Look, it’s 2022 and there still aren’t many reasons not to have Amazon Prime at this point. Even with the yearly subscription fee increases, it’s still a great deal for quick shipping. Additionally, there are a ton of Amazon Prime benefits.
Prime continues to add new features that are available to members. Some of these are well-known, like Prime Video. There are a ton of lesser-known benefits that we’ll get you up to speed on.
We’ve compiled a list of everything you can do with your Prime account. From baby registries and free ebooks to charity donations, there’s a lot of ground to cover. Let’s dive in.
Amazon Prime Early Access
First, did you even know about Amazon’s Lightning Deals page? It’s dope and gives members all sorts of deals. Those could be on Amazon’s own devices. Or maybe timely sales, like the current Back to School one.
The catch? Products are only available for a limited time and in limited quantities. On hot items, you’ll need to be ready to snag them as soon as they become available.
But did you know that with your Amazon Prime account, you get first access to Lightning Deals? Click the Prime Early Access deals checkbox on the left, and you’ll see them. As a Prime member, you’ll see these 30 minutes before anyone casually browsing Amazon.
Free ebooks for Prime members
Sadly, there isn’t an option for free physical copies of books. That would be an amazing perk, but this is nearly as good. Prime members do get access to many ebooks for the amazing cost of free. This lesser-known feature is called Prime Reading.
There are over 1,000 books available for Prime members to download. These include many classic fiction titles, including works like 1984, also autobiographies, and non-fiction titles available for your reading pleasure.
Oh, and you also get tons of audiobooks, magazines, and even comics via Comixology.
Kindle owners, you also need to be taking advantage of the First Reads program. This gives you one free book every month, from a choice of genres. Non-Prime users have to pay $1.99 if they want to choose a book.
Same-day, one-day, and 2-hour shipping options
We all know about Prime’s free, 2-day shipping benefits, but did you know that there is an ever-growing number of products available that are available for even quicker shipping? Because sometimes you don’t want to leave the house and really need that Game of Thrones box set with the quickness.
There are some stipulations, however. For Same-Day shipping, your order must be over $25. You can still get Same-Day if your order is smaller, but you’ll get charged $3 so it’s worth making the minimum.
All items must be available for Same-Day, you must order before the cut off time (usually around lunch), and be in one of the eligible zip codes.
Non-Prime members must pay $9.99 per Same-Day delivery, so you’re getting a huge deal here.
One-Day shipping doesn’t have a minimum order amount. It’s available coast-to-coast, and the promise is that you’ll get it by 9 PM the next day. The cutoff time for your zip code might be early though, in which case you’ll get it the day after.
Did you also know you can use your Prime Shipping benefits on Shopbop and Woot!? Now you do.
Now that Amazon owns Whole Foods, you can also get two-hour grocery delivery or one-hour pickup. This is available in over 2,000 US cities and towns, and it’s a great benefit to have. You don’t pay for the delivery, or service fees, but it’s nice to tip your delivery person.
The best part? Whole Foods bags your groceries up in sealed, strong paper bags. No chance of losing items in delivery, and no plastic bags – just recycle those paper ones afterward.
Some areas also get Amazon Fresh, where Amazon can deliver groceries to you.
Free GrubHub Plus
Newly announced ahead of this year’s Prime Day, Prime members now can get free GrubHub+ for a year. That means no delivery fees on unlimited delivery from local restaurants. What a deal.
Seriously, this almost refunds your entire Prime subscription fee, assuming you live in an area that has enough GrubHub-using restaurants.
Don’t like your porch looking like this? Prefer to be more environmentally conscious, before you get your stuff? Group all your Amazon purchases together with Amazon Day.
It lets you schedule all your weekly purchases to turn up on the same day, and often in the same box. That cuts down on packaging materials, and on the carbon emissions the delivery drivers make.
No-rush delivery credits
If you don’t need your purchase straight away, Amazon gives you credits for choosing a slower delivery date. No-Rush Shipping gives you a reward or a discount, so you’re kinda getting paid to shop.
This is usually $1 that can be applied to ebooks, digital music, videos, or even app purchases. It’s only for digital products currently, but sometimes Amazon does offer cash balance credits.
I use this all the time for things I don’t urgently need and use the credits to rent or buy movies that I know aren’t going to be streaming for a while.
Key by Amazon
Nobody wants their packages or groceries to sit out on the stoop. That’s just asking for trouble, so Amazon figured out how to deliver into your garage.
It’s called Key, and thanks to smart home partnerships, you can have packages put into your garage. Or your main door if you have a smart lock there. Now even if you’re not home, or if it’s raining, your packages will be protected.
Hand off returns to Kohl’s
Okay, this isn’t strictly a Prime benefit, but it is an often-overlooked Amazon one. You can handle all your returns at Kohl’s, which is often easier to find than your nearest UPS Store.
The best part? You don’t even need to box things up. Select Kohl’s Dropoff when arranging the return, and you’ll get a QR code that you’ll need in-store. Show that code to the associate at Kohl’s, and they’ll package everything up for you.
$10 off video game preorders
Amazon Prime members also get occasional $10 discounts when they preorder video games. There aren’t any eligible games right now, but I’ve used this multiple times in the past. The best thing here isn’t just the discount, but also getting the physical game on release day. Few online vendors will manage to do that.
Give to charity, with every order
Feel better about your Amazon order history and give a little back every time you buy something. AmazonSmile gives 0.5% of every eligible purchase to the charity of your choice.
And we really mean ‘your choice’. There are over a million 501(c)(3) organizations to choose from. Pick one, then order from smile.amazon.com, and everything is handled.
If you use the Amazon Shopping app, Amazon treats it as if you’d gone to the Smile website, every shopping trip.
Amazon Prime Day
Starting back in 2015 to lackluster reviews, Prime Day is basically an exclusive Black Friday-style deals day for Prime members. Prime Day in 2016 was better, but still not what members expected as far as deals were concerned.
Now it’s really two days of deals, although it’s still called Prime Day. Amazon likes to have this in mid-July, and this year is no exception.
Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy
Think of this as an in-store fitting room, but in the comfort of your own home. Order up to six items at once and keep them for seven days to try on. Send back what you don’t want, and you’ll be charged for what you keep.
You can also do Personal Shopper, which costs $4.99 per styling. Do a quiz to let Amazon’s stylists get to know you, and choose to get new looks monthly, bi-monthly, or every three months.
They’ll do the hard work, pick out up to 16 items, and you can choose up to eight to be delivered to your home. Again, like Try Before You Buy, you have seven days to decide what you’re keeping.
Unlimited Amazon Prime Photo storage
Here’s a handy fix for how quickly digital photo saving eats up your storage on other services. Prime members get unlimited, full-resolution photo storage in Amazon Photos. That storage stays if Prime is active.
Amazon used to also offer free video storage but changed that recently. Now you must pay extra for video storage capacity, but it’s still fairly priced compared to other cloud providers.
Amazon Kids+ at a discount
Amazon Kids+ is packed full of educational content for your kids, all curated by Amazon. You get a year when you buy one of the Kid’s versions of a Fire tablet, or it’s $7.99 a month normally.
Prime members save $3 a month, so all those apps, games, books, and videos will cost $4.99. You also get comprehensive parental controls, and age-appropriate options for what content is shown.
Amazon Prime Rx Savings
Did you know you could save on prescriptions with Prime? Amazon will take over your existing prescriptions, ship them to you for free, and you might get other discounts on top.
The only caveat, you’ll want to check with your existing pharmacy or online service to see which one is cheaper for you. The convoluted landscape of pharmacy pricing is something Amazon hasn’t yet conquered.
Saving on wireless plans
Prime members can save major cash from some of the nation’s wireless carriers. All plans are compatible with most unlocked devices, or you can buy an unlocked phone from the carrier. Amazon Prime members also get 10% back in credit every month.
Amazon private labels
You probably know that Amazon has its own devices and white-label brands. Most of these can be bought by anyone, but did you know some are limited to Prime members?
Amazon Elements is one, which has vitamins, nutritional supplements, and things like baby wipes. The cool thing about this private label? Take the Amazon Shopping app, scan a code on the product’s packaging, and Amazon will show you where every single ingredient was sourced. Yes, that means the water in the baby wipes is traced back to source. Neat.
Baby Registry Box
You can claim a free baby registry box, by creating a registry on Amazon with at least $10 of things on it. We did this before our little one was born, along with multiple other baby registry boxes. The Amazon one had some of the better things, like a swaddle cloth and some trial size baby care products.
Amazon Prime gives you more
If you do any online buying, you probably end up on Amazon more times than not, so for that reason alone Prime is worth the fee.
But just because you’re getting your money’s worth with free shipping, don’t let that stop you from taking advantage of many of the other features Prime has to offer. The ones listed above are lesser-known but great. Also make sure to check out Prime Video for some great original shows and movies and Prime Gaming, intended for gamers.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member and are looking to try it out, Amazon will give you 30-day free trial to try the service out. That’s not a bad deal. Give it a look to see if it’s right for you. If worse comes to worse, you can always get your money back.
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