3 Ways to Snag Free Shipping on Amazon Without Joining Prime

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Amazon Prime isn't your only option if you don't want to pay shipping fees.

Key points

  • The cost of Amazon Prime is going up.
  • To get free shipping without joining Prime, you can use Amazon's subscription program.
  • You can also bundle your orders to reach a high enough total to qualify for free shipping.

Many people are grappling with higher expenses these days due to inflation. And now Amazon is piling on.

The annual cost of an Amazon Prime membership is increasing from $119 to $139. That may not seem like a large jump at first glance, but when we consider that a lot of people are having to dip into their savings these days just to make ends meet, it's a lot.

That said, one of the big benefits of being a Prime member is getting to enjoy free two-day shipping on purchases. But you don't have to join Prime to get free shipping at Amazon. Here are some other ways to go about it.

1. Use the Subscribe and Save program

Amazon's Subscribe and Save program lets you put certain purchases on autopilot while slashing their cost. If there's a household product or self-care item you use regularly, and Amazon offers it for a competitive price, it pays to sign up for deliveries via Subscribe and Save. Not only might you save money by snagging products at a discount, but the items you sign up to get delivered automatically will ship out for free.

Best of all, Subscribe and Save is a pretty flexible program. It allows you to skip deliveries as needed or change the frequency of deliveries. For example, if there's an item you no longer need every month, you can switch to deliveries every other month instead.

2. Bundle orders

The upside of joining Amazon Prime is that you can order a $3 item without having to pay for shipping. Without Prime, Amazon will charge shipping costs if your order is under $25. But you can avoid shipping fees by bundling your purchases rather than buying items individually. If you need a gift for a friend that only costs $20, for example, you could tack on a household item you know you'll need eventually that costs $6 to meet the free shipping threshold. In this case, you won't be throwing money away because you'll be buying something you'll need at some point -- just maybe not right now.

3. Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime

If you haven't been an Amazon Prime member in the last 12 months, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial that gives you access to all of the program's features. Even if you're convinced you don't want to pay for Prime, you can time your 30-day trial to when you expect to do a lot of online ordering and avoid shipping fees for a period of time.

For some people, Amazon Prime is well worth the higher cost. For others, it may not be. The good news, though, is that you don't have to be a Prime member to enjoy free shipping. So if that $139 annual fee just doesn't fit into your budget these days, don't sweat it. Instead, shop on Amazon strategically and sign up for a free trial of Prime at a time when it's likely to benefit you -- and your bank account -- the most.

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