6 Brilliantly Slick Ways to Get Amazon Prime for FREE

December 2, 2016 by Kyle
0
no comments

Aside from the obvious 30-day free Prime trial, there are some highly clever ways to get Amazon Prime for free. Even the loyalist of Amazon shoppers have no idea many of these hacks exist. From credit card and cell phone companies offering a free Prime membership, to Amazon themselves giving you a free Prime extension in certain circumstances, these slick tips will keep you from forking over $99 for a Prime membership for years to come.

6 Brilliantly Slick Ways to Get Amazon Prime for FREE

Get 1 Free Month of Prime if Package Arrives Late

Amazon Live Chat

If you’re a current Prime member, and your package doesn’t arrive within the 2-day guaranteed window, you need to start holding Amazon’s “feet to the fire”. This is also true if you pay the shipping upgrade for 1-day delivery (see above chat session).

In many cases, when this happens, Amazon will extend to you 1 free month of Amazon Prime as a peace offering. The free month won’t kick in until your current Prime membership expires, which is way cool.

To make it happen, simply contact Amazon customer service and politely explain the situation. If they won’t give you a free Prime extension they should at the very least give you a $5 credit added to your account.

See Also: 7 Amazon Prime Benefits You Probably Had No Idea Existed

30-Day Free Trial Expired? Just Open a New Account

Amazon Live Chat

Out of curiosity, I started a live chat session with Amazon and asked how many free 30-day Prime trials a user was eligible for.

I figured they’d say one per email address or one per mailing address.

Much to my surprise, she confirmed that you can simply open a new Amazon account after your 30-day free Prime trial expires and “then try the Prime on that account”.

You’ll need a different email address to open a new Amazon account, but that’s not a problem for most shoppers.

The Amazon rep also informed me that if you don’t renew your Prime membership after your trial period ends, they’ll typically email you another free trial opportunity after a certain amount of time.

BTW, before you ask, my wife’s name is Aimee and her name is on our Amazon account. 😉

Snag Free Prime With Sprint Cell Plan

Sprint recently launched a new cell phone plan that includes a free 12-month Amazon Prime membership. The plan is called the Amazon Better Choice XXL plan and is available to both new and current Sprint customers.

If you’re already with Sprint, or considering switching providers, it’s definitely a great way to get Amazon Prime for free.

According to Sprint exec, Roger Sole, “Combining America’s fastest LTE network with Amazon Prime’s array of quality entertainment is an amazing benefit for our customers.”

Here’s how to make it happen:

  1. Visit www.sprint.com/plans, call 1-(800)-SPRINT1 or go to the nearest Sprint store to sign up for Sprint Better Choice XXL with Amazon Prime included.
  2. After signing up for Sprint Better Choice XXL data tier, the customer will receive a text message with an activation link to complete Amazon Prime registration.
  3. Once registration is complete, the customer can immediately begin to enjoy all the benefits of Amazon Prime.
  4. Customers can also access preloaded or downloaded Amazon apps for easy access to Prime content on compatible smartphones.

See Also: 4 Ways to Get Free Shipping at Amazon (Without Paying for Amazon Prime)

Some AmEx Cards Come with Free Amazon Prime

If you’re one of the millions of American with an American Express card in your wallet, or perhaps looking to open an AmEx card, are you aware you may be eligible for a free year of Amazon Prime?

The AmEx card that looks especially promising is the Blue Cash Everyday Card as it has no annual fee and offers an awesome 10% cash back on all of your Amazon purchases for the first 6 months.

Just click here to redeem your promotional code that will give you 1 free year of Amazon Prime. If you’re already a Prime member, Amazon will automatically start your free year once your current Prime membership expires.

Join Amazon Student and Score 6 Free Months of Prime

As many of you know I’m a huge fan of Amazon Student. I think it’s a real no-brainer for college students.

Who wouldn’t love a free 6-month Prime trial and a slick way to cut down significantly on your entertainment and digital reading costs?

To qualify, all you need is an Amazon account, a .edu email address, and be enrolled in at least one college course located within one of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico.

What exactly will you get? Every thing that comes with Prime EXCEPT Prime Music and the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.

Once your 6-month trial expires, you’ll have the option to sign-up for Amazon Prime only $49 a year for up to 4 years.

See Also: Amazon “Prime Student” Hacks (Plus a Free 6-Month Membership)

Skip Prime Altogether and Still Score Free Shipping

Perhaps the best way to get Amazon Prime for free is to simply not fork over the $99 annually and still get free shipping.

Guess what? Amazon already offers free shipping on $49 or more, ($25 on books) a threshold that’s much lower than most online retailers. Many of which require you to spend $75 or $99 to qualify for free delivery.

Clever Hack Alert: If your Amazon order falls just short of the minimum order required for free shipping, simply add a “pre-order” item to your cart to get over the hump. You’ll get your entire order shipped for free and then you can cancel your “pre-order” item before it gets shipped and not be charged. Don’t do this too often or you run the risk of Amazon catching on and making you pay for the pre-order items, or worse case, cancelling your account.

Ask the Reader: Have you ever found a way to get Amazon Prime for free? If so, let me know your strategy in the comments below.


By Kyle James

4 Ways to Get Free Shipping at Amazon (Without Paying for Amazon Prime)

December 1, 2016 by Kyle
2
comments

I did some research and came up with four clever ways to get free shipping at Amazon without paying for a Prime membership. While I’m personally a big fan of the 2-day free shipping that comes with Amazon Prime (free 30-day trial), and think it’s worth the $99 annual price tag, I understand that others would disagree. Maybe you don’t shop much online, or maybe you have no need for the added perks that come with a Prime membership. I totally get that. I hope these tips help you to shop at Amazon, avoid the Prime annual fee, and still score free delivery to your doorstep.

4 Ways to Get Free Shipping at Amazon (Without Paying for Amazon Prime)

1. Score Free Shipping on Lightweight Stuff

Back in June, Amazon quietly announced that they were going to start offering free shipping on thousands of small, lightweight, items like cosmetics, in-ear headphones, and mobile phone accessories. No Amazon Prime membership required. No mimimum order size required either.

If you’re like most, and missed the memo, it’s a great option to start considering.

Be aware that because all items are fulfilled from their Kentucky warehouse, shipping will take between 4-8 business days, depending on how far you live from the blue grass state.

The single best way to discover these items that ship for free is to click on “Other Sellers”, from the product page, as those are the majority of eligible products.

See Also: 7 Amazon Prime Benefits You Probably Had No Idea Existed

2. Add “Filler” Items & Get Free Shipping

If you’re not a Prime member, you’re probably already aware that Amazon offers everyday free shipping on $49 or more.

Plus, a ton of 3rd party sellers offer free shipping with NO minimum order size required. Always check the shipping incentives that “Other Sellers on Amazon” are offering.

Also, if you’re ordering books, you only need to spend $25 and your entire order ships for free.

But what happens if your order total comes up just a little bit short of the minimum order threshold? Instead of either paying for shipping, or adding something to your cart you don’t really need, try using a site like Filler Item.com.

This handy website allows you to enter the exact dollar amount you need to qualify for free shipping, as well as the product categories you might be interested in. Pretty handy tool that helps you get free shipping on Amazon without paying for a prime membership.

The take-away here is to qualify for free shipping by only adding stuff to your cart you actually need. Stuff that you can either use in your home, or maybe as a stocking stuffer or upcoming gift for someone in your life.

Also, it’s worth noting that you can buy Amazon gift cards to bump you up to the $49 threshold for free shipping. Then you can simply use them on later purchases. (Thanks Becky for this tip!) Update: After reading through the boilerplate on the Amazon site, it appears gift cards will not count towards your order total. Bummer.

See Also: 6 Brilliantly Slick Ways to Get Amazon Prime for FREE

3.The “Pre-Order” Free Shipping Hack

A sneaky little-known way to get your Amazon shopping cart over $49 is to consider adding items only available for pre-order. This is because they count toward your $49 minumum order requirement for free shipping.

The really cool part is that you won’t actually be charged for the pre-order items until they become available and ship. So if you change your mind, or don’t actually want the item, just cancel the order before it ships.

The best product categories to search for pre-order items include books, video games, Bluray movies, and smaller tech items.

Word of warning: Don’t abuse this trick as you’ll get caught and end up having to pay for all your pre-orders. But you can definitely use it a couple times a year without raising any red flags.

See Also: The One Amazon Hack That Guarantees You’ll Always Get the Lowest Price

4. Use Subscribe & Save

We all have items in our life that we need to replenish on a fairly regular basis. Think about things like shampoo, soap, diapers, dog food, laundry detergent, trash bags, toilet paper, I could go on and on.

Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program is free to join and lets you get these items really cheap AND delivered to your doorstep for free. Again, no Prime membership required.

Plus, by taking advantage of Subscribe & Save, you’ll get up to a 15% discount on the regular everyday Amazon price.

From the Amazon site, here’s exactly how it works:

  1. Choose from thousands of eligible products in the Subscribe & Save store.
  2. Select your delivery frequency and create your subscription.
  3. Skip your deliveries or cancel your subscriptions at any time by visiting Your Account > Your Subscribe & Save Items.
  4. In advance of each delivery, we will send you a reminder email showing the item price and any applicable discount for your upcoming delivery. The price of the item may decrease or increase from delivery to delivery, depending on the Amazon.com price of the item at the time we process your order.

There’s no commitment once you subscribe, and Amazon will send you an email reminder before your order ships.

Bonus Hack: Learn How to Search for “Free Shipping” Items

Amazon Free Shipping Search

Another great hack to quickly figure out which Amazon items ship for free is to do a product search, then refine your search by clicking on the “Free Shipping by Amazon” button (see image above).

You might not get the item delivered as quickly compared to having a Prime membership, but if you don’t need it right away, who cares? Free shipping is free shipping, no matter how long it takes to reach your doorstep.

Ask the Reader: How do you get free shipping on Amazon without paying $99 for an annual Prime membership?


By Kyle James

Ebates Vs. TopCashBack Review: Which Should You Use and Why?

November 30, 2016 by Kyle
0
no comments

As I’ve written about before, I’m a huge fan of cashback websites. I mean who doesn’t love free money back on stuff you’d be buying anyways, right? In recent years, two sites have really distinguished themselves in my eyes. In terms of high cashback rates, and strong customer service, both Ebates and TopCashBack have risen to the top of the “cashback world”. So I figured it was time to throw them in the ring together and let them duke it out. Here’s my review of both Ebates and TopCashBack and an analysis of who wins this hard-fought battle.

Ebates Vs. TopCashBack Review: Which Should You Use?

Ebates

Since 1998, Ebates has been giving money back to their registered users whenever they shop online. Here’s exactly how it works.

  • Free to register. Once you register for free (and get a $10 bonus), you simply start all your online shopping via Ebates and start earning up to 40% cashback from over 2,000 online retailers.
  • Stack your savings with coupons. They have a ton of coupons available, over 10,000 as a matter of fact, that you can stack on top of your cash back rates for extra savings.
  • Sounds too good to be true? This is a common misconception of cashback sites. Ebates works be receiving a commission of the retailer when a shopper makes a purchase, typically between 3% and 18%. Ebates will then turn around and give a chunk of that commission to their user and keep the rest as profit.
  • Do you have to shop via their website? No. You can also shop via their mobile app as well as through their browser extension which they call their “Cash Back Button”.
  • Top Merchants: Amazon (up to 25% back), Kohl’s (8% back), Walmart (4% back), Nordstrom (6% back), Target (2% back), Macys.com (6% back), American Eagle (4% back), and Lowes.com (1.5% back).
  • How do you get paid? Every 3 months you’ll get paid via a check or Paypal, your choice. A few times a year you’ll also get an option to redeem via an Amazon gift card. Your account must reach at least $5.01 to qualify for payment.

Here’s a breakdown of how Ebates rocks and how it could be better.

Why Ebates Rocks:

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Get a $10 Welcome Bonus when you register and spend $25 or more via Ebates.
  • Cashback available on in-store purchases too. The in-store cashback option at Ebates is exclusive to only them. Works like this: 1) Add your credit and debit card to your account. 2) Find an In-Store Cash Back offer you like and link it to your card. 3) Pay with your linked card in stores and get Cash Back added yo your account.
  • Double cashback stores. Every week Ebates rolls out a bunch of retailers offering 2x their normal cashback rate. For example, they’re currently offering Walmart (4% back), Dell (12% back), and Under Armour (8% back).

Get in the habit of always taking a look at their “double cashback retailers” to see if you can score twice the cash back in your Ebates account.

How Ebates Could Be Better:

  • Missing some stores. They’re missing a few big name retailers. After some research, the biggest names that don’t offer cashback include Home Depot, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, Adidas, Apple Store, and Durham Sports.

See Also: The 11 Best Cashback Sites Worth Your Time (and Hacks to Maximize Your Savings)

TopCashBack

TopCashBack started in the UK back in 2005 and has brought their awesomeness to the U.S. in recent years. Here’s the skinny on TCB…

  • Free to register. Once you register for free, you simply start all of your online shopping via their website, browser extension, or mobile app.
  • They offer cashback at over 3,500 online retailers. Top merchants include Amazon (up to 10% back), Groupon (up to 10% back), Walmart (up to 6% back), Lowe’s (6% back), Gap brands (8% back), Macys.com (8% back), American Eagle (6% back), and Overstock.com (5% back).
  • Coupons? Heck yeah, they offer a ton of coupon codes that you can use to stack your savings.
  • Cashback Guarantee. They have something called a “Highest Cash Back Guarantee”. So if you find that another cashback site is offering a higher rate for a particular retailer, they’ll happily match it.

Also, they don’t have a minimum account balance required for withdrawals and you can take money out whenever you want. Once your cashback hits the pending status, you’re free to withdraw any amount.

Why TopCashBack Rocks:

  • They give all their commissions to their users. TopCashBack rocks because they give ALL of the commissions they earn from your purchases back to you. So if Amazon pays them 8% on your purchase, you get 8% back. They’re the only cashback site that currently does that. They make their revenue on advertising and charging retailers to be “above the fold” on their site and app.
  • Cash out with American Express. When you’re ready to cash out your TCB account, always choose the American Express Reward Card as payment. Why? Because they’ll add an extra 3% to your payout amount for doing so. Total no-brainer.

Here are a few ways TCB could even be more bodacious.

How TopCashBack Could Be Better:

  • Rarely Offer Sign-Up Bonus. A few times a year they’ll give you $10 for signing up, but not regularly.
  • Make Cashback Guarantee easier to use. They give you 7 days after your purchase to file a claim if you find a higher cashback rate on another site. But…you must prove the rate was higher on another cashback site on the day of your purchase. This will require you to somehow take a time-stamped screenshot of some sort. For smaller purchases, this sounds cumbersome and more trouble than it’s worth.

See Also: 9 Shopping Apps That You MUST Use to Save Money

So Who Wins This Cashback Battle?

Ebates and TopCashBack both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Ebates has less retailers overall that offer cash back, but they have the cool in-store cashback feature that’s lacking with TCB.

Ebates has fantastic cashback rates via their limited time “Double” cashback offers. TCB will match those high Ebates rates, but they require you to fill out an online form in order to get the cashback rate match.

Because a combination of both sites would equal the PERFECT cashback site, I recommend signing up for both Ebates and TopCashBack. That way you can check both sites regularly to find the highest rates available, score in-store cashback (with Ebates), and utilize favorable payout bonuses.

In other words, play one site against the other and come out a winner every time you shop.

Ask the Reader: What cashback site is your favorite? Or do you like paying full-price for some reason?


By Kyle James

Disclaimer: While all opinions are 100% my own, I do get paid a small commission if you sign up with either site. Money I use to keep this blog rolling and research more fantabulous content that can hopefully help you save.

December Buying Guide: 10 Things To Buy Now and Save

November 28, 2016 by Kyle
0
no comments

As we head into December and you wrap up your Christmas shopping (literally), it is worth noting some of the better products that offer the best savings this time of year. If you have gift recipients on your list and are still unsure what to get them, perhaps this will help you maximize your savings this December.

December Buying Guide: 10 Things To Buy Now and Save

Automobiles

2017 models are already on the lot and year-end quotas are trying to be met, all of which makes December an excellent time to purchase a new car. Dealers are trying to get rid of 2016 models and the deals right now are amazing. Zero % financing is available with many manufacturers and salesmen are eager to close deals before the end of the year.

The key is to do your research with online sites and figure out what the invoice is on the model and make that you want and offer $500 to $1000 over invoice. Then bargain, bargain, bargain. Don’t be afraid to walk away if the deal doesn’t feel right.
Key websites to check: Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book.com.

Tools/Hardware

Christmas is a HUGE time of year for tool and hardware sellers. Tools and power equipment are at the top of many guys (and gals) Christmas wish-lists. To spur on sales, your Home Depot’s and Lowe’s of the world are offering some fantastic deals this month to encourage additional consumer spending.
Key stores to check: OSH.com, Home Depot.com and Lowe’s.com.

Laptop Computers

We have noticed that computer deals, especially on laptops, continues to be very strong since the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. Why you ask?

Well, as consumers gobble up the VERY popular tablet products like the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy, the price point on less-popular laptops are better than ever. Simple supply and demand makes you a BIG winner when shopping for a new laptop this Christmas.
Key stores to check: Walmart.com, Target.com, BestBuy.com, and Amazon.com.

Small Appliances

Small appliances also top many Christmas lists and seasonal sales are available everywhere right now. We have seen coffee makers at 75% off the original price and brand name waffle makers for less than $5 at Walmart. They all make great gift ideas on the cheap.
Key stores to check: Walmart.comTarget.com, and Kohl’s.

Airline Tickets

Thinking of planning a trip for next Spring? If so, December is your best time to book airline tickets and price compare hotel rooms and rental cars. If you wait until January, you will definitely pay more.
Key stores to check: Orbitz.com, Cheap Tickets.com, and Expedia.com

Bicycles

With the exception of bikes for kids, bicycles for adults are really great deals right now. Nobody is buying them and bike shops and sporting goods stores are slashing prices to try and entice purchases.

Buy your bicycle now and store it for a couple months in your garage in preparation for those great Spring bike rides. You will be glad you did and so will your pocketbook.
Key stores to check: Sports Authority, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Walmart.com

Home Theater Systems

New models are unveiled every Spring, so consumer electronic retailers and trying to clear out 2016 models. Then throw in the Christmas hoopla over electronics and some really good deals are to be found.

Expect deals on home theaters systems and HDTV’s to get even cheaper in January as retailers try to get rid of old inventory to make room for new models.
Key stores to check: BestBuy.com, Amazon.com and J&R.com.

Christmas Decorations

Wait a little while on this one! Starting December 26th, you will get Christmas decorations and ornaments for practically nothing. 70% to 80% off is very common. This is also a great way to buy wrapping paper for pretty much, um……FREE
Key stores to check: Home Depot.com, Lowe’s.com, Macy’s, and Crate & Barrel.

Plants (Perennials)

If you can buy plants now and store them in a warm spot, you will save a ton of money compared to buying them next spring.
Key stores to check: OSH.comHome Depot.com and Lowe’s.com.

NFL Tickets

If you live in or near an NFL city and your local team sucks out loud, you can score a great deal on NFL tickets right now. Stadiums all across the U.S. are struggling to fill the seats, especially teams that are NOT playoff bound.

You can often find tickets for below sticker value at the websites listed below.
Key stores to check: StubHub.comTickets Now.com, and TicketMaster.com.

By Kyle James

Photo credit to Sharon Mollerus.

10 Brilliantly Simple Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store

November 23, 2016 by Kyle
5
comments

I got three kids right now who eat more than I do. The result is a grocery bill which can be ridiculously high if we don’t shop smart and look for savings. It’s with this in mind that I present some brilliantly simple ways to save money at the grocery store. I hope they help you save, I know they really help us on a monthly basis.

1. Gotta Have a List
I remember my single […] Continue Reading…

Costco Savings Secrets Straight From Their CEO

November 22, 2016 by Kyle
1
comment

I love Costco. I mean what other store can you walk-in for toilet paper and dog food, and walk-out with $10 Adidas sweats, a box of Snickers, and a camping chair that would make Edmund Hillary jealous.

So when my frugal hero Clark Howard walked around a Costco warehouse with their CEO Craig Jelinek, I was all ears. I knew some good insider savings tips would be the result of the conversation. Here are a […] Continue Reading…

70+ Apparel Brands Whose Clothing is 100% Made In The U.S.A.

November 21, 2016 by Kyle
0
no comments

I have to admit, it always feels good when I buy an item that’s made in the good ol’ USA. Not only do I know that I’m helping keep jobs in America, but I’m almost always getting an item that’s much higher quality and designed to stand up to the test of time.

So with that in mind, I figured it was time to do some research and find all of the popular clothing, apparel, and […] Continue Reading…

Black Friday 2016 – We Spotlight The Best Deals

November 18, 2016 by Kyle
0
no comments

As we head towards Black Friday 2016, I wanted to start breaking down all of the best deals so you can plan your shopping if you’re heading out to fight the crowd.

Be sure to also check out my recent Black Friday Hacks article which has a bunch of insider tips to maximize your savings, and save time too. Here are the best deals so far…I’ll keep this page updated as new Black Friday ads […] Continue Reading…

11 Fantastically Simple Hacks to Save Money at Kroger

November 18, 2016 by Kyle
0
no comments

Since Kroger is the biggest grocery store chain in the country, I figured it was time to do some research and figure out some of the best ways to save money at Kroger. Hacks that’ll save you money in a variety of ways, including at the gas pump, as well as in every section of the grocery store.

The Kroger family of stores actually includes a bunch of grocery stores. Specifically City Market, Dillons, Fred Meyer, […] Continue Reading…

The 22 Absolute Best Buys at Dollar General (Some Will Shock You)

November 15, 2016 by Kyle
1
comment

Dollar General is a little different than most retailers. Because they have the word “dollar” in their name they often get confused as a dollar store, which they clearly aren’t. Think of Dollar General as a cross between a dollar store and a discount department store. To help you save the most money on your next trip, I’ve put together the top 22 products to buy at your local Dollar General, some of which will […] Continue Reading…