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Amazon Prime is a subscription service from Amazon. It gives members access to exclusive shopping and entertainment services, discounts and more.

What are the benefits of Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime’s key benefit is its free two-day shipping on millions of eligible items. In some cities, you can even get same-day delivery on eligible orders. While Amazon does offer free standard shipping on qualifying orders of $25 or more to non-Prime customers, it takes five to eight business days for those orders to arrive.

But just as the company has expanded from a simple bookstore to an e-commerce empire, so has Prime extended its benefits to include:

Unlimited movie and TV streaming

You can stream thousands of TV shows and movies for free using Prime Video. Members can also subscribe to channels like HBO and Showtime for an additional cost.

Unlimited reading

Members can choose from over a thousand books, comics and magazines to read for free. The service is available on Kindle and Fire tablets, as well any iOS or Android device with the Kindle app.

Unlimited music streaming

You can listen to over 2 million songs and browse Prime Playlists, all ad-free with Amazon Music Prime. Prime members can also get a discounted subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited, which has over 90 million songs.

Whole Foods deals

Prime members get an extra 10% discount on eligible sale items at Whole Foods Market, in stores and online.

Free games

With Prime Gaming, you get access to free PC games and in-game content, plus a monthly Twitch channel subscription.

Free unlimited photo storage with Amazon Photos

A Prime membership gives you unlimited, full-resolution photo storage and 5 GB video storage. Your photos will be backed up through the Amazon Photos app, which you can access from both your computer and mobile device.

Amazon Elements

As an Amazon Prime member, you have access to Amazon’s own consumer-first line of everyday items, like baby wipes.

Amazon Family

Free for all Prime members, Amazon Family offers family-oriented coupons and deals, including up to 20% off diapers per month with Subscribe and Save, and a 15% baby registry completion discount.

How much does an Amazon Prime membership cost?

The cost of an Amazon Prime membership depends on the plan you choose, but you can try it for free for 30 days.

Here’s a breakdown of the payment plans and what they include:

  • Prime monthly membership: $14.99 per month. If you want full Prime benefits but prefer to spread out your payments, you’ll pay about $180 a year. If you receive qualifying government assistance, you can get a Prime membership for $6.99 per month.

  • Prime annual membership: $139 per year. Those who pay an annual lump sum for the full membership will spend less in the long run.

  • Prime Student membership: If you’re a student with a valid school email address, you can get a free six-month trial of Prime Student and a discounted membership fee of $69 per year (or $7.49 per month) after that.

  • Prime Video membership: $8.99 per month. This membership restricts your perks to Amazon’s unlimited TV show and movie streaming. It’ll cost you around $108 per year.

Heads up: Amazon keeps your credit card information on file when you sign up, so if you decide you don’t want the membership once your free trial expires, make sure to log into your account and cancel it. Otherwise, you’ll be charged the membership fee.

How to sign up for Amazon Prime?

Before you can sign up for an Amazon Prime membership, you need to have a basic Amazon account. 

To sign up for an Amazon account and then an Amazon Prime membership, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Amazon.
  2. Hover over (or tap on mobile) where it says Hello, Sign in and Accounts & Lists in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. On the drop down menu, click Start Here under the “New Customer?” question.
  4. Enter your name, email, and a password in the fields provided, then click Create Your Amazon Account.
  5. You will be automatically signed in or you can sign in using the same Hello, Sign in link if you wish to proceed with Prime membership later.

Now, to continue to the matter at hand.

You’re a few clicks, a free trial, and then a payment away from fast, free shipping, lots of movies and music, discounted eats from Whole Foods, and a whole lot more.

To sign up for a Prime membership, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your basic Amazon account.
  2. Click on your account icon on the top right (it should say “Hello, [Your Name]” where before it said “Hello, Sign in”).
  3. Click Prime Membership from the dropdown menu.
  4. On the next page, select Start your free trial, and make sure to opt for the six-month option if you’re verifiably a student.
  5. Select the type of Prime membership you want, from the $8.99/month video-only option to the monthly payment plan for everything to the annual fee for everything.
  6. Enter credit or debit card info when prompted, or select the card already on file (from your basic membership) that you want to be charged for membership.
  7. Confirm your billing and shipping address(es).
  8. Enjoy Amazon Prime — you can now browse, order, and receive items with your Prime membership.