Millions of people have an Amazon Prime subscription for one reason: you can get almost anything home-delivered within two days with no additional shipping charges. But Amazon Prime comes with a lot of other features that you may not be aware of. Here are all the ways you can maximize the value of your core membership.

Update : Amazon Prime membership now gives you exclusive discounts on Whole Foods as well.

You’re Probably Not Using Amazon Prime Enough

Back in 2005, when Amazon launched Prime, the main (and only) selling point was that you can get up to $79, and for the entire year, you get free two-day shipping on all Amazon Prime-enabled purchases. However, over the next decade, Amazon Prime became more than just a «get stuff, fast, and cheap» perk, gaining more power to fulfill Amazon’s «store for everything» vision. The price may have gone from $79 to $99, but now you can use your Prime benefits to get free books, watch tons of free video content, get free gaming content, and more — but millions of Prime’s 63 million subscribers aren’t taking advantage of all the many perks. not related to shipping.

Let’s take a look at the many benefits that come with a Prime membership and, for fun, we’ll even estimate (based on comparable services) how much those Prime benefits cost.

Prime Video: instant access to movies and TV

Amazon has its own video streaming service set to compete with Netflix, Hulu and the like called Amazon Instant Video. As a bonus for Prime members, a huge portion of the Instant Video library is available to them at no additional cost via the web, mobile apps, and of course Amazon products like the Amazon Fire TV and TV Stick, as well as their tablets.

We were a bit underwhelmed by the content when we first launched the service. But today, the Instant Video service not only provides a wide range of content, but also includes the Amazon Original Series, including fantastic award-winning content such as «The Man in the High Castle»Transparent « and» Mozart in the Jungle » .

Price A: $107.88 per year. Amazon Instant Video is available as a standalone product for $8.99 per month. (By comparison, the actual cost of a Prime membership is about $8.25 per month, so there’s no reason not to get Amazon Prime if you plan on streaming instant video.)

Prime Music: all tunes? Tons of tunes? Yes.

Can Prime Music compete with serious heavyweights in the music streaming industry like Spotify? Not necessary. Does the catalog of 2 million songs cover most of the material you want to listen to? More likely. Plus, it’s always free of ads, and you can even store music for offline use, like when you’re on the subway without cell service or going on a cross-country run.

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With that in mind, we’ll forgive it for not always having a very specific song we want to listen to at the moment. Also, if you pair your Prime Music account with an Amazon Alexa device like the Echo or Echo Dot, playing music is as easy as saying «Alexa, play me some Billy Joel» or «Play me some happy music» to get manual playlist.

Also, if you really like Prime Music, you can get Amazon Music Unlimited (10 million songs instead of 2 million songs) for $7.99 per month instead of $9.99, saving you $24 per year compared to a full regular subscription price. But even leaving the enhanced music plan aside, Prime Music is still highly comparable to services like Pandora One, which costs $36 a year.

Price : Considering the cost of comparable services, we would say it costs about $36 per year.

Premiere for Readers: Books, Audiobooks, and Giveaways

This next section is a mix of three great and useful features of Prime that are especially valuable to avid readers and Kindle owners. First, we have our newly created Prime Reading feature, which gives Prime members access to thousands of free books and magazines. This content is available on both actual standalone Kindle devices and mobile devices running the Kindle app, such as an iOS or Android tablet. You can read as much as you want in the Basic Reading category, with no limits.

In addition to the free content found in the new Prime Reading section, there’s also the Kindle Owner Lending Library, which is an additional Prime feature through which Kindle owners (for example, you own a physical Kindle, Kindle Fire tablet, or Fire Phone) can check out the Book. per month from a catalog of hundreds of thousands of books. If you have a Kindle device, you access the lending library by opening the Kindle Store (on your Kindle) or launching the Kindle app (on your tablet or Fire phone) and searching for the «Rent for Free» category. You can borrow a book per month, for a total of 12 books per year.

This is followed by the Kindle First program where each Prime member can choose one of six early release books available each month and purchase it before Amazon’s official release date for $0.00 (otherwise the books are $4.99) .

Finally (but wait! That’s not all!), you get a free subscription to the giant audiobook Audible Channels system — free podcasts and original content — plus a rotating selection of 50 free audiobooks. It’s not full access to the Audible library (which costs an extra $14.95 per month), but it’s still a terrific free bonus if you love audio content.

All in all, that’s a huge amount of free reading and listening material available to Prime subscribers. Let’s estimate this roughly. Prime Reading, at a minimum, and if you use it, costs at least $5 a month, based on the premise that you will read at least a few books a year and read a few magazines, including the cost of digital magazine and book subscriptions through Amazon.

Technically, you could kind of replicate the Kindle Lending Library experience by configuring your Kindle to access digital library lending services through your local library using the OverDrive system, so we’ll refrain from assigning a value to it (even if it’s clearly a bonus for Prime members with Kindles) .

The Kindle First program costs $5 a month because they literally give you a free book every 30 days that would otherwise cost you five dollars. Finally, you get Audible Channels + rotating audiobooks — it’s not the full Audible experience, but we’ll conservatively say it costs at least 1/5 of the whole package and is priced at $3.

Value A: Even excluding the Kindle Lending Library, Prime book benefits cost us about $156 per year ($13 per month).

Prime Photos: unlimited storage and easy sharing

Another great member of the Prime Benefit Package is Prime Photos, Amazon’s drive to enter the photo printing business and get us even more into the «Everything in store» model. Okay, okay, that sounded unnecessarily ominous. In fact, Prime Photos is a free benefit for your Prime account that allows you to upload, store, and share an unlimited number of photos in their original resolution.

Although it was first introduced about two years ago, the recent overhaul of the service has been so extensive that we can consider it practically a new benefit. If you tried Amazon Photos years ago and didn’t care, be sure to check it out again.

You can easily upload your photos from your PC or mobile device, it analyzes and labels your photos automatically so you don’t have to look for your family members when you want to print their photos and it makes it super easy to collect family photos together.

You can share your photo vault with up to 5 people and together contribute to «Family Vault» to bring your best photos together. Even better, if you have grandparents who are constantly asking for more photos or looking for the next big scrapbooking opportunity, they can have Prime Photos prints delivered to their door. Amazon Prints, the companion print service, is very competitively priced — you’ll pay 9 cents for a 4×6, 58 cents for a 5×7, and $1.79 for an 8×10, which is about half what you pay for a printer like Shutterfly.

Google Photos provides free photo storage with unlimited resolution (up to 16MP) with no fees, but $1.99 per month gives you unlimited storage and resolution size, including RAW photo uploads. Amazon Photos provides a similar service but is included with your Prime membership.

Price A: $23.88 per year if we give it a comparable price to Google Photos.

Twitch Prime for gamers

Amazon’s recent acquisition of Twitch gaming service and subsequent introduction of Twitch Prime bodes well for those of you who play games (or with video game fans in your home), as it gives you access to two big benefits. First of all, you get a free premium Twitch account with your Prime membership.

What do you get with this premium membership? You get free Twitch support, Prime-exclusive deals like 20% off new games, as well as free game content, increased archiving space for your own streams, and a free monthly Twitch channel subscription (which you can use to support your favorite Twitch streamer). ).

At a minimum, you get all the benefits of «Twitch Turbo,» a pre-Amazon premium membership (which is still available to non-Amazon Prime users) that costs $9 per month. Plus, you get $5 a month credit to support the Twitch streamer you like.

Price A: Minimum $168/year ($14/month), not even including free content and game discounts.

Diapers, food delivery and other offers too

At this point, we’re starting to move away from things that are easy to evaluate (like how easily we can put the dollar value of a free Twitch premium account) and into the more nebulous features of Prime. These features still offer savings big and small, but they are not easy to quantify in terms of setpoint.

Amazon Family . If you have kids in your family, Amazon Family is offering 20% ​​off diapers and discounts on a wide range of baby products. Speaking of kids, Freetime Unlimited costs you $2.99 ​​per month but gives your child unlimited access to a hand-picked list of books, TV shows, movies, and games for kids. It actually costs you $36 a year, but most parents find Freetime Unlimited to be a huge value, and your Prime membership drops the price by $24 from the non-Prime level.

Prime Now : Live in a big city like New York, Chicago, San Francisco or the like? Your Prime membership also gives you access to Prime Now, which offers free two hours delivery of a wide variety of basic necessities and foodstuffs. That’s right: no shipping fees; You just pay a tip. It’s like Amazon Fresh, except what comes with your Prime subscription .

Amazon Restaurants : even better, if you live in a covered area, you can get free 1 hour delivery from dozens of restaurants (many of which don’t even offer regular delivery in the first place). We’re not even going to try and rate it — being able to order delivery from your favorite restaurant that doesn’t normally deliver is fantastic.

Delivery without haste : in the same breath do you know what anti-thesis Prime Now is? Amazon duty-free shipping system. Look, we all love getting 1-2 day stuff for free, but let’s be honest — we don’t need to everything was delivered so quickly. This is where Amazon Shipping Credit comes in.

On many items (especially around the holidays when Amazon’s shipping schedule is full), you can choose the No Rush Shipping option to change shipping back from 2-day delivery to 5-day delivery. In return, depending on the product and the current demand on their delivery network, Amazon will provide you with digital credits that you can then use to purchase e-books, TV episodes, movies, music, and even groceries through Prime Pantry (Amazon fills-up a large box of groceries and goods, pay a flat fee of $5.99 for £45 of loot delivered). If you order a lot of non-gift items over the holidays, you can be treated like a bandit and get a bunch of credits for goods. If you’re ordering a lot from Amazon and you really need super fast shipping, you can easily deposit $99 into a subscription by simply choosing to ship as soon as possible.

However, in order to return our desire to correctly evaluate the Prime membership to some concrete numbers, let’s touch on the last point. In addition to everything you get, you can also share your Prime membership with your family with Amazon Household — the perfect solution to deliver and purchase content to another adult, plus up to four children, for free.

Value A: So, how do we rate all these additional features and benefits of your account sharing? We’re going to get $99 to account for trade-in benefits, potential discounts, and other perks.

This means that if we round up a few dollars to count something small that we may have overlooked, then all the items we have listed in this guide add up to $600 of total potential value on the main account. Suddenly, $99 seems like a great deal.


Does that mean you should run out and get a Prime account if you don’t already have one? Probably not, unless you use these features. But if you have a Prime membership or are already considering one, take a serious look at all the benefits you get with your existing Prime account and do your best to take advantage of the benefits. You might as well get your money’s worth.

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