Statistics show that there are currently over 153 million Amazon Prime members in the United States. That means chances are good that if you’re reading this, you’re already a Prime member.
And if you’re already a Prime member (or even if you’re not), you probably know that the cost of an Amazon Prime membership keeps going up and up.
In February 2022, the cost of a monthly Prime membership jumped to $14.99/month, and the price of an annual Prime member increased to $139/year. That’s a 17% increase.
But those Prime benefits are tough to give up, aren’t they? There’s free shipping and grocery delivery, Prime Video movies and television shows, ad-free music streaming, Amazon Photos, Prime Day, and lots more.
Table of Contents
- How to Get Free Amazon Prime
- How to Save on (or Skip) an Amazon Prime Membership
How to Get Free Amazon Prime
If you want to keep those benefits without having to stick with the pricy membership, here are some legit ways we found to get Amazon Prime for free.
1. Sign Up for a 30-Day Free Trial
By far the easiest way to get Amazon Prime for free is to sign up for a 30-day free trial. This free trial is available to you if you haven’t been an Amazon Prime member in the last 12 months.
You’ll receive all of the Amazon Prime benefits during this trial period, so be sure to check it out!
Note that you’ll need to add a current, valid credit card to your account when you sign up. If you don’t cancel during the trial period, you’ll automatically be upgraded to a paid membership plan at the end of the 30 days.
The full cost of an Amazon Prime membership is $14.99/month or $139/year ($11.58/month – a 23% savings). When you sign up for your free trial, you’ll need to select which option your membership will renew at.
But don’t worry – it is super easy to cancel your Amazon Prime membership renewal online, no phone call necessary.
And if you forget to cancel by the end of your free trial, you can receive a full refund within 3 business days as long as you didn’t use any Prime benefits after your card was charged.
2. Start a 6-Month Prime Student Free Trial
If you’re a college student with a valid .edu email address, you can sign up for Prime Student and get a 6-month free trial.
Plus, you’ll pay less for your Prime membership for the next four years or until you graduate – whichever comes first. A Prime Student membership is currently $7.49/month or $69/year (50% off).
When you sign up, you’ll need to enter your .edu email address for verification purposes. This doesn’t need to be the email address listed on your Amazon account – it’s just to make sure you’re a legit college student.
If you already have an Amazon Prime membership, you can switch to Prime Student to get a refund for the remaining months left on your current subscription!
3. Earn Cash Back Rewards with Amazon Visa
Amazon has two Visa cards – the Amazon Rewards Visa Card and the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card.
Prime members can sign up for the Prime Rewards Visa Card to earn 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods Market purchases.
Plus, you’ll get a $100 Amazon gift card immediately upon approval. (The gift card already almost covers your first year of membership!)
There is no annual fee, and you’ll also earn 1-2% back in rewards on other purchases outside of Amazon.
In addition, you can periodically earn 10% back or more on select products on Amazon through Bonus Rewards. These are limited-time offers and change regularly.
If you spend $2,780 at Amazon in a year ($232.67/month), you’ll cover the cost of an annual Prime membership through the Rewards you’ll earn.
PS – Want to see how much money you spent on Amazon last year? This article on Business Insider walks you through how to download your order reports.
Of course, this is only a money-saving option if you are confident that you won’t overspend or carry a balance on your credit card. Otherwise, the interest will easily wipe out any rewards that you’ll earn.
4. Get Free Amazon Gift Cards
With a little creativity and some extra time on your hands, you can work to earn free gift cards to Amazon that you can then use to pay for your Amazon Prime membership.
Some of my favorite ways to earn free gift cards include:
- Swagbucks – Shop through their online portal to earn SB, watch videos, sign up for special offers
- Fetch Rewards – Scan grocery receipts and buy from participating brands
- Shopkick – Browse online and in-store to earn “kicks”
These are just a few ideas; for more, check out our post on 12 Easy Ways to Get Free Gift Cards.
5. Sign Up for the Amazon Influencer Program
If you have a social media following on YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook, you can become an Amazon Influencer to earn a commission on items purchased through your affiliate links.
What this means is that you’ll get a customized page on Amazon with a personalized URL. Add the products that you want to recommend to your storefront.
Then, when your followers shop through your storefront, Amazon will give you a percent-based commission of what your followers purchase.
You can, of course, use this money for whatever you want, but it can go toward covering the cost of your Prime membership.
Note that if you have a website or blog, you’ll want to sign up for the Amazon Associates Program instead. (It works very similarly to the Amazon Influencer Program.)
6. Contact Customer Service with Delivery Issues
Remember when Amazon used to advertise free 2-day shipping for Prime members? Well, they don’t do that anymore, but they do still have a Delivery Guarantee.
If Amazon provides a guaranteed delivery date on the checkout page and that promised delivery date is then missed, you can contact customer service to see what they can do for you.
Unless the delay was due to an unforeseen circumstance outside of their control, Amazon will work with you to make it right.
This may mean that you’ll get a free month’s extension of your Prime membership, or perhaps you’ll get a credit to your account to use on a future purchase.
Keep in mind that you will need to reach out to them if your delivery is late – they won’t automatically contact you if they messed up.
I typically contact their customer service through online chat and the issue is resolved quickly.
7. Switch Cell Phone Plans
If you’re up for switching cell phone providers, sometimes you can get a free Amazon Prime membership included in your plan.
Case in point: right now Metro® by T-Mobile is offering a free Amazon Prime membership with their new $60 Unlimited rate plan on a single line or under a family plan (as low as $30/line).
This plan includes unlimited high-speed data, access to T-Mobile’s 5G network, 15GB of hotspot data, and a 100GB Google One membership.
If you’re already a Prime member, you’re still eligible. You’ll just need to cancel your current Prime membership, then reactivate it through Metro.
How to Save on (or Skip) an Amazon Prime Membership
If these ways to get Amazon Prime for free don’t work for you, you still don’t need to pay full price for your membership. Here are some ways you can save on your Amazon Prime membership.
1. Get a Qualified Discount Membership
If you qualify for government assistance, you can save 50% on the cost of monthly membership and pay just $6.99/month.
To be eligible for this discount, you’ll need to prove that you receive government assistance.
Qualifying government assistance benefits include:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Direct Express (DE)
- Economic Impact Payment (EIP)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Tribal Assistance (TTANF)
You’ll need to reverify your eligibility every 12 months, and you can receive the discount for up to four years from the date you sign up.
As of this posting, you can receive a discounted membership for up to four years.
Did you know you can share your Amazon Prime benefits? Yes, there is some fine print, but if you have another adult in your household (roommate, spouse, etc.), you can share benefits with them and split the cost.
Both adults will share select Prime benefits and digital content using Family Library. Amazon specifically states that you can “invite someone you live with to share benefits.”
You’ll need to link the accounts through Amazon Household and agree to share payment methods, so be sure you’re only sharing with someone you trust!
Note that Prime Student members can not share their benefits.
3. Get Free Shipping with Orders of $25 or More
Did you know that you can still get free shipping on Amazon without a Prime membership?
Yup, orders of $25 or more of eligible items qualify for free shipping. Sure, it might not be as fast as Prime shipping, but free is free, right?
With free shipping, your order is delivered five to eight days after all of your items are available to ship (including pre-order items).
You might find that you’ll save even more at Amazon by waiting until your cart holds $25 or more in eligible items.
In reality, waiting will probably cut down on impulse buys as you can revisit the cart later to see if you still need or want those particular items.
PS – Once you place a qualifying order, you can use Extended Free Shipping for the next 24 hours without an order minimum.
4. Use Subscribe & Save to Get Free Shipping
Another option to skip the Prime membership and still get free shipping is by purchasing items through Subscribe & Save.
With Subscribe & Save, you’ll save up to 15% on automatic deliveries of baby care, beauty, grocery, health & wellness, household, and pet care items.
Besides the extra savings, shipping is free!
You’ll receive your delivery around the same day each month and can cancel or modify your subscriptions as needed.
We keep an extensive, up-to-date list of the Best Amazon Subscribe and Save Deals to help you find the biggest savings on items you regularly buy.
5. Sign Up for Just a Few Months
If you typically pay for the cost of a full year of Amazon Prime because that’s what you’ve always done, you may want to rethink that.
Yes, on paper the cost of Prime is less if you pay for a full year, but if you only really need a Prime membership during the holidays or for Prime Day in June/July, why not just sign up for it on a month-to-month basis?
Since it’s so easy to cancel and restart your Prime membership online, this may be an option to help you save.
6. Shop Somewhere Else
Sure, Amazon is convenient and seemingly has anything you could ever think of to order, and most people get an Amazon Prime membership for the free shipping benefits.
However, Amazon is not the only place you can go for free shipping. Here are some other retailers that offer free shipping:
Walmart (with Walmart Plus)
Walmart recently started a membership program, called Walmart+.
For $12.95/month or $98/year, you’ll get free delivery from your store on orders of $35 or more, free shipping on lots of eligible items, and other benefits.
Target (with Target RedCard)
Sign up for a Target RedCard to get free shipping on most items from Target.com, as well as 5% off when shopping both in-store and online.
The RedCard has credit and debit options, both with no annual fee. You’ll also be eligible for exclusive Target Circle offers and discounts, so this is a no-brainer.
With a ShopRunner membership, you’ll get free 2-day shipping and free returns at popular stores including Bloomingdale’s, Under Armour, ProFlowers, Fanatics, and more.
A membership is typically $79/year, but you probably already qualify for a free membership through one of their partners (American Express, Chase, Mastercard, and PayPal).
Barnes & Noble (with Membership)
If you love shopping Amazon’s book selection, you may be interested in switching to a Barnes & Noble membership instead.
For $25/year, you’ll get free shipping on all orders, special in-store pricing, 10% off in-store, early access to sales and events, and more.
For even more options, check out our post on 35 Stores That Offer Free Shipping with No Minimum Spend. You’d be surprised at how many of your favorite retailers will ship your order to you for free!
Amazon is the leader in online sales and e-commerce, and they push their Prime membership as a must-have option. But the rising cost of membership can mean it doesn’t fit in your budget anymore.
Hopefully, you can use one of these ways to get free Amazon Prime to get the perks without paying, or you can at least use one of the ways to save on an Amazon Prime membership to lower your out-of-pocket cost.