Amazon Prime Day 2022: When does it start, how to earn free credits, competition, and more – Mashable
UPDATE: Jul. 12, 2022, 9:56 a.m. EDT This story has been updated with the latest information about Prime Day 2022.
Amazon‘s exclusive Prime Day sale is back for its seventh year in 2022, but record-high inflation rates have made it harder than ever to figure out which deals are actually worth adding to your cart. Below, we’ve rounded up some must-know Prime Day info that you can use to make smart shopping decisions and stretch your dollar against soaring prices.
Prime Day is an annual sitewide sale that Amazon puts on for its Prime members (so: yes). First held in 2015 in honor of Amazon’s 20th anniversary (with mixed success), it was originally plugged as a “one-day-only event filled with more deals than Black Friday, exclusively for Prime members around the globe.” In the years since, it’s morphed into a 48-hour affair that’s preceded by a couple weeks of preview deals. “Prime Day” is a misnomer at this point.
Prime Day officially began on Tuesday, July 12 at 3 a.m. ET and runs through Wednesday, July 13 in 2022 (though many deals have been live for several days now). This is a return to its usual mid-July slot after two years of adjustments: Amazon bumped it back to October in 2020 because of the pandemic, then moved it up to June because of the Olympics in 2021.
Rumor has it that Amazon is toying with the idea of hosting a second Prime Day-style sale later this fall, which would be a first, but the company has yet to confirm any details.
Amazon’s language surrounding Prime Day 2022 is noticeably more restrained compared to previous years (which tracks given the current state of the economy). For example, it bragged about offering “over 2 million deals across every category” in 2021 and “more than one million deals on everything they [shoppers] need and love” in 2020; this year, there’s no emphasis on a huge amount of deals — just that we’re getting “Amazon’s lowest prices ever on select products” and a wider selection of items from third-party sellers. TL;DR: There’s still a ton of stuff on sale, but it may not pan out to be the big blowout bonanza we’re all used to.
On a more positive note, Amazon has rolled out several new ways shoppers can earn free money for Prime Day 2022. You can score over $60 in credits by participating in Prime Stampcard(opens in a new tab), its new virtual punchcard program; financing your Prime Day order with Affirm(opens in a new tab); buying at least $50 in gift cards(opens in a new tab) (or reloading an existing balance); and even just grabbing a movie ticket to Lightyear(opens in a new tab) or Elvis(opens in a new tab).
Also new for 2022, Amazon has added a free year’s worth of Grubhub+ to its roster of Prime benefits. Members can unlock unlimited free food deliveries and exclusive discounts on eligible orders from their go-to restaurants. (This isn’t a Prime Day-specific offer, FYI, but it is a new and particularly compelling reason to sign up for Prime amid this year’s sale.)
Prime Day has always been Amazon’s favorite excuse to discount its own devices and services, and this year is par for the course. The first 24 hours have brought us steep savings on gadgets like the new Amazon Glow(opens in a new tab) ($149.99), the Echo Show 15(opens in a new tab) ($179.99), the fourth-generation Echo Dot(opens in a new tab) ($19.99 plus a free smart bulb), the Kindle Paperwhite(opens in a new tab) ($94.99), the Fire HD 10 table(opens in a new tab)t ($74.99), the Fire TV Stick Lite(opens in a new tab) ($11.99), and a slew of Fire TVs(opens in a new tab) from several different brands. That includes a 75-inch Toshiba 4K smart TV(opens in a new tab), last year’s Amazon Fire TV 4-Series(opens in a new tab) and Omni Series(opens in a new tab) rosters, and a kitchen countertop-friendly 24-inch Insignia smart Fire TV(opens in a new tab) that comes in at only $90.
Prime members who haven’t tried Amazon Music Unlimited yet can now snag a free four-month trial through July 13 (normally $8.99/month), which gets upped to six months with the purchase of select Amazon Echo devices. If you’re more of a podcast or audiobook person, three free months of Audible Premium Plus are also grabs for members through July 31.
Need something new to play? Prime Gaming(opens in a new tab) members can download 25 indie PC games and several AAA titles for free while the sale is live, including Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, Need for Speed Heat, and Star Wars: Republic Commando. Enjoy your gaming.
Beyond that, our other usual Prime Day suspects include 4K OLED TVs, robot vacuums, headphones, air fryers, and basically every Apple product under the sun. Mashable’s live blog has a running list of the latest and greatest deals, but here are some highlights so far:
Apple AirPods (2nd generation) with Charging Case(opens in a new tab) — $89.99
$159 (save 43%)
Samsung Chromebook 4(opens in a new tab) — $127.90
$229.99 (save 44%)
Instant Pot Omni Plus Air Fryer Toaster Oven(opens in a new tab) — $139.99
$279.99 (save 50%)
iRobot Roomba i7+(opens in a new tab) — $499.99
$999.99 (save 50%)
Target was the first to enter the anti-Prime Day foray, announcing dates for its biggest-ever Target Deal Days event mere hours after Amazon’s reveal went live. The 72-hour sale runs from July 11 to 13 on Target.com and the Target app across every category, with no membership required for access. Top deals include 53% off a seven-quart air fryer(opens in a new tab), half off some Sony noise-canceling headphones(opens in a new tab), and a bunch of gift card offers(opens in a new tab).
When you factor this in with the department store’s ongoing efforts to wipe its inventory before fall, it’s looking like Target will be Amazon’s stiffest Prime Day competition this year.
Best Buy is stepping up to the anti-Prime Day plate with its Black Friday in July sale, which is also happening from July 11 to 13 on BestBuy.com, the Best Buy app, and in stores. That one doesn’t require a subscription, either, though Best Buy Totaltech(opens in a new tab) members will get extended access to select deals through July 17 and an exclusive chance to purchase “a hard-to-find product during the sale,” its press release noted. (Spoiler alert: It’s a PS5(opens in a new tab), and it goes live at noon ET Tuesday.) Featured offers include $1,000 off an 85-inch Neo QLED TV(opens in a new tab) from Samsung, 50% off a Lenovo Chromebook Duet(opens in a new tab), and a $250 self-emptying Shark robot vacuum(opens in a new tab).
Meanwhile, Walmart already hosted its own version of Prime Day this year called Walmart+ Weekend, which ran online from June 2 to 5. It’s not hosting a formal savings event to rival Prime Day this week, but you’ll still find deals across its site as it focuses on expanding rollbacks — new all-time low prices for 2020 iPad Air and the Apple Watch Series 3(opens in a new tab) are two highlights.
Black Friday has been (and likely always will be) the biggest shopping event of the year for several reasons: One, because you’ve got lots of different retailers participating both in stores and online. Two, because nobody’s sales are paywalled behind a membership fee. And three, because it always falls right before everyone’s holiday gift exchanges. It’s basically open season for deal-hunting.
Many retailers have also taken it upon themselves to expand Black Friday into a monthlong event in recent years, releasing teaser deals weeks ahead of time and extending them through Cyber Monday in an ongoing quest to one-up each other. (“Black Friday” is probably a misnomer, too.) Walmart set the stage for an especially competitive Black Friday last year when it released the first of its deals in mid-October, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it made a habit of it going forward.
That being said, it’s worth checking out Amazon’s Prime Day deals if you have a lot to buy for summer or the back-to-school season, or if you just need to stock up on some essentials.
We’d also make a strong case for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the chaos of Black Friday: Prime Day tends to feel more laid-back since Amazon is the self-appointed star of the show. Yes, competing sales exist, but you can safely assume that Jeffrey Bezos will match or beat most other retailers’ offers and strictly adhere to the two-day time slot. (Also very nice: There’s no need to get off the couch for in-person shopping.)
The only truly annoying thing about shopping on Prime Day is trying to stay on top of its time-sensitive Lightning Deals(opens in a new tab), or flash sales, but Amazon gives you a couple different ways of figuring out when they’ll drop.
Aside from aggressively lurking on Amazon’s dedicated Prime Day page(opens in a new tab) (and reading our coverage of standout discounts), there are several ways to ensure you don’t miss out on a worthwhile deal:
Organize your Wish List. Amazon’s virtual shopping list feature puts all of your must-haves in one convenient spot so you’re not constantly flipping between links and tabs. You can see which items are on sale at a glance and even rank them based on how much you want them. (Read Mashable’s guide to “wishlisting” for additional intel.)
Download the Amazon mobile app. You can activate push notifications(opens in a new tab) to get alerted whenever there’s a deal on an item on your Wish List or a product related to your recent searches/views.
Sort Amazon’s Prime Day Deals page(opens in a new tab) by “Upcoming” (found in the middle of the left-hand column). That’ll pull up a grid of deals that are happening in the near future, with exact start times listed for each. Set an alarm accordingly.
Take advantage of Alexa’s new advanced deal alerts feature. This one’s really cool: Amazon’s virtual assistant can now notify you of a sale on an item in your Wish List, Shopping Cart, or “Saved for Later” queue up to 24 hours before it goes live. Enable the feature on a newer generation Echo smart speaker, and you’ll see its light ring turn yellow (or a pop-up alert) whenever an item you’ve saved has a discount in the pipeline. You can then ask Alexa for more information about the deal, have her set a reminder for when it’s available, and even give her permission to order it for you using your default payment info when the time comes.
Cross-check prices on camelcamelcamel(opens in a new tab). You can plug any Amazon URL into this free price-tracking site to see how much it’s gone for over the weeks/months/years, which will give you a good idea of whether a discount you see is actually worth it. (Note that this may not work on every Lightning Deal.) It also gives lets you create a price watch for individual items — say, if you’re hoping the new Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones dip under the $398 mark.
Anyone who hasn’t been an Amazon Prime member within the past 12 months can sign up for a free 30-day trial by following these steps:
Visit amazon.com/prime(opens in a new tab).
Click on the orange button that says “Start your free 30-day trial.”
Sign in or create an Amazon account.
Add a payment method and a billing address. (Don’t worry — you won’t be charged.)
Click the yellow button that says “Activate your free trial.”
After your trial period ends, you’ll automatically be upgraded to a paid membership plan for $14.99 per month or $139 per year. Pro tip: The latter saves you just over $40 annually.
Getting your degree? Anyone with a .edu email address can take advantage of a free six-month trial that converts to a $7.49-a-month paid tier under the Prime Student(opens in a new tab) program. (You can ride out that rate for four years or until graduation, whichever comes first.) As a member, you’re entitled to several bonus offers on top of the standard Prime perks:
A free Grubhub+ Student(opens in a new tab) membership (typically $9.99/month)
A free six-month trial of LinkedIn Premium(opens in a new tab)
A free three-month trial of Calm Premium(opens in a new tab), which renews at a discounted rate of $8.99/year (normally $69.99/year)
A month’s worth of free 24/7 homework help from Course Hero(opens in a new tab)
Up to 10% off flights and hotels via StudentUniverse(opens in a new tab)
EBT and Medicaid cardholders also quality for a discounted monthly rate(opens in a new tab) of $6.99 — you just have to verify your eligibility every 12 months.
Prime’s current annual rate is the result of a 17% price bump earlier this spring (from $119 to $139), which wasn’t totally unexpected: Amazon has increased it by $20 every four years since 2014. But that higher cost is undoubtedly harder to swallow after two years of a pandemic that made us ultra-reliant on deliveries — especially when Walmart’s rival service hovers at just $98 a year.
That being said, $139 is still a decent value for all of the perks(opens in a new tab) a Prime membership includes if you’re someone who does most of their shopping online. Subscribers get free two-day (or faster) shipping on millions of items, plus exclusive access to the Prime Video(opens in a new tab), Prime Music(opens in a new tab), Prime Gaming(opens in a new tab), and Prime Reading(opens in a new tab) libraries and unlimited photo storage with Amazon Photos(opens in a new tab). Amazon also offers special discounts on items to its members beyond Prime Day. (Check out Mashable’s guide to maximizing all the perks of a Prime membership while you’re at it.) And don’t forget about that new free Grubhub+ offer.
But there is a way to shop this year’s Prime Day deals without committing to a Prime membership, and that’s by scheduling your 30-day free trial(opens in a new tab) around the sale. Just remember to cancel it as soon as the sale is over to avoid getting charged.
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August 3, 2022 at 09:04PM