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How to Prepare for Amazon Prime Day

Amazon's annual Prime Day shopping event is coming up in July, but there are some things you can do now to be prepared for it.

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day, CNET's guide for everything you need to know and how to find the best deals.

Odds are you've already heard of or participated in one of Amazon's Prime Day sales, and you shouldn't wait until the last minute to prepare for Prime Day 2022, which Amazon has now confirmed will kick off on July 12. To that end, we're pulling together our best early bird tips. Now, some of these are pretty straightforward, ranging from general housekeeping-type to slight updates to our suggestions from previous Prime Day or Black Friday sales. But we'll bet there are at least a couple tips here that are new to you, and we'll continue to update this list as we get closer to Prime Day 2022. 

In the meantime, let's get you Prime Day ready, CNET Deals style.

Prime Day Deals

Make sure your Prime account is in good standing

This should be the most obvious one, but it's also one of the easiest ones to overlook. In order to shop Prime Day's best deals, you will need to be an Amazon Prime subscriber. Now's a great time to check the status of your membership to make sure it's not due to expire before the upcoming event in July. 

Current customers can check the status of their Prime account at this link. It will show whether you're a monthly or annual member and when your next renewal is. Keep in mind that Amazon recently increased the price of a Prime subscription, so you're now on the hook for $15 per month or $139 for the year if you prepay it.

Not a Prime member yet? Get a free trial

One of the best parts about Amazon Prime Day is that you don't have to be a paid Prime subscriber in order to get the discounts and other benefits. That means you can sign up for Amazon's free 30-day trial of the service and participate without having to pay anything, as long as you remember to cancel it before the trial ends and the paid subscription starts.

Now we know exactly when Prime Day 2022 is, you can time your free trial perfectly to ensure it overlaps with the event dates. All you need to do is to make sure that July 12 and 13 fall within your 30-day window... which means you can actually sign up right now and take advantage of all of the Prime Day savings in just a few weeks. 

Update your payment methods

There's nothing worse than missing out on a great Lightning Deal because your payment method on file expired and you forgot to add your new one. Amazon makes it very easy to see all the payment methods you have on file in your account, along with when each one expires. We'd recommend removing any that have already expired and ensuring that the remaining ones won't be expiring in June or July so that your purchases can go through without delay.

If you plan to make any large purchases like TVs, gaming PCs and the like, we recommend advising your credit card company or bank ahead of Prime Day to prevent it from being held up or denied.

Read more: Best Credit Cards for Amazon for June 2022

Earn a $10 Amazon credit before the event

That's right, Amazon is helping you prepare for Prime Day 2022 by giving away free money to spend during the event. All you have to do is participate in a Prime Stampcard promotion and earn four stamps. How exactly do you earn stamps? By utilizing the perks of your Amazon Prime membership.

To earn the $10 credit, you'll need to stream a show on Prime Video, listen to a song on Prime Music, borrow an ebook on Prime Reading and make a Prime shipping-eligible purchase of $5 or more. The first three tasks are completely free to do for Prime members, and there are a bunch of products on Amazon that cost less than $10 that can help you maximize how much free money you're getting here -- like these dry erase markers or this colorful micro-USB cable

Consider the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

If you're a frequent Amazon shopper, this is a no-brainer. The Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Visa offers Prime members 5% cash back on purchases made at Amazon's website and Whole Foods, as well as 2% cash back on restaurants, gas stations and drug stores. The card also earns you 1% cash back on utilities, ridesharing and other purchases. There's no annual fee, so this could put money back in your pocket with little effort if you shop at these places often.

Amazon is also offering a $100 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval of the card. You can opt for the cash back or 0% promo APR for six to 18 months on purchases of $50 or more. After the promo period, this card has a variable APR of 14.99% to 22.99%.

CNET's Jaclyn DeJohn has written an overview of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, too.

Sign up for CNET Deals text alerts

That's right. The CNET Deals team sends daily text alerts for great deals year-round, but we amp things up a bit during Prime Day. If you're the type who's generally busy during the day or feels as though you may forget to check in for the best Prime Day deals, having them sent right to your phone is a great option. We will be browsing all the best deals throughout the whole sale event and sending the best in a variety of categories.

Set up deal alerts in the Amazon app

Since Amazon knows your recent searches and the types of purchases you make there, it is also very well placed to offer deal alerts that you'll be interested in. Prime members can opt in to receive deal notifications related to their recent searches and viewed items in the Amazon app. Just hit up the Prime Day page before the event to create these alerts and, once the event rolls around, you'll get push notifications on any available deals.

Let Alexa keep you up to date on Prime Day

Unsurprisingly, Amazon's smart digital assistant comes in pretty handy around Prime Day. You can have your Alexa devices inform you that Prime Day is about to begin by asking for a reminder about the event. Better yet, Prime members can ask Alexa to notify them about deals on products in their Wish List, Cart or Save for Later lists -- and even place an order on their behalf so you can shop the sale hands-free.

Keep an eye on other retailers

Amazon won't be the only one running deals during the Prime Day period. Over the past few years, we've seen eBay, Best Buy, Walmart and others launch competing sales and aggressively matching prices. What's great about this is that you don't need to be a Prime member to shop those sales (though they may upsell their own retail membership plan), and when something sells out at one retailer it may still be available from another. 

Generally, Amazon announces the exact dates for Prime Day and then we start to see announcements from the competition. Now Prime Day 2022 is official, keep an eye out for other retailers announcing sales for the same dates.

Compare prices with the CNET Shopping browser extension

CNET Shopping app price comparison

Is that Prime Day "deal" really a deal? Instead of looking up prices on Amazon's retail competitors one by one, do it instantaneously with a price comparison extension for your web browser. There are several on the market, but CNET now has our own in-house extension, CNET Shopping (formerly known as PriceBlink). It works across a bunch of retailers and can show you the best current deal, price history for select items, coupons for retailers that can help you add to your savings and more. 

The best part of it all? The extension is completely free. Give it a try right now on Google Chrome.

Follow us on social

The CNET Deals team will be covering the event from the minute it starts, right up until the last minute when the deals end. You can follow the main CNET Twitter account for the best of the best deals, along with the CNET Deals Twitter account for a bigger stream of deals. You can also follow me on Twitter @jareddipane for some of my favorites and some of the deals you should stay away from. 

*All information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.