How to get the most out of your Amazon account and save money.
Even if you are not an Amazon fan, you can’t deny how easy it is to find just about anything you want. This includes, of course, holiday gifts.
This year, be an Amazon shopping ninja. Tap or click here for smart ways to hide your gift orders, get Amazon Prime for less, trade in old gadgets for credit, and more.
There is also account security to consider. You need to delete your Amazon public profile, for example. Tap or click for five security steps every Amazon shopper should follow.
Then we come to the money. Whether you’re shopping for freebies, picking up a few freebies, or doing your usual shopping, there are tips you can use to save a pretty dime.
1. Create an Amazon Business account
If you shop a lot on Amazon, you probably have a Prime account. Here are some of my favorite perks included with the membership.
An Amazon Business account gives you benefits that you don’t get with a Prime account. You get exclusive discounts and can sell products and services to other businesses. You still get free shipping and access to Prime Day, Lightning Deals, and Prime Early Access.
Tap or click here to create your free Amazon Business account.
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2. Don’t forget about Lightning offers
Unlike Prime Days, Lightning Deals happen all the time. Lightning offers typically include products with limited stock or a set time limit. For example, a smart speaker could be on sale at 75% for the next three hours or until it sells out. If you see an offer you like, grab it before it’s complete.
Lightning deals can be found on Amazon and are available on the Today’s Deals page. You can also browse upcoming offers and add yourself to the waitlist to receive an alert when the offer is active. Don’t wait, however. You will only have a limited time to make a purchase.
Here’s the bad news: Amazon shares your private information – unless you do something about it.
3. Don’t forget to cut coupons
No scissors are needed for these coupons. When shopping, look for a checkbox next to the item’s price. If you click, a virtual coupon will be applied. If you don’t click, you don’t get the discount. Make sure you have recorded everything you can before submitting your order.
4. Be patient
Do you need every item rushing to your door? Gifts that you might need ASAP, but when you can wait, you’ll get a little something in return.
Select a later ship date to get credit on future orders or media at checkout. When you select a delivery date, you’ll see all of the incentives available for rush-free delivery. These are often just small credits to media like audiobooks, but it all adds up.
Confused About What To Buy All Your Favorite People This Holiday Season? My team and I have put together gift guides for everyone on your list.
5. Check the Amazon credit card
It’s not about financial advice, and you shouldn’t be spending money you don’t have. That said, there are some great benefits to the Amazon Prime Rewards credit card when you use it to make purchases on Amazon.com.
â¢ You get 5% cash back on purchases made on Amazon and Whole Foods Market
â¢ Earn 2% in restaurants, gas stations and pharmacies
â¢ Get 1% discount on utilities, carpooling and all other purchases
â¢ You can even get 10% or more back on some Prime products
You also get an Amazon gift card upon approval.
When it comes to interest, you can choose a payback percentage or 0% APR for 6-18 months on purchases of $ 50 or more. After the 0% promotion period ends, a variable APR of 14.24% to 22.24% applies.
Tap here to complete an Amazon Rewards card application and see if you qualify.
6. Another way to brand discount products
Amazon Warehouse offers items that have been returned or used lightly. This includes refurbished or open box items. It’s a great source for video games, home appliances, power tools, cameras, school supplies, and general electronics. You can use your Prime benefits for free shipping, and there is a good return policy.
Tap or click here to view select merchandise from Amazon Warehouse. Make sure to check the condition of the item so you know what you are getting.
On the other hand, Amazon Outlet includes closing, clearance and overstock items. For example, you can find off-season holiday items for ridiculously low prices.
You probably won’t find popular high-end items from Apple and Sony, but you can find some great deals on accessories and lesser-known brands. Tap or click here to explore Amazon Outlet.
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Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando”.
Discover all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s biggest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and gives advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacking. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.