‘Tis the season to be an Amazon Prime member. Free two-day shipping means you still have time to order holiday gifts — and that’s just the beginning.
While free shipping with no minimum purchase requirement may be the best-known benefit of a Prime subscription, it’s one of many.
I should know. Amazon has added so many perks that I gave up on my goal of convincing my husband to give up Prime.
After we got married, I refused to watch the $99 annual fee come out of our budget just because he was too impatient to wait more than two days for orders to arrive. But then I got access to his Prime membership at no added cost through a feature called Amazon Household.
I quickly realized that when you consider all the benefits of Prime, the subscription pays for itself in price breaks.
All those benefits make Prime a great gift, too.
Plus, you can buy a Prime subscription as a gift right up to the last minute. Amazon can email it to the recipient as soon as you buy it, or at a later date of your choice.
Here are eight significant freebies and discounts that come with Amazon Prime:
1. Free photo storage
Prime Photos gives Prime members unlimited cloud storage for digital photos for free. Yes, you read that right: an unlimited amount of online storage space for photos.
With the feature called Prime Photos Family Vault, you can even share your unlimited space with up to five people. All six of you will be able to access and add pics to your Family Vault.
2. Free Music
Prime Music allows Prime members to listen to a catalog of some 2 million songs for free.
This music streaming service is ad-free and on-demand. The features include unlimited skips and offline playback.
3. Cheap music
Amazon Music Unlimited is Amazon’s own full-fledged on-demand music-streaming service, with a catalog of tens of millions of songs.
The most expensive Unlimited subscription plan normally costs $9.99 per month. But Prime members normally can get it for $7.99 per month or $79 per year.
Thanks to a holiday promotion available through Dec. 23, however, new Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers can get three months for 99 cents.
4. Free e-reading
You don’t need an e-reader to enjoy this Prime perk, though. Just check out “How to Enjoy E-books Without Buying an E-Reader.”
5. Free access to audio series and audiobooks
Audible Channels is a paid subscription service that provides unlimited access to original audio series and a collection of audiobooks.
An Audible Channels subscription costs $60 a year, but Prime members get it for free.
6. Free movies and TV shows
Prime Video is Amazon’s video-streaming service that provides unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV shows.
A Prime Video subscription costs $8.99 per month, but Prime members get it for free. Check out the Amazon Video webpage to see what content is included with Prime.
7. Cheap movies and TV shows
Do you enjoy watching certain cable channels, but don’t want to shell out for an expensive cable TV package just to watch a few favorites? Prime members get access to a feature called Amazon Channels, which enables them to buy add-on subscriptions to individual channels like HBO and Showtime.
8. Exclusive discounts
Prime members can also use Amazon Family. This feature entails saving an extra 20 percent on diaper subscriptions and an extra 15 percent on certain items in your baby registry, among other discounts and rewards.
How to subscribe to Prime
Amazon sells two types of Prime subscriptions:
- Prime is the main option. It costs $99 per year or $10.99 per month. A free 30-day trial is available. To sign up yourself, click the “Try Prime” button. To gift Prime to someone else, visit the “Give the gift of Prime” page.
- Prime Student is for college students. It costs $49 per year or $5.49 per month. A free six-month trial is available — click on the “Start your 6-month trial” button.
For more ways to stretch your dollar at Amazon — even without Prime — check out “10 Strategies to Save Big Bucks at Amazon.”
Do you subscribe to Prime? Let us know why, or why not, in a comment below or on our Facebook page.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.