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How to Prepare for Amazon Prime Day

Amazon's Prime Day-like Prime Early Access Sale shopping event is coming next week, but there are some things you can do now to be prepared for it.

Amazon's Prime Early Access Sale is its second Prime Day-like event of 2022.
Robert Rodriguez / CNET

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day, CNET's guide to 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 its upcoming Prime Early Access Sale. The sale kicks off on Oct. 11, so you only have a little bit of time left to ensure you're ready. 

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Some of the things you ought to do before the event are pretty straightforward, but you might not have thought about everything on the list below. If you want easy access to some of the best deals of the year, it's worth spending the time to run through these tips in order to make the most of the event.

We'll walk you through several easy ways to prepare for Prime Day to make this fall's event as stress-free as possible, from checking your payment methods to setting up deal alerts. Once you've ensured everything is in order, why not take the time to find some hidden Amazon promotions before the event kicks off, or take a look at the many Prime perks that come with your subscription?

One of the best parts about Amazon Prime Day -- and the Prime Early Access Sale -- 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. The Prime Early Access Sale is live Oct. 11 and 12, making now the perfect time to start your free trial to get in on the event without spending a penny on a Prime subscription. 

Step 2

Update your payment methods now

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 this month 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 the Prime Early Access Sale to prevent it from being held up or denied.

Step 3

Consider the Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Visa

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 17.24% to 25.24%.

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

Step 4

Set up deal alerts in the 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 Early Access Sale page before the event to create these alerts and, once the event rolls around, you'll get push notifications on any available deals.

Step 5

Let Alexa keep you up to date

Unsurprisingly, Amazon's smart digital assistant comes in pretty handy around events like Prime Day. You can have your Alexa devices inform you that the Prime Early Access Sale 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.

Step 6

Keep an eye on other retailers

Amazon won't be the only one running deals during the Prime Early Access Sale period. Over the past few years, we've seen most major retailers 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. 

Target has already kicked off its Deal Days sale to get ahead and we know Walmart plans to counter Amazon with its own Rollbacks and More sale that overlaps the Prime Early Access Sale's dates. We wouldn't be surprised to see further announcements from the other big retailers. 


Is that Prime Early Access Sale "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.

Step 8

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. 

Don't miss our other Shopping Tips, including easy ways to save on shipping at various retailers, how to get like-new electronics at a fraction of the price and how to send gifts directly via Amazon this holiday season. 

*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.