Amazon is huge. So huge, in fact, that approximately 64% of American households had a Prime membership in 2017.
And yet for how pervasive Amazon is, far fewer of that 64% percent would likely say they put much conscious thought into getting the most out of their membership.
We recognize the low prices, easy layout, and ultra-convenient deliveries. And most of us, it’s safe to say, have picked up a proficient understanding due to everyday use — knowing how to navigate, price-match, and shop the deal-heavy events like Prime Day relatively well.
But there are certainly untapped channels. Whether you’re paying for Prime already or you shop infrequently, there are plenty of hacks that can help you get the most out of something many Americans rightly view as ubiquitous.
If you have access to a “.edu” email address you can sign up for Amazon Prime Student. You get a six-month trial of Prime Student and then pay 50% less than other Prime users ($6.49/month) for nearly all of the same perks after the trial ends. It lasts four years or until your listed graduation date, whichever comes first.
Prime members earn 2% rewards every time they reload their gift card balance with their checking account. Set up 2% rewards and then reload your gift card balance using your rewards payment method. Your 2% rewards will be added to your gift card balance at the same time you reload.
You usually have 30 days to return most Amazon-fulfilled products, but during the holidays, items shipped by Amazon between November 1 and December 31 can be returned until January 31.
Trade in used items like cell phones, Kindle e-readers, gaming devices, and books for an Amazon gift card. You can also take advantage of frequent promo deals like getting an Amazon gift card plus 25% off a new Kindle E-reader or trade in a Bluetooth speaker and get 25% off an Echo device.
Instead of sending to your doorstep, you can pick an Amazon Locker in over 50 U.S. cities. Just go to ‘Manage Address Book’ in the settings section of your account, click ‘Enter a new address,’ and search for an Amazon Locker location using the search fields shown. You can search by address, zip code, landmark or Locker name. You can also add an Amazon Locker to your address book by scanning the QR code on the Locker screen itself.
Amazon Household lets you share select Amazon Prime benefits (like Prime shipping, Prime Now, and AmazonFresh) with another adult, teens, and children in your household and it can contain up to ten members.
Paribus is a free tool that connects to the email account where you send your shopping receipts. From there, it tracks your receipts and stores’ policies to see if you might be owed money (price drops, late deliveries, etc.). If they identify potential savings, Paribus will let you know and streamline the claim process to make it as easy as possible to get your money back.
Amazon doesn’t have a price protection policy for any items (no refunds for price drops) but you could be eligible for money back for things like shipping fees if your delivery is late.
One of the least-known and best perks of Amazon is that you can use your leftover boxes to ship donations to local charities for free. Just go to GiveBackBox.com, click on the logo of the participating company you have a box sitting around from (like Amazon), type in your zip code and email address, and you’ll get a prepaid shipping label emailed to you. After you’ve filled the leftover box with your donations, attach the label and schedule a UPS pickup. It won’t cost you anything, and it’s an easy and ‘green’ solution.
Plus, GiveBackBox will email you a tax receipt for your records once your box is received.
Amazon’s free Release-Date Delivery is one great way to skip the lines and still get whatever you’re anxiously awaiting for day-of.