amazon money hacks

11 Money hacks to save money on Amazon (for Prime and non-Prime users)

Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the United States. To achieve that level, Amazon has to keep customers coming back by giving them a great experience and a lot of different promotions. Allow me to be your guide in sharing the best Amazon money saving tips.

In this post, I’ll show you all the Amazon money saving hacks so you can save money on Amazon too!

1. Get Amazon Prime (for free/discounted)

To save money on an Amazon Prime membership, you can start with a free trial. Because if you want to have access to all the Prime day deals, you’ll need Amazon Prime. The good thing is that you can get Amazon Prime just when you need it by paying monthly. If you’re a student, or have a student .edu email address, you can get 6 months of Amazon for free and then pay the discounted monthly subscription price. Even if you already have an existing Amazon account, you could try opening another Amazon account for the free trial. You can get Amazon Prime for:

2. Get 5% cashback at Amazon with a Credit Card

The Amazon credit card gets Amazon Prime users 5% cashback on all their purchases, for non-Prime users it’s 3% cashback. If you want to know if the Amazon credit card is worth it, check out my review on the 5 Amazon credit cards. You could also get 5% back on Amazon (up to $1500 quarterly) with no annual fee credit cards: Discover It and Chase Freedom Flex.

3. Look for credit card promotions

You can use any credit card to make a purchase on Amazon and lucky for you, Amazon incentivizes you by giving promotional discounts. Some of these may be invite-only or only last for a certain number of user sign-up. For example, AMEX’s current Amazon offer is only available until the deadline date or until 40,000 users have redeemed the offer. It’s a great discount on things you’ll buy anyway so having a variety of credit cards helps you save money.

Promotion examples:

  • Discover credit card:Get $50 off on a purchase of $150 or more when using at least 1 Discover point at checkout. That’s 33% cashback in addition to the cashback your credit card already gives you.
  • Capital One Credit Card: Get $20 off on a purchase of $80 or more when using Capital One points. That’s 25% cashback in addition to your credit card cashback.
  • American Express: Get $50 off on a purchase of $100 or more when using at least 1 Membership Reward point at checkout. That’s 50% instant cashback at checkout.
  • Chase: Get $15 off on a purchase of $50 or more when using at least 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards point. That’s 30% off your $50 purchase
  • Citi: Get 20% off at Amazon when using 1 Citi TYP with a $30 max discount. That means for full value, you can spend up to $150 to get 20% off your full purchase

These Amazon credit card promotions are INSTANT savings. Meaning, that if you meet the requirements of signing up, using 1 bank point and have the minimum purchase amount, your checkout total will reflect the discounted price. 

4. Don’t redeem your credit card points at Amazon

I know, tip #3 says to use credit card point and tip #4 says not to. You should ONLY redeem the minimum credit card points required to get the Amazon promotional discount. If there’s no discount, you should NEVER use your credit card points directly at Amazon. That’s because you are getting less value for your points. 

  • Missing Cashback: When you directly redeem $100 of credit card points with Amazon, that takes $100 off your total Amazon payment. If you directly put that $100 of spend on your credit card, you earn cashback! After your purchase, you can redeem your credit card cashback directly with your bank.
  • Missing Warranty: Many credit cards come with an extended warranty feature. This may add-on an additional year of warranty of any item you purchased. You’ll want the full purchase amount of the item to appear on your credit card statement because that will insure that value of your purchase. Most warranties only apply to the purchase price and not a discounted price, which would be the case if you were redeeming credit card points at Amazon.

5. Pick Warranty or Cashback

The Amazon credit card gives 5% cashback but no extended warranty benefits. The premium American Express credit cards offers the benefit of adding one additional year of warranty to your purchase…and that’s even on products with no warranty. This applies to just about everything you buy with AMEX card. So if you lose a hat on a rollercoaster, it’s covered.

For myself, a warranty is more valuable than cashback when it comes to certain items. I prefer having the warranty on items like a computer or camera because I can be more careless for the first year. It buys me a lot of peace of mind. I’ve actually bought 2 different massage chairs with my American Express credit card just because of the warranty. My goal was to use it as much as possible and if it breaks, I’m covered by the warranty. 

6. Amazon No-rush Shipping

Amazon provides a “no-rush shipping” option so they can lower the priority of your shipment and you earn a $1 digital credit per checkout. If you are ordering a lot of items and want to get full value from the Amazon no-rush shipping feature, go through the check-out process with only 1 item.

7. Amazon Discounted Inventory

For items you actually need, you would probably just search for that item. These are the Amazon deal sites you go to when you just want to spend money.

8. Got the wrong item? Complain for free stuff

I actually had a bad…and good experience using Amazon Renewed. I bought a pair of refurbished Corsair headphones for $65 and they go for $100. Since I’m in Taiwan, it was delivered for just an additional $20. When I got my package, I was sent the WRONG refurbished Corsair Headphones. I sent an online complaint and started the return process. To return the headphones through DHL (authorized to ship packages with batteries internationally) the shipping cost was $120! 

I called up Amazon and explained the situation. They told me I could KEEP the wrong headphones that were sent and they would deliver the new headphones. Additionally, I received a $50 Amazon credit! This was one of the best customer experiences I’ve ever had. So don’t be afraid to complain even if it’s inconvenient…but don’t lie.

By the way, I love the Corsair headphone cause they are SUPER comfortable. I wear glasses so most over-ear headphones are uncomfortable after an hour of use because they push my glasses into my head. The Corsair headphones are a breathable cloth that don’t put too much pressure on your head so you can use them longer.

9. Amazon Price Matching

Amazon Prime deals and lightning sales are limited to just 1 item per household. BUT, before the item sells out, you can price match any Amazon item that is still IN-STOCK with the exact same item as Best Buy, Walmart, and Target. For you Southern Californians, Frys Electronics price matches with Amazon too.

10. Get Paid By Amazon for Late Deliveries

If your delivery appears later than the guaranteed date, Amazon owes you money. Unfortunately, Amazon won’t just give you money. You have to file a complaint and you can get anywhere from a $5-$20 Amazon credit. 

There’s actually a free service that does this for you called Paribus. They check delivery notifications against your Amazon orders and file late delivery claims (emails are sent on your behalf). You’d have to give them read and write access to your email, so I don’t know if you want to make an email address just for your Amazon purchases.

11. Subscribe & Save (& Cancel)

Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program gets you up to 15% off home supplies and groceries. You need to have at least 5 item subscriptions active to unlock the 15% off savings. This can be a dangerous game, but you can schedule out your first delivery for all 5 items to get 15% off and then cancel after the first delivery. You can cancel anytime, but it’s a dangerous game because if you forget, you’ll be paying for items you don’t necessarily need…yet.