It's more than just free two-day shipping.
As a member of Amazon Prime, you get a convenient and well-publicized perk: free two-day shipping on almost any item on Amazon.
But the $99-per-year membership actually gets you a lot more than expedited shipping. In fact, signing up for Prime unlocks features like Amazon's vast digital library of music, movies, television, and books; one-hour restaurant delivery; and unlimited cloud storage for your photos.
Here are 18 of the coolest benefits of Amazon Prime.
Most things you buy on Amazon are eligible for free two-day shipping, but there are a few exceptions:
- Some items that are fulfilled by Amazon Marketplace sellers
- Magazine subscriptions
- Personalized gift cards
- Items sent to international addresses and addresses in US territories, possessions, or protectorates (except for Puerto Rico)
For a $20 minimum order, you can get restaurant food delivered in less an hour in Manhattan, Orlando, Los Angeles, and 17 other metro areas.
A Prime membership also gives you access to Prime Photos, Amazon's cloud storage feature. Members get unlimited storage for photos, plus 5 GB for videos and documents.
Prime members can get Amazon Music Unlimited, Amazon's music streaming service, for $7.99 per month. Non-members have to pay $9.99.
For orders over $35, same-day shipping is available in more than 5,000 cities in the US. Prime members can check if their ZIP code qualifies here.
If you place an order before noon, the item should arrive by 9 p.m. An order placed in the evening will show up the next day.
Amazon has its own line of high-end organic products, and Prime members get exclusive access to them. Called Amazon Elements, the line includes vitamins and baby wipes. Amazon says its goal is to make the products with openness and transparency.
By signing up for Twitch Prime, members can get discounts on games, an ad-free experience on Twitch, and a free monthly Twitch channel subscription.
If same-day delivery isn't quite fast enough, you can use Prime Now, which will deliver qualifying items within two hours. The service is available in 32 US metro areas, and you can order everything from an Amazon Echo to groceries.
If you need an item within an hour, you can get that in select cities for $7.99 extra.
Prime Video offers unlimited streaming of certain movies and TV shows in Amazon's library. The service comes free with Prime, but you can also subscribe to Prime Video as a standalone service.
If you cohabitate with your significant other, you can share the benefits of Prime with them. Amazon Household can include up to six members, and you'll each split the cost.
Dash buttons let you quickly reorder things like groceries and household and beauty products. The buttons cost $4.99 each, but Amazon will give that back to you in credit after you place your first order.
Prime membership brings with it several discounts and perks that harken back to Amazon's early days as a bookseller:
— The Kindle Owners' Lending Library can save you lots of money on e-books. Amazon says its library includes "hundreds of thousands of titles," and there's no due date, which means you can download the books and keep them indefinitely on your Kindle or Fire tablet.
— Along the same lines is Prime Reading, which functions more like a standard electronic library. Prime members can borrow books and magazines and read them on Amazon devices or in the Kindle app. With Prime Reading, you can keep up to 10 titles at a time. If you want a new one, you just return one you borrowed.
— Kindle First lets you download one of six books Amazon's editors highlight each month. The book will either be free or discounted and will be available a full month before the release date.
With Early Access, Prime members get to see and order products listed in Amazon's flash-sale Lightning Deals 30 minutes before non-Prime customers.
The Outfit Compare lets you upload two different outfits and get an opinion on which one looks better. The feature is free and available in Amazon's mobile app, but only Prime members can use it.
Prime Pantry lets you order lower-priced groceries and household products and have them shipped altogether to your house for a flat delivery fee of $5.99 per box. And if you order five or more qualifying items, Amazon will waive the delivery charge.
Thanks to Amazon's pending acquisition of Whole Foods, prime members will soon be able to get special discounts at Whole Foods stores.
"Customers will enjoy lower prices on products like Whole Trade bananas, organic avocados, organic large brown eggs, organic responsibly-farmed salmon and tilapia, organic baby kale and baby lettuce, animal-welfare-rated 85% lean ground beef, creamy and crunchy almond butter, organic Gala and Fuji apples, organic rotisserie chicken, 365 Everyday Value organic butter, and much more," Amazon and Whole Foods said in a joint press release.
With Prime Wardrobe, you can pick three or more items from Amazon, have them shipped to your house, and then ship back, all with no delivery charges. You'll get 10% off if you keep three or four things, and 20% if you keep five items. The program is currently in beta, but Prime members can sign up to be notified when it officially launches.
There are plenty more features and rewards available to Prime members. Check out the full list here.