amazon prime

A Comprehensive Guide to Amazon Prime

August 9, 2022

If you’re not a Prime member, you probably have questions about what it is and if it’s worth the subscription fee. The benefits of Amazon Prime go beyond merely faster shipment. Members of this subscription service have access to a number of Amazon benefits. For many shoppers, just the shipping benefits make Amazon Prime a no-brainer.

An Amazon Prime membership is required if you wish to shop on Amazon Prime Day. Prime has a lot of benefits, but a subscription is not free. For free 2-day shipping, a normal Amazon Prime membership costs $139 per year, which may seem expensive. Therefore, it is understandable that some people are reluctant to join the 200 million Amazon Prime subscribers.

This article will explain what Amazon Prime is and all the benefits of membership to assist you in making a well-informed decision. Here is everything you need to know about Amazon Prime, from expedited shipping to access to Amazon discounts. 

What Is Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime is a subscription service offered by Amazon. It offers discounts to its members, access to exclusive entertainment and shopping services, and more.

A premium subscription to Amazon Prime is available for $139 annually or $14.99 each month. There are many benefits available to Prime subscribers. The best reward, though, is free two-day shipping on the majority of Amazon’s merchandise. In 2021, Amazon said that they have more than 200 million paid Prime members globally. 

Brief History of Amazon Prime

When Amazon Prime first surfaced in 2005, the company initially charged $79 a year for a membership and provided members with perks like two-day free shipping. This looked like a pipe dream at the time, and it has continued to be a significant driver of people subscribing to Prime. However, Amazon has significantly increased the benefits that members receive over time, including fashion and entertainment, savings, and other benefits. 

The pandemic led to a sharp increase in Amazon Prime membership. Former CEO Jeff Bezos claimed there were more than 200 million Prime subscribers globally in a letter to Amazon shareholders in April 2021. However, the company has not given any revised membership figures since. Before that figure, over 150 million people throughout the world were Prime members of Amazon as of January 2020. 

The pandemic may have played a big part in the high number of Amazon Prime subscribers, though. In addition to being compelled to stay at home, people were becoming more and more reliant on delivery services to buy anything from food to office supplies. 

The Benefits of Amazon Prime

The top benefits of Amazon Prime are listed below. Shipping, entertainment, and shopping make up the three areas that we’ve divided it into. 

Amazon Prime Shipping Benefits

The most popular benefit of Amazon Prime is that it facilitates and lowers the cost of shipping. 

  • Free two-day shipping: The Prime logo may be found next to the price of thousands of items on Amazon, letting you know that you won’t have to pay for shipping and that the item will arrive at your door in two days or less. Always keep an eye out for the Prime logo as it is the easiest method to save money while purchasing on Amazon.
  • Free one-day and same-day delivery: You might have the option of choosing Prime Next-Day or Same-Day delivery if you place an Amazon order before noon. Compared to the standard two-day delivery, these options allow you to order and receive your goods more quickly. Please be advised that not every item qualifies for expedited shipment and that it is not always free. $2.99 will be required for expedited shipping if your order is less than $25. However, there are no charges if it exceeds $25. 
  • Multiple deliveries scheduled for Amazon Day: You can choose to have your packages delivered on Amazon Day when placing a purchase. With this benefit, you can select any day of the week (other than Sunday) to get all of your orders at once. Amazon Day deliveries are available for almost all Prime items. Its flexibility is an additional wonderful benefit. Even if you’ve already ordered something on Amazon Day, you are able to select a different shipping method for the remaining items you place. You’re never obligated to get deliveries on Amazon Day.
  • Earn rewards when you use No-Rush Shipping: Consider utilizing the No-Rush option if you want to save even more money on delivery. This option will cause your delivery to be delayed for days, but once it does, you’ll get rewards like free music downloads, credit toward future Amazon purchases, and more.
  • Release date deliveries: Prior to their general release, several products are available for preorder to Amazon Prime subscribers. Amazon will reserve your order and send the item as soon as it becomes available (sometimes on the same day). Sometimes there are additional fees associated with shipping on release day, which vary depending on the product. However, Amazon will reimburse you for the delivery fee if your item doesn’t arrive at your address on the day of release. 
  • Free two-hour shipping: Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods are two distinct grocery store brands that are owned and run by Amazon. Having a Prime membership simply means that you can order groceries from either brand online and have them delivered in as little as two hours to your home. However, not all locations offer grocery delivery services, and you’ll need to place an order that meets a minimum requirement that varies by location.

Amazon Prime Shopping Benefits

In addition to lowering shipping costs, Prime also grants you access to special offers and items. 

  • Amazon Prime Day: Prime Day, an annual sale day with thousands of popular items, is the best time to shop on Amazon. Only Prime members are eligible for the discounts during Prime Day, which might result in single-day savings that exceed the cost of your annual membership. Prime Day is actually a two-day event despite its name.
  • Amazon Fresh: As previously mentioned, one of Amazon’s two grocery brands is Amazon Fresh. However, only Prime members can shop from Amazon Fresh online. From canned products to fresh produce and toiletries, Amazon Fresh has everything you’d find at your local supermarket. Additionally, if your order totals a particular amount, you can be qualified for free two-hour shipping.
  • Amazon Pharmacy and Amazon Prime Rx: With the help of the Prime Rx database, Amazon Prime members can identify their prescription drugs, shop around for the best deal, and pick them up from their preferred pharmacy. Additionally, customers can have it delivered by placing an order directly from Amazon Pharmacy. Note that any discounts you receive from Prime Rx cannot be combined with insurance. A choice between the two is required.
  • Earn VIP points with Zappos: Amazon’s online shoe shop Zappos rewards Prime subscribers with added benefits. In addition to receiving free delivery on every order, you will double your VIP points and be able to access exclusive offers.
  • Free Grubhub Plus subscription: Grubhub Plus is available to all Amazon Prime subscribers for a full year. This benefit typically costs $9.99 a month and includes periodic offers for free food or discounts, zero delivery fees on orders over $12, and other perks.
  • Prime coupon: Customers have an additional means of saving money thanks to Prime Coupons. You can get coupons for up to 30% off the price at the checkout for hundreds of Amazon products each day. If a coupon is available for the item you’re viewing, it will be displayed beneath the price.

Amazon Prime Entertainment Benefits

Shipping products quickly to its subscribers isn’t just what Amazon does; they also run a massive entertainment empire. 

  • Prime Video: You can watch thousands of movies and TV shows, including Amazon’s original series, for free with Prime Video. It also features a handful of shows that are available for purchase and rental but cannot be streamed. Subscribers of Prime can also purchase additional subscriptions to more than 100 premium channels, such as Showtime, HBO, and CBS All Access, for a fee. 
  • Prime Music: Amazon offers a streaming music service called Prime Music. More than 2 million songs are available for ad-free, on-demand streaming with Prime Music. Additionally, you can upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited for an additional $8.99 a month, which boosts the selection to 60 million songs and enables you to download them for offline listening on any smartphone device. 
  • Prime Reading: Prime Reading offers unlimited access to a vast collection of comics, books, magazines, and more, making it ideal for Kindle owners. While you cannot rent physical books, you may download ebooks and read them on your iPhone, Android, or iPad via the Kindle app.
  • Prime Gaming: This benefit, which was formerly known as Twitch Prime, allows Prime members a free monthly subscription to any Twitch channel. It also includes free monthly games, free downloadable content for select popular games, and a unique badge for all of your Twitch messages.
  • Amazon Kids Plus: Amazon Kids Plus (formerly known as FreeTime Unlimited) is a subscription service that allows you and your kids access to kid-friendly books, movies, television shows, apps, and games. Each of the three age group categories that Kids Plus offers has its own set of applications and features. Kids Plus is available to Prime members for $4.99 per month or $48 per year. Amazon also provides a free trial of one month, or the first three months for $4.99, if you want to try it out. 
  • Amazon Book Box: Amazon gives you the ability to order a box of hand-selected children’s books every month through the Amazon Book Box service, which is available only to Prime subscribers. You have a choice between four different age groups, just like Kids Plus. Furthermore, you have the option of selecting a delivery schedule for your box, which can be monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly. The books you receive are yours to keep as well. Book Box is priced at $16.99 for the first shipment and $19.99 for each subsequent box.

Other Great Amazon Prime Bonuses

Highlighted below are two other excellent Amazon Prime benefits. Although these two benefits don’t fall under the other categories, they are nonetheless valuable.

Prime Household

In order for the entire family to benefit from Prime, two adults, up to four teens, and four child profiles can all be part of the same “Household.” These perks include free shipping, Prime Video, and Prime Photos, among others. Apps, ebooks, audiobooks, and games are among the other types of content that they can share.

Linking accounts also allows adults to impose parental restrictions on digital content (for kids) and approve orders before they are placed (for teens). 

Amazon Photos

You have unrestricted storage and sharing options for photos on your PCs, smartphones, and tablets. Additionally, up to five people may share this unlimited photo storage. Additionally, 5 GB will be made available for files and videos. Since Amazon devices already have Amazon Images loaded, your Fire TV and Echo Show may also be used to see your photos.

Amazon Prints offers free standard and expedited shipping on all picture prints and other photo gifts. 

Can Subscribers Share Amazon Prime Benefits?

It’s important to note that Amazon Prime subscribers can share their benefits at no extra charge. By registering for Amazon Household, two adults with different Amazon accounts can divide the monthly or yearly price in half.

It’s ideal to do this with someone you’re close to because the accounts are connected by address and payment methods, such as a spouse or close friend. 

Can I Offer Amazon Prime as a Gift?

Yes. Simply go to Amazon Prime’s gifting page, add it to your cart, and then follow the prompts to learn how to give a friend or family member a one-year subscription. Click the “This item is a gift” box in your cart before proceeding to the checkout process; the remaining fields can be filled in later when you pay.

How Can I Sign Up to be a Prime Subscriber?

Visit the Amazon Prime website and follow the instructions. You will require both a credit card and a free Amazon account.

After that, go to your account and choose Manage Prime Membership if you decide you no longer want the subscription. If you’re already a member and don’t want to start a paid subscription, click End Membership. Otherwise, click Do Not Continue if you’re a free trial user. 

What Is the Cost of Amazon Prime Subscription?

Depending on the plan you select, Amazon Prime will cost you money; however, you can test it out for thirty days without paying a dime. The payment plans are outlined below, along with what each one entails: 

  • Prime monthly subscription ($14.99 monthly): You will pay roughly $180 a year if you want to spread out your payments and still receive all of the perks of Prime. However, a Prime subscription costs $6.99 per month if you get certain types of government assistance.
  • Prime annual subscription ($139 annually): The entire membership is a one-time payment of $139 each year. Hence, paying this amount upfront will save money over time. 
  • Prime student subscription: With a verified school email address, students can sign up for a free six-month trial of Prime Student before paying a discounted annual membership fee of $69 (or $7.49 per month). 
  • Prime Video subscription ($8.99 per month): Your benefits are limited to streaming unlimited TV shows and movies on Amazon with this subscription. You should budget for about $108 a year. 

Please be aware that when you sign up, Amazon keeps a record of your credit card information. If, after your free trial has ended, you decide you no longer want the membership, be sure to log into your account and cancel it. Otherwise, the membership fee will be charged. 

Is Amazon Prime Membership Worth It?

Whether or not an Amazon Prime membership is worthwhile depends on your shopping habits, whether or not you’re buying for an entire household, and how much use you make of the aforementioned benefits.

Free shipping alone is often enough to convince folks that the price is worthwhile. That might be enough to sign up for the service if your annual shipping costs exceed $139. 

Another way to know is entertainment streaming. With an annual membership costing $139, Amazon Prime is less expensive than both the Netflix regular plan and the commercial-free Hulu plan. Amazon Prime Music, another perk of Prime, offers access to a rather feature-rich music streaming service. You’ll recoup the cost of Amazon Prime if the variety of videos and music is so wide that you’d think about canceling your subscription to other services.

Other factors to take into account include the convenience of having your products delivered in days as opposed to weeks or not having to go grocery shopping frequently. 

By signing up for the free trial, you can determine whether an Amazon Prime membership is valuable. After the trial ends, the decision to make the investment in the subscription service is yours.

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