I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of Amazon Prime.
The question is do you know what it really is?
Yes, it’s the online shopping membership that gets you 2-day free shipping.
But it’s soooooooo much more than just that.
There’s a lot that an Amazon Prime membership offers:
- Grocery shopping
- Household services
- Children’s educational products
- Cell phone service
That’s just a small taste.
So let’s take a look at what you get when you subscribe to Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime Free 2-Day Delivery “Plus”
Obviously, as I mentioned, the original benefit of subscribing to Amazon Prime was free 2-day shipping.
On many of the items you get free 2-day shipping, and in some instances you can even get next-day delivery at no extra charge.
There is even FREE SAME DAY DELIVERY in certain areas on qualifying orders over $35.
Additionally, with Amazon Prime you get exclusive members-only deals.
Then you have Lightning Deals and other specials flash sales for regular shoppers but Amazon Prime members get early access.
These are 30-minute periods of exclusive savings in any number of categories before the non-Prime members can get the deals.
One really cool part of the shopping/shipping aspect of Amazon Prime is the No Rush Shipping option.
In exchange for waiting a little longer for your package, you will get free money credits to put toward digital purchases such as movie/tv rentals or purchases.
Amazon Prime Wireless Plans
This is something I never even knew about.
Amazon Prime members get access to wireless service from:
- SIMPLE mobile
- Cricket Wireless
You just choose a service and plan then buy a subscription to a stored value card for that particular carrier.
Your subscription automatically renews each month until cancelled with the account being managed via “Your Memberships and Subscriptions” of your Amazon account.
As an added bonus you get a 10% credit back each month in the form of an Amazon gift card.
Plans start at $50 and you get the BYOP (bring your own phone) benefit and no contract service that you would get by going to that service directly.
Amazon Music Prime
Music lovers rejoice!
As a member of Amazon Prime, you get complimentary, albeit limited, access to Amazon Music.
You get access to 2 million songs, chosen at Amazon’s discretion, as well as thousands of premade playlists and artist/genre-centered stations.
Like most other free services, you do have to put up with ads from time to time.
If that isn’t enough for your tastes, you can upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited.
As an Amazon Prime member, you get a 20% discount off of the regular monthly price which includes unlimited access to all songs, ad-free listening.
And, you can get a 30 day free trial to give Amazon Music Unlimited a test run before committing to pay service.
Amazon Prime Video
This is perhaps the biggest “secondary” benefit of the Amazon Prime membership next to the shipping.
Heck, some people pay for the membership specifically to get the Prime Video because they chose to go with no cable tv!
There is a wide array of viewing options:
- Original programming (both episodic and feature film)
- Episodic television shows (sitcoms, crime, drama, etc)
- Feature films (westerns, foreign, blockbusters, independents)
- Kids programming
- Live sports
There is something for almost any interest.
We’re not talking about local cable access quality either:
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- Good Omens
- A Very English Scandal
- Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
They have all been nominated for Emmy Awards not only for the acting but the behind-the-scenes categories as well.
Some things you will have to pay a separate subscription for, like certain sports and 3-rd party “channels” like HBO, Showtime, CBS All Access, Boomerang, etc.
Even without those add-ons, there are a ton of options to choose from.
Personally, I was thrilled with how many old-school kung-fu movies there were (thank you Shaw Bros Studios) but even that joy turns to frustration when I realized that so many titles I like in that genre aren’t available in English dubbed versions.
On the other hand, even my father found stuff to watch, and he doesn’t watch anything that isn’t at least 60 years old 😂
Everything changes monthly so if you don’t find anything today, a month from now you may find a bunch of stuff after the shuffle.
Plus, you can rent titles–many with some pretty low prices–without leaving home.
Amazon Gaming (Formerly Twitch Prime)
Formerly Justin.tv, Twitch.tv is a community-based streaming platform.
Hundreds (if not thousands) of streamers log on each day to hang out with their respective communities and play videos games, tour a foreign city, work out, fix cars, etc.
Amazon purchased the platform in 2014 and in 2016 Twitch Prime was born.
Twitch Prime was a way for Amazon Prime members to connect their two accounts and get special benefits.
Each month you could get special add-on content called “Game Loot”, discounts on paid games, and probably most importantly: a free subscription to a streamer.
In July 2020, Amazon re-branded Twitch Prime as Prime Gaming but still maintaining the perks of being an Amazon Prime member.
Now, you have actually get free games as well!
If you have young children (under 12) or expecting, Amazon Prime can benefit you in a different way.
First, you get a newsletter containing personalized parenting tips discounts based on your family’s details.
You also get a Welcome Box for expecting parents containing items for them and the baby.
If you set up a baby registry on Amazon, you get another discount.
Normally, you would get a 10% on all items in your completed baby registry, but as an Amazon Prime member, you get a 15% discount when you complete the registry.
Then there’s the subscription services–if you subscribe to have items automatically shipped to you you get up to a 20% discount depending on the number of items.
Signing up for five subscriptions gets you the full 20% discount off of items like diapers, baby food & more.
Amazon FreeTime Unlimited
If Amazon Family is for the essentials, Amazon FreeTime Unlimited is for learning and entertainment.
Amazon FreeTime Unlimited gives your children access to kid-friendly games, movies, books, TV shows ad-free radio stations and more.
Parents get a set of parental controls that are easy to use and set.
As a parent you can set educational goals that must be reached before any entertainment features are accessed.
The content is broken down by age group:
- Ages 3-5
- Ages 6-8
- Ages 9-12
And big names in childhood education and entertainment are part of the content:
- Sesame Street
- PBS Kids
- Cartoon Network
You get to control what your children have access to and when and they get to learn and be entertained.
You don’t even have to buy any additional equipment either, as Amazon FreeTime Unlimited is available on Amazon Fire, Android, Chrome OS, iOS and Amazon Echo devices.
Amazon FreeTime Unlimited normally costs $4.99/mo for a single child, $9.99/mo for the family plan (up to 4 children) or $99.00 for the Family annual plan (there is no annual plan for a single child for some reason).
As an Amazon Prime member, you get access for $2.99/6.99/69.00 relative to the non-Prime pricing.
Audible & Amazon Prime
If you like books but don’t have the time to read, Audible is for you.
It’s a service that takes print books and converts them to audio versions–narrated by actors, musicians and more–for people to listen to while out for a run or any time for that matter.
In addition to published works, you also get access to podcasts and Audible Originals like documentaries and sleep programs.
All you need to do is download the Audible app and you’re on your way.
As an Amazon Prime member, you get a little bit of an added bonus, too.
When you sign up for the Audible Premium Plus free trial, you get 2 free titles which are yours to keep, even if you don’t continue on with the paid version of Audible.
The standard Audible Premium Plus trial without being an Amazon Prime member is one free title credit, so you get twice the freebies.
Need an outfit for a business event at the end of the month?
Did you get invited to a wedding as a +1 but don’t have anything to wear?
Is your New Years Resolution to get in shape kicking in and your clothes fitting a bit loose?
Prime Wardrobe is a great solution for those situations and more.
This is another free service that is a part of your Amazon Prime subscription.
You get to shop and pick out up to 8 items to try risk-free for 7 days.
Keep and pay for what you want, return what you don’t like at no cost.
You don’t even have to pay for return shipping unlike so many other retailers where you have to pay to send stuff back.
Plus, with Amazon drop-offs at so many retail locations, it’s even easier.
There is also a new women’s styling service called Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe for a fee of $4.99.
With Personal Shopper, you give the stylists a broad view of your personal tastes & preferences and they build a curated selection of clothing and accessories for you each month.
Then, it works just like Prime Wardrobe where you get the same 7-day period to decide if you want to keep the items or return them.
Unfortunately, Prime Wardrobe doesn’t get the same free 2-day shipping as some other Amazon Prime products because Wardrobe orders ship in as few packages as possible so it can take 4-6 days for them to be delivered.
Similar to services like Instacart, Prime Pantry allows you to shop for food and household goods without having to go to the store.
You then get the items delivered right to your home–or office or anyplace else.
The benefit of your Amazon Prime membership is free shipping on orders over $35, where the non-Prime and sub-$35 order delivery cost is $5.99.
Unlike warehouse shops, these are everyday sized-products not monstrous packages that go half-to-waste.
This service also doesn’t get the free 2-day shipping either.
Prime Pantry orders can take up to 4 days due to being shipped via ground delivery.
Whole Foods Grocery
On June 15, 2017 Amazon purchased Whole Foods.
As part of that purchase, not only was Amazon going to reduce the prices to make it more affordable but Amazon Prime members were going to get additional savings.
Amazon Prime members would get special members-only savings on certain products changing on a weekly basis.
Additionally, Prime members get an additional 10% savings on the everyday sale items.
On top of the savings, Prime members also get free curbside pickup or 2-hour delivery (depending on your location).
On the surface the $129 annual fee (as of the time of this writing) may seem steep, but if you break down all of the services it can seem like a real steal.
As you can see, Amazon Prime “delivers” more than you knew (see what I did there 🙃) and it’s certainly more than free 2-day shipping!
Even if you have no intention of shopping on Amazon, you can still get tremendous value from a Prime membership.
Using Prime Video alone a couple times a month will more than make up for the cost.
The discounts on groceries at Whole Foods (if you shop there) will also make up for the membership cost well before the year is up.
The freebies and Twitch subscriptions you get with Prime Gaming add up as well.
Imagine what the value will be when using multiple services relative to the cost of Amazon Prime membership!
Questions For you
Do you–or did you in the past–have an Amazon Prime membership? If yes, did you take advantage of any of the added services? If no, were you aware of all of the extras that membership provides and would having access to any of them change you mind about subscribing?