Amazon.com likes to change the rules. First it sold books online. Then it launched an online shopping revolution. When it started the subscription service Amazon Prime, customers received two-day shipments for free. Each innovation caused a paradigm shift in how we shop and entertain ourselves.
Amazon is not without competition. Walmart has definitely taken aim. Click here to learn which site offers cheaper prices, Amazon or Walmart.
More than 65 million people were actively enrolled in Amazon Prime last year, paying $10.99 per month or $99 per year. Many customers use their accounts for free shipping, but they don’t realize that there are other terrific benefits as well. Here are nine Prime perks you may not be using.
Free same-day delivery
It sounds too good to be true: You order an item, and someone hand-delivers it within a few hours. How is this possible? Amazon Prime Now usually works like this. You can order a product by noon and expect to receive it by 9 p.m., sometimes even within an hour. Click here to learn more about same-day delivery.
Share benefits with others
There you were, enjoying the rewards of an Amazon Prime membership, when you moved in with your significant other, who also orders a lot of stuff online. You can share the same Prime membership with two other adults in your household. To do this, go to Account Settings >> Manage Your Content and Devices >> Settings >> Holds and Family Library >> Invite Adult.
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Tip in a tip: Shopping on Amazon the right way is more than clicking items and loading up your cart. Once you learn a few tricks, you’ll find sales and price cuts that you never imagined possible. Click here for five insider secrets to save money on Amazon.com.
Watch streaming video
Amazon Studios gained global attention at the 2017 Academy Awards when Casey Affleck won Best Actor for “Manchester by the Sea.” Like Netflix and Hulu, Amazon is producing a wide range of high-quality programs, and critics are giving the retail giant a big thumb’s up.
Amazon also offers a colossal library of movies and TV series, from HBO flagships like “The Wire” to indie films like “The Lobster.” Keep in mind that not every flick or episode is available for free, but you can easily buy or order a streaming version of almost any movie imaginable. You can also download certain titles to watch offline. Click here for the steps on how to do this.
Download free music
Many people enjoy their first year of Prime membership without ever knowing they can download music for free. That’s right: download. You can also stream songs, the same way you stream music on Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora, but you can also choose from more than a million mp3s to keep forever on your phone or computer.
The Prime Music app is also a handy tool. You can upload your own music library and listen to your songs wherever you go.
Read free books and magazines
Amazon started as an online bookstore, so it’s no wonder the megastore would nod to its roots with free volumes on Kindle. Amazon Prime reading offers you a trove of ebooks, comics and magazines that you can download at no charge to pretty much any device.
The selections rotate regularly, just as they do for Prime Video. So if the book you want to read isn’t there now, it may become available in a few months. Just download the Kindle app and you should be ready to read. Verbophiles can even use the built-in dictionary to look up unfamiliar words.
Use special cloud storage
The truth is scary: Many people still don’t back up their hard drives. These folks are always one man-made or natural disaster away from losing all their pictures, music, videos and documents. If you don’t already have a dependable storage service but you do have a Prime membership, you can use Amazon’s handy Cloud Drive, which gives members 5GB of storage for music and videos.
Even better: You can use Amazon Prints to turn some of those stored photos into beautiful, frame-worthy images. Click here to find out how to print high-quality photos for cheap.
Order food and domestic goods
Imagine calling up your supermarket, ordering 45 pounds of groceries, and having them deliver it to your home for an extra $5.99. Sound fantastic? Well, that’s basically what Amazon Pantry does.
The service is still working out its kinks, so you won’t find the same selection you’d find at your local Super Target. But the idea is catching on, and many customers appreciate its versatility. Prime membership grants you access to a wider array of products. If you like the service, you can also subscribe to Amazon Family for $99, which gets you some extra perks, such as discounts on diapers.
Get a discount on games
Diehard gamers love to be the first to nab a new release. Amazon Prime members get a 20 percent discount on video game pre-orders and new releases. This applies to any game that has hit the market within two weeks of ordering. Just keep in mind that it applies only to physical copies of the game, and it doesn’t include console game bundles.
Get restaurant meals delivered to your door
Just when you thought DoorDash was a wild innovation, Amazon created its own dining delivery service. Just visit Amazon Restaurants and order a multicourse meal. Granted, you have to live in a city where Amazon Prime Now already exists. But if you do, you’re guaranteed to receive your steaming entrée within an hour!
What other digital life benefits are you missing out on?
Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.
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