Most people think of Amazon Prime as an overpriced way to get free shipping, but there are so many hidden Amazon features and perks that get overlooked. Case in point: Prime Student, an incredible value for college students across the United States.
College is tough. You have to juggle your coursework, your hobbies, and your social life — all with very little money to spare. Amazon understands, which is why they provide several ways for students to save time, money, and energy.
If you’re a college student, or if you still have access to your college email account, then you’ll want to keep reading. Here are all the benefits you get with Prime Student and how you can take advantage of it right now for maximum savings.
1. 6-Month Free Trial
The normal trial length for Amazon Prime is one month. By signing up with a valid .EDU email address, the free trial becomes six months. “Prime Student” is this extended free trial period.
Note that while Prime Student does provide access to many Prime features, it doesn’t grant access to all Prime features. For the rest of this article, we’ll focus on student-relevant features that are available during the Prime Student extended free trial.
2. Full Prime Membership for 50% Off
Once your Prime Student trial ends, Amazon gives you a great discount on Prime itself: renew at a price of $49 per year until you graduate. Compared to the normal price of $99 per year, you’re getting the full benefits of Prime for half off (including the newer Prime benefits).
Once you switch over to a full Prime account, you’ll unlock the ability to earn $10 student referral bonuses. Use the link Amazon gives you, share it with your friends, and you’ll get a $10 Amazon credit for every person who signs up for a Prime Student trial.
If $49 per year is too much, you can always opt for the $10.99-per-month Prime plan. This is a smart option if you can consolidate all your Prime activity to one or two months (e.g. do all of your gift shopping for the year in December or only stream Prime Video during the summer).
3. Free 2-Day Shipping
Perhaps the biggest benefit of Prime Student is the beloved free 2-day shipping.
The average cost of shipping on Amazon is between $5 and $10 per cart — way more if you’re ordering heavy items like televisions, furniture pieces, dehumidifiers, or bulk cat litter. Even if we assume a low shipping rate of $5 per cart, the savings are enormous over the course of a year.
Think about how useful this can be! You’re a student. Let’s say you want to throw a party for a friend next week. Instead of walking out of campus and across town to buy supplies, you can get it done on Amazon in 10 minutes and have it arrive in just two days. No shipping costs!
4. College Deals and Discounts
Amazon offers several ways to cut down item prices — including Deals of the Day, Lightning Deals, and Coupons — but the one that should interest you most is the section for College Deals.
This section is full of items relevant to college students: laptops and tablets, mattresses, data drives, office software, entertainment gadgets, beauty and personal care, backpacks, apparel, and so much more. The deals are fantastic, with some items slashed up to 50 percent off.
5. Textbook Rentals
As a college student, overpriced textbooks will eat up your budget in no time. That’s why many, including myself, recommend that you rent instead of buy whenever possible. Fortunately, Amazon has an entire section dedicated to Textbook Rentals.
With Prime Student, textbook rentals are shipped in two days for free, and you may get a discount up to 90 percent off for certain textbooks. The category coverage is comprehensive and ranges across Business to Humanities, Computer Science to Law, Journalism to Medicine.
6. Trade In Used Textbooks
Did you know that Amazon has a Trade-In Program? You can send items to Amazon using a pre-paid shipping label that they provide, and in return you get an Amazon Gift Card equal to the item’s value. This can be done for all kinds of items, but it’s especially good for textbooks.
Campus bookstores are a rip-off. When I was in college, I was lucky to get 10 percent of a book’s value when I traded it in at the end of a semester. With Amazon, you’ll get much more. And the best part? You can trade in textbooks even if you didn’t originally buy them on Amazon (but only if Amazon currently stocks the book).
7. Free Ebooks, Magazines, and Comics
One of the three main Prime features that are included with Prime Student is Prime Reading.
Prime Reading grants unlimited access to thousands of ebooks, magazines, and comics at no additional charge. It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet of fiction and nonfiction. The only downside? They’re only available in Kindle format, which means you need a Kindle device or the Kindle app.
8. Unlimited Photo Storage
The second main Prime feature included with Prime Student is Prime Photos.
While regular Amazon users get 5 GB of cloud storage for photos, videos, and files, Prime members get unlimited storage for photos plus 5 GB for videos and files. As a college student, you’re going to take a lot of photos, right? Don’t underestimate free storage!
9. Unlimited Streaming of Movies and TV Shows
The last main Prime feature included with Prime Student is Prime Video.
Entertainment can be a huge drain on a student’s budget. Why pay over $13 for two hours at the cinema when you can stream thousands of movies and TV shows for free? You can watch anywhere you can take your laptop, and you can even watch in your pajamas.
10. Twitch Prime
Speaking of entertainment, if you like playing video games, then Prime Student offers even more value in the form of Twitch Prime.
Twitch Prime grants a bunch of premium features for the game-streaming site Twitch. In addition to ad-free viewing and exclusive chat emojis, you also get free redeemable perks for various video games (such as loot boxes for Overwatch).
With Prime Student, you also get one free Twitch channel subscription that lasts the duration of the free trial. If you renew with a full Prime account, you get one free month-long Twitch channel subscription every 30 days. See our guide to Twitch Prime for more details.
What’s Not Included in Prime Student?
Some Prime benefits aren’t available during the Prime Student extended trial. The more notable and in-demand features that are restricted include:
- Prime Membership Sharing
- Prime Now
- Prime Music
- Prime Pantry
- Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
- Audible Channels
In 2016, Amazon ran a student scholarship program that gave away $5,000 scholarships plus $500 Amazon gift cards to 50 Prime Students. It’s unclear whether this will happen again, so we’re assuming it was a one-time event. If Amazon runs it again, consider it a bonus!
How to Sign Up for Prime Student
All you have to do is go to the Prime Student sign-up page and register with your .EDU email address for your college or university. You’ll also have to enter your expected graduation year.
At this point, to forgo Prime Student is to leave money on the table. If you order on Amazon even two or three times in a year, the savings on shipping will pay for itself at the student rate. Prime Video can save you money on Netflix/Hulu costs. The discounts can save you even more.
We think it’s worth it. Definitely.
How do you feel about Prime Student? Will you be taking advantage of it? If not, why not? Share your thoughts and experiences with us down in the comments!
Image Credit: Billion Photos via Shutterstock.com