5 Ways to Get Cheap Microsoft Office and Microsoft Word Licenses

Microsoft Office is a useful tool for both study and work, but it doesn’t come cheap. If you are looking for the cheapest way to get Microsoft Office, there are methods you can use to get the productivity suite for a fraction of the price.

Here are a few ways to get Microsoft Office for cheap instead of buying it full price at the store.

1. Use Microsoft Office Student Plans

If you’re baffled by the price of Microsoft Office because you’re a student, you can get Office 365 for free. Not all students can claim this offer, as your institute needs to be registered with Microsoft to benefit from this plan. However, you should try to see if you can get Office for free.

To check if you are eligible, visit the official Office 365 Education page and enter your school email address in the box. If you’re eligible, you’ll receive a code for Office 365, which you can use right away.

It should be noted that this is not a lifetime gift. After you graduate from your current school, Microsoft may test you to see if you’re still eligible.

Otherwise, you’ll have to buy Office out of pocket. However, no worries; you’re still eligible to purchase the Microsoft alumni deal for $12 for a year.

While we’re on the subject, why not explore some of the great discounts you can get with a student email account? This is a great way to save some cash on a student budget.

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2. Use the Microsoft Office Online Website

Did you know that you can use Microsoft Office online for free? It doesn’t get an Office license, but it’s a great way to use Word without paying anything.

If you go to Office.com, you’ll see the entire Office suite is ready for you to use. All you need to do is sign in with your Microsoft account and you can start using Office at no extra cost.

Office Online supports uploading, editing, and downloading Office files from your computer. If you have a Word document you want to read but don’t have a word processor, you can upload it to Office Online to read.

So what’s the catch? Office Online is not as feature-rich as Office 365, and it lacks some useful features.

Microsoft will constantly remind you of this as you use it, encouraging you to purchase a subscription while you use Office Online. However, for a free alternative to Microsoft Office, it fits the bill.

3. Use Office mobile apps for Android and iOS

Speaking of free Office software, you can also find each component of Office for free on mobile devices. Again, getting an Office license isn’t exhaustive, but it’s still beneficial if you want to save money legally.

Both the Android and iOS app stores have them, and Microsoft is working on a more extensive, comprehensive Office app for later release.

Download: Word | Excel | PowerPoint | OneNote | OneDrive (Android)

Download: Word | Excel | PowerPoint | OneNote | OneDrive (iOS)

4. Use third-party retailers and hunt for sales

If you want to buy Microsoft Office legally, you should check out Microsoft Office deals from verified sellers. Some of them may have some great Microsoft Office 365 deals, and others may even list Office for less than Microsoft itself.

For example, the Microsoft Store currently lists Office 2019 at $149, but how much does Microsoft Office cost, such as Amazon?

As it turns out, you can buy a digital download on the Amazon store for less money. This is a great way to save money on Office while still using legitimate channels.

Buy Office 365 from Microsoft.com

5. Get Cheap Microsoft Office on Gray Market Stores

If none of the above works for you, then gray market is the best option for you. Gray market sites can offer huge Microsoft Office discounts that are hard to resist.


These sites are called “gray markets” because people sell keys without the permission or authorization of the original developer or publisher. This means that there is no guarantee that you will get what you pay for or that the developer will support the purchase.

So why bother with the gray market? Homely; their most competitive prices.

While Microsoft sells Office 2019 for $149 and Amazon sells it for $109, Kinguin is currently selling keys for as low as $35 – a $115 savings over Microsoft.

Ethical issues of stores in Gray Market

However, before you get your keys from a gray market store, consider why these keys are so cheap in the first place. After all, a sale like this doesn’t have a few downsides.

First, make sure you know who you’re buying from. Gray market stores often operate like eBay, where individuals and small companies list products. As such, scams can happen, to the point where some gray market stores require extra fees to protect your purchase.

Also, the seller can order a key for a low price because it’s an OEM key. They are not expected as retail keys, as you can only install OEM on one machine and only once. If that machine is lost or damaged, you’ll need to grapple with Microsoft tech support to reactivate it. If they say no, you’ll have to buy Office again.

In the end, gray market shops are a goldmine for thieves. Criminals can steal credit and debit cards, then use the money to buy multiple Office keys. They can then flip the Office keys on the gray market sites for less than retail price, then transfer the profits to their bank accounts.

What is an OEM key?

We’ve covered OEM keys briefly above, so it’s worth going into the details of what these are. You should consider OEM keys when purchasing licenses to avoid any future headaches.

OEM stands for “Original equipment manufacturer“and OEM-branded keys for computer manufacturers. If you’ve ever bought a computer or laptop with Office pre-installed, chances are it uses an OEM key.

Computer manufacturers and builders buy an OEM key and install it right into the device. You cannot use an OEM key to install Office on multiple machines; that’s what the retail version is for.

Therefore, if a computer with an OEM version of Office is stolen or damaged, you cannot reuse the key on a new computer. Some OEM keys will even identify if you changed the hardware on the machine and make the OEM invalid.

An OEM key is cheaper than buying a retail Office suite, so manufacturers can make Office available for their computers without raising prices. This is how manufacturers can sell laptops with Office pre-installed for the same price as the retail version of Office.

While using them outside of their intended use, it is not illegal to purchase OEM keys yourself. As long as the key is purchased through legitimate means, there is no reason to worry about the legitimacy of purchasing an OEM key.

Improve your productivity to reduce

The price of Microsoft Office can be quite high, but it does not have to cost you. By using the free versions, finding cheap deals or using the gray market website, you can get this powerful set of effective products for less.

If you want to use a free alternative to Office, don’t worry. There are plenty of alternatives out there, and a large number of them are well worth your time.

We hope you enjoy the items we recommend and discuss! MUO has affiliate and sponsored partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from some of your purchases. This won’t affect the price you pay and helps us make the best product recommendations.


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https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/microsoft-office-cheap/ 5 Ways to Get Cheap Microsoft Office and Microsoft Word Licenses

Sarah Ridley

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