11 Amazon Prime perks you’ll wish you knew sooner

Due in large part to the pandemic, more Americans than ever are “priming it.” That is, jumping on Amazon and using their Prime membership to get free two-day shipping on purchases.

Annual Prime membership costs $119. You can pay $12.99 monthly, but this will cost you $37 more per year. I’m not too fond of auto-renewals. Under your Prime Account settings, there is an option to get an email reminder three days before your membership renews.

Many people don’t know that you can get a free account if you shop Amazon for your business. It doesn’t come with perks like free videos. However, you will have access to multiple payment options, business-only pricing and quantity discounts. Learn more about how to register for your free Amazon Business account at this link.

There are other ways to save on your Prime membership. Two adult households do not need two Prime memberships. Link your account with one other to share shipping, streaming access to movies and TV shows and more for free.

Students with a valid .edu address pay $59 annually or $6 monthly and get a 6-month free trial. Holders of select government assistance program cards such as EBT and Medicaid also get a break. You can also sign up for Prime for $6 per month.

Your Amazon Prime account comes with a ton of perks. Here are a few standouts.

But first: Want a free 30-day trial?

If you’re not a Prime member you can’t take advantage of all the spectacular Prime Day deals. Fortunately, you can try Amazon Prime out for 30 days free with this special link. Tap or click here to start your trial, then it’s time to get shopping.

Prime Video

While Netflix has traditionally been the go-to source for movies, it’s not the king. According to Reelgood, as of June 2020, Amazon has 12,828 movies and Netflix has a mere 3,781.

If you haven’t already, download the Amazon Prime Video app on your TV, tablet, or phone to start watching at home or on the go. You’ll also be able to rent movies at discounted rates. Unlike other streaming services, rentals last 30 days.

For more viewing options, Prime members can add subscriptions to HBO, Showtime, Starz and more. No cable or satellite account is necessary.

You can cancel anytime and there are no additional apps to download. You can get a free trial to check it out.

Prime Music

You have access to over 2 million songs ad-free. There are thousands of stations and playlists. You can also download music to listen offline, which is a great perk when you don’t have a connection. If you have an Echo, this is a terrific Alexa skill. Just tell the smart speaker the artist or what type of music to play.

If you love music, Amazon Music Unlimited gives you access to a staggering 60 million songs. You can get a 30-day free trial. Afterward, Prime members pay $8 monthly. Non-Prime members pay $10 monthly.

Amazon Photos

Bet you never thought of trusting your photos to Amazon. Prime members get free, unlimited full-resolution photo storage and 5 GB video storage. There are also terrific custom print options and the ability to share pics with friends and family.

Visit this Amazon Photos page to get the Amazon Photos app to start using this perk on your phone. If you prefer using your Mac or Windows desktop, you can upload photos at the Amazon Photos page.

Prime Gaming

In 2014, Amazon acquired the social media gaming site Twitch for a cool $1 billion. Now called Prime Gaming, you get free PC games, a free subscription to a Twitch channel every month, and free loot, including weapons, characters and skins. Play Roblox, Destiny 2, Doom and more.

Reader’s Perks

Amazon started out as an online bookseller in 1995, and those roots are evident in these Prime membership benefits. Prime Reading gives you unlimited access on any device to more than a thousand eBooks, magazines, comics, books with Audible narration and more.

You can also share this benefit with your household. You can use a Kindle or Fire tablet or download the Kindle app on your phone or tablet.

There’s also Amazon’s First Reads program. Editors select books in various genres and you get one free Kindle book from their picks each month.

Free release-date delivery

Speaking of first dibs, with your Prime membership, you can get brand new movies, books, video games and movies shipped to you by 7 p.m. the day they are released. This is super convenient if you can’t wait to get your hands on your favorite book series’s latest installment.

Prime Print Magazines

Most of us stare at screens all day long. Between your phone, computer, and TV, I bet your eyes need a break. Why not read a magazine? With your Prime membership, you can get a four-month subscription for just 99 cents.

Scan through the options here. The list includes Wired, Vanity Fair, Food Network Magazine, Car and Driver, and lots more.

One important note: These subscriptions automatically renew for a year at the end of the four-month trial. You’ll be charged about three months in, but that charge will be refunded in full if you cancel.

FreeTime Unlimited

If you’re teaching at home during the pandemic, this might be your new best friend. You’ll have access to more than 16,000 kid-friendly games, videos, books, TV shows and educational content with Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. It includes hundreds of hours of ad-free radio stations and playlists, Audible books and even Alexa skills for kids you have an Echo at home.

You can try it for 30 days free, and then you’ll pay $2.99 per month. Use the parental control settings to choose screen time limits, filter down to only age-appropriate content and set educational goals.

Access works across devices — including Fire, Echo, Kindle, Android, iPhone, and Chrome OS — for kids 3 to 12 years old.

Prime Exclusives

Everyone can shop on Amazon, but Prime members get special treatment. These change often, so keep an eye on this page. Most of the time, you’ll save a few bucks here and there, but the discounts can be significant on higher-ticket items.

Alexa Voice Deals

Alexa can scan the deals for you, too. If you want to shop with Alexa’s help, you first need to enable that setting. In the Amazon Alexa app, go to Settings > Account Settings > Voice Purchasing. Toggle it on.

Then, say “Alexa, are there any deals on Amazon?” and she’ll rattle off a few you might like.

Prime Wardrobe

Even before the pandemic, I preferred trying on new clothes at home. It’s always better to see how something fits in your lighting, with your mirrors.

With Prime Wardrobe, choose up to eight items to try on without ever setting foot into a store. Return anything you don’t want and pay for the things you keep. Just be sure to return your unwanted items within the specified time frame.

Not all clothing is Prime Wardrobe eligible, but there is a ton of selections.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

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