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Advice

67% of Americans plan to shop more on Amazon Prime Day than on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year—here's how you can save

Amazon Prime Day is scheduled for Oct. 13 to 14, and 67% of Americans plan to shop more than on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2020.

Getty Images

With Amazon's annual Prime Day moved from the summer to Oct. 13 to 14 this year, it looks like the holiday shopping season will begin extra early.

In fact, the online retail giant's 48-hour sales event marks a top shopping day for American consumers—beating out both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

According to a 2020 RetailMeNot survey, "Amazon Prime Day is expected to be the No. 1 shopping day in Q4, with 67% of people planning to make a purchase during the savings event this year."

In the midst of an already difficult financial year for many, getting a good deal has arguably never been more important.

Here's how to navigate Amazon Prime Day so you can save money on your holiday shopping this year.

1. Sign up for an Amazon Prime membership

The annual Prime Day deal event is only for Prime members, so your first step in taking advantage of the deals is signing up for Prime membership.

It's free to join for 30 days, after which it's $12.99 per month or $119 per year. If you don't think you'll use the membership beyond Prime Day, you can choose to do the trial. However, do keep in mind the perks that come with being an Amazon Prime member for those who often shop online.

As a Prime member, you can benefit from the below:

  • Prime Delivery: Get your packages as soon as today. Prime Delivery offers fast, free shipping on all your purchases, including one-day delivery, same-day delivery and 2-hour grocery delivery. Speedy delivery certainly comes in handy around the holidays.
  • Prime Video: If you're caught up on all your favorite Netflix shows, perhaps it's time for a new streaming service. Prime Video offers thousands of movies and TV shows, including its exclusive Amazon originals.
  • Amazon Music: Prime members can access more than 2 million songs, ad-free, along with top playlists and podcasts from Amazon Music. For more song choices, they can also upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited with a 20% discount.
  • Prime Wardrobe: If you don't feel like visiting a clothing store any time soon, Prime Wardrobe lets you try before you buy clothes, shoes, jewelry and accessories. Prime members can choose up to eight items at a time and only pay for what they keep.

2. Download the Amazon app

If you are an Amazon Prime Day beginner, know that some things sell out quickly. It's important to mark the items you want so you increase your chances of scoring them at a good deal.

Once you download Amazon's free mobile app, take some time to scroll through what you want to purchase. Prime Day deals will have a blue badge on Prime Day. You can get alerted when the price drops by tapping "Watch this deal" in the Amazon app. When the deal becomes live, add the item to your cart immediately and you'll have 15 minutes to complete the purchase.

For items you want that don't have a blue badge, add them to a wish list and Amazon will send a push notification to your phone if it becomes part of the Prime Day deals. To compare prices on items, use Amazon Assistant so you save time. The service will indicate items that are low-priced, as well as provide a 30-day price tracker and personalized shopping recommendations.

With the mobile app, you can get notified about your delivery arrival so you can easily track your orders in real-time and a 24/7 chat feature is available to connect to customer service.

3. Open an Amazon credit card

Once you signed up to be a Prime member and downloaded the Amazon mobile app, you may want to consider maximizing your savings on Prime Day by opening one of their credit cards geared toward members.

There are two consumer credit card choices for Prime members: the Amazon Prime Store Card, offered by Synchrony Bank, and the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, offered by Chase.

Users of the Amazon Prime Store Card earn 5% back on Amazon.com purchases or a chance to pay for their purchases over time. Cardholders have the option to forgo 5% cash back on their Amazon purchases over $150 in exchange for the ability to pay for their purchases over six, 12 or 24 months with 0% interest. With this interest-free financing option, however, you'll want to make sure you make your equal payments on time and in full each month to avoid paying deferred interest.

Amazon Prime Store Card

Amazon Prime Store Card
Information about the Amazon Prime Store Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    5% back on Amazon.com

  • Welcome bonus

    $10 Amazon gift card upon approval

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    Pay no interest on all Amazon purchases of $150 or more if the entire purchase amount is paid in full within 6, 12 or 24 months

  • Regular APR

    25.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Not applicable

  • Foreign transaction fee

    Not applicable

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • $10 Amazon.com gift card upon approval, with no spending requirements
  • High 5% back at Amazon.com
  • Various promotional financing offers

Cons

  • Deferred interest means you have to pay all interest you incurred during the intro period if you don’t pay your balance in full before it ends
  • Prime membership is required
  • The 5% back only applies to Amazon.com purchases
  • This card can only be used at Amazon

Cardholders of the more robust Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card earn 5% cash back on purchases made at both Amazon.com and Whole Foods. They also receive 2% cash back on purchases made at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.

This card also stands out with its generous welcome bonus for new cardholders upon approval: a $100 Amazon.com gift card, which nearly offsets the $119 annual Amazon Prime membership cost.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; 1% back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $100 Amazon.com gift card upon approval

  • Annual fee

    $0 (but Prime membership is required)

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    14.24% to 22.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, $5 minimum

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • $100 Amazon.com gift card upon approval, with no spending requirements
  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • Prime membership is required
  • The 5% back on groceries only applies to groceries bought on Amazon.com or at Whole Foods Market
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $540
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,302

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

Bottom line

With Amazon Prime Day less than a week away, it's certainly time to see how you can set yourself up to save some money during the 48-hour event.

Social distancing may mean fewer gifts involving experiences this year, so all the more reason to stock up on electronics, clothing/accessories, shoes, jewelry and kitchen appliances for your loved ones.

If you do decide to become an Amazon Prime member for its 30-day trial just for Prime Day, consider shopping with other rewards credit cards that will still put money back into your pocket: the Citi® Double Cash Card or the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Learn more:

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.