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Amazon Prime Day will take place on July 11th and 12th, and in addition to the thousands and thousands of deals you see each year, this year Amazon is introducing something new: an invite-only deals program, in which Prime members can request an invite to score some Prime Day days that are expected to sell out. But whether you want the invite-only deals or just the thousands of other deals, you 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 $139 for the year or $14.99 per month, but there are many ways to get it free (including a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime here) 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 $14.99 per month. The Prime trial is a good way to see whether you like and use the benefits of Prime (this MarketWatch Picks guide breaks down who Prime makes sense for). 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 $7.49 per month. This membership comes with the usual Prime perks, as well as free food delivery via Grubhub, flight discounts and more. Get the free 6-month trial here.
Get Amazon Prime for $6.99 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 $6.99 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 $14.99 per month (it comes with a 30-day free trial), and then cancel once you've done that shopping. Sign up here.
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.