It's always worth considering whether you’re making the most of your Prime benefits, especially since the cost of an Amazon Prime annual membership shot up to $139 a year in 2022.
As you no doubt know, an Amazon Prime subscription unlocks way more perks beyond the obvious draws of free shipping and speedy delivery times that have kept so many of us shopping with Amazon for so long.
Since the service’s inception with its two-day delivery bonus, plenty of additional features have been folded into the Amazon Prime offering, with some more hidden than others. And thanks to the launch of a new Prime Day-style sale event (dubbed Prime Big Deal Days), there are no doubt some new and returning Prime members considering whether they'll stay signed up after saving some cash.
We've been covering Amazon and its services for years so if you’re looking for more tips on whether the service is still good value, try our article detailing good reasons to cancel Amazon Prime.
Otherwise, take a look at our guide to all the perks that come with an Amazon Prime subscription.
1. Free same-day delivery with Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime launched in 2005 with free two-day shipping, but this decade, Amazon is all about getting more stuff to its members at an even faster pace. These days you get free same-day delivery. If you live in an eligible ZIP code (you can check whether you do right here), you have access to Amazon’s same-day service. As long as you order before noon and choose same-day delivery at checkout, Amazon says your package should be delivered by 9 p.m. that night (even on Sundays).
Of course, there are a couple of caveats. For one thing, not every product on Amazon is eligible, and your order must cost at least $35. If it doesn’t come to that amount, Amazon will charge you up to $2.99 per order, but this is nothing in comparison to the $9.99 per same-day order you’d pay without Prime.
2. Free Amazon Prime one-day delivery
You can shrug off a lot of the specific requirements of Same-Day Delivery if you can wait a day to get your package. And why not? As we’ve mentioned, it’s quickly becoming Amazon’s standard (though there are still other options available). Free one-day delivery is available coast-to-coast, with no minimum purchase.
Some restrictions still apply. Whilst there are more than ten million products eligible for one-day delivery, that’s not everything on Amazon. To check if what you’re buying is available on this plan, make sure to filter your search by the term “get it tomorrow”. Amazon’s promise? You’ll get your item by 9 p.m. the next day, although cutoff times do vary by zip code.
3. Get paid for Amazon Prime No-Rush delivery
If you can wait a little longer for your purchases, Amazon will reward you for choosing No-Rush Shipping at checkout. Like other Prime delivery options, this is a free service, that comes with extra perks. Usually, this takes the form of discounts on your current order, or rewards that are automatically applied to your account. You can then use these digital rewards towards buying things like eBooks and movies on Prime Video, once your order has shipped. The downside? Amazon chooses the freebie. You don’t.
You'll only get one type of offer per No-Rush Order, and Amazon says your products will arrive within six business days, though in our experience it’s far less than that.
4. Try before you buy, on wardrobe essentials
Need a new outfit? Amazon quite literally has you covered with Amazon Prime’s Try Before You Buy (previously known as Prime Wardrobe), which offers Prime members the chance to try things on before committing to their new purchases.
Essentially, Try Before You Buy is Amazon’s answer to the dressing room. With this service, you can pick up to six eligible items of clothing, shoes or accessories (as long as they have the Prime Wardrobe logo) and they’ll be shipped for free, at no charge to you. You’ve then got seven days to try them on and figure out which ones you want to buy.
It’s free to return anything you don’t like, no questions asked, as your order comes in a resealable box with a prepaid shipping label. You just need to make sure the items are in their original condition and take your package to the most convenient Amazon pickup point near you, within the seven-day period, to ship them back.
5. Share your Prime benefits with Amazon Household
Want to pass on some of your Prime benefits to other people in your household? That’s precisely what Amazon Household is for. Here’s the catch: your Prime perks can be shared with one other adult in the same household…as long as you both agree to share your payment methods.
Your Partner in Prime needs their own separate Amazon account to be able to be added to your Amazon Household. From there, you’ll be able to share certain perks, including free two-day shipping. Teens and younger children can also be added (up to four), but they’ll be forced to endure parental restrictions (younger children cannot make purchases). The catch? You’ve just got to decide whether you feel comfortable doing so; this arrangement might suit you and your spouse, but giving your roommate access to your credit or debit card might be a deal-breaker.
6. Get access to exclusive brands on Amazon Prime
Amazon has been aggressively expanding its private-label offerings in recent years. This is an area that offers huge business potential, which we pointed out in our story about Costco's Kirkland Signature brands, and some of them are only available to Amazon Prime members.
One such private brand is Amazon Elements, which is Amazon’s line of Prime-exclusive vitamins and nutritional supplements. With these products, you can even scan a special code somewhere on the packaging which will outline where every ingredient in the product was sourced.
7. Unlimited photo storage with Amazon Photos
Snap away, as Amazon Prime members get unlimited full-resolution photo storage and 5GB video storage with Amazon Photos. Yes, that’s unlimited backup space for all your photos, and you can add up to five family members or friends to your plan.
Once backed up, your photos are accessible from any device anywhere you can get into your Amazon Prime account. By comparison, non-Prime members only get 5GB of Amazon Photos storage, in total.
If you’re looking to store documents, you can use Amazon Drive in a similar fashion. And if you need more storage, than you get with Prime, you can always pay for extra space. Amazon Photos customers can also buy storage plans monthly; 100GB plans cost $1.99 a month, with 1TB plans going for $6.99 a month.
Don’t worry about tagging your photos, either: Amazon’s servers will automatically sort your images. So, if you’re looking to free up some space on your devices, use the Amazon app to upload your snaps and delete them from your phone.
8. Amazon Prime for students
Amazon Prime Student is a big boon for any college and university student, as it offers the same valuable Prime perks at a discounted rate.
New students enrolled at two or four-year colleges can get a six-month free trial with a legit “.edu” email address (along with proof you’re taking at least one class). This one-time free trial includes free, two-day shipping on eligible purchases, access to Prime Video, discounts on college essentials and additional perks like select Prime Video channels at huge discounts ($0.99 a month for things like EPIX, Showtime and more) and student-specific discounts for StudentUniverse Travel, Course Hero and Calm.
After that trial period, students can continue to get access to these perks at a discounted rate of $7.49 a month or $69 annually.
9. Free music with Amazon Prime
This perk might be music to your ears if you don’t want to pay for Spotify or Apple Music. Along with everything we’ve mentioned so far, Amazon Music is included as a Prime benefit, bringing you more than 2 million “hand-curated” songs and thousands of playlists and stations programmed by Amazon’s music experts at no additional fee. And if you’re a podcast kind of person, you’ll find millions of podcast episodes on the platform as well.
The major drawback here is that many fans argue Amazon’s offering isn’t as deep as its competitors, and they’re not wrong. Per Amazon: "The selection of songs and albums available with Prime Music is always changing. New titles are added to the Prime Music catalog, and occasionally titles are removed."
Before you start shelling out for an ad-free listening experience elsewhere, though, give Amazon’s music app a whirl. And if you find it doesn’t quite offer everything you’re looking for, you could upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited. For $9.99 a month to Prime members (after a 30-day free trial), this service nets you more than 75 million songs, including new releases.
10. Free books, magazines, audiobooks on Amazon Prime Reading
With an Amazon Prime membership, users can read as much as they want from over one thousand books, magazines, comic books, Kindle singles, books with Audible narration and so much more via Prime Reading. Thanks to this benefit, you and your Amazon Household can borrow up to 10 titles at a time from a rotating selection of titles. Prime Reading can be picked up either on Amazon Fire tablets, Kindle eReaders or via the Kindle reading app.
As an extra treat, Prime members can also get access to certain podcasts and other audiobooks and series via Audible Channels. You need to download the Audible app and log in with your Amazon Prime account to get listening, otherwise, you’ll need a full Audible subscription. Prices start from $7.95 a month, after a 30-day free trial.
11. Binge your favorite shows with Amazon Prime
From Prime original movies such as The Tomorrow War and My Policeman to original shows like The Peripheral, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Reacher, Prime Video is home to plenty of things to stream, and the collection has only continued to grow as Prime gets older.
If you have a newer smart TV, chances are the Prime Video app might come built-in or will be easily downloaded. And, as with any other streaming service, Amazon is keeping an eye on what you stream so they can serve up personalized recommendations based on your viewing history.
Along with streaming, Prime Video lets you download movies and TV shows to devices, and if you purchase shows or movies, they’ll sit in your Library so you can watch them when you want. You also can include Prime Video Channels like Max, Showtime, Paramount Plus and MGM Plus to bolster your viewing options (do not that adding Prime Video Channels to your account all incur an additional fee on top of your Amazon Prime subscription).
12. Get the Prime Experience elsewhere with buy with Prime
Buy with Prime allows Prime members to get the trusted shopping experience they expect from Amazon when they shop with participating online retailers. When you shop with a site that offers the Buy with Prime option, you'll see a blue Buy with Prime button.
If you select it, you can check out by signing in to your Amazon account, which will prepopulate your payment and shipping details on the checkout page. You'll then get the same Prime shopping experience — fast, free delivery, no-hassle checkout, and easy returns — you'd expect.
13. Snag lightning deals ahead of the crowd with Prime Early Access
If you’re looking for a way to make use of all these fast shipping options, this Prime benefit might just pique your interest: Amazon Prime members enjoy early access to “Lightning Deals”, one-off, highly discounted offers 30 minutes before everyone else.
Lightning Deals only stick around for a limited time (or until stocks last), so being able to get ahead of the pack is certainly a big boon. Just be aware that every other Prime member has early access to the same deals, so be sure to snap them up, as products could sell out during the early access period.
14. Say 'Hey Alexa' to access Amazon Prime
If you own an Amazon Echo-enabled device, your Prime membership lets you make purchases via Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant. For example, if you just forgot to buy batteries for a "batteries not included" birthday gift, say "Alexa, order AA batteries" and a 20-pack of AmazonBasics will arrive on your doorstep two days later.
Shipping, naturally, is free for Prime members, and Alexa already knows your Prime status. You can also ask “Alexa, what are your deals” to learn about special Alexa-only discounts.
15. Ultra-Fast Amazon Prime grocery delivery
Hungry? Are the cupboards bare? Amazon’s got your back with Ultra-Fast Delivery on a vast array of groceries!
As long as you live close enough to a Whole Foods store (the supermarket chain Amazon snapped up back in 2017), you can get all sorts of products super quick thanks to one and two-hour delivery windows.
Once you’ve built your cart online, trained shoppers do the hard work for you. After that, you can either schedule a two-hour home delivery window or a one-hour pickup window if you’d prefer to swing by a Whole Foods store yourself. Whole Foods employees will have your order bagged and ready to go either way.
This service used to be free, though both delivery options now cost an additional $9.95 fee which Amazon says is used 'to help cover operating costs, including equipment, technology and other costs associated with your grocery delivery order'. One-hour delivery orders are also subject to rush fees.
And whilst we’re talking about Whole Foods deliveries, did you know you can have Amazon.com orders shipped to Whole Foods stores that contain Amazon Lockers, and do Amazon.com returns at Whole Foods for free, without the need of a box or label? For more tips try our guide to shopping at Amazon's Whole Foods.
16. Free release-date delivery via Amazon Prime
Are you or someone in your household patiently waiting to get your hands on the hot new video game, book, movie or the latest album from your favorite band? Get it by 7 p.m. on the day of release, courtesy of Amazon Prime, when you choose Two-Day Shipping at check-out.
Whatever it is you’re looking forward to, choose “release date delivery” when you make your purchase, and it’ll be on your doorstep (or wherever else you get your Amazon orders delivered) when it comes out.
17. Amazon Prime Day deals
For many customers, it’s all about Prime Day (or the new Prime Big Deal Days). Launched in 2015 (ostensibly to celebrate its 20th anniversary), Prime Day is a Black Friday-alike sale event that sees Amazon trying to grab the attention of its 200+ million Prime members worldwide by offering them a range of exclusive deals both across the event and in the days leading up to Prime Day.
Deals are available across practically every category on the site, especially on Amazon’s proprietary products. And whilst you have to be a Prime member to take advantage, you could always sign up for an Amazon Prime free trial to dodge the $139-a-year fee and still save some cash just before the main event.
18. Easy re-ordering with Amazon Prime
We’re all human, and sometimes we forget to replace something. Whether it’s a replacement water filter for the fridge, discount (but excellent) ink cartridges for your printer or you just want to do price comparisons between Amazon.com and a manufacturer’s site, Prime’s got you covered.
By clicking on “Returns and Orders” in the top-right of your browser, you can navigate to the “Your Orders” page, which defaults to showing you purchases from the last six months, though you can scroll back to the first Amazon order you ever placed. This way, you can easily find and purchase whatever you need to replace or reorder.
19. In-garage Amazon Prime delivery when you’re not home
Not going to be home when you’re stuff’s set to be delivered? No problem, with Amazon Key In-Garage Delivery, you can have Amazon Parcels, Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh grocery orders delivered to your garage, ready and waiting for you to come and pick them up.
Here’s how it works: Drivers get temporary access to open your garage door when the Amazon delivery app confirms the driver’s identity and delivery route. The vetted drivers are instructed to go no more than 5 feet inside your garage to drop off the package. You can also follow their moves via an optional in-garage camera.
A step-by-step guide on how to set everything up (and check whether you live in a supported zip code and whether your garage door is compatible or you’ll require a myQ smart garage hub) is available on the In-Garage Delivery part of Amazon’s site.
20. Amazon Prime in-gate delivery when you’re not home
Similar to In-Garage Delivery, Amazon Key In-Gate Delivery allows Amazon drivers to deliver your packages even if you’re away.
The service is designed for single-family homes with gated driveways or fences with electronic locks, as well as apartment complexes. You’ll need the Ring Access Controller Pro and the Key by Amazon app to allow drivers access to your locked gate so they can safely secure your package behind the gate.
21. Take your Amazon Prime returns to Kohl's
You don't have to box up that return and trudge to a UPS or Amazon Hub store. Amazon.com partners with Kohl's department stores to provide Amazon shoppers (and their giftees, with a receipt) with another place to return their Amazon products — and stir up some foot traffic for Kohl's.
That makes it a win-win for both retailers. Amazon shoppers have another place to drop off returns besides UPS stores, and Kohl's will gain some potential shoppers, who must drop off their Amazon returns at the customer service desks.
22. Pick up or return your Amazon Prime purchase at an Amazon hub
It’s not just Kohl’s getting into the "return-your-Amazon-buys-at-my-store" business. Small retailers are getting in the game now for many of the same reasons, including ginning up foot traffic so Amazon shoppers might buy something from their store.
Here’s how it works: A retailer (or apartment complex) reaches out to Amazon to become an Amazon Hub store. As a hub, shoppers can return as well as pick up orders at that Hub. That way the Amazon shopper doesn't have to worry about porch pirates. Their Amazon order is safely tucked into the Hub store. Don’t like your Amazon order? Just like at Kohl’s, you can take your order to the Hub location and they’ll pack it up and return it to Amazon, all at no charge to you (as a Prime member, returns on most products are free). Hub partners also have the option of just playing host to an Amazon Locker, which we’ll explain in more detail next.
23. Use Amazon Hub Locker for safe delivery
Whether receiving or returning, Amazon Hub Locker is a nice perk for Prime shoppers who live in areas plagued by porch pirates. Amazon-owned Whole Foods stores and other retailers have these self-serve locker kiosks installed. They're free to use for picking up items or returning them.
Here's the drill: Sign into your Amazon account and find the closest Amazon Locker to you. Put that address in your address book and choose it as the default delivery site for your goods when you check out and pay for your order. When the package is delivered, you'll receive a code to unlock the locker. Follow the instructions on the screen.
The only hitch here is that there are some limits on what you can have delivered to Amazon Hub Lockers: find out whether your order would be eligible here.
24. Speed gifts to friends, family using Amazon Prime
If you're not at all concerned about gift-wrapping presents during the holidays or on birthdays and anniversaries, you can fast-gift family and friends via Amazon Prime (and, of course, with free two-day shipping).
Add their address to your Amazon address book, start shopping, and when you're paying for your cart, choose their address as the default shipping destination. Just remember to change the default address back to your home when shopping for yourself...
25. Shop women-owned businesses featured on Amazon Prime
Here's a discovery: You can shop at women-owned businesses in the Amazon world to give female entrepreneurs a boost. The service is available on Amazon Storefronts, and offerings include everything from clothing and spa goods to books and party supplies.
26. Make any day your Prime delivery day
You have more control over your deliveries than you might think, as you can tell Amazon what day (or two) of the week you prefer to get your orders. This is especially good if you subscribe to items on Amazon.com for regular delivery or if you want to cut down on packaging and have everything arrive at the same time.
All you need to do is tell Amazon what your preferred Amazon Day is (you can choose up to two) and make sure to check out with “FREE Amazon Day Delivery”, and they’ll lock it in and deliver things on the same day every week.
27. Prime discounts at physical Amazon stores
If you thought Amazon was just an online retailer, think again. There are now three types of brick-and-mortar Amazon stores: Amazon Go, Amazon Fresh, and Amazon Style.
- Amazon Go stores are true grab-and-go experiences, with no registers. Shoppers use the free Amazon Go app and scan it at the entrance to enter through a gate, then scan the QR codes of items they want, bag them, and leave. Your items are automatically charged to your Amazon account.
- Amazon Fresh stores are small fresh-food markets offering produce, meats, and seafood, as well as prepared foods, made fresh in-store.
- Amazon Style is a newer offering that launched in 2022. There are currently two Amazon Style locations (one in California, and one in Ohio). Inside, you can browse through the latest Amazon-exclusive styles and select items to send to your personalized, private dressing room. There, you will find your items and try them on or take them to the register. As with Amazon Go, paying is all handled through the Amazon shopping app.
28. Game for free and score loot using Amazon Prime
Prime Gaming is the place to be if you’re a gamer and have an Amazon Prime membership. With it, you can claim games to play for free and unlock extra in-game loot for the games you already play.
You also get a free monthly channel subscription which you can use to support your favorite streamers on Twitch, the live-streaming platform that Amazon owns.
29. Make Amazon your prescription drugstore
With Amazon Pharmacy, Amazon.com can also take over delivering your prescriptions within two days, for free. Amazon promises more savings can be had, and says you can snag low prices on the medication you need with or without insurance on the Amazon Pharmacy website. Then, you can get your medication delivered right to your door, and Amazon says they’ve got pharmacists available to speak to 24/7.
Prime members have the option to sign up for RxPass to get eligible medications for just $5 a month, and Amazon promises there are more ways to save. You’ll want to check and make sure your prescription meds are less expensive via Amazon Pharmacy compared to your current service.
30. Shop used goods in the Amazon Prime Warehouse
Amazon Warehouse: Where all the things that get returned to Amazon go to be resold. Here, you’ll find millions of used and/or open-box items sold at cheaper, and sometimes utter bargain prices. Items obviously vary, but you can potentially find deals on everything from electronics, furniture, cell phones, video games, home goods and much, much more this way.
31. Head over to The Shop by Shopbop for designer deals
You can find designer work-from-home gear in The Shop by Shopbop on Amazon. Amazon bought the Wisconsin-based fashion retailer in 2006, and The Shop by Shopbop offers stylish clothing, shoes, designer goods, accessories and bags.
32. Hoof it to Zappos and get premium shipping
Did you know Amazon also owns online shoe-shopping giant, Zappos? If you link your Amazon Prime account with your Zappos account, you’ll earn two Zappos shopping points for every $1 you spend; that’s double what regular Zappos VIPs earn when they shop.
Plus, when you link your accounts you can make use of free upgraded shipping on all Zappos orders, and get access to Prime member-exclusive deals during special promotional periods.
33. Entertain the little ones with Amazon Kids+
Amazon Kids Plus is the equivalent of the kids’ table at family gatherings but with even more fun stuff to do.
Amazon Kids+ is a program designed for kids aged 3-12. This all-in-one subscription nets you access to books, movies, games, educational apps and other kid-friendly things to hold their interest, all from familiar brands like Hello Kitty, Marvel, Lego, Disney and more.
It costs an additional $4.99 a month on top of your Prime subscription (after a one-month free trial) or $48 annually, though it’s $7.99 a month or $79 a year to non-Prime members. Every Amazon Kids device also comes with one year of Amazon Kids+ from the off.
34. Become an Amazon Prime insider
When you sign up for Amazon Prime, you become a Prime Insider, and everyone knows insiders have secrets to share. We might have spilled the beans on a bunch of them already, but by keeping your Prime subscription active, you’ll continue to keep your Prime Insider status, meaning you’ll get news of exclusive perks and deals only for Prime members on the Insider page.
35. Save more with Prime Access
Prime Access enables would-be Prime members on qualifying government assistance programs like SNAP EBT and Medicaid to get all of the benefits of a Prime membership at half the price. Eligible members can get all the perks that come with Prime membership for just $6.99.
To sign up and find out whether you qualify for the lower fee, head to the Prime Access page. There, you'll be directed to upload proof of participation in one of the eligible assistance programs and sign up for your Prime account (if you're a new member), and you'll start your free 30-day trial. Existing Prime members can update their membership by visiting the same page and uploading the relevant eligibility verification.
Martin is a writer for What To Watch, focusing on guides to streaming services, like Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and HBO Max and news and features on the latest movies and TV shows.
Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.
- Bob NiedtContributor
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