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Amazon Prime is a great service. The basic feature of the $139 membership is that you can get almost anything on Amazon delivered for free in two days.
Personally, I’ve noticed that I now only buy items that are available through Amazon Prime. Amazon has trained me that if I can’t get an item in two days, then the world may come to an end. In recent years, Amazon even began offering next-day delivery for some items and, in some markets, same-day delivery on qualifying orders (though, during the present pandemic, shipping on many items has, for the moment, been slowed down, especially for nonessential items).
Over the past few months, I’ve stumbled across other benefits you get for free as an Amazon Prime member. Here are the best ones:
1. Unlimited Photo Storage
If you’re anything like me, your collection of digital pictures is spiraling out of control. There are plenty of services that will store all of your pictures online, but most either charge you or do not store full-resolution photos.
Prime customers get unlimited photo storage at no additional charge. Photos can be uploaded through your web browser, the Amazon Cloud Drive app, or with the Amazon Cloud Drive Photos app (available for Android and iOS).
2. Free Music Streaming
Streaming music is quickly becoming the primary way people listen to music these days. Services like Spotify Premium and Apple Music are great and provide you with an unlimited library of songs to access. Unfortunately, those services also charge $9.99 per month for individual plans or $14.99 for family plans. Enter Amazon Prime.
With Amazon Prime Music, you have access to thousands of the most popular artists and more than 2 million songs. There are no ads, and you can play specific songs (unlike Pandora). The one watch-out I’ve found is that their collection is nowhere near as big as Spotify or Apple Music. If you want access to an extensive collection through Amazon, you’ll have to pony up for an Unlimited subscription, which is $7.99 a month for Prime members. They have an app available for iOS and Android devices as well.
3. Free Book Lending
Here’s a new one that I just learned about. Amazon Prime members are allowed to borrow a free book from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library each month. The books can be delivered to any compatible device that is registered with your Amazon account, and there are thousands of books available to choose from.
4. Two-Hour Delivery Via Prime Now
In select cities, Amazon will deliver certain products in two hours for no additional charge. For an additional fee, you can even have the items delivered in one hour. To see if your city qualifies, go here and enter your zip code. They plan to roll out to more cities in the future.
When it started, Amazon Prime Now focused on dry good products consumers might need in a hurry, such as diapers or a phone charger. With Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, it added fresh groceries to its Prime Now offerings, and in some cities, you can order from local restaurants and other retailers as well.
To try out this feature, you can either use the Amazon website or download the Amazon Prime Now app (iOS and Android).
5. Free Service For College Students For 6 Months
Good news if you’re a college student: Through the Amazon Student program, you get Prime free for six months. All you need is a .edu email address. So even if you just graduated and still have your college email address, you can likely still take advantage of this offer.
And as a bonus, after the six-month trial, you can keep Amazon Prime for 50% off the regular membership rate.
6. Prime-Only Access To Early Deals
This is another one I didn’t know much about. Amazon Prime members get 30-minute early access to select Amazon Lightning Deals. The deals are limited in quantity and go really quickly, but with early access, you have a much better chance of getting them before they sell out.
7. Free Movies and TV Streaming
This is one of the benefits I take advantage of the most. And I honestly would pay the $139/year for this without any of the other benefits (even the free shipping). Amazon has made a big investment in streaming TV and movies.
Amazon Prime video has thousands of TV shows and movies you can access. In addition, Amazon has released some really great original shows that you can stream for free. You can watch the shows on the web or through the Amazon Video app, or you can stream them to your television via Amazon’s Fire TV Stick.
8. Try Clothes Before You Buy With Prime Wardrobe
Prime members have seven days to try on clothes and accessories that are marked with the Prime Wardrobe icon before Amazon will charge you for them. Just choose at least two women’s, men’s or children’s items with the Wardrobe icon, put them in your Wardrobe cart and check out. Just let Amazon know what you’re keeping and what you’re sending back. Wardrobe items come with a prepaid shipping label so, just as with regular Prime items, you won’t have to pay for shipping on what you return.
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