People who don’t have Amazon Prime often ask what it is. They can feel overwhelmed when they try to decide whether it’s right for them. If this sounds like you, read on.
Simply put, Amazon Prime is a subscription service to Amazon. There are several benefits to subscribing.
What does Amazon Prime do?
There are quite a few benefits for members. Here’s the simplest answer: If you shop online, read regularly, and/or stream videos and music, you will probably enjoy Amazon Prime.
But let’s break it down in more detail.
Amazon Prime currently provides the following services in most regions:
- Shipping perks
- Special sales
- Prime Video
- Prime Reading
- Amazon Prime Gaming
- Amazon Music
- Prime Photos
- … and more
Amazon often updates these services and even adds more as their company grows. You can stay updated by checking their home page for the latest.
What are the Amazon Prime shipping perks?
With Amazon Prime, users can get free one- or two-day shipping on most items. In a nutshell, this is the most popular reason for subscribing. It saves money on shipping if you buy a lot of things from Amazon. It also lets you get your shipments quickly – at no extra charge.
Many members order regular household supplies to be shipped monthly, such as toilet paper and pet food. The shipping perk saves them time and money – and gas in the car.
In addition, Amazon Prime takes the waiting out of the picture for most purchases. Have you waited forever for an online splurge to arrive? Amazon Prime could probably have delivered it faster for no extra charge.
What kind of sales can I find with Amazon Prime?
Amazon regularly holds special Prime sales events. These events feature deep discounts on a variety of popular things, from computers to household cleaning supplies.
Examples of sales events include Prime Early Access, Prime Day, daily lightning deals, and more.
The sales are available only to Amazon Prime members.
What is Amazon Prime Video?
This is another of the most popular reasons to subscribe to Amazon Prime. In addition to everything else, members get access to many movies and TV shows on their streaming app. Of course, there are options to purchase or rent additional titles that Amazon doesn’t provide free to members.
Prime Video also offers access to more channels (for an extra charge) with tons of extra content. Some examples are BritBox, Great Courses, and more. These are super popular channels that have content you might not find anywhere else.
What is Prime Reading?
If you’re a book worm, this is the perk for you. Prime Reading gives you access to a huge number of e-titles, from novels to magazines, at no extra cost. You don’t get to keep them forever. Instead, you’ll hold them in your Kindle library until you’re done reading. In this way, it doesn’t matter that the books aren’t yours to keep. You can borrow them as many times as you like to read at your leisure.
No Kindle? No problem.
Readers don’t have to have a Kindle device to use Prime Reading. Simply navigate to the web browser or Kindle app on any device you prefer, and read from there.
What is Amazon Prime Gaming?
If you’re a gamer, you’re in for some more perks. Amazon offers members free PC games to keep every month, as well as one free Twitch subscription a month. The value of these perks alone can easily make up the price of Amazon Prime’s membership.
For those who don’t know, Twitch is a platform where gamers and other folks stream their content. Fans who are interested in their content will tune in live. It’s all free to watch with ads, but fans can support the streamers by subscribing to their channel. The subscriptions cost a few dollars and are essentially donations to keep the streamers going.
Each Twitch channel subscription features different perks of its own. These can include unique emotes to use in chat, ad-free viewing, and more.
Amazon Prime Gaming lets you subscribe for free each month to any streamer you want to support on Twitch. That’s a fantastic value right there.
What are Amazon Music and Prime Photos?
- Think of Amazon Music as Spotify for Amazon.
It’s a service that’s included with Prime that gives you access to tons of streaming music. They’re constantly expanding their music library, too.
If you have an Amazon device like Echo, you can play your music easily from there. If you don’t, you can still play the songs you want to hear from your computer. You’ll have access to all 2 million songs. You’ll also have access to the Amazon Music stations and playlists that offer more listening content.
- Prime Photos is a super convenient service for people who need extra photo storage.
Amazon Prime offers members unlimited, full-resolution storage. There’s also 5 GB available for storing videos. That’s not a lot for videos, so this is a better service for pictures.
You can view your stored photos and videos on your Fire TV, Kindle Fire tablet, or your Echo Show device. You can also, of course, view them online on any computer. This is a perfect solution for photographers who need a backup storage option for their pictures.
Is Amazon Prime different in different countries?
It does differ somewhat depending on where you live. If you’re outside the US, you should double check to see what’s included in your Prime.
For example, there may be special grocery delivery discounts in your area, or there may be different lightning deals.
In addition, certain Audible audio books and Prime Videos are often restricted to their regions. That means a few audio books can be purchased only in certain countries. It also means some films can be watched only in certain countries. If you want to bypass this, you’ll need to find a good VPN service. There are plenty out there!
How much is Amazon Prime?
Amazon raised the price of their Amazon Prime membership on February 12, 2022. The new prices are below.
There are a few options to consider. You’ll want to decide based on your needs and budget.
Membership paid up front: $139 per year.
Membership paid monthly: $14.99 per month. This comes to about $180 in a year.
Student membership paid up front: $69 per year.
Student membership paid monthly: $7.49 per month. This comes to about $90 in a year.
EBT, Medicaid, and others who are on government assistance can apply for a discounted price of $6.99 a month. This comes to about $84 in a year.
Does everyone in my house have to pay for their own Amazon Prime?
Nope! Any two adults in the same house can use Amazon Household. This feature allows them to share some benefits from Amazon Prime without buying two subscriptions.
To activate Amazon Household, the two adults will link accounts and payment methods. However, you will each keep your own personal accounts. This means you can still shop for your spouse for the holidays without giving away the surprise.
If you have kids in your house, you can also get an Amazon Prime membership for them. Younger children cannot shop on Amazon, but teenagers can. Any four teens can have their own Amazon account to share for shopping and streaming. This allows parents to keep an eye on all kids’ activities in one place.
You can even give Amazon Prime to someone as a gift. There’s a box to check when you make your purchase that says, “This item is a gift.” When you check this, you will be prompted to fill out the information for your friend or family member. It’s pretty simple to do this. However, if you ever have problems, Amazon has a live chat feature with people who can walk you through it.
Here’s the bottom line: Amazon Prime is a great resource for most people. If you can afford the membership, chances are you’ll find it beneficial.
Having a membership saves money and time on a lot of useful services. There isn’t anything out there that compares to the wide variety when it comes to other subscription services. Amazon has covered so many things with its Prime subscription that there really is something for everybody. If you are likely to use one or two of their perks, then Amazon Prime is a good choice.