This is the granddaddy of all features, the one that made Prime so famous to begin with. When you see the little blue “Prime” logo next to an item, that means you can ship it for free.
You can expect your purchases to arrive at your door within 48 hours. Even now, this advantage may feel like magic.
Not every item gets free shipping, so make sure you see that logo, but you’ll find multiple items that do.
It almost takes you back to the days of newsies and milk trucks: Imagine clicking on an item and then receiving it the same day for no shipping fee.
Granted, this only works in select ZIP codes – specifically, ZIP codes near an Amazon distribution warehouse – but for people lucky enough to live in these hubs, same-day delivery is an incredible boon.
Wait, so receiving an item the same day isn’t quick enough? You need it within two hours? Amazon can do that, presuming you live in the right area.
Only a fraction of Amazon’s stock is available on Prime Now, but that still amounts to more than 10,000 individual items.
If you’re a parent, you already know: Kids are expensive.
So when you have access to Amazon Family, you appreciate the 20-percent-off-diaper subscriptions.
If you’re still expecting, consider putting your baby registry online, because Amazon Family also grants you 15 percent off certain products.
You can even create a profile specifically for your child, so that Amazon will help you figure out what it is you need to buy and when.
This is one of those features that many Prime members have never heard of: Suppose you’re waiting for a hardcover book from one of your favorite authors.
You can’t wait for the book to get released, so you can finally tear into it. Well, now you don’t have to:
The second that book is available, it’ll be delivered to you for free. Many other items are also available the moment they hit shelves.
There are lots of online video services available, but Amazon Video is still one of the greats. Producing original movies and TV series, streaming movies for free, and making tons of other flicks available for rent or permanent purchase. Amazon was also one of the first companies to make their content available for download, so you can view your watch list offline.
Much of Amazon’s music collection can be heard through its streaming service, almost exactly like Spotify. But Amazon Prime also lets you download more than a million of its songs for free. It’s like Napster used to be, but legal. Just keep in mind, you will need to download the free Amazon Music app in order to download songs, and it’s only available for mobile devices. If you want to put songs on your regular desktop or laptop, you’ll have to stream songs or buy them for offline playback.
After snapping your way through multiple vacations and family functions, you’ve got so many photos, you don’t even know what to do with them.
Well, Prime Photos is just the place for them:
Amazon provides unlimited photo storage for Prime members, and you can even use its first-rate search features to retrieve just the right portrait.
Easily share albums with the people close to you, as well.
Basically, it’s like shopping at your local grocery store without the carts, cashiers or car. With your Prime membership, for an additional $4.99 per month you can get free shipping on all orders of $40 or more, or pay a flat $7.99 shipping fee for each order placed.
You don’t have to live in any particular ZIP code.
The only bummer is for people in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, where the service is not available.
What are Amazon Elements? Basically, this is where you find regular over-the-counter health items, like calcium pills and baby wipes. If you’re into basic wellness but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg, Prime grants you access to the exclusive Amazon Elements storefront.
What if there was a button you could push in the laundry room, and Amazon would immediately send you a new bottle of Tide?
This is almost exactly what Amazon’s Replenishment Service is.
Amazon Dash makes the process of ordering much faster, by letting you press these buttons or scanning product bar codes with your smartphone.
At the press of a few Dash Buttons, you can collect a whole cartload of domestic products in seconds.
Are you feeling really competitive? Are you worried that your most coveted items will sell out before you have a chance to order them?
Early Access lets you order things 30 minutes before they are released to the general public.
In Amazon parlance, these are called “Lightning Deals,” and you get the inside scoop.
Think of it as sneaking into a shopping mall on Black Friday a half-hour before the doors open, minus getting arrested or trespassing.
So the Amazon Prime Store Card is exciting, but it’s important to understand what it is: It’s a credit card that gives you a 5-percent refund.
This is remitted every month in the form of a statement credit.
Keep in mind that it applies to only approved items, but it’s still a pretty good deal, assuming you shop a lot on Amazon and keep an eye on items that receive the credit.
If that doesn’t float your boat, you can exchange the credit for promotional financing offers, which might benefit you for expensive purchases.
This option expands your reading palate even more, by giving you access to magazines and other periodicals.
Borrow a wide range of literature for a set amount of time and read them on your Kindle.
Don’t have a Kindle?
No sweat. You can download the Kindle app on almost any mobile device.
Like Early Access, Kindle First lets you see books before anyone else can nab a copy.
Each month, the Kindle First editors get together and decide on six titles to make available; then you can download one of those books for free.
These lists depend on the editors’ tastes, but if you have a diversely read palate, you’ll probably like the surprise.
Audiobook fans were shocked when Audible, their go-to service, released Audible Channels, a rapidly growing catalog of free podcasts.
This streaming service offers everything from short fiction to classics to original audio dramas.
You could spend all day jumping from one literary tidbit to another, all for free.
This costs extra, but for families with some time to kill, FreeTime is a godsend.
Starting at $2.99 per month, you’ll find a treasure trove of literature, educational games and TV series geared specifically toward children.
If you’re already fond of online programs like ABC Mouse, you may find FreeTime enriching and fun. Plus, like the name says, it’s pretty much unlimited.
Quality newspapers may be endangered, but their subscriptions can still be pricey.
This is just one reason you may enjoy a 1 month free trial to the Washington Post, courtesy of Amazon Prime.
The subscription automatically renews at $100 per year after the free month trial, but you can cancel anytime.
Gamers rejoice! Prime grants you ad-free viewing on Twitch.tv, Amazon’s gaming-focused streaming video site.
You can also get discounts on games and exclusive pre-orders.
The concept of Amazon Households makes perfect sense, no matter what your relationship with your co-habitant is:
You can merge your accounts into a single Prime membership.
Now your spouse/significant other/roommate/butler can enjoy all of the above benefits together. Remember, sharing is caring.
Maybe you cut the cord on cable, but you’re not quite happy with Netflix or Hulu.
That’s why Amazon came up with Channels, which offers you easy access to traditional cable networks like HBO, Showtime and Starz. Use the Amazon Video app to keep up with the latest season of “Homeland” and “Game of Thrones.”
“Alexa, order some deodorant!” – We’ve saved the best for last:
Owners of an Amazon Alexa-enabled device can shop Amazon without even using their hands. Available only to Prime members, this feature is like dictating a list to a robot assistant and then sending her off on a shopping trip, just like a “Jetsons” episode. Technology like this is putting the “primo” in Prime.