Amazon Prime Day — the two-day period during the summer in which Amazon Prime members have access to Black Friday-level discounts on a huge amount of products sold through Amazon — is fast approaching; in 2018, it's set to occur on July 16 and 17. If you’re not a Prime member, though, there’s one hack for Amazon Prime Day with which you’ll probably want to familiarize yourself: Prime memberships typically cost $12.99 per month or $119 for an annual subscription — but if you sign up for a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime prior to Prime Day, you’ll be able to shop all the Prime Day deals your retail-loving little heart desires without shelling out for a full Prime membership.
I’ll be honest: I kind of hesitate to call this a “hack.” It’s more like a… life pro-tip, really. Indeed, it’s a time-honored technique which has been used by people attempting to beat the system for generations: Sign up for a free trial of a service; enjoy that service for however long the trial runs; then cancel it before the trial is up so you don’t start automatically getting charged for it. It might seem like a cheap shot (and let’s be honest: It sort of is) — but it’s also to be expected that not everyone will continue a service after completing a trial period. After all, what else is a free trial for but to help you decide whether or not the thing you’re testing out is right for you?
(And to be fair, most services will begin charging you automatically after a free trial is up anyway without checking in with you about whether or not you actually want to continue the service — which, personally, I've always felt is BS. So, the "cheap shot" accusation goes both ways, is what I'm saying.)
In any event, though, if you’re not a member of Amazon Prime right now and you don’t want to join the program in the long term, but you do wish you could take advantage of Prime Day’s stellar deals… guess what? A free Prime trial will solve all those problems for you. According to Amazon itself, “Amazon Prime Free Trial Members enjoy all the same benefits as paid members” — which means as an Amazon Prime Free Trial Member, you’ll also have access to Prime Day. Excellent, no?
To sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime, first, make sure you have a functioning Amazon account with a current, valid credit card loaded as a payment method. (Note that anything other than a working credit card won’t work — you can’t sign up for a trial if the only payment methods you have attached to your account are things like an Amazon.com Corporate Line of Credit, a checking account, a pre-paid credit card, or a gift card.) Then, go the Amazon Prime Free Trial landing page and click “Try Prime.” If you’re not already logged into your Amazon account, you’ll be asked to log in; then Amazon will tell you whether you’re eligible for a Prime trial. If you are, follow the prompts on the screen to finish setting up your trial.
Once your trial has begun, you’ll have access to all the same features regular, paying Prime members have: Free two-day shipping, instant streaming services via Prime Video, Amazon First Reads, the works. (You can see a list of all the benefits here. Be warned: It's long.) And, you’ll be able to shop Prime Day’s exclusive deals on July 16 and 17, which will include discounts on everything from Amazon devices to daily essentials. The deals tend to move quickly, though, so make sure you’re prepared for the Prime Day shopping experience itself, too.
Here’s the important bit: If you don’t want to continue using Prime after the 30-day trial is up, you have to manually end your membership before the end of the trial. If you don’t, you’ll automatically get charged for the next month of service. (That’s why you can only sign up for a trial if you have a working credit card attached to your account.) The good news, though, is that ending your Prime membership is easy: all you have to do is go here and click “End Membership.” Follow whatever prompts you’re given, and your Prime membership will end. Voila! No more Prime after Prime Day is over. If you want to sign up for another Prime trial in the future, you’ll have to wait about a year to do so, according to the deals site RedFlagDeals.
Oh, and hey, one more tip: Are you a Prime Student member or a member of an Amazon Household? Then congrats! You don’t need to sign up for an additional Prime trial to access Prime Day — it’s included with what you’ve already got.