Totally by accident, today has turned into yet another five-deal Friday. Seems like as we get closer to the holidays, the deals pile up faster and, um, furiously-er than ever. What's a cheapskate to do? I gotta share.
Some really interesting stuff today, too: two pretty excellent freebies, two slam-dunk gift items, and one of the best laptop deals I've seen, like, ever. Onward!
1. A free year of Amazon Prime*
You knew there had to be an asterisk next to that, right? Amazon Prime is Amazon's eclectic but essential service offering unlimited Netflix-style movie and TV streaming, one free e-book loan per month, and, arguably best of all, free two-day shipping on everything you buy. It normally costs $79 per year.
However, if you sign up for a new American Express Blue Cash card and spend at least $1,000 in the first three months, you'll get a free one-year Amazon Prime subscription. You'll also get 50 or 100 "reward dollars" depending on whether you get the Everyday or Preferred version of the card.
There's a similar offer on Amex Platinum and Enhanced Business Gold cards, but those have higher spending requirements. See the offer FAQ page for all the details. Oh, and about that asterisk? This deal is good only for new Amex customers and new Prime members. If you're among them: sweet!
2. Save 20 percent on an iTunes gift card
Here's a no-brainer for the gift shopper: For a limited time, OfficeMax has a $50 iTunes gift card for $40 shipped. (Shipping would normally add another $2.49 to the total.) Scroll down past the product description, then look at the available card options; it's the first one in the list.
This is a physical card you'll get in the mail, not a printed voucher like with a lot of iTunes gift-card discounts. Score!
3. This laptop is how much?!
How about a full-featured laptop for about the price of a Chromebook? Sure to sell out, Newegg has the Acer Aspire E1-530-4416 15.6-inch laptop for $249.99 shipped when you apply coupon code NAFBF1122DB2 at checkout. (You must be a registered, signed-in Newegg newsletter subscriber.)
This is a fairly bare-bones machine, to be sure, with a 1.8GHz Intel Pentium processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and no optical drive. However, it runs Windows 8 and features Bluetooth 4.0, an HDMI output, and three USB ports (one of them USB 3.0). Not too shabby.
That is an insanely low price on a new laptop, a deal I suspect you won't see beat even on Black Friday.
4. Make the move to Windows 8 -- free
Calling all Windows XP users: Are you ready to cut those OS apron strings and make the move to a modern Windows? Like, say, the one in that Acer Aspire? (If not, well, can't say I blame you. But eventually you'll have no choice.) Migrating all your programs, data, and settings can be a (huge) hassle, but Laplink wants to help.
For a limited time, Laplink is offering its PCmover Home utility free for Windows XP users. Just click that little "Free for XP users" link below the bright orange Buy Now button, then follow the three-step registration/download/activation process.
Near as I can tell, there are no strings attached (other than the need to register for a Laplink account).
5. The last good digital photo frame
The Kodak Pulse was the last (and perhaps only) really good digital photo frame, in part because it had its own e-mail address so friends, family members, and you could send new pictures directly to it. But don't get me started on how badly Kodak mangled that now-discontinued product.
I've been on the prowl for a comparable replacement, and there's only one. Thankfully, it's on sale! Sears has the Pix-Star PXT510WR02 10.4-inch wireless digital photo frame for $169, plus around $6 for shipping. (Sales tax may also apply.) It's perhaps the most feature-rich digital frame I've found, and check out the user reviews on Amazon (where it sells for $189.95).
For grandparents in particular, digital frames make awesome gifts -- but only if they support Wi-Fi and e-mail. (The frame, not the grandparents.) This one covers both. Oh, and Ebates is currently offering six percent back on Sears purchases, so you stand to save another $10 or so. (You remember Ebates, right? I .)
OK, sound off: who's in for what?
Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.
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