Amazon Prime. Has anyone not heard of it? When Amazon finally released information on how many Prime users they actually have, the total exceeded one million members around the globe. To put that into perspective, Amazon shipped more than five million items with Prime worldwide in 2017.
The basics about Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime started in 2005. Membership fees have gone up considerably since then, and are now $119 a year. Video content was added to Prime in 2011, and music made its first appearance in 2014.
The two-day, free shipping is perhaps the biggest draw for many Prime members, but there's a lot more to this service. Here are some features you might not know about yet, but should.
1. Whole Foods Partnership
Amazon actually bought Whole Foods in 2017, so they're technically one company, but the extra savings for Prime members took a little time to materialize. Today, just about every Whole Foods cashier will ask you if you're a Prime member to make sure you get weekly discounts and 10 percent off sale items.
2. eBook rentals
Photo courtesy of Amazon
Just like your local library, Amazon Prime allows members to “check out" eBooks through the Kindle Owners Lending Library. Rentals have no due date and you can share them across all of your devices so you have some flexibility on where you read. The only limitation is you can only borrow one eBook per calendar month.
3. Photo storage
Photos take up a lot of space and finding a cheap spot in the Cloud to house all your images isn't always simple. Amazon Photos offers unlimited Photo storage along with 5 GB of video/document storage. Photos can't be larger than 2GB.
4. Pick your shipping
While the free, two-day allure of Prime is so much faster than many other online businesses can ship, Amazon is stepping things up with Prime Free Same Day and Prime Free One-Day shipping options.
Available in certain cities, and often with a minimum dollar amount per order, these super-quick shipping options only work if all items in your order are eligible.
5. Getting original with video content
Photo courtesy of Amazon
Streaming services that offer original content as well as access to favorite films or shows continue to grow as a trend in media. High-quality, award-winning content exists across Hulu, Netflix and Amazon, just to name a few.
Prime Video includes some of the most popular original shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. It's also the home of the upcoming, talked-about show, Good Omens.
6. Eat with Amazon
Yet another feature of Prime you might not be aware of is its restaurant delivery service. Available in select cities right now including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago, this Prime feature picks up your order from your favorite restaurant just like DoorDash and Uber Eats and delivers it to you.
7. Grocery delivery
Photo courtesy of Amazon
While we're talking about food, Amazon delivers groceries too. AmazonFresh provides grocery pickup and delivery. Even though it requires an additional membership fee of about $15, it's only available to Prime members.
This service delivers anything you can find at your local grocery store, including produce and fresh meat. You can reserve a delivery time the same day you place your order or schedule them to come on the following day. Groceries can also be left at your door if you specify.
8. Finding the best clothes
Standing in front of a dressing room mirror, trying on a few outfits you're not so sure about, without anyone to give you feedback, can lead to major buyer's remorse. In the Amazon app, Outfit Compare lets you upload pictures of the outfits you're trying on and get feedback on which one to purchase.
Another great clothing feature is Prime Wardrobe, which allows you to select anywhere between two to eight items of clothing, shoes or accessories to try on at home. You then have seven days to decide if you want to keep it or return it without incurring any fees.
9. Freebies with Prime
Even though access to Twitch — a gamer service with real-time, live-streamed gameplay — is free with Prime, you automatically get the additional benefits that are normally part of the paid Twitch Turbo subscription.
Even better, having a Prime account with Twitch can entitle you to download certain games for free.
10. Sharing the love of Prime
It's great to have such a multi-faceted service to help you save money and get deals all over the place, but what about the rest of your household? You can distribute the love whether you live with family or roommates.
Amazon allows you to share the shipping benefits of Amazon Prime with up to four other people as long as they live at your address.
Just a sampling
You might have heard of some of these Amazon Prime benefits, but some might be totally new to you. While these are just a sampling of a few lesser known perks you may already be getting, it's good to note that not everything is available everywhere.
Most services start off in just a few cities, so it's a good rule of thumb to check what's out there in your town. Enjoy how easily you can get food delivered, your favorite items shipped fast and so much more, but don't forget that Amazon is an empire, and there are other perks worth looking into to help create your most comfortable lifestyle.
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