15 shopping hacks to make up for the Amazon Prime price hike

Jeanine Skowronski


Jeanine Skowronski

Jeanine Skowronski

Former Head of Content at Policygenius

Jeanine Skowronski is the former head of content at Policygenius in New York City. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, American Banker Magazine, Newsweek, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, MSN, CNBC and more.

Published|3 min read

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Amazon is raising the price of its annual Prime membership to $119 from $99. New subscribers will pay the higher price as of May 11, while current Prime members will incur the extra $20 for renewals starting June 16.

But fear not: If you can't buy or renew Prime before the price changes (and you're interested in keeping your membership), you can recoup those dollars by using these 15 Amazon hacks.

1. Use a price tracker

Prices on Amazon fluctuate. Fortunately, there are sites like CamelCamelCamel that monitor these changes to help people figure out the best time to buy. Set up an alert for a specific product and the site will email you when the price drops.

2. Search for coupons before you check out

Visit Today's Deals on Amazon itself to find coupons and discounts. Or use a coupon aggregator like Honey, which scours the web and automatically applies any deals it finds at checkout.

3. Opt for slow(er) shipping

Sometimes Amazon will bribe Prime members to wait a bit longer for your order via a no-rush shipping credit at checkout.

4. Dig deeper

Don't assume Amazon is showing you the best price on an item as the very top search results. Often, you can find the same or similar product for less by scrolling past Page 1 or checking out items in the "Customers who viewed this item also viewed" section.

5. Sign up for a new credit card

Only if you can handle it, of course. New plastic can net you a sweet signup bonus. As of writing this, Amazon was offering a $70 gift card to shoppers who apply and are approved for its Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card. And new Discover it cardholders could get a $75 statement credit if they made an Amazon purchase within three months of opening the account.

6. Shop with an old rewards credit card

That way, you'll earn points, miles or cash back on your Amazon purchases.

7. Trade in old stuff for an Amazon gift card

The online retailer runs a trade-in program that lets you swap old video games, Kindles, books and more for an Amazon gift card.

8. Leverage gift card resale sites

Sites like Gift Card Granny or Cardpool buy unwanted gift cards and resell them, often at a deeply discounted price. Sales vary by supply and demand, but keep an eye out for deals on Amazon gift cards.

9. Reload those balances

Amazon offers a 2% bonus to Prime members who reload a gift card via a bank account or linked debit card. You can learn more about Amazon's reload program here.

10. Choose the cheapest color

Again, the laws of supply and demand are in effect. In other words, the orange Snuggie is probably the cheapest.

11. Subscribe & Save

You can save up to 15% and score free shipping by scheduling monthly deliveries of select items via Amazon's Subscribe & Save program.

12. See if you're eligible for a Prime discount

The cost of Prime is going up, but certain groups are still eligible for a discount, including students, Medicaid recipients and Americans with a valid Electronic Benefits Transfer card.

13. Share your Prime benefits

Amazon Household lets families (two adults, up to four teens and up to four children) share Prime benefits.

14. Comparison shop

Yes, Amazon is cheap, but it can still pay to shop around. (We know, given we help people compare and save on life insurance) And you can put your search for the lowest price on easy by using a price comparison browser plug-in like PriceBlink.

15. Milk your Prime membership

People associate Amazon Prime with free shipping and streaming, but there are actually a lot of benefits at members' disposal. These perks include a free six-month subscription to the Washington Post (now owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos), extra rewards for Amazon credit cardholders and discount prices at Whole Foods, which the online retail giant acquired in August. For more ways you can leverage that acquisition, check out these Whole Foods hacks, Amazon edition.

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