We’ve got some bad news for online shoppers: Amazon quietly raised its free shipping minimum to $49.
That means you’ll have to add $49 of eligible items to your cart before qualifying for free shipping — a $14 increase from the previous threshold of $35.
(Thankfully, books are an exception; they ship free once you hit $25.)
To get around this new minimum, you could, of course, sign up for Amazon Prime, which offers free two-day shipping on millions of items. I did two years ago, and haven’t looked back.
You can try Prime free for 30 days — after that, it costs $99 per year.
Not interested in Prime? Try one of these tricks…
How to Get Free Shipping on Amazon — Without Prime
Here are a few ways to get around Amazon’s new free shipping minimum.
1. Try Amazon Student
If you’re in school, take a look at Amazon Student. It offers many of the same services as Amazon Prime — but the free trial period lasts a generous six months.
You’ll also get $5 for each friend you refer.
2. Use Subscribe & Save
Do you buy certain products — like diapers or dog food — month after month?
Then it might be wise to sign up for Subscribe & Save, which automatically delivers your chosen items on a set schedule. On your orders, you’ll not only receive a discount of up to 15%, you’ll also get free shipping.
3. Order Small Items
You may not know it, but Amazon offers free shipping on some small items that weigh less than 8 ounces, are smaller than 9 x 6 x 2 inches and cost less than $10.
These items are from third-party sellers and take four to eight days to arrive.
4. Meet the Minimum Without Overspending
Close to the $49 threshold? Use Amazon Filler Item Finder to find useful items at the exact price you need. No more overspending just to get free shipping!
Your Turn: Will this news change the way you shop online?
Disclosure: Our friends stopped inviting us over because we were always digging for loose change between their couch cushions. We use affiliate links instead so we still get invited to a few parties.
Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at susanshain.com, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.