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14 best Prime member benefits to get the most out of that price hike

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An Amazon Prime membership includes access to a ton of different perks. Prime member benefits range from the obvious — like fast and free shipping — to lesser known perks like discounts on prescriptions.  

Earlier this year, the cost of a Prime membership jumped from $119/year to $139/year. That’s considerably pricier than its main rival, Walmart Plus, which costs $98/year. However, few retailers come close to matching the benefits that come with Prime membership.

Whether you’re a current Prime member navigating through the endless number of perks or someone who’s on the fence about joining, we’re listing the best Prime member benefits that are currently available. Also, make sure to follow our coverage of the best Amazon Memorial Day sales this season. 

Amazon Prime: for $139/year @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
Amazon Prime gives shoppers access to free shipping on over 100 million products. It also includes access to services like Prime Video and Prime Music. You can pay an annual $139 free or choose a monthly plan at $14.99.

Alexa deals alert

Echo Dot with Clock review

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Bargain-hunting Prime members have a new tool they can use to look for deals. Amazon's digital assistant can now notify Prime members of upcoming deals on products they wish to track. You'll need to have a newer generation Echo smart speaker or smart display to use this perk. Nevertheless, it could be a cool perk for existing Prime members who prefer to let Alexa do the heavy lifting. Here's how to have Alexa notify you of upcoming deals

Prime Try Before You Buy

Amazon Prime Try Before You Buy

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Formerly called Prime Wardrobe, Prime Try Before You Buy is a member perk that lets you try on apparel before you commit to buying anything (opens in new tab). You choose up to 6 items you want to try on, enjoy a seven-day try-on period, and pay for what you decide to keep. Returns are free and easy thanks to a resealable box and prepaid label. While anyone can try and return apparel purchased on Amazon, the benefit with Prime Try Before You Buy is that you're not charged upfront for the items you want to try. So if you want to try multiple sizes of the same sneaker, you can go ahead and do so without being charged upfront. Eligible items include men's, women's, girls', boys', and baby clothing, shoes, and jewelry.  

Discounts on prescriptions

Three bottles of medication from Amazon Pharmacy

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Amazon Pharmacy takes up to 80% off select prescriptions (opens in new tab) if you don't have insurance. It can be used at over 60,000 participating retail pharmacies across the country. Participating retailers include CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Shop Rite Pharmacy, Fred Meyer Pharmacy, Safeway, Duane Reade, and more. It's worth noting that Prime Pharmacy can't be combined with your current insurance. However, in can be used in lieu of your current insurance. All Prime members are automatically enrolled in the program and when ordering from Amazon Pharmacy all savings are automatically applied. According to Amazon, users can save up to 80% on generic drugs and up to 40% on brand name prescription medications. Prime prescription savings can't be used on pet medications. 

Exclusive access to next-gen console restocks

ps5 xbox series x

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Anyone who’s attempted to buy a next-gen console this past year knows how excruciatingly painful it can be to score a PS5 or Xbox Series X. However, Prime members get exclusive access to Amazon's PS5 restock and Xbox Series X restock events. To be clear, a Prime membership doesn't guarantee you'll get a console. However, it slightly increases your chances of scoring one. Amazon has yet to offer any restock for 2022, so rumors indicate it could be the next retailer with a PS5 or XSX drop in the coming days. 

Free shipping

Amazon Photos vs. Google Photos

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The biggest perk of being a Prime member is its fast, free shipping. Although Amazon used to promise 2-day shipping, it now lists "fast, free delivery" as a Prime member perk. Nevertheless, it's an amazing perk with no purchase minimum. In some instances, your purchase may even arrive within 24 hours, which comes in handy during major holidays. This perk is likely t o expand more as Amazon rolls out Buy with Prime on other retailer websites. 

Free grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh

Amazon Fresh bags standing on a doorstep

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Amazon Fresh is one of the best grocery delivery services we’ve tested. It’s free for Prime members and offers fresh produce, meat, dairy, seafood, and packaged foods. You also have access to snacks, pantry staples, frozen foods, and household supplies. It’s like having your own virtual grocery store that’s open 24/7. Amazon Fresh has its own deals page (opens in new tab) with discounts that change daily. They can range from 20% off Super Bowl snacks to $5 off plant-based foods. The digital storefront also carries 360-branded products from Whole Foods. 

Discounts at Whole Foods

An aisle at Whole Foods showing Prime member deals

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Amazon-owned Whole Foods is notorious for its higher-than-average prices. However, Prime members have access to epic discounts at Whole Foods. Sales change on a weekly basis, but past deals include 35% off Jason body care, organic turkeys from $1.99/lb., 20% off seafood, and 15% off pastries. Prime members also get access to Whole Foods' annual sales, such as the market's popular "12 days of cheese" sale, which knocks up to 50% off select cheeses for 12 days in December. If you shop in-store, the Whole Foods app (opens in new tab) is a must as it makes it easy to stay on top of the latest deals. Shipping used to be free in select cities, but last year Amazon added a $9.95 service fee to all Whole Foods deliveries.  

Access to exclusive deals

Screenshot of the Amazon Prime member deals page

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Prime members get exclusive access to a wide range of Amazon deals. The sales range from discounts on Amazon hardware to deals on everyday items like bedding, groceries, and apparel. The biggest Prime member perk for bargain hunters is access to Prime Day deals. Prime Day is a two-day sales-a-thon with all-time price lows on just about everything that Amazon sells. (The best deals, however, tend to be on Amazon hardware/services). Outside of major holidays, there are also Prime member deals on everything from weighted blankets to home gym gear. 

Access to Prime Channels

Amazon Prime Video Channels

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Prime Channels lets you pick and choose new “channels” to add to your existing Prime Video membership. It’s like a DIY cord cutting service that’s available to Prime members and Prime Video members only.You’ll need to pay individual subscription fees for each channel you add. However, many of the channels offer free trials. For instance, Showtime is currently offering a 30-day free trial (opens in new tab) of its service. After the trial, you can keep it for $10.99/month or cancel it. Other Amazon Channels include Starz for $8.99/month (opens in new tab), Paramount Plus for $9.99/month (opens in new tab), Discovery Plus for $4.99/month (opens in new tab), and more. Keep in mind that there's no single Amazon Channels interface where you'll watch all the content you want like Netflix and Hulu. Instead, Amazon Channels is a place where you can subscribe to the content you want and watch it through Amazon Video on any number of devices. 

Free movie streaming

Prime Video hidden features

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Prime members get free access to thousands of movies and shows on Prime Video. If you’re not familiar with the service, Prime Video is one of the best streaming services we’ve tested. Over the years, Amazon has created an impressive category of original programming like The Boys, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Man in the High Castle, and the Academy Award-winning The Sound of Metal. Prime Video members also get access to Viacom content, which includes Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon. Don’t know where to start? Make sure to check out our list of the best movies on Amazon Prime Video

Free access to more than 2 million songs

Amazon Music

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Prime members who are into music will love Amazon Music Prime. The service gives members free access to more than 2 million songs. Keep in mind that you don’t always get access to the newest or most popular artists. Nevertheless, it’s still a great perk that comes with your Prime membership. Alternatively, if you want access to more music, Prime members can sign up for Music Unlimited and pay a discounted rate of $7.99/month (instead of the non-member price of $9.99/month). 

Unlimited reading with Prime Reading

The Kindle Paperwhite 2021

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From books to magazines, Prime Reading is a Prime member perk that offers access to thousands of free digital books, comics, magazines, and Kindle Singles. It also includes access to books with Audible Narration, so you can opt between reading or listening. The best part about Prime Reading is that it doesn’t require a Kindle or Fire tablet. You can read from anywhere using the free Kindle app (opens in new tab), which is available for iOS and Android. 

Free games and Twitch.tv subscription

Prime Gaming logo

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A lesser known Prime member perk offers access to free games via Prime Gaming (opens in new tab). Originally launched as Twitch Prime in 2016, the service was rebranded as Prime Gaming and brings Prime members free games (to keep forever) every month. In addition to the free games, members also get exclusive in-game content, such as new weapons, characters, skins, and upgrades. If you love watching games as much as you enjoy playing them, you’ll be glad to know that Prime members get a free channel subscription to Amazon-owned Twitch ($4.99 value) where you can watch and support your favorite streamers. 

Free photo and video storage

Amazon Photos homepage

(Image credit: Amazon Photos )

Amazon Photos is one of the best photo storage sites, as it offers unlimited storage for full-resolution photos and up to 5GB of storage for video, which you can access from any device. You can also sync your phone with Amazon Photos for automatic backup, and display images on the best smart displays made by Amazon. You can add video storage, which starts at $1.99/month for 100GB.

As deals editor at Tom’s Guide, Louis is constantly looking for ways to avoid paying full price for the latest gadgets. With over 10 years of deals-hunting experience, Louis price checks against multiple retailers and searches high and low for the best deals to bring readers. A born-and-bred New Yorker, Louis is also an avid swimmer and marathoner. His work has appeared on Gizmodo, CNET, and Time Out New York.

  • dougunder
    I'm on the verge of canceling myself. Free shipping is the only feature I want or use.
    I don't even browse the video as everything good is an additional cost or subscription. It is too frustrating.
    I would never subscribe to channels as I want to share hulu etc with my family, not share my whole amazon acct.
    My kids have B&N nooks as the library uses epub. Youtube music is much better and cheaper, $15 for 6 accounts with the family plan.

    Even the prime shipping comes at a cost of smaller selection and often inflated prices. Never mind there dreadful searching,
    I've tried +,- , single and double quote. Doesn't matter they disregard your query. Aliexpress is a better store TBH, even with the lead times and smaller selection.
    Reply
  • louis_ramirez
    TMC2022 said:
    Don't forget Prime Wardrobe. It's great, especially these days, to get to try on a bunch of stuff in the privacy of my home. I send back what I don't want and only get charged when I keep what I want.

    Not all of the Prime benefits are included with the paid membership for everyone though. I live in Iowa, nowhere near a Trader Joe's so that doesn't work for me, neither does Prime Fresh. Prime Video is great though. I considered swapping my Prime out for Walmart Plus but run into the same problem with grocery delivery - not close enough to a location for delivery of perishables. I do find that Prime is worth it for someone like myself. I don't drive and I live in a tiny town that is too far from anything for a lot of shopping needs - yet close enough to a Kohl's for the no-hassle returns.

    Another reason I like Amazon is the customer service. It's pretty much the old-fashioned "customer is always right". There have only been a couple of times where I feel I got a bad product that I couldn't return or be reimbursed for. Now that the price has gone up - after years of membership - I find that I am eligible for a discount membership price because of SSI.
    Yes, Prime Wardrobe is another unique perk. Haven't personally tried it, but I've purchased some apparel at Amazon and should give it a try. Looks like they rebranded it from Prime Wardrobe to "Prime Try Before You Buy." Agree about the customer support. I've only had good/positive experiences with customer support when I've had to reach out to them.
    Reply
  • louis_ramirez
    dougunder said:
    I'm on the verge of canceling myself. Free shipping is the only feature I want or use.
    I don't even browse the video as everything good is an additional cost or subscription. It is too frustrating.
    I would never subscribe to channels as I want to share hulu etc with my family, not share my whole amazon acct.
    My kids have B&N nooks as the library uses epub. Youtube music is much better and cheaper, $15 for 6 accounts with the family plan.

    Even the prime shipping comes at a cost of smaller selection and often inflated prices. Never mind there dreadful searching,
    I've tried +,- , single and double quote. Doesn't matter they disregard your query. Aliexpress is a better store TBH, even with the lead times and smaller selection.
    Shipping is without a doubt the biggest benefit I personally use. Some of the discounts at Whole Foods are also pretty good (if you live near a location).
    Reply