If you do a lot of Amazon shopping, especially for last-minute items that don’t reach the $49 minimum for gratis shipping, then you’ve probably been tempted by Amazon Prime. For $99 a year, you have “free” 2-day shipping on any eligible item in their vast store. They’ve also recently introduced a $10.99/month Prime membership for those who were hesitant about making the upfront investment.
I’ve been using Amazon Prime for years now, and I consistently find about 75% of what I want is eligible, but there are some annoying exceptions. Prime also includes free streaming music and free access to TV shows and movies, though I have to say that I’m less impressed with what’s eligible in those categories. Still, free is free, and you do get quite a lot of content for being in this club. But beyond media and free shipping, there are some lesser-known, more interesting perks. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to invest in Amazon Prime, these might tip the scales. Here are seven of the best Amazon Prime perks you may not know about.
1. Free same-day delivery
Need to refill the toilet paper stat? Depending on where you live, you might be eligible for two-hour or same-day delivery. You can find out if your location is included here. Note that there’s a $35 minimum, and you’ll have to place your order before the cut-off time (typically noon). Also, because the delivery comes from your local warehouse, you’ll only be able to get it on the same day if that warehouse has it available.
2. Free Kindle books
If you own a Kindle, you can borrow and read one book per month from Amazon’s 800,000-book library, with no due date. Just return it to get another. A nice detail is that any notes, highlights or bookmarks will stay in your account in case you borrow the book again, or buy it later. Another digital book benefit is free downloads of new picks every month, though they’re admittedly unlikely to be blockbusters.
3. Amazon Family
If you’re among the diaper-changing set, then you’ll be able to get 20% off diaper subscriptions, access to giant packs that aren’t available to non-Prime subscribers, plus baby-related coupon discounts and sometimes, free samples.
4. Groceries & Pantry Stocking
Having Amazon deliver groceries to my doorstep meant I didn’t have to go out and pay for another service. I’ve been really impressed with the timeliness, packaging, and variety of offerings. Lots of great organic produce and specialities from local food stores. File this under Things I Can No Longer Live Without.
5. Discounted goodies
You can purchase add-on subscriptions to premium channels—the best-known of which is Showtime—for $8.99 per month rather than the $11 you’ll pay elsewhere. Prime members are also currently being offered a free 6-month trial subscription to the Washington Post, and 3-months of Audible.com,
6. Free photo storage
I’m constantly running out of storage space on my phone. I usually back things up to a drive, but it makes accessing them kind of annoying, particularly when I want to send someone a picture now. Prime Photos will store unlimited pictures in the Cloud, so you can always get to them by just logging on.
7. Bargain-hunting advantage
If you’re a deal sites lover, you might enjoy getting a thirty-minute lead on sales from MyHabit.com, Amazon’s fashion deals site (think: Gilt Groupe). You’ll also get a thirty-minute lead on Amazon Lightning Deals, which feel a little like Home Shopping Network—most of the stuff seems random, but you could spot a bargain.
One last thing to note: You can now share your Prime Membership with another adult in your family, so you don’t have to pay for two of them, or log into your spouses account to use it. Rejoice!
Are you an Amazon Prime subscriber? Is your membership worth it? Tell me in the comments!