Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to wait for the products that we found online? While buying your favorite items online can certainly save you money because of online deals that might not be available in stores, the downside is having to wait for your purchase.
Amazon Prime eliminates that problem with their free two-day shipping, along with a bundle of other can’t miss features that you’ll want to take advantage of.
What is Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime is an extension of Amazon’s services as a massive online retailer. The subscription renews once a year, for $99. In recent years, Amazon customers have been given the opportunity to pay for an Amazon Prime subscription on a monthly basis for a fee of $8.99 each month.
When you sign up for Amazon Prime, you’re eligible for Prime’s two-day shipping on a wide range of eligible products, you’re given access to the site’s video library which contains thousands of television shows and movies, and if you’re a reader, you have access to Amazon's free Kindle library.
How Much Does It Cost?
While Amazon is famous for advertising that you can get one year of Amazon Prime for only $99 on their website's banner, there are a few different ways that pricing works with the online retailer.
Try It For Free
For some of us, deciding whether or not to spend $99 on a service that we may not use immediately is a big decision. Amazon has kept that in mind, and they have a longstanding offer that old and new Amazon customers can experience the perks that come with an Amazon Prime subscription for 30 days.
If you don’t cancel it by the end of the 30 days, it will automatically charge the yearly fee of $99 to the main payment method that you have on file.
Standard Annual Fee
The perks that come with signing up for an Amazon Prime subscription is certainly enough to make you think twice about passing on the subscription service. However, an even bigger sell on it is that you will pay the same yearly fee of $99, regardless of how often you use the perks that you’re allowed because of your Amazon Prime subscription.
Discount for Students
Are you already worried about your student loans hanging over your head? Amazon Prime is always offering a student discount for college students. With the Student Amazon Prime membership, you'll receive a six month free trial of the service with all of its perks and a couple of bonuses like Twitch Prime.
Twitch Prime is great for gamers, and it allows you to stream gaming content and have free access to select games. Additionally, you’ll be able to refer a friend that’s also enrolled in college, and receive $10 when they sign up for an Amazon Prime Student membership.
One of the standout features of the Amazon Prime membership is that Amazon has revolutionized the way that we make online purchases. Amazon Prime members can enjoy the perks of two-day shipping, same-day and one-day shipping, and the premium features that come with Prime Now.
Frequent Amazon shoppers are used to seeing the Prime banner on purchases that are eligible for two-day shipping with your Prime membership. Amazon promises that you'll have your purchase, whether it's furniture, clothing, accessories, or books within two days if it is a Prime eligible product.
This feature is available to Amazon Prime subscribers that live in the continental U.S. with few exclusions.
Same Day & One-Day
For the lucky Amazon subscribers that fall under Amazon's list of eligible U.S. addresses, you can have your favorite products delivered to you the same day that you order them! There are a few qualifications to take advantage of this nifty perk, and they are:
- You must meet the minimum order total of $35.
- Double check that your zip code is eligible, using the online Amazon tool when you search for your favorite product.
- Meet the cutoff. If you’d like to have your product by 9 PM the same day that you place your order, be sure to place your order before noon.
Prime Now is another Amazon Prime perk that allows customers to order some of their favorite household items and their other favorite products and to receive it within an hour. Amazon Prime takes it a step further by offering restaurant delivery deliveries from your favorite local stores, and online products that are available under Prime Now.
You can sit on your couch and wait for your burger delivery in these cities: Chicago, San Diego, Austin, Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Tampa, Orlando, Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Columbus, Las Vegas, Portland OR, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Seattle, Dallas, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Los Angeles and Orange County.
Rewards With No-Rush Shipping
If your big event isn't until a week from now, but you still have Amazon Prime, Amazon is offering you the option to forgo your two-day shipping perk in favor of accepting a free reward. You can use your rewards for purchasing e-books on your wish list, groceries and purchases from the Prime Pantry, and blockbuster movies on Amazon Instant Video.
Take advantage of huge discounts on select products. Lightning Deals are items available Amazon Prime Users for purchase for a select time. The only catch here is that you’ll need to complete your order fast, or you might miss out on the chance to purchase your product.
Prime Day & Other Exclusive Sales
An Amazon Prime membership can also grant you access to all of the exclusive deals offered on Prime Day. You can look forward to this big sale day in July each year.
Prime Instant Video – TV Shows and Movies
Amazon Prime Instant Video is Amazon's streaming service that will always be included in an Amazon Prime subscription. You can watch thousands of shows and movies, and you’re given exclusive access to Amazon’s original series.
The Amazon Kindle is Amazon’s e-reader, which now comes in a variety of styles, colors, and models, including the new Kindle Oasis, their very first water-resistant e-reader. If you’re an Amazon customer, you don’t need the Kindle to still enjoy Kindle eBooks. Simply download the Kindle reading app on your IOS or Android device, and enjoy all of the affordable books available to you.
Free Kindle Books
There are some free kindle books available in the Kindle store; this is especially true for books that are the first couple in a successful series.
Kindle Lending Library
If you own a Kindle e-reader and you have an Amazon Prime Membership, you can take advantage of the Kindle Lending Library. The Kindle Lending Library gives you access to over
800,000 books and these titles include current and former best sellers.
The Kindle First Program is an addition that gives customers the opportunity to have the first look at a new book that's been selected by an editor about one month before it's official release date. This perk is free with an Amazon Prime membership, and you're allowed one free Kindle First book each month. There are six new editor picks available each month.
Prime Reading is another extension of the Amazon Prime membership, with this perk, customers can read any book, magazine, or comic that they’d like to view. There are some books that even come with Audible narration, and unlike the Kindle Lending Library, Amazon Prime members can read their favorites on any device using the free Kindle reading app.
Prime Photos – Unlimited Storage
Prime allows it's members to store up to 5 GB worth of photos, videos, documents, and other files in their Family Vault. Anyone listed on your family account can upload photos and videos into the Vault.
Streaming With Prime Music & Exclusive Live Events
As of 2017, Amazon has begun hosting its own live music events. The tickets to these are exclusively offered to Amazon Prime members, who can stream the event from their homes after purchasing the tickets.
Prime Pantry & AmazonFresh
In select cities, AmazonFresh will deliver groceries to Prime Members for an additional monthly fee of $14.99. However, all orders under $50 will be charged an additional service fee of $9.99, and the service does not make trips to dorms.
Prime Pantry is an additional grocery service that will deliver single items such as cereal, toothpaste, snacks, for a flat fee of $5.99. Amazon promises that most of it's Prime Pantry deliveries will arrive within four days.
Prime members will receive exclusive family-oriented coupons, offers, up to 20% off diaper and baby food subscriptions, if a 15% discount when your Baby Registry is completed. Amazon Family also offers age-based product recommendations for your child.
Amazon has partnered with Twitch, a social media platform designed to broadcast video games. With Twitch Prime, gamers are offered discount on pre-release box games, access to thousands of movies and tv shows, and commercial-free access to over a million free songs.
Amazon Prime subscribers are eligible for an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa signature card. This convenient card does not have an annual fee or foreign transaction fees. You can get a $70 Amazon gift card once your credit is approved. Here's how the cash back percentages work:
- Customers can receive 5% cash back for any purchases made on Amazon.com with the Prime Rewards Visa.
- Amazon Prime Visa cardholders can receive 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores.
- You’ll also receive 1% cashback on all other purchases that do not fall under the categories listed above.
While the Amazon Prime membership has plenty of perks like access to free movies, shows, and books, there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
For example, some prime customers might feel that they can’t utilize the full benefits of their membership because they don’t live in one of the densely populated areas that make same day deliveries or offer Prime Pantry services.
Additionally, there’s a drawback with the Kindle Lending Library, and you can only check out one book at a time, which is a problem if you have a large family that shares the Amazon Prime account.
How To Sign Up
If you think that you and your family could benefit from free, two-day shipping and deliveries from Prime Pantry and Prime Now, then you'll be excited to know that it's very easy to sign up.
If you already have an Amazon account, simply log in to your account and head on over to the Profile link, and select “Start your free trial.” After 30 days, the payment method that you have on file will be charged for the yearly fee of $99.
Amazon Prime vs. Netflix
In recent years, Amazon has been able to compete with the streaming service giant, Netflix. The Amazon Instant Video perk is a threat to its competitor, given that you can have the same access to your favorite shows and movies on top of other perks like free, two-day shipping and Prime Pantry deliveries.
However, Amazon does not carry some of your favorite Netflix original series like “Orange is The New Black,” “House of Cards” and a plethora of Netflix standup specials. Although Netflix offers those can't miss series, if you can't live without speedy shipping and access to free books, Amazon Prime could be the better value because of it's super affordable rate of $99 for a year.
Is It Worth The $99?
Ultimately, an Amazon Prime membership is an investment. The convenience that you're offered with some its perks like AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry, same-day or two-day shipping, can't be beaten.
However, if you don’t find that you already purchase a lot of products on Amazon, then it may not be the best fit for your family. You can always find out whether or not Amazon Prime is right for you by heading over to their site and starting your free trial today.