Top 7 Benefits of Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime adds quite a few goodies on top of an already popular and highly-regarded online buying and selling website in Amazon.  Here are some of the perks that you can look forward to when you sign up for Amazon Prime.

Top 7 Amazon Prime benefits

1. Reduced high-speed shipping costs for purchases from Amazon

If you already order a lot of products online through Amazon, then you'll love how Amazon Prime will let you crank up your delivery speeds at reduced costs.  If you live anywhere in the continental United States, you can have an order from Amazon on your doorstep in two days without paying any shipping charges.  Also, if you live close to one of a handful of selected metropolitan areas in the United States, you can have any order over $35 delivered to you on the day that you order it, with no shipping charges!

2. Access to Amazon's libraries of digital media

Amazon Prime subscribers can also watch a selection of free movies and TV show episodes online through Amazon Instant Video.  You can also listen to thousands of custom music playlists and radio stations, and over a million songs, via Amazon Music with an Amazon Prime subscription.

We'll cover watching movies and TV shows through Amazon Prime more thoroughly in our How to Watch Amazon Prime Instant Video on Computer and How to Watch Amazon Prime Instant Video on TV tutorials.

3. Storage for your photos in the Amazon Cloud Drive

As an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can store as many photos as you want on Amazon's "cloud" servers.  This lets you access them from pretty much any Internet-capable device by simply logging into your Amazon account.  You can also store up to 5 gigabytes worth of non-photo files (such as videos, documents, and pretty much anything else you want) on Amazon's "Cloud Drive".

4. Access to low-cost groceries and shipping from Amazon

Amazon Prime members get access to the "Prime Pantry" service, which allows them to purchase and ship low-cost groceries and other everyday essentials from Amazon at a flat shipping rate of $6 per box.  They also have access to "Amazon Elements", Amazon's own signature line of low-cost groceries and household products.

5. Exclusive deals, and early access to other deals

If you're an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can get access to "Lightning Deals" 30 minutes faster than anyone else.  "Lightning Deals" are discounts that are offered on certain quantities of Amazon products for a limited amount of time.  Getting early access to these deals may allow you to secure your order before the deal sells out.

As an Amazon Prime subscriber, you also get 20% off select brands of diapers that you order from Amazon, and 15% off other infant-related products that you order once you complete your baby registry with Amazon.  This can be a significant financial weight off your shoulders if you're expecting a child.

6. Extra e-book support for your Kindle or Amazon e-reader

Amazon Prime members can borrow a book from the Kindle Owner's Lending Library once each month for free.  They can also access the Kindle First program and download one of six new books for free each month, often before these books have been published for sale to the general public!

7. Share your Amazon Prime benefits with your family

If you are living together with up to one other adult and up to four children, your Amazon Prime benefits can apply to your whole family.  You can share most of the goodies from Amazon Prime that we listed above with your adult living partner (as long as they have their own Amazon account), and you can share content that you rent or purchase through Amazon with your kids, and set parental controls to make sure that they only watch or listen to what you feel is appropriate for them.


Those are seven of the best parts of signing up for Amazon Prime!  Will one or more of them be the reason that you start using Amazon Prime?

How Much Does Amazon Prime Cost?

How much is Amazon Prime?

A subscription to Amazon Prime costs $99 per year.  You are charged annually, from the date you sign up to the same date next year.  If you're looking to compare that to other per-month billing schemes, Amazon Prime's cost averages out to $8.25 per month.

You can, however, get a 30-day free trial when you first sign up for Amazon Prime. 

What do you get with Amazon Prime?

We will discuss the major benefits of Amazon Prime more thoroughly in our Amazon Prime Benefits article, but here's a quick list:

  • Free two-day shipping of items bought on Amazon throughout the continental U.S.

  • Free same-day delivery of items bought on Amazon in major U.S. metropolitan areas

  • Free watching of online movies and TV shows through Amazon Instant Video

  • Discounts on some items, and early access to deals on others

  • Free access to songs, playlists, and custom radio stations in Amazon Music

  • Unlimited storage for photos in Amazon Cloud Drive

  • Flat delivery fee on groceries from Prime Pantry, including Amazon Elements products

  • Access to early Kindle e-books and a lending library

  • Ability to share these benefits with another member of your household

Is Amazon Prime worth it?

Whether or not Amazon Prime will be worth its cost is, to put it bluntly, largely dependent on how many things you want to use Amazon for, and how often.  The two largest benefits of Amazon Prime are the savings (in terms of both time and money) when it comes to shipping items that you receive from Amazon, and the access it affords you to Amazon's libraries of digital media content (i.e. movies, TV shows, music, and e-books).

Shipping benefits

In terms of shipping, the free two-day delivery will be most worth it if you buy a lot of low-cost items that you need quickly.  We say this because most orders on Amazon qualify for free shipping anyway, as long as they total over $25.  However, they usually take anywhere from 5 to 10 days to ship, as opposed to just 2.  Conversely, free same-day delivery can be worth it if you qualify for it and have a lot of expensive orders that you need quickly, since your minimum order has to be $35.  So, it's basically a convenience issue: if you place about 15 or more orders with Amazon each year, and you want your stuff as soon as possible, then signing up for Amazon Prime could save you quite a bit of money.

Digital media library

In terms of Amazon's digital media libraries, you basically get three services for the price of one: movie and TV show streaming, music streaming, and an e-book library.  However, there are two catches to this.  The first is that Amazon Prime is a little more expensive than some comparable streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu ($7.99 per month) for movies and TV shows, or Pandora One ($4.99 per month) and Deezer Premium ($7.99 per month) for music.  The other catch is that competing digital media services often specialize in what they do, so Netflix has more movies, Hulu has more television shows, and Spotify (which is more expensive than Amazon Prime at $9.99 per month) has more music. 

Basically, what we're saying is that Amazon Prime has some of everything, but not a lot of anything.  With that said, its media libraries are catching up to those of its rivals, and do offer some exclusive content.  If you can find much of the same content on Amazon Prime that you're watching, reading, or listening to on other online media services, then by all means switch over.

The bottom line

Again, whether or not you can justify Amazon Prime's cost is up to you and your online shopping and media streaming habits.  If you order a lot of items through Amazon anyway, and need them as quickly as possible, then Amazon Prime's shipping benefits may be well worth the cost.  Also, if you like to watch movies and TV shows, listen to music, or read e-books through other online services and can find a comparable selection of content on Amazon Prime, go with it and save yourself the subscription costs of the others.


We hope this information is helpful in deciding whether or not Amazon Prime is right for you!

Amazon Prime Review

Thinking of getting the best out of Amazon with Amazon Prime?  Here are the major pros and cons that you should know about.


  • Try before you buy — You can often get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime before you have to start paying for your subscription.  Explore all that Amazon Prime has to offer… if you don't feel it's worth the cost before then, cancel it at any time.  You'll still be able to enjoy what Amazon Prime can do until the end of your trial period.

  • E-commerce goodies galore — Amazon Prime has quite a few things to offer in terms of a better shopping experience on Amazon.  In addition to faster shipping options at reduced (or, often, zero) cost, you can also get access to exclusive product lines, early access to deals-of-the-day, and discounts on diapers and other essentials for your baby.

  • A multimedia menagerie — An Amazon Prime subscription also gets you access to hundreds of free movies and TV shows on Amazon Instant Video, as well as millions of songs and hundreds of custom playlists and "radio station" mixes on Amazon Music.  You can also store an unlimited number of photos in Amazon's Cloud Drive, along with up to 5 gigabytes of other types of files.


  • The best comes at a price — Amazon Prime is a little bit pricey, especially compared to some of its competing services.  It originally cost $79 per year, but now costs $99 per year (while most of its competitors still cost $79 a year or even $50 a year).  With that said, you do get lots of benefits with the service; it's up to you whether or not they're worth the price tag.

  • Media coverage is a bit lacking — There are still some movies and TV shows on Amazon Instant Video that you have to rent or buy, as opposed to watching them for free over Amazon Prime.  And even if you have Amazon Prime, you'll still need to buy movies, TV shows, and music tracks before you can download them onto your computer and do with them as you see fit.  Also, some say that Amazon's media libraries don't have as much content as some other specialized services, such as Netflix (for movies), Hulu (for TV shows), and Spotify (for music), though they are not all that far behind.

The Bottom Line: 9/10

Objectively speaking, Amazon Prime is one of the most expensive services of its kind out there.  However, to be fair, you get an awful lot for what you pay for: faster, lower-cost shipping; mostly-free access to large media libraries for music, movies, and TV shows (though some of it still needs to be rented or bought); a large amount of free secure storage for your photos and other files; and exclusive access to various deals and discounts. 

Overall, it's tough to give a final rating on Amazon Prime, since how good it is depends heavily on how much you use Amazon anyway.  If you're set on using Amazon as your all-in-one website for shopping, watching movies and TV, listening to music, and storing your computer files, then Amazon Prime more than pays for itself.  However, there are several other services out there that specialize in one or more things that Amazon Prime does, and often at a slightly (or much) lower cost.  If you're only planning on using Amazon Prime for just a few of its benefits, then maybe try a comparable service instead.

We'll explain what we mean in our next article on how much Amazon Prime costs, and how it stacks up against comparable shopping and media-streaming websites.

What Is Amazon Prime and How Does It Work?

Buying and selling things on is easy and fun.  But there’s so much more that you can get through (and on) Amazon if you have an Amazon Prime account!  This article will introduce you to this add-on service to Amazon, and what you can get from it.

Okay, first, what is Amazon?

Amazon is a popular website for buying or selling goods.  You can order items from Amazon itself, or from third-party sellers.  You can also sell your own items to other users on Amazon.  Amazon has other features, too, such as the ability to trade in unwanted merchandise for store credit towards future purchases.

We have a course on Amazon itself that we may occasionally refer to throughout this course, so you may want to keep that one accessible for reference’s sake.

So, then, what is Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime isn’t a website or an Internet-based application per se.  Instead, it is an extension of the popular e-commerce website, Amazon.  Amazon Prime offers additional services from Amazon, or improves upon the ones that it already provides, such as shipping costs, exclusive discounts, and media libraries.

How does Amazon Prime work?

To get Amazon Prime, you must first have an account for Amazon.  If you don’t, our How to Create an Amazon Account tutorial will show you how to make one.

When you first sign up for Amazon Prime, you will be given a 30-day free trial of the service.  After that, you will be charged a subscription fee, which will last you until the same day next year.  At that time, if you have not cancelled your Amazon Prime subscription, your subscription will renew, and you will be charged the subscription fee again.

As long as you are subscribed to Amazon Prime, you will be able to access the various benefits of it.  As soon as you cancel your subscription, you will lose these benefits, but you will no longer have to pay the annual subscription fee.

What benefits can I get from Amazon Prime?

1. Reduced-cost priority shipping on Amazon orders

Shipping costs are one of the largest markups for Amazon orders, and it’s no fun having to wait a week or more for your stuff to arrive.  With Amazon Prime, you can get free shipping more often, and have your items at your door in as little as two days!

2.  Exclusive or early access to deals

Amazon has deals-of-the-day called “Lightning Deals” that are only available for a limited time.  With a membership, you can get access to these deals before the general public does, so you’re more likely to be able to score a real bargain before time or supplies run out!  Plus, as an Amazon Prime member, you get exclusive access to even more deals on July 15th, which is Amazon Prime Day!

3. Free or reduced-cost access to Amazon’s media libraries

With an Amazon Prime membership, you can watch movies and TV shows through Amazon Instant Video for less… or sometimes, even for free!  The same goes for listening to songs, playlists, and custom radio stations through Amazon Music.  Finally, you also get free early access to books in Amazon’s e-book library.

4. Flat shipping fee for low-cost groceries from Amazon Elements

Skip the supermarket checkout line by buying your groceries directly from Amazon.  When you’re subscribed to Amazon Prime, you can use the Prime Pantry service to ship low-cost groceries right to your door — some from Amazon’s own line of products, called Amazon Elements — for a flat shipping fee of $6 per box.

5. Share your benefits with your family

Have a spouse and/or kids?  Good news!  You can set up Amazon Prime so that they can take advantage of many of the benefits that we’ve listed here!  Let your spouse buy reduced-cost diapers and other infant accessories, or let your kids stream movies and TV shows online through Amazon Instant Video… subject to your parental controls, of course.


For more on the benefits that you can get through Amazon Prime, see our Benefits of Amazon Prime article.

That’s a little bit about Amazon Prime!  Our next tutorial will review the pros and cons of the service, and the rest of our course will go over some of the specific benefits that you can get through Amazon Prime.  These include watching movies and TV through Amazon Instant Video, accessing Exclusive Lightning Deals, and sharing your Amazon Prime benefits with your family.  With an Amazon Prime membership, Amazon could become your one-stop shop!