Let’s start this “saving money on Amazon” guide with a few disclaimers. First, spending money you wouldn’t otherwise spend is not saving money. Second, only buy stuff from Amazon (or anywhere) that you need or were planning to buy for others. Third, if you can easily purchase the item you are looking for at a local retailer, do that. If a local hardware store has a home improvement item you need, buy it there. If a local pet supply store has a pet item you need, buy it there. If a grocery store has a food item you need – well, you get the idea.
I’m in favor of shopping local to help support small businesses, and using Amazon as a backup. That said, if there are items that I have trouble finding locally, I turn to a major retailer’s website (e.g. eBay, Walmart, or Amazon) as a backup. But, when I turn to Amazon, I never pay full price. And that doesn’t just mean that I watch for price decreases – it goes far beyond that. This article includes a few of the Amazon promotions, discounts, deals, codes, and price hacking tips that I have used over the years, to help ensure that you get a great deal – sometimes stacking up to a 50% or greater cost savings! And if you have a significant other, with their own Amazon account – you can double up on these promotions.
Note: there are Amazon affiliate links within this guide to help point to some of these promos and to support this site. I’ll update this article as I come across new promotions as well, and link to this article within the “money saving products” guide I’ve curated.
Amazon Discounts for Credit Card Rewards Point Linking
Amazon has payment partnerships with American Express, Capital One, Chase, Citi, and Discover. Frequently (these recur multiple times per year), Amazon will offer sizable discounts (e.g. 20%, 30%, or even 50% off, up to a specified maximum discount, or dollar amount, e.g. $20 off $50 in purchases) when you at least partially pay with the points for each of those credit card providers.
Here are the links to see if you are targeted, at any given moment:
- American Express Membership Rewards Points (and here’s another link to try)
- Capital One Rewards Points
- Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- Citi Thank You Points
- Discover Points
Important note: make sure you have linked your respective card as a form of payment and then go back to click the links above to see if you are targeted with the promotion (pro tip: sometimes it helps to unenroll and then re-enroll the card if you’ve used a promotion previously). You can enroll a card at these links: American Express, Capital One, Chase, Citi, and Discover. You can unenroll a card by going to your payments page in your wallet (select the card, then choose “edit” and “remove from wallet”) and then re-enroll the card to try again.
Here’s an example of the landing page for a discount promo that I previously signed up for, linked to a Citi credit card:
A few important things to note on these Amazon credit card discount promos:
- A few of these promos are active right now, however, not everyone is targeted for every promotion every time. The promotions typically recur every few months – so save this article and check these promotional links frequently.
- You only have to (and probably should) use the minimum required 1 point ($0.01) when selecting your payment method, as you will get additional credit card rewards for using the card on the remainder of the purchase (but won’t if you use points to fully pay). Additionally, points are sometimes worth less than $0.01 each when used to purchase on Amazon, which is a bad deal for you as they are often more valuable elsewhere.
- Read the full terms and conditions for each promo, as there are certain restrictions and requirements that you must adhere to (e.g. “Offer only applies to products shipped and sold by Amazon.com” or “may not be redeemed for Amazon Gift Cards”, etc.).
- These discounts will show and apply at checkout, after selecting the respective points as at least a partial payment method, if you’ve completed all of the terms and conditions.
Credit Card Offers for Rewards on Amazon Purchases
The aforementioned credit card companies (most frequently Chase and AmEx, from my experience) also have “offers” that you can apply to credit cards. And these offers will occasionally be for purchases made at Amazon. And, the nice thing about these is that they stack on top of the Amazon promotional discounts I mentioned in the previous discussion.
Below is an example of a +5 point per dollar spent at Amazon AmEx offer that I recently utilized. Many travel sites value AmEx Membership Rewards points at $0.02 each, which would equate to 10% cash back on purchase.
This AmEx offer was also stackable with a 50% off discount promotion for using a minimum of $0.01 in Membership Rewards points to make a payment – so I used $0.01 and used the associated card for the remainder, giving me a 60% discount/cash back reward. And this stacked on top of the Amazon product discounts that were ongoing at the same time.
To check to see if you are eligible, log in to your credit card providers website and view the offers section to search for and activate an offer.
Amazon Prime Discounts & Free Trials
Amazon quietly has a number of promotional discounts for Amazon Prime, which currently runs $12.99 per month, at full price. Here are the ones that I am aware of:
- Amazon Prime Student: free 6-month trial, then $6.49 per month – you only need an active .edu email address to qualify
- Amazon Prime for those enrolled in Medicaid or with an EBT Card: free 1 month trial, then $5.99/month for those enrolled in Medicaid or paying with an EBT card
- Amazon Prime Annual Subscription (vs. monthly): $119/year ($9.92/month) – update to “annual” at that link
- Amazon Prime Military discount: occasionally offered around Veteran’s Day, but not continuously
Aside from the benefits that it offers, Amazon Prime itself often comes with significant discounts and promotions throughout the year, in addition to 5% cash back rewards when you use an Amazon Prime Chase Visa card to complete your purchase.
Additionally, the Amazon Prime credit card has exclusive discounts listed here.
Amazon Credit Promotions
Amazon will occasionally offer credits for various activities. Some recent and currently active ones include:
- Up to $30 in Amazon credits for using the Amazon app ($10 for first app sign in, $10 for first app purchase, $10 for 2nd app purchase)
- $25 or $50 Amazon credit for adding a debit card as a payment method
- $5 Amazon credit for watching an Amazon Prime video
- $5 Amazon credit for reading anything at the Amazon Prime Kindle store
- $30 credit for first “in garage” delivery
Keep an eye out for these, as they intermittently re-activate, and they stack nicely with the other ways to save money on Amazon listed in this article.
Other Random Amazon Promo Codes
Here are a few random, but lucrative, offers worth noting:
- 10% off Amazon with USPS address change
- 10% (Non-Prime) or 20% (Prime) Wedding Registry Completion Discount
- 10% (Non-Prime) or 15% (Prime) Baby Registry Completion Discount
Amazon Shopping Portal Discounts
You previously were able to stack Amazon promotions on top of additional cash back from originating your Amazon purchase with a shopping portal (e.g. the Rakuten welcome bonus offer I highlighted recently), but Amazon recently pulled itself from the cash back portals. If this changes, I’ll be sure to update this article.
Amazon Subscribe & Save
If you regularly order the same product(s) from Amazon, you can get a discount by using “Subscribe and Save” for regular deliveries. If you add 5 or more items, that discount is 15%. Paired with credit card rewards, this can add up. However, if you’re an infrequent shopper of items, you’re probably going to get a better deal focusing on the aforementioned credit card offers. They do stack together nicely though.
Amazon Gold Box, Amazon Outlet, and Amazon Warehouse Deals
The big caveat here to re-emphasize is to only buy stuff you need. If you didn’t need the item to begin with, you’re just wasting your money. Money not spent on something you don’t need equals 100% cost savings, after all (unless you re-sell the items, which is an entirely different article).
Amazon Business Discounts
For those with an IRS employer ID Number (EIN), you can easily create an Amazon Business account and purchase whatever you’d like through it. Amazon business accounts offer at least 3 discounts that I’m aware of:
- Frequent exclusive promotions: I signed up for an Amazon Business discount earlier this year and have already received two different $25 off $50 “welcome” promotions.
- Continuous discounts: I often see discounts of around 5% on many items versus what is on the standard (non-business) Amazon site.
- Doubling-up of the credit card rewards promos highlighted earlier: already taken advantage of a specific reward account linking promo (e.g. 50% off)? Try linking a business credit card (or even your regular business card) to your Amazon Business account to get the same promotion a 2nd time! I can confirm that this works (most of the time).
Amazon Price Watching & Alerts
For items that I would like to purchase but don’t have an immediate need for, I will use the Amazon price watcher website, camelcamelcamel. The site tracks the recent price history for products sold on Amazon and allows you to set alerts if the price drops below a specified dollar amount. This is a free service, and can save a lot of money for those who are fond of the concept of “delayed gratification”.
If you’re aware of additional Amazon promotions and discounts, share in the comments and I may add to the post.