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Amazon Prime Day is next week, and I’ve been fascinated (although maybe not surprised) by how many people I know who are putting together lists of items they hope to snag. The sale is Amazon’s biggest of the year and plenty of things will be at the lowest prices of the year (though certainly not all, and you need to shop around). But you have to be a Prime member to get Prime Day deals, which will normally set you back $139 a year. If you don’t already have a Prime membership, hack getting access to Prime Day sales for free by taking advantage of Amazon Prime’s 30-day free trial here . “This is a perfect time to do this, but make sure to mark your calendar and cancel within those 30 days if you don’t want to continue,” says smart shopping expert Trae Bodge. What’s more, there are ways to score money to spend on Prime Day to sweeten any already sweet deals you’re looking to snag.
You can get a $20 credit for backing up your photos to Amazon Photos, which offers unlimited storage. You’ll receive your reward within four days, and it’ll expire once the sale ends on July 13.
The credit must be used during Amazon Prime Day. However, note that only a finite number of these credits are given per day. “I checked on it earlier this morning and they only give that benefit to a finite number of people daily. And so, you know, certainly if you’re interested, take advantage of it early in the day,” says Wirecutter deals editor Nathan Burrow.
Earn $10 to spend on Prime Day by participating in Prime Stampcard
The Prime Stampcard deal gives Prime members the opportunity to earn $10 to use towards Prime Day shopping by completing four specific tasks: 1) making a Prime-eligible purchase, 2) streaming a show on Prime Video, 3) listening to a song on Amazon Music, and 4) borrowing an ebook from Prime e-reading. “Since some of the actions are things you may already be planning to do or don’t require much effort on your part, it’s an easy way to make some extra spending cash to offset your purchases,” says says money-saving expert Andrea Woroch.
Get $5 when you buy a ticket (or related merch) to Pixar’s new Lightyear movie or to the new Elvis movie
Now through July 13, you can get a $5 Prime Day credit when you buy at ticket to see the new Disney Pixar movie Lightyear or the new Elvis movie or buy merch. You can get $10 if you do both.
“If you’re planning to buy something worth $50 or more on Prime Day, buy an Amazon gift card to use towards the purchase to earn some extra cash,” Woroch says. “Prime members get a $12.50 promotional credit when they purchase a $50 Amazon Gift Card purchase or Amazon Reload.”
If you are a Prime member and spend up to $75 on select Proctor & Gamble products, you can get a $20 dollar credit. “The advice is if this is something you’re gonna pursue anyway then it’s a great option to get that what is essentially free money,” Burrow says.
Get $100 when you sign up for the Amazon credit card
There is a $100 gift card bonus if you’re approved for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card, “which if you’re an Amazon shopper and can pay the bill in full each month, is a great card to have because of the 5% you can earn on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases,” says Bodge.
Don’t spend on things you don’t need
To be sure, these coupon-chasing measures may not be the best way for folks who aren’t already using Prime regularly to cash in, says Burrow. “As a rule, we sometimes steer readers clear of hoop jumping, like mail-in rebates and stuff like that. Simply because some people aren’t the folks that would diligently pursue that as much, but it is absolutely a great option for people who have those services or are interested in trying them out.”
And you may not need to shop Amazon at all. Because of Amazon’s sheer size — and the magnitude of the savings it’s offering — competitors are no doubt paying attention. If you’re savvy about checking out the competition, you may be able to save just as much without worrying about hacking the Prime piece at all.
“The easiest way to get Prime Day pricing without even having to get a free trial is to take a look at Amazon’s competitors starting around the week of Prime Day itself,” Burrow says. Target, for example, launches its Target Deal Days on July 11th. If you’re more of a Target shopper than an Amazon shopper, it might be better just to shop that sale. “If you’re a RedCard holder, Target will already often match Amazon prime pricing or offer similar pricing and then you get the additional 5% on top of that. Similarly, we anticipate that Walmart and Best Buy are going to launch their own promotions.”
About this column: Since you’re here, let me introduce myself: I’m Maddy Perkins, deputy commerce editor for MarketWatch Picks. Amazon Prime Day is basically my Super Bowl. I’m a big online shopper who loves a good deal — particularly when it comes to cool kitchen gadgets, electronics, fashion and beauty products. I’ll be here a few times a week to share the best deals I can find online with you. Have anything you’d like me to hunt down? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Cheers!