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What Is Amazon Prime?

For those of you living under a rock since 2005, Amazon Prime is a subscription service that offers members a wide variety of shopping benefits and perks. With over 100 million Prime members, it’s proven to be a force to reckon with. Taking on more than just e-commerce, the service has entered into markets such as video streaming, e-books, food delivery and more.

For $119/year or $12.99/month, Prime originally offered free shipping on purchases. Now, membership includes the streaming service Amazon Prime Video, in addition to early access to content such as video games and books. Other perks include exclusive discounts at Whole Foods and on other Amazon-specific services.

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Save on Shipping

  • Free two-day shipping on eligible items sold or shipped by Amazon to addresses in the contiguous U.S. and other shipping benefits.
  • Free Prime same-day delivery is available in eligible ZIP codes.
  • Prime Pantry: Prime Pantry gives members access to low-priced groceries, household and pet care items. The service ($4.99/mo on top of your Prime subscription) offers unlimited free shipping on Pantry orders of $40 or more. Orders under $40 incur a $7.99 shipping fee. Prime Pantry orders are not available for addresses in Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico.
  • Prime Now: Amazon offers one-hour delivery of products from local stores in select cities. Amazon recently expanded its Prime Now delivery to include Annapolis, Cleveland, Louisville, North/Central New Jersey, and Pittsburgh. Prime Now also delivers food/groceries from Amazon-owned Whole Foods. 

Amazon Prime Perks

  • Deals and Discounts & Re-Order Subscriptions: These include up to 20% off for ordering products on a subscription, auto ship basis.
  • Prime Early Access: Get 30-minute early access to Lightning Deals on Amazon.com and new events on MyHabit.com. For more information, go to About Prime Early Access.
  • Video Games: Amazon now gives Prime members $10 credits on pre-orders of select video games. Previously, Amazon offered 20 percent off new, physical video games during pre-order stages.
  • Kindle First: Early access for members in the U.S. to download a new book for free every month from the Kindle First picks. For more information, go to Kindle First.
  • FreeTime Unlimited: Parents will enjoy savings on FreeTime Unlimited, which brings tons of kid-friendly content to your account. Prime members pay $2.99 per month, while non-Prime members pay $4.99.
  • Whole Foods: After acquiring Whole Foods, Amazon immediately slashed the supermarket’s prices on select food items. Most recently, it announced that Prime members can enjoy exclusive savings at Whole Foods locations nationwide. Amazon also announced free 2-hour Whole Foods deliveries via the company’s Prime Now service. Deliveries are available in select cities only
  • Amazon Rewards Visa Card: Prime members with an Amazon Rewards Visa Card can earn 5 percent on Amazon.com purchases, 2 percent at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1 percent back on all other purchases. Plus, you can get 5 percent back on your Whole Foods purchases. (Non-Prime members will get 3 percent back).

Entertainment: Prime Video, Music, Photos & more

  • Prime Video: Unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes for paid or free trial members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. You can also add video subscriptions to Showtime, Starz, A&E, AMC and many other streaming entertainment channels. Amazon is constantly expanding its Prime Video library with new content. For more information, go to About Prime Video.
  • Prime Music: Unlimited, ad-free access to hundreds of Prime Playlists and more than a million songs for members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For more information, go to About Prime Music.
  • Prime Photos: Secure unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive. For more information, go to About Prime Photos.
  • Kindle Owners’ Lending Library: Accessible to members in the U.S. For more information, go to Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
  • Video Add-On Subscriptions: You can order third-party streaming apps through Amazon Prime to keep all your video content in one place. For instance, you can add Showtime Anytime and HBO Go to your account.
  • Free Games with Twitch Prime: Amazon offers a selection of free games and in-game loot with Twitch Prime.

Other Prime member bonuses

  • Amazon Elements: Access to Amazon Elements products, Amazon’s own line of everyday essentials.
  • Membership Sharing: Two adults living in the same household can create an Amazon Household to share certain Amazon Prime benefits. For more information, go to About Amazon Households.
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