At $139 per year (or $14.99 per month), the cost of an Amazon Prime membership can be an expensive pill to swallow, especially for shoppers who need that $15 for more necessary household items. But for shoppers who receive government assistance in the form of programs like WIC or Medicaid, there’s a more affordable alternative: Prime Access. Here’s how shoppers can access the service, what it includes, and how much it costs.
What is Prime Access?
Prime Access is an Amazon service that offers all the benefits of Prime at a discounted price, including free delivery, streaming, and exclusive deals. Members also receive 20% off select essentials and a rotating selection of prepared foods, which can be paid for using SNAP EBT. The service applies to qualifying recipients of government assistance, including recipients of Medicaid, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Once shoppers have signed up for Prime Access, they’ll have access to Prime benefits such as free delivery, Prime Video, and unlimited storage with Amazon Photos.
How Can I Apply?
In order to apply for Prime Access, shoppers must upload documentation — either an eligibility letter or a card — from one of the following programs:
- SSI: Supplemental Security Income
- Direct Express Prepaid Debit Card
- TANF: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- TTANF: Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- NSLP: National School Lunch Program
- LIHEAP: Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
- WIC: Women, Infants, and Children program
Once shoppers have applied, they’ll receive a 30-day trial period, after which they’ll be charged on a monthly basis. A current and valid payment method is required on the account.
How Much is Prime Access?
A monthly membership to Prime Access costs $6.99 per month — more than half off Prime’s regular price. Payments will begin once the 30-day trial is over, and memberships can be canceled at any time.
Grocery Shopping on Amazon: SNAP EBT
Shoppers don't have to sign up for Prime Access if they want to use SNAP EBT when shopping. Any customer with a valid SNAP EBT card can sign up by adding their EBT card, looking for products labeled "SNAP EBT Eligible," and entering their EBT pin to pay for those items. Amazon accepts SNAP EBT in all states except for Alaska.
Other Ways to Save
If you aren’t eligible for Prime Access but still want to save on a Prime membership, there are a couple other options. Prime Student offers a Prime membership for $7.49 per month, including a six-month free trial for new members. Members need to be actively enrolled in at least one class at a college or university in the United States, and need to have a .edu email address. Another way to save on a Prime membership — at least temporarily — is by signing up for a free 30-day trial, available to new members. After that, however, you’ll need to pay the full $14.99 per month.