If you're an avid online shopper, nothing beats Amazon.
No other online shopping website has quite the speed, service, and variety of products. That being said, you may still wince at the Amazon Prime price tag of $119/year (or $12.99/month). “Are the benefits really worth the costs?” If this sounds like you, then you're in luck because there are actually a few crafty ways that you can get free Amazon Prime.
This post will cover just why you should consider getting an Amazon Prime membership and nine ways that you can get one for free (or significantly cheaper than the normal cost!). Let's dive right in.
Perks of Amazon Prime
You may be wondering right now, “is it really worth it to go through all this trouble just for free Amazon Prime?”
Before we begin dissecting exactly how you can get free Amazon Prime; we'll run through all the added benefits of the upgraded membership. Here are the best perks of Amazon Prime:
With Amazon Prime, you receive free two-day shipping on over 100 million items and free one-day shipping on over 10 million items. Without Prime, two-day shipping costs about $10. Place enough orders, and the money really starts to make a difference.
An Amazon Prime membership also gives you access to Prime Video. Prime Video lets you stream many movies and TV series (including Amazon Originals) for free. You can also rent movies for a low cost.
Photo and Video Storage
Perhaps one of the best (little known) perks of Amazon Prime is Amazon Photos. Amazon Photos is a storage service like Google Photos, which lets you save and share your photos and memories. With Amazon Prime, you can save unlimited photos and get access to 5GB of video and file saving.
With Amazon Prime, you also gain access to Prime Music which lets you listen to over two million songs ad-free. There IS an expanded version that includes over 10 million songs, but the fact that you get free music out of Amazon Prime is still pretty cool.
One of the most exciting perks of Amazon Prime is Prime Day. This is a day (or two) each year when Amazon offers exclusive deals and huge discounts to its members.
9 Ways to Get a Free (or Cheaper) Amazon Prime Membership
If reading about the perks of Amazon Prime has you dying to sign up for a membership right away… hold your horses because you may be able to get it for free. Here are nine ways you can get free (or cheap) Amazon Prime.
Some of these methods only last for a little bit, but still… a dollar saved is a dollar earned.
1. Free Trial
Anybody on the internet can sign up for Amazon's 30-day free trial. All you have to do is:
- Go to Amazon.com or Amazon.ca (depending on where you live)
- Click on “all” on the left-hand side
- Scroll down and click on “customer service” or “help.”
- Type in the search bar “free trial”
- Follow the instructions and prompts that pop-up
When you receive your free trial, you'll have access to all of Amazon Prime's benefits and perks. These include all the ones listed above and more (like the Kindle lending library). When you sign up for the free trial, however, Amazon asks you to provide a credit card. Just be sure to cancel the membership before 30 days is up otherwise, you WILL start getting charged.
In these 30 days, feel free to use as many of Amazon Prime's features as you like (especially the free shipping component). If you're not in a rush, try to time your free trial with special events like Prime Day so you can REALLY get the most out of it.
2. Late Package Workaround
This method isn't sure to work, but it's still worth a shot. If you're an Amazon member (Prime or otherwise) and your package arrives late, you can contact Amazon customer support and request them to give you a free month or two of Amazon Prime as compensation.
Usually, Amazon is pretty good about providing refunds and rebates for late packages, but Amazon Prime might be a stretch. How you can improve your odds of getting some free Amazon Prime via this method are:
- Be polite and respectful when interacting with customer service (nobody likes dealing with a hothead).
- Describe your situation in DETAIL to prove that you aren't trying to scam them and that you're telling the truth.
- Talk about how you've been an Amazon customer for a long time and that this late package really inconvenienced you. You might even mention how you considered switching to other services because of this incident.
- Be persistent with requesting compensation. In sales, they always say that you should ask five times before giving up (the same number of letters in the word “S A L E S”)
Follow these tips, and even if customer service doesn’t compensate you with an Amazon Prime membership, you're likely to receive at least a gift card or refund for your order. (Anything is better than nothing).
3. Amazon Business Prime
If you don't actually care about all the perks and benefits of Amazon Prime and just need it for its two-day free shipping, you can consider asking your company for access to its Amazon Business Prime account.
Obviously, this only works if your company has a Business Prime account, but it doesn't hurt to ask. If you happen to use this method, remember that your package will probably ship to your company's address. Also, make sure to select “ship in Amazon packaging” if you're ordering something private so that your package isn't scrutinized by your entire office.
4. Amazon Prime Student
If you're currently a college or university student, you qualify for six months of free Amazon Prime. You'll get the free shipping perk, and most other ones, but may not have access to Kindle Owners' Lending Library. (Still, six months of free Prime??? I'd take that any day.)
After your six months of free Prime, if you decide to convert to full membership it'll only cost you half the price of a regular Amazon Prime membership. This means instead of $12.99/month; it will only cost you $6.49/month for all of Amazon Prime's benefits.
5. Amazon Household
If you have a family member who has an Amazon Prime account, you can ask them to share it through Amazon Household. Amazon Household basically links different Amazon accounts to one Prime account and lets you share certain benefits:
- Free shipping
- Prime Video
- Prime Reading
- Amazon Photos
This method will still cost some money (for whoever has the main Amazon account), but if you're still a kid, you can probably get by without paying if you're using your parent's Amazon Household.
If you aren't a kid mooching off your parents, you probably still have some friends who have Amazon Prime. Ask around and see if they'd be willing to add you to their Amazon Household (maybe you can split the costs).
The one caveat to this method is that it's only available in certain markets worldwide (including the US and UK).
6. Metro by T-Mobile Phone Plan
If you sign up for Metro by T-Mobile's Unlimited Phone Plan, you also get access to free Amazon Prime. Technically, it's not “free” because you need to pay for the phone service, but if you're already paying for your phone and realize that $60/month is cheaper (and gets you more features), switching over isn't really an expensive addition.
In this sense, you can get Amazon Prime for “free” if you sign up for Metro's phone plan.
7. Split the Cost
In the same way that you can share Disney + or Netflix accounts, Amazon allows you to share a Prime account with your friends.
How you can do this is by adding separate addresses and credit cards for each person. Each of you can pay for your own stuff, and you'll all receive free shipping. Just be sure to pay attention at checkout to whose credit card you're using and which address you're sending the package to.
Even though this way isn't free at all, it does allow you to reduce the costs of Amazon Prime significantly. (If you partner up with just one friend, you can save $49 a year!)
8. Use Different Emails and Payment Cards
This method is a little bit crafty and could potentially get you in trouble, but if you're really desperate for Amazon Prime, you can give it a shot. It basically involves continually signing up for Amazon Prime free trials with varying email addresses and credit cards.
Allegedly, before 2017 you could use the same credit card and just change your email addresses to play the “infinite free trial” game. But since then, people have started getting their accounts flagged. So… it's best that if you try this you use different credit cards to sign up for your trials.
Needless to say, use this method at your own risk. You COULD receive Amazon Prime for free, but you could also get your main accounts banned from Amazon for life if you get caught.
9. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
With an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa, you won't get free Amazon Prime, but you WILL save money on all your Amazon purchases.
If you use this card, you'll receive a welcome bonus of $100 that you can spend on Amazon items PLUS 5% back on all Amazon purchases… that's not bad! On top of that, you'll also receive 1-2% back on various everyday purchases and up to 10% back on select Amazon items.
Though it's not free Amazon Prime, with 5% back, you can earn back your membership fee with a few purchases a month.
Get Some Free Amazon Prime!
Regardless of whether you're making 5 figures or six, free stuff is nice. In this post we've covered nine ways you can get free or cheaper Amazon Prime:
- Sign up for a free trial (free for a month).
- Request free Amazon Prime if you get a late package (free for potentially one to two months).
- Use your company's Amazon Business Prime account (free forever if your company has one and lets you use it indefinitely).
- Sign up for Amazon Prime Student (free for six months then half cost to you – only works if you're a college or university student).
- Use your parent's or friend's Amazon account with Amazon Household (free for as long as you can convince the account holder to keep letting you use it).
- Switch phone plans to Metro's Unlimited Phone Plan (free forever – need to change phone provider).
- Split the cost with friends and/or family (not free, just cheaper).
- Try milking the free trials by using multiple different email addresses and credit cards (free for as long as you don't get caught).
- Sign up for Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card (not free, just cheaper).
At the end of the day, you CAN get free Amazon Prime if you put in the work.
Jeff is a current Harvard student and author of the blog Financial Pupil who is passionate about learning, living, and sharing all things personal finance-related. He has experience working in the financial industry and enjoys the pursuit of financial freedom. Outside of blogging, he loves to cook, read, and golf in his spare time.