices all the time. The price you are seeing today may not be the best price.
Camel Camel Camel is a website that tracks a lot of details of products being sold on Amazon, including price. You can sign up to be notified via Twitter when the price of a certain product drops. Setting up these notifications is a great way to make sure that you don’t miss out on great deals.
3. Use Paribus to Get Gift Cards and Free Months of Prime
Paribus is a free app that will find refunds that are owed to you. But for Prime members the most useful feature of Paribus is the Amazon shipment tracking. Paribus will track your shipments to make sure that they arrive on time. If a shipment is late, Paribus will help you to get a gift card from Amazon or a free month of Prime.
It’s not that unusual for a shipment to be late, so this is a great (and free) way to save some money on your Prime membership.
4. Select No-Rush Shipping
If you’re a Prime member, take a look at the shipping details when you’re checking out. With most orders you’ll qualify for free 2-day shipping, but in many cases you’ll have the option to choose no-rush shipping in exchange for a $1 credit towards select digital products like music, ebooks, videos, and apps.
I buy digital music from Amazon, so I often opt for the no-rush shipping so I can essentially get a free song. Choosing the no-rush shipping typically adds about a week to the expected delivery date, but in many cases it will arrive much sooner than that.
Pro Tip: You can rack up the $1 credits faster by splitting your order into multiple orders. For example, instead of buying 3 items in one order, place 3 separate orders and select the no-rush shipping each time to get $3 in credits instead of $1. Of course, the products you’re buying will need to be eligible for free shipping.
Note: In the past Amazon offered credit towards a Prime Pantry purchase, so this offer could change in the future.
5. Get a Prime Credit Card
The Amazon Prime credit card is a nice cash-back card to have if you’re a Prime member. As a Prime member you’ll be eligible for 5% cash back on all of your Amazon.com purchases. Depending on your spending habits and how much you buy at Amazon, you may be able to essentially get your Prime membership for free through this cash back.
I have a Prime credit card that is set as the default payment for all of my Amazon purchases, and that is all I use the card for. You can also earn 2% cash back on purchases at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores, or 1% cash back on all other purchases.
6. Let Honey Find Coupon Codes for You
Honey is a free browser extension that will automatically find and apply coupon codes when you’re shopping online. It works at a number of different websites, including Amazon.
All you need to do is take a minute to download the browser extension and it will work in the background. When you’re checking out it will let you know if there is a coupon code available. I love Honey because it’s easy and takes no extra effort on your part to save money.
7. Use Rakuten for Extra Cash Back ($10 signup bonus)
Rakuten is a great cash back website/app that you should be using. With Rakuten you can get cash back at thousands of different websites, including Amazon.com. Rakuten is free, you just need to create an account. Use this link and you’ll get a $10 bonus!
To earn cash back on Amazon purchases, go to Rakuten first and login. Then click the link to shop on Amazon. You’ll be redirected to Amazon and you can shop as you normally would, but you’ll earn cash back for eligible purchases.
Not every purchase at Amazon will be eligible for cash back. The percentage of cash back will vary by category (and some categories have no cash back), but Rakuten will show you the percentages for each category. Currently, the cash back varies from 0% – 5% (see my article 15 of the Best Cash Back Websites and Apps).
8. Earn Gift Cards
There are a lot of different ways that you can earn free Amazon gift cards. Many apps and websites will pay you in Amazon gift cards for different things, including referring your friends. Here are a few of my favorite websites that make it easy to earn Amazon gift cards:
- Swagbucks ($5 bonus for signing up)
- Inbox Dollars ($5 bonus for signing up)
- MyPoints ($10 bonus with your first purchase)
- Ibotta ($20 in signup bonuses)
MobileXpression will pay you in gift cards for the right to access your mobile internet browsing data. It takes just a couple of minutes to set up, and then you won’t need to do anything else except occasionally claim your gift cards. You can earn more than $50 in gift cards per year for essentially doing nothing, plus you get a sign up bonus. I’ve had MobileXpression on my phone for about 2 years and it’s incredibly easy.
UPDATE: ShopTracker is no longer available.
ShopTracker will pay you $3 per month (in Amazon gift cards) to get access to your Amazon purchase history. No personal information is stored, they just want to see what people are buying. It’s just one more easy way to make a little extra.
11. Amazon Warehouse Deals
Amazon offers some great discounts on open-box, returned, and used items in Amazon Warehouse Deals. The deals you’ll find here can change frequently, but there is usually a pretty good selection of products of just about any kind.
12. Amazon Outlet
Through Amazon Outlet you can find some great deals on overstocked items, as well as closeouts and items that will be discontinued. The selection at Amazon Outlet is not as good as what you’ll find at Amazon Warehouse, but you can find some good deals here.
13. Subscribe and Save
Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program is great for consumable products that you buy over and over again. With Subscribe and Save you’ll get at least a 5% discount, or 15% if you have 5 or more subscriptions.
One of the nice things about Subscribe and Save is that you can cancel or pause the subscription at any time. If you’re not ready for more diapers, shampoo, or whatever else you have in your subscription, just pause it until you’re ready to get more. Overall, it’s a great way to save on items that you would need to buy anyway.
This page on The Coupon Project has a lot of useful information about Subscribe and Save, and it is updated weekly.
14. Lightning Deals
Lightning Deals are limited-time offers and they are visible throughout Amazon.com. If you want to browse the daily deals that are available you can go to the Today’s Deals page. On that page you can see the top deals, browse by category, or search.
15. Amazon Family
If you have kids, Amazon Family is worth your attention. You can enter the ages of your children and you’ll receive age-based recommendations, offers, and coupons. If you’re doing a baby registry you can get a 15% discount on items at the end of the registry. You can also save up to 20% on diapers, baby food, and other products.
My wife and I bought diapers for a long time, and it was the best price we could ever find on diapers.
16. Trade Your Stuff for Gift Cards
Amazon Trade-In is a program that allows you to trade in used items for Amazon gift cards. This can be items that you bought on Amazon or at other stores/websites. Common items include cell phones, books, and video games. You don’t even need to pay for shipping, Amazon will provide you with a pre-paid shipping label.
Not every item will be eligible for trade-in, but if you want to get rid of some stuff around the house this can be a great way to get something for it.
17. Search for Discounts
Here is a handy little trick that you’re probably not aware of. After you do a search on Amazon.com you can easily alter the search to show only items that are being sold at a discount. Let’s say for example you are looking to buy a tent and you search for “family tent”. The URL of the search results page will be something like https://www.amazon.com/s?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=family+tent.
Now, all you need to do is add some text to the end of that URL. If you want to see items that are currently on sale for 20-50% off the list price you would add &pct-off=20-50. In this case the URL would be https://www.amazon.com/s?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=family+tent&pct-off=20-50. When you use that URL you’ll see only products that are on sale. Be aware that sometimes products have list prices that are jacked up to make the “sale” price look like a better deal. This is especially common with 3rd party sellers.
→ Related reading: 14 Easy Ways to Get Free Walmart Gift Cards
18. Watch Free Movies and TV Shows
Prime membership includes several significant benefits, and the next few points will be based on some of these benefits. Most people associate Prime membership with free 2-day shipping, but a Prime membership actually gives you much more than that. If you have a Prime membership you might as well make the most of what is available to you.
Prime members get access to Prime Video, which makes thousands of TV shows and movies available for streaming. Over the past few years the selection of shows and movies has gotten better, and Prime Video is a really great service. The service is similar to Netflix or Hulu, although, of course, the selection of movies and shows is different. But depending on what you watch, Prime Video may make it possible for you to cancel a subscription or two (including cable).
You can also pay for access to premium channels through Prime Video. So if you’ve kept that cable subscription mostly because you need it to access premium channels, take a lot at what you can get through Amazon. One of the nice things is you can cancel any time and there are no contracts.
19. Get Free Backups of Your Photos
One of my favorite perks of Prime membership is Prime Photos. Actually, Prime Photos was a big reason why I first signed up for a Prime membership a few years ago. As a Prime member can get free backups of an unlimited number of digital photos. This is a great way to ensure that you don’t lose your precious photos because of a hard drive failure or something else. Comparable photo backup services can cost almost as much as your Prime membership, so this is a great deal.
20. Get Free Ebooks and Magazines
Prime Reading gives Prime members access to more than 1,000 books and magazines. You can read on a Kindle device or Fire tablet, or use the Kindle app for iOS or Android.
Want More Ways to Save?
Here at Vital Dollar you can find many other articles with helpful tips on ways to save money. See more of those articles on our Saving Money page, or check out our most epic collection of 101 Practical and Realistic Ways to Save Money and list of 45+ of the Best Apps for Saving Money.