The Amazon Prime program is famous for its speedy and free 2-day (sometimes, even same-day) shipping — a feature worth the annual subscription fee for most of us. But there are a host of additional little-known perks included in your Prime Membership — from free bonus months, to unlimited photo storage — that make the $99 subscription seem like a bargain.
So whether your'e a current Prime subscriber looking to maximize your benefits, or a curious reader looking to get into the Amazon Prime world (which you can do for free, no strings attached!), check out these 17 hacks, tricks and tips that'll help you get every last penny's worth out of your Prime membership.
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Use The Free 30-Day Trial To Buy All Your Presents And Save So Much Money On Shipping
If you aren't already a Prime subscriber, there's good news: Amazon really, really wants you to be. So much so that they offer a free, no-strings-attached trial of the program here.
Tip: use the free 30-days to do all of your holiday or birthday shopping, and save tons of money on shipping. Then, if you don't want to keep the membership, set it to auto-cancel. Go to Manage Prime Membership, and click "Do Not Continue".
Each Late Delivery Earns You One Free Month Of Prime
Amazon's Guaranteed Accelerated Delivery policy promises delivery by a stated date. If it's late, you're owed a free, one-month Prime Extension. Just go to Your Orders, find the late order, and click on File/View Claim, then Report Problem.
As a subscriber, you can earn up to 12 extensions per year (one, if you're on a free trial). It might be time to start bribing your UPS guy to slow-roll the deliveries.
You Get Free Unlimited Photo Storage So You'll Never Run Out Of Memory On Your Phone Again
Perhaps the least-known and most beneficial of the Prime membership benefits, the Prime Photos app will automatically upload and backup the photos on your phone, storing them indefinitely and allowing you to clear much-needed space on your phone.
Cut Your Costs In Half By Sharing Your Membership
Way back in history, before the year of 2015, Primers could share their membership with up to four other adults (technically, they were supposed to be family members, but that wasn't really enforced). Times are slightly tighter now, but you can still share your Prime membership with another adult member of your 'household'.
You Get Free New Books Before Anyone Else With Kindle FirstKindle First gives subscribers free access to one brand-spanking-new publication a month, before the title's even available for purchase. Eager readers can check out the well-curated selection here.
You Get Free Unlimited Access To 1000+ Magazines, Books, Comics and More
Essentially the larger cousin of Kindle First, Prime Reading is yet another under-utilized benefit, giving readers unlimited access more than a thousand books, magazines, comics, Kindle Singles and more.
Think of it like a sort of Netflix for digital literature.
You Can Save Money By (Possibly) Canceling Your Netflix Account
If you haven't taken advantage of Amazon Prime Video yet, stop reading this article, get something good to snack on, find a comfortable place to sit, and get at it, ASAP.
With an impressive catalogue of movies and TV shows — not to mention fantastic original series like The Man In The High Castle, Transparent, and Bosch — Prime Video is an often un-plumbed streaming resource that can stand its ground with Netflix in the battle for your attention.
And let's be real: Netflix doesn't ship your toilet paper next-day for free.
Use Amazon Prints To Get Printed Photos And More Right To Your Door
Amazon Prints offers premium quality photo prints with free shipping for Prime members. It fully integrated with Prime Photos, so you can create custom photo books, calendars, cards and posters with ease on your smartphone.
Never Miss A Delivery Again With Amazon Locker
Avoid waiting in line at the UPS pickup counter. Foil potential package thieves. Thwart the nasty weather's plans to destroy your Amazon order.
Opt to have your order delivered to a nearby Amazon Pickup Location, or Amazon Locker. Just go to Your Account, then Manage Addresses, and Add A New Address. There you can search for local staffed pickup locations, or an easy-access Amazon locker.
Earn Free Food By Exercising PatienceThat free two-day shipping isn't cheap, and Amazon knows it. That's why they entice you with a $5 Amazon Pantry credit if you agree to their free "No-Rush" shipping. So if you're not in dire need of your latest order of bulk-pack toilet paper, give it a shot.
Read Basically Any Book You Want, For Free, With The Kindle Owner's Lending Library
With the Kindle Owner's Lending Library, you can read one book a month for free, from any of the more than one-million titles available. It's available for Prime members, and all you need is a Kindle (which are pretty cheap now) or Fire Tablet (even cheaper than a Kindle).
Take 5% Off Of Everything You Buy
Much like my beloved Target, Amazon Prime offers its own credit card, which'll get you a 5% discount on purchases across the board.
There's no annual fee, and the card is perfect for those large purchases (furniture, gloriously huge TVs, furniture for your gloriously huge TVs). Interest rates aren't low, however, so be sure you pay off your balance.
Make Your College Education Really Worthwhile
Students rejoice: any email address that ends in .edu is eligible for six months of Amazon Prime, free. After that, students can enjoy 50% off the regular price of Prime with a Prime Student membership.
And you thought college was only good for learning stuff.
Become The Most Brilliant, Cultured And Politically Informed Person You Know
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is one of the world's richest men, and as rich men sometimes do, Bezos bought a newspaper: the venerable Washington Post.
Prime members can enjoy a free 6-month digital subscription to the newspaper that broke the Watergate scandal.
Buy Your Way Into Being A Good Person
With the Amazon Smile program, Amazon will donate .5% of your purchase to the charity of your choice. It's super simple to enroll, and you have your choice of over one-million charities to receive your proceeds.
So if you needed any further justification to pull the trigger on that 70-inch TV, you're welcome.
Upgrade Your Podcast Game With Premium Content From Audible Channels
Amazon owns audiobook monolith Audible, and you as a Prime member get to partake in the spoils with free access to Audible's original, commercial free podcasts.
Just imagine how much more you'll enjoy a podcast without those Squarespace, Squatty Potty and Blue Apron commercials.
Join Amazon Family For Free And Save Serious Cash On Diapers And More
Your baby will soil over 3300 diapers in her first year of life. Save yourself some serious cash, and sign up for a diaper subscription through Amazon Family.