Black Friday 2020 is inching ever closer but it’s shaping up to be unlike any we’ve ever seen before. A few years ago, shoppers were able to hit retailer websites and automatically score the best deals without much hassle. Now? Much of that has changed as nearly every retailer is offering up membership program – paid or free – that put some deals behind a paywall of sorts. So whether it’s Amazon Prime or Target RedCard, chances are shoppers will run into some barriers during Thanksgiving week while shopping for the best offers. Below you’ll find a step-by-step look at some of the major reward programs out there, if you need to sign-up, and how to do so before Black Friday.
What do membership programs get you on Black Friday?
At its core, being enrolled in membership programs on Black Friday ensures that you’ll have access to all of the best deals. It will also mean expedited shipping in some instances and even extra discounts, too. But not all membership programs are created equal or worth your time. Here’s a look at some of the major players and our recommendations on whether a sign-up is a good idea before Thanksgiving week.
There are only two paid membership programs on our list today and Amazon Prime is the big one. For better or worse, signing up for Amazon’s membership program is a necessity when it comes to Black Friday shopping. Much like Prime Day, we expect Amazon to hold a number of its best deals for Prime members, or at a minimum, offer early access exclusively to its paid shoppers first.
We’re not even mentioning the added perks of next-day shipping and other bonuses like access to Amazon’s expansive streaming platform of movies, TV shows, and music. The verdict? Unfortunately, you probably need to lock-in a Prime membership if you’re really wanting to make the most of Black Friday.
My Best Buy
Best Buy’s free membership program has often flown under the radar but in recent years we’ve seen more and more perks available here. That includes early access to deals, which we fully expect to happen this Black Friday. Look for Best Buy to offer up a number of notable promotions for its My Best Buy members in the lead up to Thanksgiving week, making this membership program all the more valuable.
If you’re not yet a My Best Buy member, there’s no reason to not sign-up. It’s free and there will only be added bonuses as we get closer to this year’s big shopping event.
Target Circle and RedCard
Target’s situation is a bit more complicated. While both Target Circle and RedCard are free to sign-up for, the two programs offer different perks. Target Circle delivers 1% earnings on top of the usual 5% discount if you have a RedCard membership too. Target Circle members also get early access to some deals. RedCard perks are more limited in that way.
If you’re cool with a more traditional debit card or credit card situation, then RedCard is worth a look in the lead-up to Black Friday. But giving up any additional information or connecting bank accounts may be a non-starter for some.
That leaves us with the new kid on the block. Walmart+ is a $98 per year commitment with a 15-day trial upfront. It’s unclear at this point what the perks might be on Black Friday for Walmart+ customers. It’s largely geared more towards in-store shopping or at a minimum, those that pick up groceries via Walmart. You can learn more about this program in our previous coverage.
If we had to choose between Walmart+ and Amazon Prime, the answer is pretty easy. The perks at this point of Amazon Prime are more worth your money than anything Walmart+ has shown so far.
Keep it locked to 9to5Toys for all the latest Black Friday news
We’re expecting to see plenty of additional Black Friday news roll in throughout the coming weeks as retailers gear up for what’s certain to be a November to remember. As always, our Black Friday guide will be your place for all of the latest news and deals.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.