1. Have a lot of birthdays, weddings, or holiday shopping coming up? Just sign up for a free 30-day trial and set it up to *not* auto-renew.
Almost $100 a year can seem like a splurge if you don’t buy a lot from Amazon. But there are times that require more online shopping than others — and that’s when the free month comes in handy.
Say you just want access to Prime Day or…it’s December and you’ve procrastinated again. Save shipping costs by signing up for a month of Prime (first-timers only) for access to free two-day delivery.
At the end of the month, you will be charged $11 per month (unless you elect the annual membership of $99), so if you don’t want to continue, make sure you go to Manage Prime Membership and click “Do not continue.”
2. If your delivery is late, you can qualify for a free month of Prime.
The policy is called Guaranteed Accelerated Delivery, and it promises delivery by the stated date. If not, you can get a Prime Extension (up to 12 per year and one if you have a free trial). Unfortunately, Prime Student accounts don’t qualify.
File a claim by going to Your Orders > locate the order, then click File/View Claim > click Report problem.
3. Sharing food is hard. Sharing Amazon Prime is easy.
In 2015, Amazon cracked down on Prime and restricted sharing to two adults (versus four previously). In any case, you can share your Prime benefits with one Chosen One (or bribe your roommate into sharing theirs). These benefits include free shipping, access to Prime Video, early access to lightning deals, Prime Photos, and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
First, create an Amazon Household, and under Set up your Household now, select Add an Adult. Go to Manage Your Household to add or remove members. Note that if an adult leaves a household, they won’t be able to join another household for another six months. No pressure.
4. If your phone is always running out of space, try Prime Photos, which offers unlimited photo storage.
It’s already included with your paid Prime account! (Free trial accounts don’t apply.) Use the Amazon Photos app (free, iOS and Android) to automatically upload and backup photos from your device, so you can delete them from your phone. Without Prime, the service is $12 per year.
Anything with a photo file extension is recognized (JPEG, PNG, GIF, etc.). Videos will count toward your 5GB free storage limit.
Here’s more info on what to do if your phone’s storage is full.
6. If you want more detailed package delivery notifications, sign up for a free FedEx or UPS account. You can also try a Pickup Point.
Avoid missing deliveries by signing up for a UPS My Choice and FedEx account. You’ll be able to tell the service to leave your package at the door, receive a detailed time frame, and get a text when it’s on its way.
Using a pickup location is also convenient. In Your Account, go to Manage Addresses and then Add a New Address to search for pickup locations near you. You’ll find a mix of Amazon Lockers and staffed locations. Packages are held for three business days after you receive your pickup code.
7. Paribus (free, mobile and web) and Keepa (free, Chrome extension and web) are tools you can use to track price changes.
Sadly, Amazon has stopped refunding customers when a price drops – so it’s even more important to keep tabs on prices when they change.
Paribus has a beautiful app and website. The company offers refunds for non-Amazon sites too (BestBuy, J. Crew, Target, Sephora, and others) — but there’s a caveat: Paribus takes a 25% commission off of your refund. You can reduce the fee by referring friends.
Keepa doesn’t have a sleek interface, but it’s free and can also track prices.
You’ll be able to compare prices of different products, save products from any website to your registry, and access shortcuts to your outstanding orders.
9. You can earn Prime Pantry credit by electing “Free No-Rush Shipping.”
You’ll have to wait a little longer for your shipment, but you’ll be able to save on your grocery deliveries through Prime Pantry. The downside is that you are limited to one $6 credit per Pantry order and it expires after a few months. Delivery is $6 for each Pantry box, so you’re basically getting the shipping costs free.
10. Download one free Kindle book per month through Kindle First.
11. Prime customers can also “borrow” thousands of books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
I mention “borrow” in quotes because there are no due dates and you can return the books at any time. You need to own a Kindle, Fire tablet, or Fire phone to borrow these books. To see the selection, open the Kindle Store and click All Categories or Menu, then select Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Here is the full list of titles, and here are some popular borrow-able books.
12. New Sprint and AT&T U-verse customers get a year of Prime, and all Sprint customers get two months free (even if you’re already a member).
When you upgrade or add a line as a Sprint customer, you can redeem a promo code for a free year of Prime. The caveat? It only works for specific Samsung devices. All Sprint customers, however, get two free months of Prime, no matter what.
If you sign up for AT&T U-verse internet, you get a free year of Prime as well.
13. Anyone with a .edu email address gets six months of free Prime and half off a full membership with Prime Student.
Once you’ve verified that you’re a student, you’ll get six months free, then become eligible for discounted Prime ($49, instead of $99) for up to four years. If you currently have Amazon Prime, you’ll be refunded the remaining months left on your subscription.
FYI: The Prime Student free trial does *not* have access to 20% off diaper subscriptions through Amazon Family, Prime Music, Prime Photos, or the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
14. This isn’t a Prime-specific tip, but if you live in these 14 states, you can request a textbook tax refund from Amazon.
Students in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia can request a tax refund for tax applied to textbooks.
15. Amazon Prime members get a complimentary six-month digital subscription to the Washington Post and a 60% discount after that.
Digital access to the Washington Post typically costs $10 per month. After the six-month period, Prime members can subscribe for a discount ($4 per month). Just log in with your Prime account here.
Note that if you sign up with an academic .edu, government, or military email account, you can read the Washington Post for free.
17. You can also start a baby registry to receive a free welcome baby kit.
This deal is exclusive to Prime customers. To redeem, create a baby registry and use the “Jumpstart” feature to add items to the baby registry, then purchase at least $10 of those items. Once those purchases are shipped, you’ll be able to add this welcome box to your cart for free.
Here’s what was included in previous welcome boxes.
18. Donate .5% of your purchases to the charity of your choice with Amazon Smile.
Shop at smile.amazon.com to contribute to the charity of your choice. It doesn’t cost anything extra, but the donations are not tax-deductible, since they are made by the AmazonSmile Foundation.
You can select your charity and change the selection at any time by signing in to Amazon Smile, going to Your Account, and selecting Change Your Charity.
19. If you do a lot of shopping on Amazon, the Amazon Prime Store Card is worth it. It offers 5% back on all Amazon.com purchases.
It’s a great deal (especially on big purchases, like furniture) and there’s no annual fee — but the interest charges are very high, so always pay in full.
Lastly, please remember to Prime responsibly.
Have any more Prime tips? Leave ‘em in the comments!
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