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Buy This, Not That: How to get Amazon Prime for free — or at a major discount — right now

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Amazon just announced that Amazon Prime Day — a massive two-day sale on the site — will take place on June 21 and 22. But to take advantage of many of the deals Amazon is offering, you will need to be a Prime member. Amazon Prime is Amazon’s subscription service that offers perks like free one- and two-day shipping on millions of items; free access to thousands of TV shows, movies and songs; exclusive deals, and more. Amazon Prime is regularly priced at $119 for the year or $12.99 per month, but there are many ways to get it free (including a variety of free trials) or at a deep discount. 

Get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime (cancel anytime)
If you just want to sign up for Prime for Prime Day deals, you can do a 30-day free trial right now and then cancel before the trial is up if you don’t want to continue. After your trial, Prime costs $12.99 per month. The Prime trial is a good way to see whether you like and use the benefits of Prime. If you order multiple times a month and in small quantities from Amazon, it’s often worth it for the free shipping alone; if you’re an infrequent shopper on Amazon, it may not be. Get a free 30-day trial here.

Score a free 6-month trial of Amazon Prime (if you have a .edu email address) Students with a .edu email address can get this deal, and when you sign up you get six months free, after which you pay the discounted rate of $6.49 per month. Students can also snag low rates on Amazon Music Unlimited (sign up for a 30-day free trial of Amazon Music Unlimited here, and then it is $4.99 per month) right now; normally Amazon Music Unlimited is $9.99 per month or $7.99 for Prime members. Get the free 6-month trial here.

Get Amazon Prime for $5.99 per month (if you are on government assistance)
If you are on government assistance and have an EBT card (you will need to snap a photo of it), you can get this discounted rate. You will need to qualify every 12 months to keep this low rate. Get Amazon Prime for $5.99 per month here.

Choose the monthly plan and cancel when you’re finished shopping
When you sign up for Prime, you can usually cancel at any time. So, let’s say you just want to shop around around the holidays or on Prime Day; sign up for Prime at $12.99 per month (it comes with a 30-day free trial), and then cancel once you’ve done that shopping. Sign up here.

Also see: 11 ways to get the best deals on Amazon Prime Day 2021, according to deal pros

Pay for your Prime membership with gift cards you earn
A variety of sites pay users in Amazon gift cards, which you can then use to pay for your Prime membership. A couple to consider: Gazelle.com (you can sell your old electronics on Gazelle) and cash-back site Ibotta

Join Amazon Household
You might be able access someone else’s Amazon Prime benefits at no charge through Amazon Household. This service allows someone with Prime to add another adult, teen or their kids onto their account for free. Then, both of you get Prime benefits like free shipping and access to digital content.

Skip Prime altogether
Not everyone needs Prime: Indeed, you can still shop on Amazon and get free shipping without it, as Amazon ships qualifying orders of $25 or more for free. You also don’t have to be a Prime member to snag the Subscribe & Save deals. With Subscribe & Save, you get roughly 15% off certain items that you get shipped to your home regularly.

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