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    What is Amazon Prime? You’ll need to be a member if you want to shop Prime Day

    Amazon Prime is a good deal for anyone who shops online often.

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    Prime Day is a members-exclusive event and one of the biggest perks of being a Prime member. Our team of deals experts is tracking all the best Prime Day deals, including early deals. Read on for the other benefits of Prime membership.

    Amazon Prime is one of the most popular subscription services available. It offers perks like same-day shipping, grocery delivery, and exclusive limited-time discounts when shopping on Amazon. But there are many more benefits that you may not be aware of.

    Below, we’ve put together a guide on everything you need to know about Amazon Prime — what it is, what it has to offer, and how you can make the most of it.

    What is Amazon Prime?

    Amazon Prime is a membership subscription service for Amazon customers. While you don’t have to be a member to buy things on Amazon, Prime gives you a wide range of benefits, like same-day shipping and grocery delivery. 

    You can find a comprehensive list of Amazon Prime benefits in our guide to all of the service’s best perks, but overall, Prime makes shopping and shipping a smoother experience.

    For starters, shipping is free for Prime members on most Amazon purchases and you can get same-day, overnight, or next-day delivery on many products at no additional cost. Without Prime, you’ll typically have to pay shipping costs or wait much longer for your packages to arrive.

    Prime membership also unlocks a suite of free and heavily discounted services on everything from music streaming to food delivery and even healthcare (more on that below and in our guide to Prime benefits). Of course, you’ll also need to be a member to take advantage of exclusive discounts and early lightning deals during sale events like Amazon Prime Day, which takes place this year on July 16 and 17.

    How much does Amazon Prime cost?

    Amazon Prime costs $14.99 a month or $139 a year. New users can get a 30-day Amazon Prime free trial to test out the service.

    Students and select government assistance recipients (e.g., qualifying EBT cardholders) can receive discounts on Prime subscriptions. Student plans cost $7.49 a month after a 6-month free trial, while the government assistance discount is $7 a month. 

    Through Amazon Household, a single Prime account and all of the associated benefits can be shared by up to two adults, four teens (ages 13 to 17), and four children (no shopping, digital content only).

    Do you get anything for free with an Amazon Prime subscription?

    In addition to the shipping perks and discounts, there are also a lot of other free benefits users get with an Amazon Prime subscription, including access to Amazon’s many entertainment services.

    Grubhub+: Amazon Prime members are eligible for a free Grubhub+ membership, which nets you $0 delivery fees, lower service fees, and savings on eligible food delivery orders.Prime Reading: While not the same as a full Kindle Unlimited or Audible subscription, Prime Reading gives subscribers thousands of titles to read online, including some titles with narration. You don’t even need a Kindle to use this perk, as you can access the collection using the Kindle app on iOS or Android.  Prime Gaming: Prime Gaming from Amazon (Twitch Prime) gives users access to several games for free, in addition to one free monthly Twitch channel subscription.Prime Video: Prime Video gives you access to thousands of movies and shows for free, including many original programs you won’t find anywhere else. The service also lets you buy or rent additional titles, and you can even sign up for some third-party services, like Max and Paramount Plus, directly through Prime Video.Amazon Music: Amazon Music Prime provides ad-free access to songs and podcasts. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include on-demand playback and instead limits you to a shuffled selection of songs and episodes from any artist, playlist, or podcast you select. If you want to listen to a specific song, you must upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited.Cloud Storage: Amazon Prime offers unlimited cloud photo storage and up to five gigabytes to store videos and other files. This is a notable improvement over the standard cloud storage all Amazon accounts get, which limits photo storage to five gigabytes as well.

    What are some alternatives to Amazon Prime?

    If you decide that an Amazon Prime subscription isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, there are some alternatives you should consider. When it comes to shopping subscriptions, Prime’s main competitor is Walmart Plus.

    Walmart Plus launched in 2020, giving Walmart shoppers many of the same features that Prime offers but for a lower subscription fee of $13 a month or $98 a year. Perks include free Walmart shipping, grocery delivery, early access to deals, streaming with Paramount Plus, and more. For a full rundown of differences, check out our Amazon Prime vs. Walmart Plus comparison.

    Tech enthusiasts looking for shopping services outside of Amazon Prime may want to consider a subscription more specifically geared toward electronics, like My Best Buy Total. Members get exclusive deals, product and repair discounts, round-the-clock GeekSquad assistance, and free installation on qualifying Best Buy purchases.

    Read the original article on Business Insider

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