What attracted most of us to purchase an Amazon Prime membership in the past has quickly evolved. Way back when, we used to just get two-day shipping with our memberships, but nowadays the list of perks the $119 can get you seems endless. It's not endless, but it's quite long.
Are you taking advantage of everything Amazon has to offer? You might think so, but you may have forgotten or even straight-up ignored some of the benefits. If 2020 has taught us how to be frugal with our money, 2021 should teach us all about taking advantage of what we're paying for to the fullest!
Free Same Day Delivery
When Amazon Prime launched in 2005, two-day shipping was all the rage. Now, the online retailer seeks to get products to customers as fast as possible by opening up new distribution centers.
If you live in a major metropolitan area or one of the 10,000 eligible cities and towns, you could opt for free same-day shipping. First, you have to check if your ZIP code applies. If it does but you haven't seen this option during the checkout process, it means you have to start ordering stuff sooner. By ‘sooner' we mean by noon. Doing so would open the option for free same-day shipping, and Amazon will deliver your package by 9 P.M., even on Sundays.
The catch is that your order must total $35 or more, and not all items are eligible. Only about 3 million items are. If, however, you're below that $35 line, you'll have to pay an additional $3 for this perk. Non-prime members have to pay up a whopping $12.99 for this perk per item!
Free Two Hour Delivery
In more than 100 selected markets, lucky shoppers can now get free two-hour delivery on grocery goods. This includes Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, Virginia Beach, and central New Jersey.
Want to order delicious food from Whole Foods? Because the chain is owned by Amazon, you could have it all delivered in two hours. The same goes for Amazon Fresh.
If even two hours is too much of a long wait for you but you want to avoid crowds while shopping, order your items and they'll be ready for pickup in one hour, so you can get straight to cooking without spending unnecessary time pursuing the aisles.
Get Paid For No Rush Delivery
Yep, you can now get paid if you're in no rush to get your items. By picking a no-rush delivery option you'll get promotional awards or discounts for future Amazon purchases.
That doesn't mean you have to wait an eternity, either. These items will arrive within 6 business days- sometimes even faster, as some shoppers delightfully found out.
In terms of rewards, Amazon will pick them for you but they range from eBooks to Amazon app store items, instant video downloads, and more.
Get Your Prime Wardrobe On
The pandemic has made shopping for clothes nearly impossible. But if you're in a need of a new wardrobe, you're in luck thanks to Amazon's Prime Wardrobe!
Select women's, men's, and children's clothes and accessories with this logo (up to 8), and the items will be delivered to you at no cost- no shipping, no nothing. You have 7 days to try them on, pick your favorites, and then return the rest of the items for free. All these items come in a resealable bag or box with a prepaid return label, too!
Give To Your Favorite Charity
Through AmazonSmile you can now give to your favorite registered charitable organization of your choice while shopping!
It's similar to a portal, where all the products and prices are the same. The difference is that the charity you pick will receive 0.5% of the value of your eligible purchase. All you have to do is to remember to use AmazonSmile while shopping and the website will even nudge you from time to time if you forget.
There are more than a million eligible 501(c)(3_ public charities to pick from, so chose one near and dear to your heart the next time you're on an online shopping spree.
If you have Amazon Prime but your spouse or significant other doesn't, you can now share the perks! The only catch is that you'll share payment methods, meaning that you'll have to be comfortable sharing your debit or credit card information with the person you're sharing your Prime membership with.
Maybe think twice about doing this with your roommates?
Best of all, you can also include up to 4 teens and children. Thanks to parental controls, they won't be able to buy anything, but they can still gain access to digital content.
Access To Exclusive Brands
Prime members get access to exclusive brands, such as Amazon Elements. But Amazon is also rolling out more private-label brands, so it's expected that soon enough, you'll have a plethora of items to pick from that other, regular members can't get access to unless they buy a membership.
Our favorite perk about Amazon Elements is this: scanning a code on the products with the Amazon Shopping app will bring up a list of every ingredient used and where these were sources- yep, eyes single one of them! With this, you'll know exactly what you're buying and how your shopping habits may even impact the environment.
Unlimited Photo Storage (Videos, Too)
It's time to trim some costs by giving up on additional cloud storage, such as though Apple, if you have an Amazon Prime membership.
Members and up to five friends or family members (known as the Family Vault) can store unlimited photos, accessible on any device via your Amazon Prime account. You don't have to sacrifice anything, either, as all the photos will be stored in full resolution.
In addition to this, you'll also get 5GB of storage for videos, documents and other files. The only downside to this that only you can store them and not anyone else in the Family Vault. You can also buy more storage if you need it.
Prime For Students
Students and parents rejoice, now you can cut costs by using Amazon Prime Student. To open an account you need to use a real “.edu” email address and provide proof that you're taking at least one class.
The free trial lasts up to six months, during which students will benefit from free two-day Prime shipping, same-day pickup, access to Amazon Music Unlimited for 99 cents, unlimited movie streaming, and more. Best of all, students can buy textbooks for cheaper using Prime Student!
After the six months are up, membership costs $6.49 a month or $59 a year (less expensive, go with this if you want to save money overall).
Plenty of music lovers pay extra for Apple Music, Spotify or Pandora without realizing they can get access to more than 2 million songs and a thousand playlists with their Amazon Prime memberships.
Now, will Prime Music include your favorite artists or bands? Maybe, maybe not, as their selections always change. But we think you should still give it a go and see if it's enough for you before paying for other services.
If you still need more music, consider Amazon Music Unlimited, for which Prime members will only pay $7.99 a month. They feature more than 70 million songs and new releases. You can also try it for 30 days for free to see if it's up to your musical standards.
Free Books, Magazines, Audiobooks
With Amazon Prime you also get access to Prime Reading, featuring a collection of more than 1,000 books, magazines and audiobooks. You and your household can borrow up to 10 titles at a time, and the available content is shuffled around periodically, so there's always something new in store!
In order to access Prime Reading, you can use a Kindle e-reader or a Fire tablet.
If you're a fan of podcasts, even better, as you'll get free access to certain podcasts and even some audiobooks through Audible Channels (which is just like Audible, but limited). And hey, if you like this version of Audible, you can buy a full subscription for $14.95 a month!
Binge On Your Favorite Shows
If you've given cord-cutting a thought, you may be pleased to hear that you can binge series and movies though your Amazon membership thanks to Prime Video. Similarly to Netflix, get access to thousands of shows while Amazon will work on showing you titles that are relevant to your tastes.
It gets better, though, as you can also bundle up HBO, Showtime, Starz and other streaming services with your Amazon Prime membership for additional fees which can go from $4.99 to $14.99 a month.
This option also lets you download movies or shows to your mobile devices to watch them on the go. You can also buy titles, which will be available to you in your Video Library on Amazon.
Early Access To Lightning Deals
Who doesn't love Early access!? If you're a Prime member, you get to see hugely discounted Lightning Deals 30 minutes ahead of everyone else. These stay around only for as long as supplies last, which is why it's so important to get to them first. In some cases, some items get sold out before they're even available to the greater public.
Something for New Moms and Dads
Ever heard of Amazon Mom? Now known as Amazon Family, this perk offers parents 20% off baby food, diapers, and more, in addition to free returns and shipping.
They offer steep discounts for kid-friendly items, giving moms and dads all across the U.S. a bit of a financial break even when they want to spoil their little bundles of joy.
Say Hello To Alexa
Do you have an Echo Dot or an Amazon Echo? No? What about any other devices with Alexa? If so, if your hands are ever busy, ask Alexa to order stuff for you.
Alexa is already aware of your Amazon Prime status, so even saying something as simple as “Alexa, order AA batteries” will make her place an order which will arrive at your doorstep within two days, for free.
Furthermore, she also has exclusive deals. All you have to do is ask “Alexa, what are your deals?” and she'll give you a list- at times, this is a bit hard to follow, so keep that in mind and pay attention!
Whole Foods Discounts And Delivery
Since the online retailer purchased Whole Foods in 2017, shoppers have been able to order products from them on Amazon.com. In select cities, you can even get your order delivered within two hours, or (as we mentioned earlier on in this article) you could pick it up one hour after ordering.
But it's not just the convenience that makes this great. You'll also get an additional 10% off on sale items at Whole Foods stores. First you need to download the Whole Foods Market app and log in with your Prime account. At checkout, make sure to scan the code on your phone in order to benefit from the discount.
The same app will send you notifications regarding various in-store deals too, for some extra convenience.
And, finally, if you order stuff from Amazon but are heading out anyway, you can have your items delivered to a Whole Foods location that has Amazon Lockers. While you're there, you could also return an item, as Whole Foods accepts these even without a bog or label.
Fun With The Treasure Truck
You can find Amazon Treasure Trucks in 29 major U.S. cities such as Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tampa, and Washington, D.C.
Here's how they work: these trucks are filled to the brim with a variety of items. They drive around town and you can use the Amazon App to check what they're selling. Claim your item on the app and then head on over to where the Treasure Truck is located (likely near a Whole Foods). There, you just pick up your item and you're good to go!
Oh, you can also sign up for text notifications if you ever forget to check the app.
This might be a good time to mention that, actually, Treasure Trucks are put on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. But expect them to be back as soon as things get back to normal- fingers crossed!
Free Release Date Delivery
If you're not known for your patience, then you're going to love Amazon Prime's free release-date delivery. Using this feature you'll be one of the first to get your hands on new releases such as movies, books, games, or music.
All you have to do is select ‘release date delivery' when you order and you'll get it by 7 P.M. that very same day.
Amazon Prime Day Deals
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Amazon.com hosted a Black-Friday type of sale in July 2015. The tradition has continued since then, with the mega-retailer offering juicy deals on all sorts of goods. Keep in mind this is when most shoppers tend to do less shopping, focusing more on vacations and activities. So it's a good strategy to generate extra cash.
How does Amazon Prime play into this? Members get exclusive deals, of course!
In 2020, Prime Day was not what it was supposed to be largely due to the ongoing pandemic. As such, it was held in October. Ironically, they set new records for the company with millions of sales, likely because everyone was cooped up and hoping to find some joy while shopping online and saving money.
As for 2021, we can't say for certain when they'll host Prime day. If you're not a Prime member you can still sign up for the 30-day free trial in order to benefit from the super-hot sales, be they in summer or in October!
Easy Re Ordering
With how much shopping we do online, especially on different websites, it's inevitable that eventually, you'll forget where you purchased certain items for. Luckily, Amazon helps by offering you the chance to look at your whole order history while also making it easy to re-order certain items.
To do so, go to the top of the Amazon.com page and click ‘Orders'. Here you'll find all your purchases from the last six months, as it the default, but you can easily look at everything you've purchased- yes, including that very first order that has since got you hooked.
Free Delivery To Your Car
This delivery option is currently unavailable, again, due to the pandemic. But it's a great way to deter porch pirates. Instead of having your products delivered to your home, you can instead have them delivered and stored in your car, either in the truck or in the cabin.
Keep in mind that only certain cars have this option in only 37 cities so far. Buicks, Cadillacs, GMCs, and Chevrolets have this option, but only 2015 and later models, if you have an active OnStar account. Also, you can deliver packages to your Volvo if you have a Volvo on Call account or to some Lincoln, Honda, Acura, and Ford models.
You will need the Key by Amazon app, which allows delivery people to access your car, so long as it is parked in an “open, street-level, and publicly accessible area.” Just make sure your package fits in your car before you order it!
The process is seamless too. First, you'll get a four-hour window notification, after which you'll be notified when the driver arrives. They will also notify Amazon before unlocking your car and leaving your purchase inside. Finally, you'll get one more notification once your vehicle is locked.
In Home Delivery When You're Not Home
A step above allowing your delivery person access to your car is allowing them to deliver your order inside your house when you're not at home. Of course, COVID-19 put this nifty and somewhat scary feature on pause, but it's good to keep in mind for the future.
If you live in one of the 50 metropolitan areas where this feature is available, you need to outfit your home with an Amazon-enabled smart lock and camera. Using the same Key by Amazon app, drivers can simply put the box inside your home so that porch pirates can't get to it.
You do have to pay extra for the special lock and camera, but they go a long way for peace of mind, both for the delivery person that will have access to your home and for the items that won't get stolen off your porch. You'll get notified of the delivery and you can watch the driver drop the package off right at your door through the camera.
It'll all cost you around $220, or more if you want to pay someone to install the smart lock for you. What do you think, worth it?
In Garage Delivery When You're Not Home
Finally, here's an option that is NOT put on hold due to COVID-19! You can have your items safely delivered to your garage instead, also using the Key by Amazon app. Available in more than 4,000 cities, this option is free for Prime members and also includes Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh deliveries.
Drivers will have to confirm their identity and delivery route before stopping by your home. Then, they will gain temporary access to your home and are allowed no more than 5 feet inside your garage. Follow their movements with an optional in-garage camera.
And, yes, all drivers are vetted for this process.
If your garage doors won't work with the Key app, you can install a myQ smart garage hub and you're good to go!
In Gate Delivery When You're Not Home
This is yet another way to allow drivers to deliver your packages safely, meant for those who live in small apartment complexes or behind gated driveways or fences.
For electronic locks, you'll need both the Key by Amazon app and the Ring Access Controller Pro. As you've probably guessed, drivers will use these to access your locked gate, leave packages behind safely and securely while you're away on business.
Take Your Amazon Returns To Kohl's
Here's a win-win situation for both Amazon and Kohl's, who partnered up so that unsatisfied shoppers could drop off their unwanted Amazon purchases. It provides us with more variety in terms of returned items other than Whole Foods, Amazon Hub lockers, and UPS.
This partnership is said to also provide a lot more foot traffic for Kohl's, as you'll be required to head on over to their customer service desk to leave your package, meaning you'll likely pass by a lot of merchandise on the way.
So, if you want to save up a bit of money, make sure you don't lose track of your objective and avoid going on a shopping spree while you're at it!
Amazon Hub Locker
If you've had one too many packages stolen by porch pirates and neither of the options listed above suits your needs, then you should make use of Amazon Hub lockers. Prime shoppers can both receive and return items here. Find them in various retailers, such as Whole Foods, as they're free to use.
You need to sign in to your Amazon account to find the nearest locker, then take that address and set it as the default delivery address for your purchases (during the checkout and payment process).
You'll receive a code once your package is delivered- use this to unlock your locker and you're done!
Pick Up Or Return Your Amazon Purchase At An Amazon Hub
But it doesn't stop there. There are plenty of Amazon Hubs peppered around the U.S. These serve as a great place to pick up or return your orders while, again, providing foot traffic for the stores.
So if you don't have a Kohl's, Whole Foods, or Amazon Hub locker nearby, be sure to check out which stores in your area provide this service, as you may find one right around the corner. Plus, even some apartment complexes double as Amazon hubs, so it's worth it to check those out too!
Fast Gift Others
I also love using Amazon as a quick way to send my friends and family gifts from time to time. I'm not fussed, and neither are they, by the lack of gift wrap. How could I, when the best perk is the fact that I get free two-day shipping, no matter which addresses I input?
To do so simply add their addresses to your address book and select them during the check-out process. It literally could not be any easier!
Shop Women Owned Businesses
If you, like many others, are trying to give women-owned businesses a boost, then you should thank Amazon for the help. Go to Amazon Storefronts and look for this option. You'll find lots of great quality stuff from books to clothes, spa goods, and even party supplies!
Make Any Day Your Amazon Day
If you regularly shop from Amazon and would like to better fit deliveries in your routine, then you can pick your Amazon Day. What this means is that your items will be delivered on that day. If you have a pretty busy schedule, you can ensure that at least you'll be home during that time, but there are plenty of other reasons to do this.
One of the biggest reasons, other than avoiding letting your package outside where people might steal it? It's to cut down on packaging. I've found that this is a great way to avoid piling up my garage with boxes upon boxes.
Oh, and it also gives me a chance to say hello to the driver!
Discounts At Amazon Stores
Yep, Amazon has even started opening brick-and-mortar stores! Even though it's so comfortable to order goods in a fluffy robe and warm slippers, sometimes it's nice to head out and buy things the old-fashioned way. Prime members get discounts when shopping at one of their 5 real-life locations.
In love with 4-star reviewed items? Check out Amazon 4-star stores! Here you'll find top-rated items in addition to Amazon-proprietary products such as Fire TV devices, Echo devices, and Kindles.
So far there are only 31 of these in the U.S., either open or almost open, though due to the pandemic, they're only operating in a limited capacity.
For books, head on over to Amazon Books. There are only 24 locations, though. Here, you'll find a variety of books rated four stars and above by customers such as yourself. In terms of gadgets, you'll only find Kindles here, so don't get your hopes up for other goodies. For those, visit other Amazon stores.
If you live in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle, head on over to Amazon Go for already assembled, ready-to-eat meals and snacks. Whether you're looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this is the most seamless place for you to shop.
Simply walk in by scanning your Amazon Go app at the entrance, grab whatever you feel like eating, scan the QR code and walk out. Since there are no cash registers, you'll be charged on your Amazon account.
Want all of that and some baked goods to go with your meal? Then you should visit Amazon Go Grocery. Here, you'll also find fresh seasonal produce. Sadly, only two of these are open, both in the Seattle area.
In Southern California, you can shop for fresh produce, meats, seafood, and prepared foods (made right there, in-store), at Amazon fresh!
Remember, anyone can shop in these places, but if you're an Amazon Prime member, you get discounts and Prime prices, so make good use of your membership!
Game For Free And Score Loot
If you're an avid gamer (or know someone who is, such as your kid) you could use Amazon Prime for free games and game loot. What this means, for the less tech-savvy readers out there, is that players can gain some pretty cool exclusive in-game items if they use Prime.
Prime Gaming also offers a free monthly channel subscription on Twitch.TV, the go-to place to watch fellow games play games- though, nowadays Twitch.TV is used for a lot more content, not just gaming.
Make Amazon Your Prime Prescription Drugstore
Recently, Amazon has launched Amazon Pharmacy, giving all other drug stores a run for their money, literally.
This new service allows you to order your prescription drugs- delivery is made within two days. You might think that this service will be expensive, but a lot of shoppers have found that Amazon's prices are actually cheaper!
So it's worth it to compare Amazon Pharmacy to your current pharmacy or online service. You never know, you could save a few dollars in the process.
Shop Used In The Amazon Warehouse
This one is perfect for shoppers who want to save money but don't mind buying open-box items! At Amazon Warehouse you'll find millions of items sold at discount prices, from used computers to kitchen goods, cameras, cell phones, TVs and more!
This is also where most returned items go. They're practically brand new!
Head Over To The Shop By ShopBop For Designer Deals
Check out The Shop by Shopbop (that's a mouthful!) to get designer work-from-home gear. Seeing how this pandemic is going, we think everyone needs to check this section on Amazon out.
You'll find not only clothes and shoes, but also designer goods such as accessories and bags since Amazon bought the Wisconsin-based fashion retailer in 2006. Though it's been more than a decade since the purchase, not a lot of people know about this!
Zappos + Premium Shipping
On top of The Shop by ShopBop, Amazon also owns online shoe giant Zappos. You can make a Zappos account, link it to your Amazon Prime accounts and earn 2 Zappos shopping points for every $1 you spend. Use these for great perks on their website!
Finally, we've made it to the end of the list! We bet some of you had no idea that your Amazon prime membership came with so many perks! Are you ready to sue them all?