You may already know about the Amazon Prime free trial, but did you know that you can try out nearly every service on Amazon for free before committing to an ongoing membership? Read on for the top 8 free trials on Amazon, plus how to get the most mileage out of them.
Before we get started, I just want to say one thing: Amazon offers free trials so that you can legitimately try out the service and decide if it’s for you. In most cases, you get ONE free trial per account. Do not try to game the system or make multiple accounts (other than household accounts, like if your mom lives with you and has her own, you can share benefits through Amazon Household).
That said, there are plenty of ways to make the most of those free trials without taking advantage of or abusing the system. Let’s check out my favorite Amazon free trial offers and how to get the most mileage out of them.
Top 8 Free Trial Offers on Amazon (& How to Make the Most of Them)
Heads up: this post contains affiliate links. If you sign up for these free trials and/or make a purchase, I earn a commission at no extra charge to you.
1. Amazon Prime Free Trial
Even though you probably already know about this one (I’m pretty sure the whole planet knows about it by now), I figured I start here just in case.
Amazon gives all new Prime customers a free 30-trial, which gives you enough time to really explore all the benefits. I’ve been a Prime member for nearly a decade. I’ve only let it lapse once or twice.
Did you know that you can pay monthly or yearly? When I have the cash, I pay upfront for the year. Last month, though, I had to switch back to monthly because I’m in a bit of a financial rut. If you pay yearly, you do save a fairly good chunk of change, but I’m glad they offer the monthly option for those of us who don’t have $100+ spare bucks to drop right away.
Get the most out of your Free Amazon Prime Trial
Before you start your trial, take a moment to explore all of the Prime Benefits. This is important because there are a ton of them and you want to really get a good idea of what you’ll get for your money.
Make a list of the benefits that are most important to you. For me, it used to be the “free” shipping (it’s free so much as pre-paid with your membership). Ever since Amazon starting using USPS almost exclusively in my area, I haven’t ordered as much from them as I used to because my post office doesn’t deliver directly to my house and it’s a hassle to go to the post office. I either order things small enough to fit in my mailbox or shop once a month and pick it all up at the same time.
I keep my Prime membership mainly for Prime Video, Music, Reading, and Twitch. Even though they rarely have new movies, Prime Video has a ton of fun older stuff. They recently added a bunch of those Hallmark miniseries events that were on back in the late 90s and early 00s, including my all-time favorite: The 10th Kingdom.
They also have pretty much every made-for-TV disaster movie, which are just so much fun even if they are so, so cheesy. Prime Video is also the only place I can find Grimm, one of my favorite shows to binge-watch repeatedly.
2. Amazon Prime Pantry Trial
Prime Pantry lets you buy “normal” size boxes and packages of groceries and household goods. For example, you can buy one package of toilet paper versus a case of it. Unfortunately, you need to have a Prime membership to sign up for Prime Pantry, and it’s an extra $4.99 a month on top of your Prime Membership fee. Like regular Prime, Amazon offers a 30-Day Free trial to Prime Pantry.
With the add-on, you can get free shipping (1-4 business days) on all Prime Pantry orders $10 or more. Without the membership, you’ll need to order at least $35 worth of eligible stuff. By “eligible,” I mean that it has to come from the Prime Pantry. You can’t order $30 worth of groceries on Pantry, then pad the rest out with a $5 dog toy that’s labeled with regular Prime.
Get the most out of your free Prime Pantry Trial
- Don’t start your free trial until you’re actually ready to order something from Prime Pantry. I made the mistake of starting mine on a whim, then forgetting about it until it was too late.
- Keep track of how much you save by ordering from Amazon as well as your average order total. If you save more than $5 a month and you’re typically ordering less than $35 worth of stuff each time, it’s worth the $4.99 to keep it.
- Check out the deals section before you shop. Pay close attention to the “Save $6 with the purchase of 5 items section.” (If you’re not a member, that $6 is basically like getting free shipping, since non-Prime members pay a flat $5.99 for Prime Pantry shipping.) Don’t forget to look for coupons to “clip” to really maximize your savings.
3. Kindle Unlimited Trial Offer
Probably the one add-on that I use the most, Kindle Unlimited gives you unlimited access to over a million ebooks and thousands of audiobooks. You can read on any device, including your Fire, iPad, iPhone, and even your PC, and keep up to 10 titles out at a time. When you’re done with one (or reach your limit), just return it and grab another. Your books stay in your library until you return them or until you end your membership.
Get the most mileage out of Kindle Unlimited
To get the most mileage out of KU, you’ll need to let go of the notion that only books published by big authors or publishing houses are worth your time. A large portion of the books in KU are indie authors, and that’s actually great thing. Not only are you supporting the dreams of very real people, but you’ll find some wonderful new favorite authors.
- Before you begin your trial, I recommend taking a look through some of the offerings and making a TBR list.
- Add twice as many as you think you’ll read, because the downside of self-publishing is that some of them just aren’t as good as they sound.
- You’ll also want to make sure you’re able to read at least $10 worth of books a month before deciding whether to keep your Unlimited plan.
- I typically drop it during my busier months, then renew it during the winter or summer when I spend more time reading.
4. Music Unlimited Free Trial
While your Prime membership gives you access to thousands of songs, Amazon Music Unlimited lets you listen to tens of millions of them on any device. It’s available for both Prime and Non-Prime members, too.
I originally signed up for the Echo-Only plan back when I got my son his first Echo Dot. It’s the cheapest plan (just a few dollars a month), but it’s limited to a single Echo device. When we all got new Echo Dots for Christmas, I grabbed the free trial (it was an extended trial that they offered right after the holidays). We’re currently using that trial right now. When it’s over in March, I’ll evaluate how much we used it to decide if we’re going to keep it or just go back to the Echo plan for my son.
Getting the most out of your Music Unlimited trial
- While you can just ask Alexa to play your favorite song, I find that it’s easier to go to Amazon Music Unlimited on my desktop and make playlists.
- It’s easier for me to search, find suggestions, and even find some playlists that other people have already made.
- Try to keep track of which songs you listen to that are exclusive to Music Unlimited (versus Prime Music). That way you’ll be able to figure out if it’s worth keeping.
5. Amazon FreeTime Unlimited Trial
Amazon FreeTime Unlimited is an amazing service for parents, and you don’t have to be a Prime Member to get the free 30-Day trial. The service includes unlimited access to over 16,000 books, videos, and even apps designed for kids of all ages, all the way up to tweens and some teens.
Along with free books like the entire Harry Potter series and the first book in several of Rick Riordan’s series, kids can explore age-appropriate videos in a safe, secure setting. You have complete control over everything from the type of content that they can see to how much time they can spend on the service. One really neat feature: you can set an overall screen time, but allow unlimited reading time.
If you decide to keep it, FreeTime Unlimited is only $2.99 a month, making it a super affordable option for parents who want to encourage reading.
Get the most out of your FreeTime Trial
Honestly, even if your child (or you!) just manages to read one book during your 30-day trial, you’ll be good to go. I re-read the Harry Potter series at least twice a year, and while I have them in print, I prefer reading on my Kindle Fire (particularly the Fire HD 10, because it’s like a hardcover book but lighter). When I’m in the mood to re-read them and I’m not currently enrolled in regular Kindle Unlimited, I just pay the $2.99 for FreeTime.
6. AmazonFresh Free Trial
Unfortunately, AmazonFresh isn’t available in all locations. It’s not in my area, so I haven’t tried it yet. My aunt, who is probably Amazon’s biggest customer ever, has it and she really loves it. AmazonFresh is different from Prime Pantry because it delivers fresh groceries right to your door. You will need to be a Prime member to get the free trial, and you’ll need to stay a Prime member to use AmazonFresh.
7. Audible & Audible Romance Trial Packages
Audible is great for people who commute and want to keep up with their TBR pile. I really haven’t used it because I don’t like listening to audiobooks. However, I’m considering trying it out for my son. He doesn’t read nearly as much as I’d like him to, and I think that listening to audiobooks might be a good way to expose him to more genres. Audible has the world’s largest selection of audiobooks, so if you’re thinking about trying out a service, this is definitely the one to go with.
If you’re strictly a romance reader, try the Audible Romance Package. It’s less than half the price of regular Audible and gives you access to thousands of romantic reads.
Get the most out of either trial by following the same tips you would for Kindle Unlimited. Make sure you sign up when you have time to listen to a few different books, and keep track of what you read (hear?) so that you can figure out if you’ll listen enough to make it worth your while.
8. HBO Free Trial on Amazon (& other Amazon Channel Trials)
By far my favorite of the Amazon free trial offers, you can get a free trial for pretty much every single channel, including HBO, Showtime, STARZ, and Cinemax. TYou get a free trial for each one! The downside? It’s only a week-long trial. You do need to be a Prime member to get the add-on channels.
How to get the most mileage
So, I actually had a very strict system both for the free trials and for paid channel add-ons. Here’s how it goes:
- Do one at a time. Finish one trial completely before starting another. That way, you could theoretically get over a months’ worth of premium entertainment for free, or even more if you delve into the smaller channels like Hallmark, Sundance Now, and Shudder. I think there are like dozens of channels altogether.
- Before you pick the first one, look at both the current offerings and what’s coming soon. You can usually find “coming soon on blah blah” lists. Like, search “What’s coming to HBO in March,” for example.
- If a movie is coming in two weeks on HBO, start with another channel.
- Look at all of the current offerings and try to find a service that has at least 3-4 movies (or 1 full show) that you’ll want to watch over the next week. If you can’t find enough to make it worth your while, skip it for now. Remember, you only get one free trial per channel.
I almost always have one ongoing membership to an Amazon channel, but I only keep one at a time. I use a similar system, except when I look at the offerings, I make sure there are at least 8 movies and/or 2 seasons worth of a show to watch. Right now, I’m waiting for Shameless to finish up their season, then I’ll subscribe to Showtime for a month.
For me, Amazon’s monthly fee for the premium add-on channels is a lot cheaper than my cable’s fee. Plus, I don’t have to jump through hoops to cancel on Amazon. Cable seems to make it crazy hard, hoping that you’ll just decide it’s not worth the effort.
How to cancel Amazon Prime Free Trial (& other trials)
So you get towards the end of your free trial and you just don’t think you want to keep it. What do you do? Fortunately, Amazon makes it really simple to cancel all of their services before the end of the trial.
For Prime memberships, just go to Your Prime Membership on the drop-down menu under your name. Sorry, I forgot to highlight that, but it’s two spots below the highlighted Memberships & Subscriptions
For everything else, go to the top of your Amazon page to the drop-down menu under your name, and click on “Memberships & Subscriptions” under Your Account. Everything you need is right in front of your eyes. Cancel subscriptions, downgrade or upgrade (when possible), or just ask for a reminder 3 days before your trial ends or your next billing date pops up. I also use Alexa to remind me. She’s really good about keeping track of my life for me. 😀
If you just want to cancel your Kindle Unlimited, you can click on that (highlighted towards the bottom) to go directly to the page for that subscription. You’ll also find it in the Memberships & Subscriptions area above.
Remember, use these free trial offers to try out a service or channel that you’re actually interested in potentially keeping. I personally recommend trying out all of the top premium channels, then cycling them throughout the year so that you always have new movies to watch! I also HIGHLY recommend FreeTime Unlimited for families. It’s so reasonably priced and has a ton of books for all ages.
Do you have any favorite Prime add-ons, channels, or other service on Amazon that you love? Did having a free trial sway you towards subscribing?