Amazon Prime Day Is Near — Here’s How to Maximize Your Purchases
Amazon’s annual Prime Day arrives on July 12 and 13, giving Prime members access to a wide array of deals.
But as with any sale, it’s important to have a budget so you can save on purchases without falling into credit card debt, says Matt Schulz, LendingTree chief credit analyst.
“Many people love checking out Amazon Prime Day deals just to see what they can find,” he says. “If that’s the case with you, consider treating it like you would a gambling trip to Vegas or a fun night out.”
Here are five tips to help you make the most of Prime Day shopping.
How to maximize your purchases this Amazon Prime Day
No. 1: Set a spending limit and decide on must-buys
You’ll ideally have a bit of cash set aside to finance your Prime Day spending. This way, you can avoid credit card debt because you’ll be able to pay off the balance right away.
“You can maximize your Prime Day savings by targeting a list of items that you want or need and sticking to a budget,” Schulz says. “That way, you’re not just impulse shopping — you’re shopping with a purpose. If you’re doing that, you’re a lot less likely to go off the rails.”
This can also help you identify if the items you want are part of the deals being offered. If not, saving for that expense over time may make more financial sense.
No. 2: Look into ‘free’ options
Prime Day doesn’t just offer discounts on products. Ahead of July 12 and 13, Prime members can earn more than $60 in credits for the sale.
For example, you can earn up to $10 in Prime Day credits if you buy a ticket to see the movie “Lightyear” or purchase certain related merchandise. If you spend $75 on Procter & Gamble cleaning supplies, you can get $20 to spend on Prime Day.
The key here is to make sure you aren’t spending money on things you don’t want or need just to access this “free” cash.
No. 3: Search for early deals
Prime Day may not be until mid-July, but that doesn’t mean you can’t access some deals now. In fact, the deals started June 21.
For instance, those interested in purchasing an Amazon device (like an Echo, Kindle or Ring alarm) can find deals up to 55% off typical price points. Plus, select Fire smart TVs have discounts of up to 50% off.
Another option is a buy now, pay later option: Affirm. Prime members can get a 0% APR on eligible purchases of at least $50 through July 11. If you can pay your purchase off within three months, this could be a useful tool to help you budget. Of note, these purchases would fall under Amazon’s regular return policy.
No. 4: Use the right credit card
“The Prime Visa might be the best retail credit card out there, and if you’re planning to do a lot of shopping on Prime Day, that card can save you some real money,” Schulz says.
With this card, you can earn unlimited 5% back at Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, and on Chase Travel purchases with an eligible Prime membership, unlimited 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and on local transit and commuting (including rideshare), and unlimited 1% on all other purchases. The annual fee is $0 (beyond the cost of a Prime membership).
There’s also a valuable sign-up bonus: Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval exclusively for Prime members.
“If you don’t use that card, make sure you do use some type of rewards card to do your shopping with,” Schulz says. “If you’re shopping with a credit card that doesn’t have rewards, you’re likely leaving money on the table. As expensive as everything is these days, that’s the last thing you should do.”
No. 5: Check out alternatives
While Prime Day can feel like a big sale that’s tough to beat, this doesn’t mean it’s the only option worth exploring.
“Prime Day isn’t the only game in town,” Schulz says. “Lots of other retailers have competing sales, so shopping around can be a really good idea.”
It’s also worth noting that the retail giant is planning another Prime Day in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to a notice viewed by CNBC. Although this sale has typically only occurred once a year, you may have another opportunity later if you can’t fit all your wants into your budget.