Regular Amazon customer? Tips to save time and money

Regardless of whether you enjoy shopping or not, it’s more or less inevitable that you’ll do some buying thru Amazon. If that’s true for you, here are a few personal techniques I use to save time and money.

First, if you don’t already have one, get the Amazon VISA card issued by Chase. You can apply within Amazon by searching for “Amazon credit card apply.” Use that card for all of your Amazon purchases to save 5% off the top. It’s worth adding another credit card to get that sort of price cut on everything you buy from Amazon. To use the cliche, it’s a no brainer.

Second, if you buy often from Amazon, it can be a real nuisance to balance your credit card at the end of the month with all those transactions. Simplify your life. I’d bet you can guess how much you spend each month (average) with Amazon. To begin, the day after the closing date of your Amazon card, buy a gift card from Amazon for the likely total of your purchases for the month. The gift card purchase receives the 5% discount. Everything you buy after that will be charged against that gift card. You’ve changed multiple purchases into one — maybe two if you need to refill the gift card during the month.

(Side note that may be important for you. Making one purchase a month will highlight how much you’re spending there which can be budgeting gold.)

Third, each month thereafter, refill the gift card you purchased. You don’t need to buy another one — just refilling it as needed. Each of those purchases also get the 5% discount. The easiest way to get to the right place is to click on Account in the drop-down menu below Account & Lists. One option on the left side of the next screen under Gift Card is to Refill Card. (That says to me that I’m not alone in the way I handle my Amazon account.)

Fourth, the 5% discount is paid to each month in points. Apply those points to pay the Amazon VISA card balance. DO NOT use the points to pay directly for items. Why? Because you’re better off adding to the gift card instead. The gift card refill is a new purchase that earns the 5% discount. If you use the points to pay for an Amazon item, the points earn nothing.

Fifth, if you happen to have Amazon Prime as well as the Amazon VISA, it may be worth your while to shop at your local Whole Foods which may deliver. You’ll receive an overall discount and that store’s special. Because of the pandemic, I’m having my groceries delivered from the online grocer FreshDirect so I’ve not used this approach.

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