Amazon Prime began in February 2005 at an introductory price of $79 a year for free shipping, changing how we shop forever. Today, Amazon has considerable breadth, expanding its products to include prescriptions and groceries.
Amazon is the largest global online retailer, consistently growing its footprint in various markets. Amazon Prime is the sticky membership offer that drives the company’s success and helps consumers save money.
Although the company doesn’t release numbers, estimates peg Amazon prime members at 148.6 million or 60% of the US adult population.
According to Statista, the US market share of e-commerce for Amazon is estimated at 50% in 2021, up from 37% in 2017.
True, Amazon Prime costs more at $139/year (or $14.99/month) but provides many perks and benefits for its costs. What if you could get Amazon Prime for free or cheap legitimately? You can do so in ways that we believe are relatively easy.
Table of Contents
What Are Amazon Prime Perks?
We’ll review the perks of the Amazon Prime membership, followed by how you could get the package for free or cheap. The company often adds benefits to its Amazon Prime membership.
Share Your Membership With Your Household
Who is in an Amazon household and makes use of the benefits? Amazon counts the home as you and another adult, up to four teens ages 13 to 17 years, and four children, but they can’t shop on Amazon. Just make sure you manage their profiles, so you don’t get a whopping bill from kids buying stuff without permission.
Two Day Free Shipping
For many shoppers in the contiguous US, free shipping costs are the primary reason to become Amazon Prime members. With Amazon Prime, you receive free two-day shipping on over 100 million items. Some products may qualify for delivery on the same day if they bear a mark that says ” Prime FREE Same-Day.”
Without Prime, two-day shipping costs could be $14.95 or more. Recent supply chain issues and inflation pushed up shipping costs. Nonmembers receive free shipping with purchases over $25, but it is not guaranteed to arrive within two days.
If you place an order of at least $35 before noon, you may get your stuff by 9 PM. When you wait longer for delivery, Amazon may reward you with discounts. They can opt-in to have their packages brought inside their homes with Amazon Key.
For those who just want the shipping benefits, we’ll discuss two cheaper alternatives to joining Amazon Prime below.
Amazon Prime Photos
Amazon Prime members can have unlimited full resolution photo storage plus five secure GB of video and filesharing storage. Households can share the storage of up to five people who aren’t Prime members. Google Photos is similar, but Apple has a similar service, charging $0.99 per month.
Amazon Prime Music
Amazon Prime Music is free, featuring over two million songs ad-free, top playlists, and thousands of stations. You may have access to the ten million song collection for an additional monthly charge.
Amazon Prime Video
You can get additional subscriptions for video from third-party providers. An Amazon Prime membership also gives you free access to Prime Video and lets you stream many movies and TV series (including Amazon Originals). However, not all movies and TV series are free, but rentals are often at a low cost.
You do not need to have an Amazon Prime membership to purchase or rent a selection.
Amazon Prime Reading
Prime Reading is a relatively new perk recently introduced that provides unlimited reading, including more than 1,000 digital books, magazines, and comics. This offering is not Kindle unlimited, which requires a separate subscription but is offered for free as a 30-day trial.
Amazon Twitch Gaming
Twitch Gaming, formerly Prime Gaming, refers to in-game content for your favorite games, free games to download, and a free monthly channel on Twitch.
Amazon Prime Day
Amazon Prime Day began July 15, 2015, lasted 24 hours, and has become one of the most desirable days for members to shop. Amazon offers exclusive deals and huge discounts for a day (or two) annually during mid-year. This year, Amazon Prime Day falls from Monday, July 18th, to Tuesday, July 19th.
Extra Saving Opportunities
Amazon provides extra-saving opportunities throughout the year. Here are just a sampling of them.
Amazon Family is a free service that provides exclusive deals with discounts of 20% on childcare items like diapers and baby food for kids up to 12 years. You need to be mindful of your spending, especially for babies, as new parents often become spendthrifts.
Amazon Prime members can save an extra 10% off on storewide sales at Whole Foods Market.
Prime Early Access is a feature that gives Amazon Prime members early access to shop Lightning Deals 30 minutes ahead of non-Prime members.
Do you have an Amazon Echo Dot? Ask Alexa, “what are my deals?” and she’ll share exclusive deals to put in your cart. Also, you can ask Alexa to track your orders.
Have I convinced you that Amazon Prime is worth joining? Let’s go over how you may get your membership for free or lower money.
11 Ways to Get a Free (or Cheap) Amazon Prime
Having an Amazon Prime membership makes it easier to save money, but sales can induce people to overspend, especially when using credit cards. Spend consciously on things you need and create a budget to help you manage finances.
1. Free Trial
You can get a 30-day free trial to fully explore all of the Prime perks, including the ones we highlighted. You must have a credit card when applying for the trial. Be aware that Amazon limits free trials to people who have been Prime members within the last twelve months.
It is a good idea to time your trial around holidays or Amazon Prime Day so you can experience the best deals. Amazon Prime Day falls on Monday, July 18, through Tuesday, July 19, 2022. Please cancel your trial before 30 days to avoid paying for a subscription you don’t want.
If you are a crafty person, I suppose you can create eternal free trials by canceling the trial within 30-days and then reapplying for the free trial under a different email, rinse and repeat. However, I promised legitimate ways to free or cheaper Amazon Prime memberships. You don’t want Amazon to ban you from Prime membership forever.
2. Share An Account With Friends
As we mentioned above, the Amazon Prime household includes two adults and kids. However, if you are single, sharing your dwelling with friends, you can split the cost, rendering the same benefits.
3. Free Gift Cards
There are many ways to get free money, including Amazon gift cards that add up to a year’s Amazon Prime membership. Although Amazon doesn’t explicitly encourage you to trade in your gift cards to pay for Amazon Prime, you can use gift cards to get a subscription for your household partner through Gift on Prime.
To get free Amazon gift cards:
Trade in old or unused Amazon devices (e.g., Kindles, Echos, or tablets) at the Amazon Trade-in program will give you an Amazon gift card based on the device’s appraisal value.
Many companies will pay you with gift cards for playing free games, filling out online surveys, and other tasks. Online survey and retail companies like Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, MyPoints, Branded Surveys, Ibotta, and many more have free apps that pay with Amazon gift cards.
4. Get An Extra Free Month
Amazon values its Prime customers, recognizing their long-term value to the company. Customers did not consistently rank Amazon’s customer services high.
We ordered gifts for two different friends that arrived late for their respective birthdays despite sending them well ahead of time. We contacted customer service initially when we didn’t hear back from our friend. When we explained the situation, they weren’t able to locate one of the gifts and didn’t seem apologetic at first. Eventually, a supervisor helped us out, and our friends received the gifts with some coupons. Craig whined and we got a free Prime month from Amazon.
Frankly, I prefer that the gifts or our shopping come on time. However, you should be able to count on prompt shipments. Amazon is improving its support, but there will be some misses that you should politely leverage for additional benefits. Just remember:
- Not to lose your temper when talking to them or any customer support.
- Be calm, polite, and clear when explaining the situation.
- Emphasize how much you enjoy Amazon Prime.
- Ask to speak to their manager if you don’t get satisfaction.
- Management has more ability to refund, add an extra month, or give you a gift card.
5. Share Amazon Prime Account With Friends
The Amazon Prime household includes two adults and kids. It will be up to you to square away details when signing up for the membership and add separate addresses and credit cards. You can also share your account with friends.
6. Switch Cellphone Plans
Metro by T-Mobile (which now includes Sprint) offers its users free Amazon Prime if you sign up for Metro’s $60 unlimited rate plan for as long as you keep that plan. That sounds like a good deal to me.
7. Amazon Prime For Students
College and university students can enjoy a six-month trial for free and then pay half the subscription cost of $69 per year to get the same perks, including two-hour grocery deliveries, and rent textbooks with savings of up to 90%.
Amazon made exclusive deals with vendors designed for students, such as:
- Free month of advanced tutoring from Course Hero
- Free food delivery from Grubhub+
- Discounts for travel and hotels
8. Amazon Business Prime
Amazon Business Prime is a membership suited for the workplace. They offer business-oriented services for $69 a year, plus free one-day shipping on millions of items and same-day delivery on eligible orders.
This offer only works if shipping is your primary interest and you don’t receive personal packages at your office. You may even get this perk for free if your company provides access to its Amazon Business Prime account.
9. Select Government Assistance Recipients
Amazon is now accepting select government assistance recipients. If you have SNAP electronics benefits transfer (EBT) in all contiguous states or a Medicaid card, you can start a free 30-day trial, sign up for $6.99/month, and get the same perks like Amazon Prime $14.99/month or $139/year.
In this case, you do not need to sign up with a credit card. Instead, you will be able to add cash to your Amazon Balance or pay using a gift card. You can buy deals and eligible groceries, pantry staples, and everyday food.
10. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
It won’t take long to get a “free” Prime membership. If you sign for Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, you will receive a $100 Amazon gift card as a signup bonus immediately after approval. Separately, you can earn 5% cash back on Amazon purchases and 1% cash back on Whole Foods Market if you are an active Amazon shopper.
You can use the $100 gift card towards an Amazon Prime membership by gifting it to yourself or someone in your household through Gift of Prime or spend this money on purchases.
11. Receive Amazon Prime Membership As A Gift
We give Amazon gift cards regularly when we don’t know the individual’s taste. What about providing the ultimate present of an Amazon Prime membership or Student Prime membership to a high student grad? I think it can be perfect! You can buy an annual membership or three months for $44.97 before taxes.
Amazon Prime membership offers many significant perks and benefits for an annual fee of $139/year or $14.99/month. While it is a worthy offering at that cost, we found 11 legitimate ways to get Amazon Prime for free or cheaper.
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With a passion for investing and personal finance, I began The Cents of Money to help and teach others. My experience as an equity analyst, professor, and mom provide me with unique insights about money and wealth creation and a desire to share with you.