Hidden Perks of Amazon Prime

Paying $119 for Amazon Prime? Don't Miss These Perks

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Hidden Perks of Amazon Prime

Don't Miss Out

Introduced in the U.S. in 2005, Amazon Prime has grown by leaps and bounds, with more than 200 million members worldwide and 147 million in the U.S. The program, which offers free two-day shipping on an unlimited number of orders for a flat annual fee, has steadily added perks — to the point where some members may be unaware of all the benefits the $119 membership buys. Here's a rundown of several lesser-known advantages of being a Prime customer — and a warning that Amazon is doing away with yet another benefit, not long after halting free Whole Foods delivery. 

Not already a Prime member?  Sign up here.

(Did you know that qualifying government assistance beneficiaries can get a 50% discount on Amazon Prime? See details and sign up here.)

Related: The Most Popular Items Our Readers Bought on Amazon During Prime Day

Amazon prime boxes delivered to a front door
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Amazon Key

Until now, Prime customers could get their packages delivered to their parked cars, but Amazon is killing the program, which was part of Amazon Key. The perk, which was available for owners of select cars, is being "suspended indefinitely," according to CNBC. But don't worry: If you're cool with Amazon having access to your garage, it will still deliver packages there — a service ostensibly offered to help customers avoid porch pirates, but one that has raised obvious issues about giving a stranger access to your home. 

Related: Insider Hacks and Secrets for Shopping on Amazon

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Whole Foods Pickup

Historically, Prime membership granted customers free two-hour delivery on Whole Foods orders over $35. Alas, those days are over — the grocer recently started charging a painful $9.95 delivery fee nationwide. But there are still a couple of other freebies on offer. Prime members will continue to get free pickup on Whole Foods orders over $35, a spokesperson said, as well as discounts like 10% off select items.

Related: Online Grocery Delivery Comparison: Is One of These Services Right For You?

Reading news

Amazon First Reads

Prime members are automatically registered for Amazon First Reads, allowing them to download and read select titles a month before the release date for free or at a reduced rate.

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Delivery Turtle

No-Rush Shipping

While opting to get your package more slowly may not seem like a perk, Amazon sweetens the deal by offering a reward or instant discount to make patience more of a virtue. 

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Membership Sharing

Even seasoned Prime members may be unaware that another adult living in the same household can be added to the membership and access many of the benefits from their own account. One catch: Payment must be made from the authorizing member's credit card. That may be no big deal if the benefits are shared with spouse or partner, but it could get a bit dicey with, say, a roommate.

Unlimited Photo Storage

Unlimited Photo Storage

That's right, unlimited. And there are free apps available to help upload photos to the cloud. Members also get 5 GB of storage space for videos and other files. Prime members who have run out of room on other cloud storage services — or don't have a backup at all — can breath a sigh of relief.

Amazon Prime Day Deals

Free Same-Day Delivery

Free two-day shipping is the most talked about benefit of Amazon Prime, but members also have the option of free same-day delivery in select locations (a growing list) and on specific, qualifying items with a $35 minimum order. 

Related: Quiz: Is It Cheaper From Amazon or Walmart?

Early Access
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Early Access

Amazon gives Prime members an early crack at its limited-time "Lightning Deals" — though inconsistent application have some users expressing skepticism. Officially, Lightning Deals are good only while supplies last and could mean the difference between scoring a deal and missing out.

Related: The Top Items Our Readers Have Bought on Amazon So Far This Year

kids looking at tablet

Amazon Kids+

Prime members get a discount on Amazon Kids+, formerly Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, a service that offers books, movies, shows, apps, and games designed for kids 3 to 12, with no ads or in-app purchases. After a one month free trial, Prime members pay $3 a month for single memberships or $7 for family memberships, a 40% discount from the standard $5 fee or $10 fee.

Related: Subscription Kits to Entertain and Educate Stir-Crazy Kids

Kindle Lending Library
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Prime Day

Prime Day, an annual event when Amazon offers exclusive deals for Prime members, took place on June 21 and 22 this year. Last year, the shopping event was delayed until October thanks to the pandemic. 

Related: Mistakes to Avoid on Amazon Prime Day

Prescription Medicine

Amazon Pharmacy Six-Month Prescriptions

In its latest advance against rival Walmart in the battle for online prescription drug sales, Amazon announced a new offer. Prime members will be able to get a six-month supply of medications for common health issues for as low as $6 when they pay without insurance. This perk expands on Amazon Pharmacy's shopping tool, which allows Prime members to compare prices through its network of 60,000 pharmacies.

Not already a Prime member?  Sign up here.

Home cinema entertainment: watching a film from a video projector in a room.

Prime Video

If you haven't already stumbled across it, Amazon's Prime Video service has not only thousands of TV shows and movies you can watch for free, you can also find content original to the site, such as "Bosch" and the Emmy-nominated superhero parody "The Boys."