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Amazon Prime is one of the most useful subscriptions an online shopper can have in their arsenal—and yes, it does offer a ton of benefits outside of the two-day free shipping it made its name with. However, its $119 annual cost can give many pause.
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Unless you actually understand what Amazon Prime membership actually includes, however, you won’t be able to take advantage of all the benefits—and you won’t know if makes sense for you. Luckily, Amazon offers a free trial period so you can get an idea of how Amazon Prime works before signing up officially. We’re here to help break it all down for you and answer the most burning questions.
What is Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime is a monthly or annual subscription that gives you access to fast and free shipping on tons of purchases. Anything with the “Prime” icon beside the listing on the site will ship for free with a Prime membership, arriving at your doorstep are quickly as the next day—or, in some cases and in some locations, even the same day. There are plenty of other benefits that come with Amazon Prime, including access to thousands of streaming movies and TV series from Amazon Prime Video, discounts on ad-free music streaming of more than two million songs from Amazon Music Unlimited (it’s one of our favorite music streaming services) and access to a rotating list of free Kindle books each month and more.
How much does Amazon Prime cost?
Amazon Prime typically costs $12.99 a month plus taxes, or $155.88 for the year. (If you prepay for an annual membership, it’s $119, or the equivalent of $9.92 per month.) Lower-cost plans are also available for students ($6.49 a month) and for those receiving qualifying government assistance ($5.99 a month). You can cancel at any time prior to the next billing cycle, so if you want to sign up just for the holiday season and cancel in the new year, you can do that, too.
What do you get with an Amazon Prime membership?
In addition to the other streaming and delivery benefits, Amazon Prime memberships include plenty other benefits, including but not limited to:
- Prime Wardrobe: Subscribers can try as many as eight items of clothes at once, and only pay for the ones they keep.
- Prime Gaming: Formerly known as Twitch Prime, the service combines all of Amazon Prime’s other benefits with in-game loot, free games and a free subscription on Twitch.tv.
- Amazon Kids+: Prime subscribers get access to curated content on kid-friendly tablets for $2.99 a month (nonsubscribers pay $4.99 a month.)
- Prime Day savings: Members get access to exclusive deals and other perks during Amazon Prime Day.
- Savings at Whole Food Market: Prime members get an extra 10% off sale prices and exclusive offers. Members in select areas can also get two-hour home grocery delivery or one hour pickup in-store.
How long does the free trial period last?
The free trial period lasts for 30 days. You can also spend that time checking out a few hot, award-winning and nominated Amazon Prime Video original series like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Boys and The Underground Railroad, or streaming music whole you relax, commute or workout.
What types of discounted memberships are offered?
There are several discounted plans for Amazon Prime. For example, students get a special six-month free trial period—and pay only $6.49 a month for Amazon Prime for all subsequent months. Student plans also include exclusive offers, like the ability to add Showtime movies and series or Amazon Music Unlimited for $0.99 a month for up four years and a two-month trial to Kindle Unlimited. Students who are Amazon Prime members also get unlimited free food delivery through Grubhub for orders of $12 or more.
If you have an EBT card or other qualifying documentation regarding government assistance, you may also be eligible for a deep discount, paying $5.99 a month after the 30-day free trial.
How do I sign up for Amazon Prime?
Click on Start Your 30-Day Free Trial, then follow the instructions to add Prime to your account. If you don’t already have an Amazon account, set up an account, then use the above link to get started with the special trial.
How do I cancel my Amazon Prime membership?
If you no longer want your membership after the free trial period, log into your Amazon account, and select “Account” from the dropdown menu at top right of the page. Select “Memberships & Subscriptions,” then “Prime Membership settings,” and “Manage membership (Update, cancel and more).” From there, select “End membership.”
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.