5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free — or Cheap

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Shopping Amazon on a laptop
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Shopping on Amazon can be convenient, especially if you are still spending more time at home after the coronavirus pandemic. You can get anything from frozen pizza to light bulbs delivered to your door at the click of a button.

An Amazon Prime membership makes it even more convenient. Perks include not just faster shipping but also access to free e-books, music, file storage and more, as we detail in “These Are the 8 Best Benefits of Amazon Prime.”

While the convenience is great, the cost of membership may give you pause. The online retailer raised the price of an annual Prime membership from $119 to $139 in February 2022. For monthly subscribers, the cost rose from $12.99 to $14.99, CNBC reports.

It’s likely to be a while yet until the next price hike, if the company sticks to the current pattern — probably in 2026. But it’s still a hefty subscription. If you want to pay less but still enjoy the convenience of Amazon Prime, there are a few ways to get a free or discounted membership.

1. Get a free trial

If you want to try Amazon Prime to see if it’s worth paying for a membership, sign up for a free 30-day trial.

This is an option for people who are new to Prime as well as people who were Prime members in the past but have not been a member in the past 12 months. Just remember to cancel the trial before the 30-day trial is up if you decide you don’t want to pay for a membership.

Keep in mind that you can’t use a checking account or prepaid credit card to sign up for your trial: Your Amazon account must have a credit card or Venmo account.

However, you can use different email addresses to get multiple free trials, at least according to a 2018 Vice report. Again, remember to cancel each trial before it ends to avoid being charged for a membership.

If you’re a college student, you can sign up for a free Prime Student trial, which lasts six months. A Prime Student membership also costs less than a regular Prime membership if you decide to continue after your trial ends.

2. Use free Amazon gift cards

If you keep your Amazon membership after the free trial ends, consider paying for it with Amazon gift cards. There are various ways to get them for free. Check out the options in “13 Ways to Get Amazon Gift Cards for Free.”

3. Use credit card rewards

If you have a cash-back credit card, you could use your accumulated cash back to pay for a Prime membership — which kind of feels like you are getting Prime for free.

If you sign up for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card, you will earn 5% cash back on purchases at Amazon and Whole Foods Market, and 1% or 2% cash back everywhere else. If you spend $2,800 in a year at the 5% rate, you will earn $140 cash back — enough to cover the cost of a one-year membership.

If you’re in the market for a new card, stop by Money Talks News’ Solutions Center. We can help you find another cash-back credit card for free.

4. Share an account using Amazon Household

If someone in your household has an Amazon Prime membership, you can ask them to share it with you via a feature called Amazon Household.

Each of you keeps your own Amazon account, but the two accounts are linked, giving you access to select Prime benefits. They include:

  • Prime Delivery
  • Prime Video
  • Prime Reading
  • Amazon Photos
  • First Reads
  • Other discounts and exclusives

Keep in mind that using the Amazon Household feature means sharing payment methods.

5. Pay less with Prime Access

One more option for those who are eligible is to sign up for Prime Access. This program lets people receiving government assistance pay a discounted price for all the same benefits of Prime — $6.99 per month instead of $14.99.

Signing up requires providing proof of your eligibility or enrollment in one of these programs:

  • Medicaid
  • SNAP (food stamps)
  • SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
  • Direct Express Prepaid Debit Card
  • TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
  • TTANF (Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
  • National School Lunch Program
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
  • WIC (Women, Infants, and Children program)
  • Puerto Rico’s Nutrition Assistance Program card (Tarjeta de la Familia)

Note that you can take advantage of the normal free trial offer before signing up, too. It also will work for Amazon Household.

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