The 18 best perks you get with an Amazon Prime membership (AMZN)

Avery Hartmans
amazon package box

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It's Amazon Prime Day, meaning members of Prime have access to special deals on the online marketplace for 48 hours. As a member of Amazon Prime, you get a convenient and well-publicized perk: free two-day shipping on almost any item on Amazon. 

But the $120-per-year membership actually gets you a lot more than expedited shipping. In fact, signing up for Prime unlocks features including: Amazon's vast digital library of music, movies, television, and books; one-hour restaurant delivery; and unlimited cloud storage for your photos. 

Prime members even get special discounts at Whole Foods, thanks to Amazon's acquisition of the grocer.

This is an update to a story originally published in 2017.

Here are 18 of the coolest benefits of Amazon Prime:

1. Free two-day shipping

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Most things you buy on Amazon are eligible for free two-day shipping, but there are a few exceptions:

  • Some items that are fulfilled by Amazon Marketplace sellers
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Personalized gift cards
  • Items sent to international addresses and addresses in US territories, possessions, or protectorates (except for Puerto Rico).

2. Amazon Restaurants


For a $20 minimum order, you can get restaurant food delivered in less an hour in New York City, Orlando, Los Angeles, and 21 other metro areas. 

3. Prime Photos


A Prime membership also gives you access to Prime Photos, Amazon's cloud storage feature. Members get unlimited storage for photos, plus 5 GB for videos and documents. 

4. A discount on Amazon Music Unlimited


Prime members can get Amazon Music Unlimited, Amazon's music streaming service, for $7.99 per month. Non-members have to pay $9.99.

5. Free same-day delivery


For orders over $35, same-day shipping is available in more than 5,000 cities in the US. Prime members can check if their ZIP code qualifies here

If you place an order before noon, the item should arrive by 9 p.m. An order placed in the evening will show up the next day.

6. Amazon Elements


Amazon has its own line of high-end organic products, and Prime members get exclusive access to them.

Called Amazon Elements, the line includes vitamins and baby wipes. Amazon says its goal is to make the products with openness and transparency

7. Twitch Prime


By signing up for Twitch Prime, members can get access to a rotating selection of free PC games, an ad-free experience on Twitch, and a free monthly Twitch channel subscription. 


8. Prime Now

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If same-day delivery isn't quite fast enough, you can use Prime Now, which will deliver qualifying items within two hours. The service is available in more than 50 cities worldwide, and you can order everything from an Amazon Echo to groceries. 

If you need an item within an hour, you can get that in select cities for $7.99 extra. 

9. Prime Video


Prime Video offers unlimited streaming of certain movies and TV shows in Amazon's library, including original content like "The Tick" and the upcoming "Lord of the Rings" TV series. The service comes free with Prime, but you can also subscribe to Prime Video as a standalone service. 

10. Amazon Households

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If you co-habitate with your significant other, you can share the benefits of Prime with them. Amazon Households can include up to 10 members, and you'll each split the cost. 

11, 12, and 13. Kindle Owners' Lending Library, Prime Reading, and Kindle First


Prime membership brings with it several discounts and perks that harken back to Amazon's early days as a bookseller:

— The Kindle Owners' Lending Library can save you lots of money on e-books. Amazon says its library includes "hundreds of thousands of titles," and there's no due date, which means you can download the books and keep them indefinitely on your Kindle or Fire tablet. 

— Along the same lines is Prime Reading, which functions more like a standard electronic library. Prime members can borrow books and magazines and read them on Amazon devices or in the Kindle app. With Prime Reading, you can keep up to 10 titles at a time. If you want a new one, you just return one you borrowed. 

— Kindle First lets you download one of six books Amazon's editors highlight each month. The book will either be free or discounted and will be available a full month before the release date

14. Prime Early Access


With Early Access, Prime members get to see and order products listed in Amazon's flash-sale Lightning Deals 30 minutes before non-Prime customers.

15. Discounts at Whole Foods


Thanks to Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon is now giving Prime members 10% off sale items at Whole Foods and weekly discounts on best-selling items. 

16. Prime Pantry


Prime Pantry lets you order lower-priced groceries and household products and have them shipped altogether to your house for an extra fee of $4.99 for orders over $40. 

17. Outfit Compare


The Outfit Compare feature lets you upload two different outfits and get an opinion on which one looks better. The feature is free and available in Amazon's mobile app, but only Prime members can use it.

18. Prime Wardrobe


With Prime Wardrobe, you can pick up to eight items from Amazon, have them shipped to your house, and then ship back any items that don't fit or you don't want, all with no return shipping charges. You only pay for the items you end up keeping.

There are plenty more features and rewards available to Prime members. Check out the full list here