Amazon Prime Day: Everything you need to know
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For anyone who loves a great deal, Amazon Prime Day is one of the biggest online shopping events of the year. But this year, Amazon has announced essentially a second Prime Day event for October — the Prime Early Access Sale.
Prime Early Access will run for two full days, from Oct. 11 through Oct. 12, 2022. Knowing what you’re looking for in advance and planning your spending carefully can help you get the best deals on those items throughout the event without much hassle.
Here’s everything you should know about the second Prime Day of 2022, including a few tips for making the most of the sale.
What is Prime Day?
For frequent Amazon shoppers, Prime Day may be on par with Black Friday and Cyber Monday in savings potential. It’s Amazon’s biggest, most comprehensive sale of the year and is reserved exclusively for Prime members.
Prime Day began in 2015 to celebrate Amazon’s 20th anniversary but has continued and expanded each year since — a trend that experts expect will continue this year.
Since both Prime Day and the Prime Early Access Sale are exclusive to Prime members, you must have a Prime membership in order to take advantage of sale prices. Amazon Prime memberships cost $14.99 monthly or $139 if paid annually. Students can get a free, six-month trial of Prime, followed by a discounted Prime Student membership for just $7.49 per month or $69 per year. If you don’t yet have a membership, Amazon offers a free, 30-day trial period.
Plan your shopping in advance
Prime Day deals move quickly, so it pays to plan your purchases ahead of the sale.
The most time-sensitive discounts are Prime Day Lightning Deals, or discounted products that are usually limited to one per customer and only available for a few hours or until inventory is gone.
“Amazon’s app allows you to set up ‘Watch this Deal’ notifications, so you can pounce when an item you want goes on sale,” said Kristin McGrath, a former editor and shopping expert at Offers.com, in a previous interview. “Plus, Amazon stokes the Prime Day hype by announcing some deals in advance, or at least deal categories so you can prep your shopping list.”
Amazon-branded items like the Fire tablet, Echo and Kindle are all heavily discounted. You can also find steep savings on popular tech gadgets, from the Ring doorbell to Apple Watch and Nintendo Switch. Continue to check your Amazon app and the website throughout Prime Day to stay on top of sale announcements.
What to add to your Prime Day shopping list
Prime Day deals cover a vast, wide-ranging assortment of Amazon’s offerings, but there are a few mainstay categories that experts typically expect to see.
“Historically, we have seen that Amazon offers some of the biggest discounts on their own electronic devices such as Echo, Alexa, Kindle and Fire tablets,” said Sara Bigham, a former shopping and trends expert at RetailMeNot, in a previous interview. “This must-shop event is also a great opportunity to purchase other smart-home devices, TVs, appliances and get a head start on any hot toys that you may want to gift this upcoming holiday season.”
McGrath points specifically to Amazon-owned Fire TV, Echo and Ring products as well as in-house brands like Solimo, which makes everyday goods, Instant Pots, robot vacuums and more.
Consider rewards credit cards to make the most of Prime Day
If you’re looking to spend big during Amazon’s second Prime Day sale, don’t just prepare for what you’ll buy — be savvy about how you’ll make your purchases. Strategically using one of the best credit cards for shopping on Amazon can up your savings even more.
Frequent Amazon and Whole Foods shoppers looking to fully reap Prime membership benefits may find the most value in the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card*. For no annual fee (besides your Prime membership cost), you’ll earn 5 percent cash back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases; you’ll also automatically earn a $100 Amazon gift card upon approval, which can be used toward shopping during the Early Access Sale. Bankrate estimates this card is best suited for shoppers who spend more than $2,000 annually with Amazon in order to earn back the membership cost.
Further, cards with rotating rewards categories, specifically the Discover it® Cash Back, can help you earn big during the Prime Early Access Sale. Specifically, the Discover cash back calendar for Q4 includes Amazon.com, meaning you can currently earn 5 percent cash back on this category (after activation) on up to $1,500 in spending for the quarter, then 1 percent back.
If you’d prefer the simplicity of a flat-rate cash back card over a bonus category card, the Citi® Double Cash Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited® are great options. You’ll earn up to 2 percent back on all spending with the Double Cash (1 percent as you buy and 1 percent as you pay off your purchase) and 1.5 percent back on all non-category spending with the Freedom Unlimited.
The bottom line
Though Amazon’s second Prime Day is a great opportunity to buy holiday gifts at a discount, be sure not to use flashy sales as an excuse to buy unnecessary items or overspend and rack up credit card debt.
“Remember that just because it’s Prime Day and Amazon has something on sale, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best deal out there,” Bigham said. “Do your due diligence and price compare.”
*All information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.