Free shipping, free 2-day delivery, and Amazon Instant Video: three of biggest reasons why more than 20 million users have an ongoing subscription to Amazon Prime. But did you know that those benefits are only scratching the surface?
Honestly, if Amazon Prime consisted only of those three features it’d still be well worth the price tag, but Amazon has gone above and beyond with what they offer. The truth is, Amazon Prime has so many more benefits that people have forgotten about or simply don’t realize exist.
Do you have a Prime membership? Here’s how you can extract the most value from it. If you don’t have a Prime membership yet, perhaps these benefits will be enough to justify the $99 annual subscription.
Prime Membership Sharing
Did you know that you can share your membership with up to four other people?
Yes, that’s right. Four other people can make use of your shipping benefits without you needing to give them direct access to your account (i.e. giving them your account password, which might be a breach of the Amazon Terms of Service).
The only stipulation is that these people must live at the same address as you. Or, in other words, membership can only be shared with members of the same household.
To invite somebody, you’ll need to know their name, birthday, and email address. When they accept the invitation, they’ll need to know your birthday.
Only shipping benefits are shared. Other benefits, like the ones we’re about to explore, are not shared.
Unlimited Photo Storage
All Amazon customers start with 5GB of free data storage with Amazon’s Cloud Drive. This includes anything from photos to videos, documents to music files, and whatever else you might want to store on there.
As an Amazon Prime member, your free cloud storage plan is expanded to allow for unlimited photo files as part of the Prime Photos program. All photos — whether previously uploaded or uploaded in the future — do not count against your cloud storage data limit.
Note: Photos must be smaller than 2GB. Supported formats include JPEG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, and RAW formats for Nikon (NEF), Canon (CR2), and Sony (ARW) cameras. Prime Photos is only meant for personal, non-commercial use.
Ad-Free Music Streaming
Though there’s a lot of entertainment value in Amazon Instant Video, it’s not the only streaming service offered by Amazon. If you listen to a lot of online music streams then Prime Music will flip your world upside down.
Amazon maintains a library of over 1 million songs and albums that can be accessed by any Prime member for free. Prime Music includes unlimited skips, no ads, and access to handcrafted Prime Playlists. Don’t like them? Feel free to create your own playlists instead.
Note: Prime Music is only available to Prime members with a U.S. billing address and a payment method issued by a U.S. bank.
Flat-Fee Grocery Deliveries
Amazon has a program called Prime Pantry that allows you to order a box of groceries for $5.99. What counts as a grocery item? It’s not easy giving a hard-and-fast rule, but eligible items will be marked as Prime Pantry items when shopping.
Once the order is placed, all Prime Pantry items will be shipped together in a single Prime Pantry box. Due to air shipping regulations, Prime Pantry boxes can only be shipped by ground. Most orders will arrive within 4 business days.
Note: Prime Pantry will only ship to addresses within the contiguous United States. That being said, they cannot be shipped to P.O. boxes or Amazon Lockers either.
Kindle eBook Rentals
Any Amazon Prime member who owns a Kindle ereader, Fire tablet, or Fire phone can rent ebooks for free from the Kindle Owners Lending Library. Rented ebooks have no due dates and can be shared across any devices connected to your Amazon account.
The only restriction is that you can only borrow one ebook per calendar month. If you already have an ebook borrowed, you must return it before you can borrow another one.
There’s also the Kindle First program, which allows Prime members to download one free ebook every month. Titles in the Kindle First program are not-yet-released ebooks that are made available as Kindle First picks one month prior to their official release.
Free Months of Prime
If you’re currently enrolled in a college or university and you have a valid .edu email address, you can register as part of the Amazon Student program which grants you a six-month free trial for Prime. When the trial ends, you can upgrade to a full Amazon Prime membership for 50% off.
Note: This free trial only includes free shipping, free 2-day delivery, and unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos. Prime Instant Video, Prime Music, Kindle Owners Lending Library, and membership sharing are only available to those with a full Amazon Prime membership.
As for everyone who already has Prime, here’s a bit of fine print that you probably overlooked: on any order that qualifies for Guaranteed Accelerated Delivery but arrives after the guaranteed delivery date, you can contact Amazon’s support center and request a free one-month Prime extension.
There are a few conditions that must be met in order for the extension request to be validated but most orders will qualify without issue.
Amazon Prime: Is It Worth It?
My answer is… Yes, Yes, Yes! At $99 for an annual subscription, that’s the equivalent of $8.25 per month. What other online subscription offers this much goodness for such a low price? Absolutely nothing comes to mind.
Then again, if you stand against Amazon for personal reasons, you probably don’t care too much about the bang-for-the-buck value. In that case, you should try shopping at one of these reliable Amazon alternatives.
Did you know about these “secret” benefits? Are they enough to get you subscribing to Amazon Prime? What else would you like to see included in an Amazon Prime membership? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!