Prime Day is a good time to save money on certain purchases. But if you just focus on the deals on Amazon.com, you could miss out on other opportunities to save.
Ready, set, charge! On Amazon Prime Day, you can use your credit card rewards to stretch your dollars and score additional cash back, miles and perks with every purchase.
- When is it?: The two-day 2021 Prime Day event begins on June 21 at 12:01 a.m. PT/3:01 a.m. ET and ends June 22 at 11:59 p.m. PT (June 23 at 2:59 a.m. ET).
- New this year: Amazon isn’t waiting for Prime Day to offer some of the best prices on their products. In fact, the Echo Auto, Echo Frames (2nd-gen), Echo Buds (2nd-gen) and Luna Controller are all hitting some of their lowest prices ever before the sale officially starts.
On top of great presale deals, Amazon is going to have many hot-ticket items heavily discounted on Prime Day. Products such as the Roku Ultra 2020 4K UHD streamer will sell for just $69 on Prime Day, and the Luna Cloud gaming controller will be on sale for just $49 – its lowest price ever.
10 ways to make the most out of Prime Day
- Earn extra rewards
- Take Prime for a test drive
- Be on the lookout for deals
- Use Honey to get the lowest price
- Double-dip on cash back savings
- Save now on back-to-school items
- Wrap up some holiday gifts in summertime
- Don’t do your online shopping on public Wi-Fi
- Prep your shopping cart
- Don’t overdo it on Prime Day
There is a lot of hype and excitement around Prime Day, but not every deal is extraordinary. And, other retailers will be competing to offer rock-bottom prices around Prime Day, too. Target, Walmart, and Kohl’s have already announced competing sales during that same time period.
“It’s going to be so tempting to charge more than you typically spend,” says Jacob Serfas, senior financial strategist with O’Dell Winkfield Roseman Shipp in Baltimore, “so you need to have a plan to pay it off.”
Consumer and money-saving expert Andrea Woroch suggests creating a Prime Day shopping list to cut your risk of overspending.
“It’s easy to fall into the trap of overbuying and ending up with items you don’t really need during sales events such as Prime Day,” she says. “The limited-time creates a sense of urgency, and the number of deals can overwhelm people and lead them to make bad buying decisions.”
If you planned for Prime Day with an eye for deals on things you need and purchases you can pay off when the credit card bill arrives, great. If you can save even more on your purchases by paying with your rewards credit cards, even better.
10 ways to make the most of Prime Day
1. Earn extra rewards
Here are three ways you can use your cards to stack your rewards and make the most of Prime Day:
Use your Amazon Prime Rewards Visa credit card
Throughout the year, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card holders get 5% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases (and 10% off on specials throughout Whole Foods stores). Chase Amazon.com Rewards Visa card holders earn 3% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. Plus, get an additional 10% on select Prime Day products.
See related: Which is the best card to use for Amazon purchases?
Plus, Amazon Prime Visa cardholders can qualify for an additional 20% off select bestselling products for Prime day – in addition to their standard 5% on Amazon purchases – for a total of up to 25% back on qualifying items.
Earn some cash back rewards
Pay with your cash back card and you can get a little extra back on any Prime Day purchases.
By paying with the right card, you can earn more rewards on your Amazon purchases. For instance, the Discover it® Cash Back card offers 5% back on rotating bonus categories that you must enroll in each quarter (up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1%) as well as 1% on all other purchases.
Even better, new cardholders are eligible for a welcome bonus, in which the Discover it Cash Back will match all the rewards you earn in the first year. That means those who just signed up for the card can get a return of up to 10% this Prime Day.
Reward yourself with an online shopping bonus
If you have the right credit card, you might be able to earn extra cash back just for shopping online. The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, for one, includes online shopping as a category eligible for 3% cash back (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
2. Take Prime for a test drive
The best Prime Day discounts are on lightning or flash deals, says Serfas, who is an Amazon Prime member, and he suggests signing up now for the free 30-day Amazon Prime trial, then canceling before the $119 fee is due. Make a list of items you need and start looking at Amazon prices, so you will know if a Prime Day price cut is really worth it, he adds.
See related: Is Amazon Prime worth it?
3. Be on the lookout for deals
The Prime Day deals that Amazon is offering aren’t just limited to physical products. Shoppers can get services that Amazon offers (such as music streaming) free for six months with the purchase of an Echo Dot.
Other notable offerings include discounts on Twitch merchandise and $50 off an Echo Dot when you use promo code PDDOT2PK.
4. Use Honey to get the lowest price
The Honey browser extension scans and applies coupon codes to cut your price on an item in your online shopping cart at checkout. Available for many online stores, Honey is particularly valuable on Amazon because it allows you to see an item’s price history and other offers for the same item that might be better. You can also set up price notifications on specific items.
5. Double-dip on cash back savings
You can stack your Prime Day savings with your rewards cards to earn cash back or points, and you can add to your cash back by using Ebates, ShopAtHome, Extrabux, TopCashback and Upromise sites.
As former CreditCards.com rates analyst Robin Ratcliff explains when discussing how to maximize your cash back on Amazon.com, “These discounts do stack on top of your credit card rewards, meaning you can boost your rewards rate on your Amazon Prime card as high as 9% just by using these sites, with very few strings attached.”
6. Save now on back-to-school items
Though school bells won’t ring for a few months yet, you can use Prime Day savings to stock up on school clothes, pens, binders, glue sticks and furnishings for your child’s dorm room.
7. Wrap up some holiday gifts in summertime
If you shop through the year for holiday gifts, you may find yourself filling your Amazon shopping cart on Prime Day with presents for friends and family.
8. Don’t do your online shopping on public Wi-Fi
Using free Wi-Fi “makes you vulnerable to identity theft,” Woroch says. “Hackers can access your info and steal any sensitive information you’re sharing over these public hot spots.
“Use personal data or hook up to a secure network at work or home to snag these Prime Day deals.”
9. Prep your shopping cart
With lightning and flash Prime Day deals, it pays to be ready to grab that special price.
Woroch’s suggestion: “Save your payment info, update shipping addresses and add items to your cart that you want to buy so that if it’s only available for a short time, all you have to do is hit click to buy so you don’t miss out!”
10. Don’t overdo it on Prime Day
“A good deal today could hurt us much more down the road,” Serfas says. Saving 20% on a Prime Day special doesn’t do you any good if you can’t pay your credit card bill and end up paying 20% interest to your card issuer.
“The last thing you want to do is get in trouble on the back end,” he says. “But if you charge responsibly on Prime Day, it can be a great way to score some great deals.”