Amazon decided in 2014, for the first time in 9 years, to hike the subscription fee for Amazon Prime. The retail giant raised the yearly subscription to $99, up from the $79 charged before that. The company said that the hike was crucial to cover the expensive logistics required to deliver items for free within 48 hours.
Amazon Prime offers customers several benefits. However, one of the key reasons why people sign up for Prime is because of the free 2-day shipping, which could become one-day shipping soon. Amazon Prime customers also get access to video streaming services, Prime Reading, Amazon Prime Music, and Amazon Photos.
But you don’t need to pay the $119 a year to enjoy free shipping. You can avoid paying for Amazon Prime free shipping with a few tricks. First, Prime is free to join. You can try out the service for 30 days for free. Once the trial runs out, you can simply cancel the subscription and you won’t pay anything.
There is also another way to avoid paying for Amazon Prime free shipping. Amazon lets you pay $12.99 a month for Prime. The monthly fee is great for short-term shopping. But for people who foresee themselves ordering stuff on a more regular basis, going for the full year plan will save you more money.
You can also pay relatively less for Amazon Prime and still enjoy the perks that come with this service.
Here are four ways you can explore:
1. Spend More Than $25
You don’t need to sign up for Prime to get free shipping. Amazon offers free shipping for all items $25 and above. However, it will take between 5-8 days for the items to be delivered. Also, not all items qualify for the free shipping program so make sure you look at the “FREE Shipping” tag on the product before you buy. This can be a very easy way to avoid paying for Amazon Prime free shipping.
2. Take Advantage of the EBT or Medicaid Discount
Customers who have a Medicaid card or valid EBT are eligible for Prime for $5.99 a month. Once your card is verified, you get access to all the Prime perks including free 2-day shipping. The offer, however, is valid for up to four years and Amazon will need to verify your EBT/Medicaid status every 12 months.
Attention: Read before you continue
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3. Become Part of Amazon Student
You can avoid paying for Amazon Prime free shipping by joining Amazon student. This is a program designed to offer discounted Prime rates to students. However, you will need to have a .edu email address to qualify. The perks are also very interesting. First, Amazon will give you a free 6-month Prime trial. For these six months, you will enjoy free 2-day shipping for Prime items, no questions asked.
The free trial also gives you access to Amazon Prime Video streaming, unlimited Amazon Music streaming, Prime Reading, and Amazon Photos. You may also be able to get same-day shipping in certain selected areas.
Once the six-month trial is up, you can either decide to cancel or pay a discounted subscription fee to continue enjoying Prime. Amazon charges $59 per year for this program or $6.49 a month. The only downside is that the program only lasts for 4 years until graduation.
4. Become a Member of the Subscribe & Save Program
Subscribe and Save is a loyalty reward program designed to unlock savings and other benefits for shoppers. All subscribers to this program are eligible for discounts of up to 15% and free shipping on selected items. Although it’s a little limited compared to Prime, it still allows you to spend less on items and get free shipping where applicable.
There are also websites like FreeShipping.org that keep an updated catalog of free shipping coupons for Amazon. The website has thousands of coupons for almost all online stores. You can pop in there and see what you can get. Other sites that offer these coupons include PriceBlink.com, InvisibleHand etc.
Do you know any trick to avoid paying the full price for Amazon Prime free shipping? Let us know in the comments section!