Amazon Prime is probably best known for two things: free two-day (scratch that: one-day!) shipping and Netflix-style video streaming. Those are decidedly worthwhile perks, especially considering the relatively low $119 annual subscription charge (a basic Netflix subscription costs $108 all by itself). But a Prime membership affords more than just shipping and streaming. A lot more.
Here’s a look at every single benefit included with Prime — along with a few Amazon services you might have thought were included, but actually cost extra. (Don’t have a subscription at the moment? You can sign up for Prime here, even if it’s just to get a 30-day trial — and you can even get Prime Day deals without being a member.)
The complete list of Prime perks is surprisingly long. Let’s start with everyone’s favorite: fast, free shipping.
Free overnight shipping: In the beginning, Prime afforded a fantastic shipping upgrade: Free two-day delivery on many, if not most, of Amazon’s physical goods — even if it’s just one item and it costs just a few bucks. ($3 HDMI cable, anyone?) Earlier this year, however, the benefit got even better:. Not in a hurry? When you get to the checkout page, look for a “no-rush delivery” option, which can net you a small credit (usually $1) that can be applied to digital purchases: e-books, movie rentals and so on.
Free release-date delivery: Suppose you preorder a new book from your favorite author or a hot new tech product. As a Prime subscriber, you’ll receive that item on the exact day it’s released — not a day or two later. Only certain items are eligible, of course.
Free two-hour delivery: Prime Now takes things hyperlocal, delivering Whole Foods groceries and other items in just two hours — free if you spend at least $35, $4.99 if you don’t. What’s more, Amazon offers Whole Foods discounts exclusively for Prime subscribers (see below).
Free (or flat-rate) grocery and household item delivery: Toilet paper, dog food, shampoo, your favorite cereal — Prime Pantry will deliver these and other goods (pretty much anything that doesn’t require refrigeration). However, to get free shipping (and it’ll be ground shipping, not one- or two-day), you must spend at least $35. Spend less and shipping runs $5.99 per order. You can also upgrade your Prime Pantry membership for $4.99 per month, but the only advantage to doing so is getting free shipping with a $10 minimum instead of $35.
Alexa deals: Do you own an Echo, Fire tablet or other Alexa-compatible device? If so, utter these magic words: “Alexa, what are your deals?” She’ll rattle off a list of rather random Prime-exclusive deals, pausing after each one to ask if you want to buy it. It’s certainly not the most efficient way of shopping — especially if you opt to hop online to make sure the deal you’re getting is actually a good one — but it’s a Prime perk all the same.
5% cash back with an Amazon Prime card: How do you score even better deals at Amazon? Sign up for one of the company’s credit cards; each offers 5% cash back on nearly every Amazon purchase. There’s the Amazon Store Card, which is good only at Amazon and offers interest-free financing on various purchases. (Right now, you can also get a $60 gift card when you sign up.) Then there’s the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, a more traditional credit card that gives you cash back for non-Amazon purchases as well.
Exclusive discounts at Whole Foods: Following, you can now score exclusive perks and discounts. If you’re shopping in-store, look for prices marked “Prime,” then just open the Amazon app on your phone and flash the QR code at checkout. While you’re at it, use the aforementioned Prime Rewards Visa to net an additional 5% cash back.
Instant reordering with Amazon Dash buttons: In the beginning, Amazon sold physical buttons you could use to reorder various household products (paper towels, laundry detergent, coffee pods, etc.). But Dash buttons are now exclusively virtual, meaning you access them on your computer, mobile device, Echo Show ( $230 at Amazon) or Samsung Family Hub. The functionality remains the same: one tap automatically reorders individual products.
Early access to Lightning deals: Amazon’s Lightning deals run for limited time or while supplies last. If you’re a Prime subscriber, you get access to those deals 30 minutes ahead of non-subscribers.
Access to Amazon Elements: Arguably the most “meh” of all the Prime perks, Elements is an exclusive Amazon store stocked mostly with “premium” vitamins, protein powder and other supplements, plus baby wipes.
The Completion Discount: Having a baby? If you used Amazon to create a gift registry, the Completion Discount nets you an extra 15% off any remaining items on the list (i.e., items that weren’t purchased for you).
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