How does Amazon Prime work in 2019?
With over 100 million active members worldwide, Amazon Prime is unarguably one of the best shopping-friendly services for online shoppers!
With prime membership, you not only get free and fast delivery, but you also get access to many other amazing benefits like Unlimited Prime Video Streaming, Unlimited Music Streaming, Unlimited Photo Storage, Prime Wardrobe, early access to Lightning Deals, and many more. All these benefits are explained later in this article.
However, the best perk is still Prime Delivery, under which the Prime members can get Free Two-Day, One-Day, or Same-Day delivery in selected areas.
Though Free Two-Day Delivery is available for almost all Prime members, not all members are eligible for Same-Day Delivery.
Same-Day delivery is available in over 10,000 cities and towns and on over three million items with qualifying orders over $35.
To check whether Free Same-Day Delivery is available for your city or not, Visit This Page on Amazon. Then enter your zip code in the box and click on ‘Check your zip code’ to see the result.
Now, let’s dive in and see how Amazon Prime works…
What is Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime is a paid membership service that provides its members with services and offers that wouldn’t be otherwise available.
This service was started back in 2005 at a flat annual fee of $79 and offered free two-day shipping within the United States on all eligible purchases.
Since then, Amazon has made many upgrades to this service and has added many more benefits than just the free two-day shipping.
Amazon Prime Membership Cost
Currently, the basic Amazon Prime membership costs $119/year if you opt for an annual subscription and $12.99/month if you opt for a monthly subscription. In both cases, you get to start with a 30-day free trial before committing to a paid membership.
However, the membership is available at a discounted rate for students and eligible customers with EBT or Medical cards.
The annual subscription fee for students is $59/year. They also get a 6-month free trial in contrast to the 30-day free trial for regular members.
But for student Prime membership, the benefits are somewhat restricted. It is explained later in this article under the heading – how does Amazon Prime work for students?
For more information on all Amazon Prime plans & prices, and whether it is worth it or not, check out the article ‘How much does Amazon Prime cost?‘
How does Amazon Prime work?
In short, Amazon Prime works like most of the subscription-based services that start off with a free trial and then renews at a fixed monthly or annual membership fees.
If you are a new Prime member, you will be given a 30-day free trial. During this trial period, you can enjoy all the premium benefits of Prime membership.
Once the trial period is over, your paid membership will renew automatically unless you cancel before the trial period ends.
Though the Amazon Prime membership comes with many added benefits, one of the main reasons why people use it is for the fast delivery option.
You can get your orders delivered even on the same day, provided the option is available for your location. Here’s how it work:
Search for the product you want to purchase through Amazon and look for the logo ‘Prime’ or ‘Prime FREE Same-Day’ or ‘Prime FREE One-Day’. Add the eligible items to your cart and at checkout, choose the Same-Day or One-Day delivery option.
In the search result example shown below for two books, you can see the first book has only ‘Prime’ logo, while the second book has an added ‘Free One-Day’ text logo.
Though both the books above are eligible for free Prime delivery, only the second one is eligible for the One-Day delivery.
Besides, you must purchase at least $35 of eligible items to get the One-Day free delivery.
You can also check the available Prime delivery options by directly visiting the product page. Here’s a screenshot from Amazon product page highlighting the same:
Amazon Prime Benefits
Here are some of the most notable benefits for Amazon Prime members:
The concept of Prime Free One-Day and Same-Day delivery was discussed earlier in this article. But, Prime Delivery is not limited to just those benefits.
Amazon Prime members are entitled to many other delivery related benefits. These benefits are mentioned below in brief. For detailed information, you may refer to Amazon’s Prime Delivery Page.
- Free Two-Day Delivery: Get over 100 million items with no minimum threshold, delivered within two days of shipment.
- Free Same-Day and One-Day Delivery: Get eligible orders before 9 pm the same day or 9 pm the next day. Option available on over 3 million items and in over 10,000 cities. Check for availability in your city here.
- Free 2-Hour Delivery: Available for daily essentials and groceries with Prime Now.
- Amazon Day: Select a day of the week as per your convenience and get all your orders delivered on that day. Delivery is free with no minimum order threshold.
- Amazon Key In-Car Delivery: Get secure delivery where you park – at home, at work, or near other locations in your address book. Option available only for prime members!
- Amazon Key In-Home Delivery: Get your Amazon packages delivered securely inside your home. Option available only for Prime members.
- Free Release-Date Delivery: Be among the first to get new video games, music & more. Prime members are also eligible for available pre-orders.
Early Access to Lightning Deals
Under Lightning Deals, Amazon offers a certain number of selected items at a discounted rate for a limited period of time.
Though Lightning Deals are not Prime exclusive, Prime members get 30-minute early access to those deals. Since Lightening Deals items sell out fast, the early access is really a big deal.
Visit Lightning Deals Page to see the items currently available for sale.
Unlimited Video Streaming with Prime Video
With Prime Video, Prime members can stream from a large library of movies and TV shows for free, including Prime Originals content. They can also rent the latest releases for low prices.
Moreover, Prime members can subscribe from over 100 channels like HBO, Showtime, BritBox, Broadway HD, etc. each at reasonable prices.
Unlimited Music Streaming with Prime Music
With Prime Music, you get unlimited, ad-free access to hundreds of Prime Playlists and more than two million songs all for free. If you listen to a lot of online music, this Prime benefit can certainly come handy.
Unlimited Photo Storage
With Amazon Photo, Amazon Prime members get unlimited photo storage, 5 GB of storage for videos, document, and other files for themselves. They can also invite up to five friends or family members to receive unlimited photo storage and collect photos together in the Family Vault.
Prime Wardrobe is a Prime-exclusive program where you can try the items before you actually purchase them. This benefit is available for all eligible items across women’s, men’s, kids’, and baby clothing, shoes, and accessories.
You will have 7-days to try the items at your home. After that, if you decide to keep any items, you will be charged only for those. Know more here.
Audible Channel for Prime
Using Audible channel, Prime members get free access to Audible’s short-form audio programs, documentaries, serialized dramas, comedy shows, as well as a selection of exclusive ad-free podcasts.
Besides, Amazon Prime members also have access to a rotating selection of more than 50 free audiobooks.
To know more about Audible benefits for Prime members, check out this article: How does Audible work with Amazon Prime?
There are more than a dozen other benefits like Amazon Dash, Free Twitch Subscription, Amazon Fresh, Prime Pantry, Amazon First Reads, Whole Foods Market, etc. that an Amazon Prime member can enjoy.
Click Here to know more about all Amazon Prime benefits.
You can share your Prime benefits with up to 10 members (including yourself) in your Amazon Household.
- Two Adults: Each adult needs to have their own Amazon account.
- Up to Four Teen: Age of each teen should be between 13 to 17 years.
- Up to Four Child: Suggested for children below the age of 12. Their profiles are created from an adult’s account.
Though there are certain restrictions in sharing Prime benefits, it is still highly useful and economical. Some notable Prime benefits that can be shared with the members in Amazon Household include:
- Free Prime Delivery
- Streaming access to Prime Video
- Free books with Prime Reading
- Amazon Photos and Album Sharing
- Early access to Amazon Lightning Deals
- Unlimited listening to Audible Channels
- eBooks, audiobooks, apps and games sharing on Kindle and other Amazon devices
Visit Amazon Household Page to know more about Amazon household and other benefits that can be shared.
If you want to use this feature, here’s an illustrated guide to set-up your Amazon Household. Though the guide is meant for Audible benefits sharing, the steps are the same for Prime benefits sharing too.
How does Amazon Prime work for Students?
As mentioned earlier, Students get a 6-month free trial on Prime membership and after the trial ends, their paid membership renews at only $6.49/month or $59/year which is roughly 50% less than normal Prime membership.
With Prime Student, you will get access to most of the Prime benefits that you would care about, like Free and Fast Prime delivery, unlimited Prime video streaming, unlimited photo storage, 30-minute early access to select Amazon Lightning Deals, and unlimited access to over a thousand books on Prime Reading.
Additionally, you will also get access to college deals and exclusive promotions from hundreds of vendors that are only available for students. You can save up to 90% on college textbooks alone!
However, with Prime Student, you won’t be able to share Prime benefits with others using Amazon Household.
Besides, you can avail Prime Student for only up to 48 months and you will have to verify your Prime Student qualification every 12 months.
There are two ways by which you can get verified for Prime Student Membership:
- Verify your .edu email address: If you can verify your personal .edu email address, you will immediately qualify for Student Prime. You need not have an Amazon account with that email address. It can be verified separately.
- Using other documents: If you are an eligible student and do not have a .edu email address, you can still qualify for the membership. You just have to email your valid student proof to email@example.com
You can send a scan, photo or screenshot of any one of the following documents as proof to get verified for your Prime Student:
- Your student ID displaying the current term or an expiration date; just a student ID number is not valid
- Your transcript or class list for the current term with your name and your school’s name on it
- Your tuition bill for the current term with your name and your school’s name on it
- An official acceptance letter for the upcoming term (must include matriculation date)
After verifying your document, amazon will send you a follow-up email within 3-5 business days with a link which you can use to complete your signup process without a .edu email address.
However, you must sign up for Prime Student within 14 days of receiving the follow-up email, or else you will need to contact Customer Service again to register.
If you are eligible for Prime Student, visit ‘Join Prime Student Page’ on Amazon and follow the instructions there to get your 6-month free trial.
So, that was all about the working of Amazon Prime. I hope this article was helpful to you.
If you have any doubts or questions regarding Amazon Prime membership, please share it in the comment section below. I would be glad to answer them as best as I can.