How to maximize your cash back on Amazon

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If you’re like me, you’re constantly making transactions through Amazon. Just about anything you could possibly want is on there, after all. Do you have a strategy?

No matter how little or how much you spend with Amazon, you need to be implementing the following tactics to earn cash back in a hurry. Try one or two of the following tactics, and you’ll soon realize how significantly you can reduce your final bill.

With coronavirus bearing down on us, online shopping is more popular than ever. Here’s how to save big. (Photo by Jeramey Lende/Shutterstock)

Maximize your cash back on Amazon

Earn 5% back on all Amazon purchases

Did you know it’s possible to get 5% back on every single thing you buy from Amazon? It’s extremely easy if you have the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card.

The secret is to purchase Amazon gift cards at either Office Depot, Staples or Office Max. There is a ~$6 fee for purchasing a gift card, though there are promotions in which the purchase fee is waived. That’s the time to jump on gift cards!

If you return an item paid with a gift card, you automatically get a credit to your Amazon.com gift card balance. The Chase Ink Business Cash earns 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent at Office Supply stores, which includes Amazon. It’s very easy to load these gift cards to your Amazon account and earn effectively 5% cash back per dollar spent for all your Amazon.com purchases.

Chase points can be redeemed for cash back at 1 cent per point. Plus, if you have other Chase cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can also redeem your points for:

Read our post about the best ways to use Chase points to learn how powerful they can be — and how big of a deal it is to earn 5 points per dollar!

The Chase Ink Business Cash is a small business card, but don’t let that intimidate you — you don’t need a full-time business with employees or six-figure revenue. It’s possible to qualify for a small-business credit card with a part-time side hustle or a freelance gig. Read our post on how to complete a Chase business card application.

Shop through an online portal

Online shopping portals are an easy way to earn lots of bonus miles, points, or cash back on purchases you’d probably make anyway. Nearly every airline, hotel, and bank has some kind of shopping portal to help you earn free travel extra quickly.

However, Amazon doesn’t participate in many online shopping portals. But occasionally, we’ll see a good promotion pop up. For example, we’ve seen TopCashBack offer up to 6% cash back when you shop in select Amazon departments. You can sometimes use promo codes in addition to the shopping portal offer, bringing your a substantial final savings.

I recommend using Cashback Monitor to search for the best portals for Amazon. I find it’s usually the most up-to-date, and the site has lots of handy features.

Targeted promotions with steep discounts

Amazon continually offers various promotions that can save you literally hundreds of dollars each year. One of the most frequently spotted deals is the option to receive a flat discount by paying for your cart in part with travel rewards points like Chase points, Amex Membership Rewards points and Citi ThankYou points. For example, we recently saw a deal that offered $15 off a purchase of $60+ by pay with at least 1 Amex Membership Rewards point! That’s a fantastic deal.

There are also occasional promotions with Amazon Cash, such as a free $10 Amazon credit after loading $40+ to your Amazon account. Currently, however, there’s only a $5 credit when first-time users load $20 to their account.

We’ve even seen a targeted offer to save up to 50% off your next Amazon purchase for your first sign-in on the Amazon app. There are plenty of promotions to keep the cash back rolling in.

Subscribe to Amazon Prime (sometimes at a discount)

Literally all of us at MMS have an Amazon Prime membership. It comes with perks like free two-day shipping, select streaming movies, TV shows, music, etc. You’ll also receive access to Amazon Prime Day, which is a 48-hour sale solely available to Amazon Prime members. Its discounted items range spectacularly, from top-tier electronics to housewares and clothing. It’s kind of like Amazon’s version of Black Friday — but exclusive.

An Amazon Prime membership costs $119 per year. If you’re the kind of customer who often pays extra for rushed shipping, or if you’ll get plenty of use from the program’s other features, a Prime membership is a no-brainer. Plus, we’ve seen in the past as high as a $32 discount on the yearly membership during certain promotions.

With this particular order, Thursday shipping is FREE with Amazon Prime. That’s $19.79 in savings with a single order — if you’d pay to rush deliver anyway.

Use Paribus

Paribus is incredibly useful for saving money with Amazon. Once you sign-up here with your Google, Yahoo or Microsoft account, it will begin tracking your email account for potential savings with:

  • Online purchases (if you buy something and the retail price decreases, you may get some money back)
  • Hotel stays  (if you book a hotel and the rate drops, Paribus will help you rebook)
  • Late delivery (Paribus examines emails from certain online retailers like Amazon and monitors the tracking information)

I’ve received multiple emails from Paribus telling me that my Amazon order will be delivered late, and that I’m entitled to compensation from Amazon. In its email, it provides:

  • My Amazon order number
  • A pre-written message pointing to Amazon’s shipping promise policy (you can just copy and paste into an Amazon live chat)
  • A link to Amazon live chat

In other words, it takes no effort on my part. I don’t have to rummage through old emails for order numbers or navigate to Amazon.com to find the customer service page with the live chat option. I followed the instructions Paribus sent me and Amazon credited me $5 for the inconvenience of my late package!

This is a tool provided by Capital One, though you don’t need any kind of relationship with Capital One to use it. The whole program is completely free.

Subscribe & Save

On certain purchases, Amazon incentivizes you to set up recurring deliveries by offering up to 5% off. This isn’t 5% cash back per se, but it could still save you 5% on products like paper towels, dog food, family planning, etc.

Use the right credit card

Perhaps the most important aspect to earning cash back with Amazon is to be sure you’re using one of the best Amazon credit cards at checkout. Here are our top recommendations for those who frequent the site.

CardIntro bonus offerBest perkAnnual fee
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit CardLimited time offer: Earn up to 100,00 you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.Unlimited 2X miles on all purchases$95
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business$500 cash bonus
when you spend $4,500 in the first three months of account opening.
Unlimited 2% cash back on all eligible purchases$95 annual fee, waived the first year
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American ExpressEarn up to $300 when you make eligible purchases with Dell Technologies, DocuSign and FedEx within the first three months of Card Membership (up to $100 per merchant, in the form of statement credits). This offer will run through November 4, 2020
Terms Apply.
2x Amex Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 in business purchases per year; then 1x point thereafter. Terms Apply.$0 (see rates & fees)
Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card$500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all qualifying purchases (1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points)$0
Chase Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card$100 Amazon gift card upon approval5% cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods with an eligible Amazon Prime membership (otherwise 3% cash back at Amazon & Whole Foods)$0

Read our post on the best Amazon credit cards for a breakdown of which card will best fit your lifestyle.

Bottom line

With the proper combination of free tools, credit cards, promotions, memberships and shopping portals, you can earn hundreds of dollars in cash back each year with Amazon. But you need a strategy. Our favorite way to shop on Amazon is by using the Chase Ink Business Cash to buy Amazon gift cards at Office depot. It effectively earns us 5% cash back (or more, if you know how to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on every purchase!

Let me know your strategy to maximizing your cash back with Amazon. And subscribe to our newsletter for posts like this delivered to your inbox.

The information for the Capital One Spark Cash has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

For rates and fees of the Amex Blue Business Plus, click here

Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Tony
5 months ago

“There is a ~$6 fee for purchasing a gift card” Since when does Staples charge $6 for purchasing an Amazon gift card?