9 Slick Ways to Save Money on Amazon You Probably Don’t Know About

Workers in an Amazon warehouse
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin


In recent months, I’ve become obsessed with shopping on Amazon.

It started one Christmas when I ordered presents through Amazon Prime. Everything from a butter churner to an Instax Instant Film camera were delivered to my front door within 24 hours.

It was exhilarating.

Unfortunately, the exciting feeling continued — and I still spend way too much money on impulsive buys.

However, there are ways I’m redeeming myself — or at least justifying my spending…

How to Save Money on Amazon — Every Time

These nine online apps are helping me work through my Amazon addiction and save some money. And they’re actually really easy to use — and free.

Trust me, I have no patience for 10-step sign-up processes.

 

1. Stop Deleting Your Emails

It turns out deleting your emails could be costing you serious money. Intrigued?

One of our secret weapons is called Paribus — a tool that gets you money back for your Amazon purchases. It's free to sign up, and once you do, it will scan your email archives for any receipts. If it discovers you’ve purchased something from Amazon or one of the other monitored retailers, it will track the item’s price and help you get a refund anytime there’s a price drop.

Plus, if your guaranteed shipment shows up late, Paribus will help you get money back for what you paid for shipping.

2. Get a Free $10 Amazon Gift Card by Using This Google Chrome Trick

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone just sent you a check every month?

It’s actually possible if you download the free Swagbucks extension on Google Chrome.

Here’s how it works: The Swagbucks extension (called a SwagButton) runs quietly in the background of your browser, and every time you shop online, you’re automatically notified if it’s possible to get cash back from the retailer. 

For instance, Amazon pays up to four rewards points (called SBs) for every dollar you spend on certain item categories. That’s roughly 4% cash back on any purchase you make. And if you’re anything like me (i.e. everything you buy, you buy on Amazon), that adds up to a good chunk of change every year.

It’s like getting a check in the mail every month for doing the things we already do!

Even better, you can earn a free $10 Amazon gift card the first time you make a purchase of $25 or more on a website connected to the SwagButton.

3. Snag a Free $10 Gift Card

One of our favorite ways to save is with Ebates, a cash-back site that rewards you nearly every time you buy something online. For example, Ebates gives you up to 5% cash back on Amazon.

Plus you’ll get a free $10 Ebates gift card (which you can use for any of its connected retailers) for giving the site a try.

To earn your gift card:

  1. Sign up for Ebates with your email or Facebook account.
  2. Use the Ebates portal the next time you need to buy something online. It’s connected to thousands of stores, including Walmart, Amazon and Target. You’ll need to make your first purchase through the site within 90 days and spend at least $25.
  3. Your account will be credited with rewards points you can cash in for your $10 gift card.

4. Share Your Amazon Purchase History

If you’re a regular Amazon shopper, you can earn free Amazon gift cards by helping research companies understand what people are buying online.

To earn your first gift card today:

  1. Sign up and download the ShopTracker app on your Windows computer and Apple or Android phone. It takes about two minutes. You’ll need to answer a few questions about your Amazon use to qualify. You’ll need at least a Windows 7-compatible PC. If you have Windows XP or a Mac, it won’t work.
  2. Open the app, and log into your Amazon account to automatically share your purchase history.
  3. You’ll receive your Visa e-gift card code for $3 via email within 48 hours.
  4. Take a couple of minutes to share your purchase history to earn another $3 each month.

Your information is securely collected by The Harris Poll, a trusted market research company for more than 20 years. Additionally, ShopTracker removes your name, shipping address and any personal payment information before reporting your purchase history.

5. Round up Your Purchases and Snag a Free $5

When you're buying stuff on Amazon, you're not using cash, so you don't really expect any pocket change.

However, when you use a service like Acorns, all of your purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar and the digital change is put into a savings account. You can let it add up, or let Acorns invest it for you in a portfolio of stocks you believe in.

Either way, if you sign up through this link, Acorns will give you a free $5 bonus for trying it out.

6. Get a Free $10 to Spend at Amazon 

I’m already addicted to earning cash back on my grocery hauls through Ibotta.

But now it’s expanded well past groceries and into other realms — like Amazon.

If you sign up for Amazon Prime (highly recommend if you’re an addict) through Ibotta, you’ll earn a $20 Amazon gift card. If you’re already a Prime member, no worries. You can still earn cash back. We’ve found tons of Amazon offers on Ibotta. Here are some examples:

  • 5% cash back on home services
  • 3% cash back on fashion
  • 3% cash back on home and kitchen
  • 3% cash back on pet supplies
  • 3% cash back on luggage
  • 3% cash back on devices

All you have to do is download Ibotta (you’ll snag a free $10 for signing up) then shop through the app.

7. Take a Walk and Earn Amazon Gift Cards

No extreme physical activity or pulled muscles required for this money-making trick. All you need to do is download the Shopkick app.

Once you sign up, the app pays you in “kicks” for walking into certain stores, including Walmart, Target, TJMaxx and more. You can redeem them for gift cards to a number of retailers, including Amazon.

It pays you even more kicks for photos of receipts that include qualifying items you purchased in-store with a connected credit or debit card. You can also earn kicks for online purchases. You don’t have to do anything; your linked cards will automatically apply your kicks.

But don’t make the mistake of buying things you don’t need just for kicks, you know better than that.

8. Earn 5% Cash back on Your Amazon Purchases

If you’re looking for a passive way to earn some money throughout the year, a cash-back credit card is perhaps one of the easiest methods.

You just have to be sure you don’t get too carried away with those purchases — and that the card is paid off at the end of each billing period.

If you’re an avid Amazon shopper — like, you look nowhere else for anything — you might want to consider the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card from Chase. You’ll get:

  • 5% cash back on all your Amazon purchases.
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores.
  • 1% back on everything else.
  • Plus, you get a $70 Amazon gift card when approved.

If you don’t use Amazon enough to make that card worth it, here’s another option we like: It’s the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. Its claim to fame? You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all your purchases. Plus, if you spend $500 in your first three months of opening the card (hi, groceries), you’ll pocket a $150 bonus.

There’s no annual fee, and the cash-back rewards don’t expire. We checked Credible’s annual rewards calculator, and it estimates $417 in annual rewards based on our spending habits.* (You can enter your unique spending habits and see what you’d earn, too.)

Get signed up — and 0% intro APR for 15 months — here.

9. Use Amazon Coupons — Yes, They're a Thing

Coupons rule.

If only you could use them on Amazon, right?

Spoiler alert: You can, from right within the site.

Amazon Coupons lets you clip coupons in a bunch of categories, including groceries, personal care and household products. When you click on the coupon, it's automatically added to your cart and applied when you check out. Easy peasy.

Please stop giving me more incentive to shop on Amazon.

Please.

*Annual Rewards amounts will change based on the amounts you enter. The monthly spending category names and definitions may vary among issuers, and categories may not align one-to-one.

The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card has been collected independently by The Penny Hoarder. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. The Penny Hoarder is a partner of Credible.

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Although she spends too much on Amazon, she considers herself an otherwise financially responsible young adult.

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