Portions of this article about saving money on an Amazon Prime membership originally appeared on Parade.com.
You may have read the recent news that Amazon Prime’s annual rate is jumping to $119 from $99 starting this month. So if you sign up for the first time, you’ll pay $119. Those who already have a Prime membership won’t feel the pinch of the new price until memberships start renewing in June. Amazon hasn’t raised its fee for a couple of years now.
Being an Amazon Prime member means you get access to free two-day shipping, although many Prime members have shared on social media that their parcels don’t always arrive in two days. Nonetheless, there’s no denying Prime’s popularity.
For some time now, Walmart has tried to take on Amazon and siphon away some of its 100 million Prime members. Walmart now offers free two-day shipping (sound familiar?), but according to Mashable, you have to spend $35 or more to get this expedited shipping from the retailer.
Most recently, Walmart launched a series of television ads that specifically target Amazon. The commercials tout no membership fees and that aforementioned two-day shipping. And just this week, Walmart announced a partnership with department store Lord and Taylor, clearly designed to elevate its online presence for higher-end clothes shopping—and is possibly a direct reaction to Amazon’s successful clothing business. Slate says that in 2016, Amazon was the biggest online clothing retailer.
Save Money on Amazon Prime Membership
So what’s a fan of two-day shipping to do? Well, if you’re committed to shopping on Amazon and having access to the nearly 600 million products it has for sale on its site, here are five ways you can make Prime more affordable—and justify the hiked-up annual fee.
1. Discounts at Whole Foods for Amazon Prime members
When Amazon bought Whole Foods Market last year, Prime members hoped there would be an offline benefit for them. Here’s the newest: Starting this week, Prime members get an extra 10 percent off sale items at the supermarket. This is in addition to the deep discounts on select best-selling items.
To get these deals, you’ll need to download the Whole Foods app to your smartphone, log in using your Amazon Prime account, and show the app at checkout. These new savings are currently available in all stores across Florida and will expand to all Whole Foods Market and Whole Foods Market 365 stores nationwide starting this summer.
2. Piggyback with Family Members
When you have a Prime membership, you are allowed to add more than one shipping address and name on the account. That means that family members can pool resources and share one account to save money.
Even better? If you have a student in college, you’ll pay even less. For Prime Student, the annual fee is only $59 (up from $49) for as long as the student has a university email address (i.e. one that ends in .edu). That’s a huge savings for a family that wants the benefits of a Prime membership without paying the $119 annual fee. With one child still in college, this is the trick our family uses.
Check out this new amazing option when you sign up for a student Prime membership.
3. Discounted Prime Membership for Those with Limited Income
Amazon allows those with a limited income to benefit from a Prime membership at a discounted rate. Starting in March, Amazon began extending the eligibility for the discounted Prime membership offer of $5.99 per month to qualifying recipients of Medicaid. Customers with Electronic Benefits cards will continue to qualify for this offer. There is no annual commitment and customers can cancel anytime. Like with all Prime memberships, this one starts with the first 30 days free.
4. Prime Day in July
Each year since 2015, Amazon has held its own shopping holiday in July, the anniversary of the site’s founding. For one day only, on Amazon Prime Day, members get significant discounts on many of Amazon’s best-sellers.
If you prefer to do your holiday shopping in July, having a Prime membership in time for Prime Day 2018 might make a lot of sense for your bottom line. FYI, sales on Prime Day 2017 surpassed Black Friday and Cyber Monday, making it the biggest day ever in Amazon history.
5. Shopping with Rewards Points
If you have a Discover Card and shop on Amazon, you can arrange to apply your Cash Back Bonus dollars to anything you want to buy on the site. Amazon has its own Visa card and offers a way to earn and shop with points, as well. Shopping with points is how our family has bought everything from books to Bumble and Bumble hair products without incurring new debt.
While our family does plenty of shopping on Amazon, it’s not the only site where we can save money and get the products we need. For example, we get our razors shipped through Dollar Shave Club. But if you were to look at our curbside recycling, I will admit that you’ll see a ton of boxes with Amazon Prime on them.
Other Ways to Save on Amazon
Beyond these money-saving tips for an Amazon Prime membership, there are other ways you can save money by shopping on Amazon. One of the big ways is by having a registry on the site.
With the Amazon wedding registry, you get bonus free gifts when you register for certain brands and, obviously, create an Amazon wedding registry. This is good to know if your bridal registry includes Calpahlon, Le Creuset and Cuisinart. You’ll also get discounts on shopping your registry to finish it out.
Another Amazon registry that can save you money is the Amazon baby registry. It’s a great option now that Babies R Us is no longer available for a nationwide baby registry.
Like the wedding registry you can get discounts when finishing your baby registry shopping.
- You’ll get 10% off across Amazon
- If you have a Prime membership, you’ll get 15% off. Another great reason to join Prime.
Finally, here are seven things you may not have realized you can buy on Amazon. Hint: many of these do come free with that Prime membership, but if you’re looking to cut the cord, for example, they can be very beneficial for your bottom line.