Did you know that Amazon Prime has been around since 2005 and now has more than 80 million American members as of 2017?
According to Entrepreneur.com, in March 2015, there were only 40 million Amazon Prime members. Yes, Amazon has been able to double their Prime membership in only two years!
Based on those stats, 64% of American households are active Amazon Prime members.
While Amazon doubled their Prime membership in 2017 they also shipped more items than ever. In an annual letter to his shareholders, CEO (and richest man alive), Jeff Bezos, said that Amazon shipped more than 5 billion items to Prime customers.
While Amazon Prime is more popular than ever it’s also never been more expensive. On May 11th, 2018, Amazon made it’s most drastic price increase to Amazon Prime by increasing from $99 per year up to $119 (or $12.99 per month).
Even with the 20% price increase, I think that Amazon Prime is a staple to make your life easier, cheaper, and much more convenient. The $119 is easily offset in gas, shipping, and the convenience factor of not having to make so many trips to the store.
It makes daily errands, Christmas shopping, and birthdays or events so much easier to prepare for. Here’s everything you need to know about Amazon Prime and how you can get the amazing service for free!
What is Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime is a membership service offered by Amazon to give you amazing deals on thousands (or millions) of products on Amazon. Plus, Amazon Prime comes with tons of other membership options including:
- FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items. Depending on your location, there are one day or even FREE same-day shipping options.
- The ability to rent Kindle ebooks from their nearly unlimited collection. These Kindle books are 100% free if you have a Kindle, Fire tablet, or Amazon Fire phone along with your Prime membership.
- Unlimited instant streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV shows with Prime Video. Plus, some shows are downloadable so you can access when you don’t have an internet connection.
- Unlimited ad-free access to over two million songs and over a thousand playlists with Prime Music. Amazon is constantly adding new music as well!
- Free unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos. Plus, Prime members can invite up to five of their family or friends to receive unlimited photo storage and create shared albums together. This is a great, FREE alternative to other paid, cloud storage services.
- Some cities can use Amazon Prime for grocery delivery, including alcohol in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego and others.
- Free release date delivery. With Amazon Prime, you no longer have to wait for a new book or product to be released!
The only downside for some people, of course, is the monthly or annual price of being an Amazon Prime member. Luckily there are tons of ways to get Amazon Prime for FREE!
Here are 9 ways to get Amazon Prime for FREE
1. Amazon Prime 30 Day FREE Trial
Yes, Amazon makes it simple for you to get addicted to using Amazon Prime with a 30-day free trial option. Amazon got me on this offer back in 2014 and I couldn’t imagine life without the membership service now.
The membership has saved me so much time not going to random stores, enjoy free returns, and quick shipping options. Plus, the customer service has been amazing!
To get started simply log on to Amazon Prime and sign up for the free 30-day trial. After your monthly trial is over you can choose whether or not you want to become a Prime member.
You can pay this fee monthly or a one-time, annual fee. Again, as of May 11th, 2018 the prices of Amazon Prime have increased to $119 per year. As someone who has more than 100 orders per year, it’s still well worth the price.
If you choose not to enroll for Amazon Prime after the 30-day period sometimes they will give you another 30-day free trial. I haven’t tried this method but read about it in several forums. A few days before your Amazon Prime membership is set to expire log into your account and cancel the service.
Amazon will email you and ask if you would like to try another 30-days for free! Simply click “Yes” and enjoy another 30 days of Amazon Prime for free!
If you don’t think it’s worth it or you can’t afford Prime at this point the back to back free trial is a great option. I’ve also read of tons of people doing this around the holidays to make gift shopping more convenient.
2. Sign Up for Amazon Prime Student Membership Trial
Students can sign up for an Amazon Prime student membership for six months 100% free. Once the six-month trial period is over the fees are significantly discounted. Students will only pay $5.49 per month for four years or once they graduate.
The best part is that the Amazon Prime student membership trial includes almost all of the benefits of Prime for only a fraction of the cost. You still receive free 2-day shipping, photo storage, and unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows. The only benefits that are not included are access to the Kindle ebook library and Prime Music.
Before you try to sneak one by Amazon by claiming to be a student, understand that you have to submit paperwork to take advantage of this offer. A few years back Amazon realized that people were cheating the system and now require additional information to receive the discount. If you want to enroll in Amazon Prime Student Membership trial you need to submit the following documents:
- School email address
- Acceptance letter from your school OR copy of transcripts
- Student ID with an expiration date
3. Earn Cash Back with Amazon Credit or Store Cards
If you are a frequent shopper on Amazon you might want to take advantage of the Amazon Prime Rewards visa credit card. With 5% cash back from anything purchased on Amazon you will cover your monthly fees if you spend around $250 per month.
Sadly, at this time there is no credit card that offers free Amazon Prime membership. But Amazon does have their Prime Rewards Visa Card as well as an Amazon store card. With both of the cards, you receive 5% cash back when shopping on Amazon.com. Plus the cards have no annual fees and there are no caps on your points.
The cash back programs are great for purchases outside of Amazon as well. The card offers 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores. And 1% cash back on all other purchases!
Once enrolled you can access your rewards balance in your Amazon account and redeem whenever you want as there is no minimum balance. Use these rewards to make as many purchases on Amazon!
4. Sign Up For Sprint Cell Phone Plan
If you’ve been considering switching your wireless provider Sprint has a great option to get Amazon Prime for free. All new Sprint customers can get Amazon Prime free for 12 months! After the initial trial period, the fees are normal membership rates.
Side note: Ebates members can save big on Sprint! Make sure you sign up for Ebates before shopping on Sprint’s website!
5. Sign Up For an Amex Card
Similar to Sprint, American Express card members can now enjoy one year of Amazon Prime when signing up for a new credit card. Even if you are already a Prime member you can use this option to extend another 12 months to your current membership program.
6. Become an Amazon Associate
If you have a website or blog I recommend checking out the Amazon associate affiliate program. By becoming an Amazon associate you earn a bounty for each time a customer uses your link to purchase anything from Amazon. It is a tiered system that will pay you more commissions for the more you refer each month.
Amazon associates is a great affiliate program that works awesome on blogs or websites that have beauty, household, and other products people purchase on a consistent basis. If you enroll someone in Amazon Prime through your affiliate link you also receive $3 per sign up. If you refer four people per month you are making back the cost of your membership!
You can learn more about how to make money with affiliate marketing from my friend Michelle. She earns over $100,000 per month from her blog with affiliate marketing!
7. Hope for a Late Arrival
I’ve personally used this method several times and can’t believe it actually works. The biggest perk of Amazon Prime for most people is the 2-Day free shipping guarantee. Sometimes things happen, whether at the Amazon facility or with the carrier, that will make your items arrive later.
In those rare cases, a package arrives after two days contact support to let them know. In my experience, they have rewarded me with amazing customer service and several different types of refunds including:
- An additional month of Amazon Prime for free.
- Amazon gift card. This can range from $10-$25 from what I’ve read (I once received $10 for a cheaper item).
- Credit back to your card used for purchase.
The next time your package arrives late here is what you should do:
- Contact Amazon support by phone, chat, or email (I’ve always used the phone option and customer service is very fast).
- Explain your problem and how the item arriving late was an inconvenience. Be polite and courteous as the person who you are speaking too isn’t responsible.
- Ask what options they are willing to extend to you to keep your service as a Prime member
- Enjoy and say thanks!
I’ve never had a problem here, I think I’m 5 for 5 in either receiving a free month to my membership or a gift card. Amazon normally has outstanding customer service but if you receive someone who isn’t willing to offer anything don’t be afraid to contact them again.
One time I called back, talked to someone in a much better mood and they got me the free extension. There’s no harm in trying!
Does this work if I’m not an Amazon Prime member yet?
Even if you aren’t a member you can still contact support and ask for assistance if you paid extra for the one-day shipping method. This can be a substantial amount depending on the item’s weight so make sure to contact if your package arrives late.
8. Sign Up With New Email Accounts
While I haven’t tried this method yet, there is a post on Reddit that claims you can get multiple free trials if you sign up with. When signing up, Amazon looks at the email address, not the credit card used for your membership. If you want to play it extra safe you can also choose to use a different credit card as well.
While I’m sure Amazon will catch on to this method it’s not a bad idea to give it a shot. If you are like me and have four different email addresses that could be four free months of Amazon Prime.
Plus, if you live with a roommate or spouse you could also get more months free from them. Again, this isn’t the number one recommendation but it has worked for others.
9. Use Amazon Mom
Amazon Mom is open to all new mom’s, dads’ grandparents or caretakers. New members will receive a free, 3-month trial of Amazon Prime with no obligation to continue after the initial three-month trial. If you do want to use after the trial the price is the normal $119 annual fee.
These are the nine best ways to get Amazon Prime for free. If none of these work for your situation there are more ways to save on Amazon Prime with these eight discounts:
8 Ways to Get Amazon Prime Discounted
1. Take Advantage of Amazon Prime Day
Each of the last three years Amazon has what is known as Amazon Prime Day. Amazon Prime day is similar to Black Friday and has tons of great deals on a variety of products.
These days include some pretty epic deals on TV’s, tablets, laptops, and Amazon products (Kindle, Fire Stick, Echo, etc.). While this isn’t a free way to get Amazon Prime you can use a 30-day free trial to take full advantage and get free, 2-day shipping.
2. Discount Membership Options
Another way to get Amazon Prime discounted is if you have a specific Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Amazon will give you a discount if you are a part of government assistance programs and reduce the monthly fees from $12.99 to $5.99 per month. Plus, you can cancel at any time with no early cancellation fees.
These programs currently allow you to receive a discount on your prime membership:
- Women, Infants, and Children
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Others that might be offered by your state of residence
3. Check Coupon Websites For Codes
Another great way get Amazon Prime at a significant discount is checking out coupon site for free trials and coupon codes. When researching this post I found codes on several different sites but didn’t include them below as they might expire by the time you read this post.
The best coupon sites to try and get Amazon Prime for free or discounted are:
If you do see a coupon code on these sites I recommend acting quickly as they can expire or be removed without much notice. Also, note that sometimes they require you to be a “new Prime member.”
If you have used a free Amazon Prime trial in the past 12 months, try to use a different email when applying your coupon code.
4. Share Amazon Prime Within Your Household
Amazon makes it easy to share Amazon Prime using Amazon Household. This program allows you to share your prime benefits with four teens, four children and one other adult in your household.
Prime Household also lets each person receive their own unique logins and passwords to access movies, music, and Kindle books. If you decide to use the service with children you can set it up so that parents must approve the order.
While this isn’t free it’s a great way to split the costs with roommates or a spouse.
5. Skip Prime Membership But Still Get Free 2-Day Shipping
If you aren’t interested in the music, kindle ebooks, and other services included in Amazon Prime you can always skip the membership entirely.
Instead, if you spend over $35 on eligible purchases you still receive free, 2-day shipping. Depending on the retailer you might have to spend $75 or even $100 to receive the free, 2-day shipping.
Also, if your item is under the limit but you don’t want or need to buy anything else try this trick. Find an item that is pre-order and not yet available on Amazon. Add this item to your cart to get past your threshold but you won’t be charged for this item until it actually ships. If you don’t want the item simply cancel that part of the order to make sure you aren’t charged.
I wouldn’t recommend doing this too frequently but it’s a great option if you need the 2-day shipping without spending any more money.
6. Wait for Amazon Prime Membership Sale
While this doesn’t happen very frequently Amazon does sometimes offer heavily discounted membership options. When Amazon’s original show, Mozart in the Jungle, won a golden globe for best TV series they dropped the price to $73. While this isn’t always predictable it’s a great way to take advantage of a discounted Prime membership.
7. Enroll in Ibotta
If you sign up for Ibotta you will receive a free, $20 Amazon gift card which can help discount the price of the Prime membership. Plus, Ibotta helps you earn money while you shop so each time you make a purchase you are rewarded!
8. SignUp for Subscribe and Save
If you don’t have Amazon Prime another great way to take advantage of their rates is to sign up for “subscribe and save discounts.” This allows you save up to 15% or more on tons of different items on Amazon. This is a good idea for items that you buy consistently like grocery, pet, personal care, home goods office supplies. The more items that you sign up for the higher the savings percentage you receive.
Plus, you can always choose to skip deliveries or completely cancel your subscription with no early termination fee.
Should You Enroll in Amazon Prime?
While there are tons of benefits to Amazon Prime some people might overuse the service and get themselves into financial trouble. Based on the same Entrepreneur article from the intro, Amazon Prime members tend to spend more per year, around $1,300, than non-members who only average $700.
But, if you can keep your spending in check Amazon Prime is absolutely essential to make your life easier, more convenient, and cheaper if used enough.
The best options to start with Amazon Prime for free are the 30-day trial, student membership if you are an active student or sharing Amazon Prime within your household.
If none of those work and you need a new credit card as well compare the rates with AMEX and Capital One to see if it would make sense to enroll. If you aren’t living in the United States Amazon Prime is also global in other countries including the U.K, Spain, Italy, Japan, Germany, France, Austria, and Canada.
Overall, I think that Amazon Prime is a phenomenal service that will continue to get more popular as the e-commerce site continues to grow worldwide. Start using these methods to get Amazon Prime for free or heavily discounted!