With the cost of living crisis still squeezing family finances more than ever, knowing the hidden benefits of your Amazon Prime membership can help your money go as far as possible.
If you don't have one yet, now is the best time to sign up for a FREE 30-day Amazon Prime trial (opens in new tab) so you can take advantage of the retailer's Prime Early Access Sale (opens in new tab) event which is taking place on 11 and 12 October 2022. While it's not called Amazon Prime Day, the new sale will work in the same way and offer exclusive discounts on thousands of products, just for Amazon Prime members for 48-hours only.
After your free trial, Amazon Prime membership costs either £8.99 a month or £95 a year, so it’s worth being aware of how to ultimately save money when shopping with Amazon (opens in new tab) by making sure you get the most out of your membership fee.
Rhiannon Philps, (opens in new tab) personal finance expert at NerdWallet, told us: “With so many different streaming services competing for our attention and with rising prices putting extra strain on our finances, it’s a good time to evaluate whether subscriptions to platforms like Amazon Prime are worth the cost.”
You can also follow our live blog to find the best Prime Early Access deals (opens in new tab).
Sign up for FREE Amazon Membership trial (opens in new tab)
Get a 30-day free trial when you sign up to Amazon Prime. After that it’s £7.99 per month or £79 a year. Paying annually will work out cheaper, as monthly membership will cost you £95.88 a year.
What are some of the main benefits of Amazon Prime?
Perhaps one of the biggest and most well-known benefits of Amazon Prime is the fast, free delivery. Customers can enjoy free one-day delivery and free same day delivery in certain areas, making it ideal if you use Amazon a lot, you need items last minute and can’t get to the shops.
By contrast, non-Prime members will usually need to pay a delivery fee for orders under £20 (£10 for books). Regular shipping fees can range from £2.99 to £5.99 and deliveries usually arrive within three to five days.
On top of this, there’s annual sales events exclusively for Prime members that give you access to up to 50% off big-ticket brands - this could be Amazon Prime Day, the new Prime Early Access Sale or the Black Friday sale. Make sure you check out how to get the best deals on Amazon Prime Day (opens in new tab) so you don't miss out.
Goodto.com's Money Editor Sarah Handley (opens in new tab) says: "This year Amazon is launching another two-day sale event in October. But rather than being called Amazon Prime Day, it's called the Prime Early Access Sale (opens in new tab). Running on 11 and 12 October, Prime members can expect to find thousands of products discounted throughout the event.
"But remember that it's easy to overspend in a sale like this so plan ahead and make a list of what you are looking to buy and how much you are willing to pay to avoid getting caught up in the hype. Also remember to check prices with other retailers to make sure you are paying the best price."
But as well as access to member-exclusive pricing, there are also a whole host of additional benefits that you might not be aware of, as we explain.
12 hidden benefits of Amazon Prime
1. Downloading TV shows and films to watch offline
Prime members have access to Prime Video which lets you stream thousands of films and TV shows, including exclusive Amazon Originals such as Bosch, The Grand Tour, The Boys and The Marvellous Mrs Maisel.
You can watch them on your computer, phone or smart TV, as well as through devices such as Chromecast or Fire TV stick. But what you might not know is that you can download TV shows and films for offline viewing if you have a Fire tablet or the Prime Video app - useful if you are looking to avoid roaming charges (opens in new tab) on holiday.
What’s more, you can watch other shows and films by purchasing third-party channel subscriptions such as Discovery and Eurosport Player and other streaming entertainment channels directly through Prime Video.
Holly Andrews, (opens in new tab) managing director at KIS Finance (opens in new tab), told us: “To compare it to other services, Netflix can cost anywhere between £6.99 and £15.99 per month (depending on what plan you choose) and this is just for movies and TV shows. With Amazon you are getting this, plus all of their other benefits, for £8.99.”
2. Deliveroo Plus
Deliveroo Plus (opens in new tab) is Deliveroo’s subscription membership plan, where you pay a fee to get free delivery from participating restaurants when you meet the minimum order requirements. It costs either £3.49 or £7.99 per month depending on the plan you choose. But with Amazon Prime it’s free.
Ben Faulkner (opens in new tab), marketing director at EQ Investors, says: “One of the less well-known benefits of Amazon Prime is Deliveroo Plus which is free for a year for Prime members. This is for Deliveroo orders over £25. Deliveroo normally charges £3.49 a month for Deliveroo Plus, making this a saving of more than £40 per year.”
To claim this perk, you’ll need to activate the offer on the Deliveroo website (opens in new tab).
3. Prime Gaming
Each month, Prime members get instant access to a wide range of exclusive content for your favourite games, plus a rotating collection of PC games to keep, and a free subscription to a Twitch channel of your choice. Twitch is a video-on-demand service that focuses on video game live streaming and it is now owned by Amazon.
To use this, you’ll need to link your Amazon and Twitch accounts (opens in new tab).
4. Prime Reading
Prime members can also access a library of more than 1,000 digital books and magazines each month that you can read on any of your devices with a Kindle app. Additionally, through Amazon First Reads, Prime members get early access to choose one Kindle book of the six Editors’ Picks each month for free.
5. Lightning deals
As a Prime member you can also benefit from 30-minute early access to lightning deals on Amazon. Lightning deals are a range of offers and discounts on items which change on a regular basis.
6. Try before you buy
Amazon’s extensive catalogue of items includes kids’ and adults’ clothing. With Prime Try Before You Buy you can order up to six items from the clothing, shoes and accessories categories without paying first. You then have seven days to decide which items you like and which ones you want to return and you only pay for the items you keep.
7. Amazon Fresh
Prime members can also benefit from a food delivery service, Amazon Fresh (opens in new tab). Delivery is free on orders over £40, otherwise it’s £3.99. You can buy your whole supermarket shop, including fresh produce, household essentials and popular and specialist brands, with a minimum order spend of £15. Your order can be delivered on the same day in one to two-hour slots (depending on your postcode) either from Amazon Fresh or directly from your local Morrisons store.
8. Amazon Music
Another benefit is Amazon Music which gives you access to two million songs, ad-free. Finance expert Holly Andrews explains: “If you don’t listen to music too much, then this could be a good money-saving option for you rather than paying for another service like Spotify. However, if you do listen to music a lot then there is also Amazon Music Unlimited. This is £8.99 per month, on top of your Prime membership, and this gives you access to tens of millions of songs.”
9. Compatibility with Alexa
Amazon is also compatible with Alexa Echo devices, which gives you the option of asking Alexa to add or remove certain items to your shopping list, remind you of essential items based on your order history, inform you of the latest deals on Amazon and notify you about deliveries.
10. Prime Photos
A further benefit of Amazon Prime is photo storage. KIS Finance’s Holly Andrews explains: “Amazon offers Prime members unlimited full-resolution photo storage and 5GB of storage for videos. If you’re paying separately for storage, for example £7.99 per month for Dropbox Plus, then moving your photos to Amazon means you can cut out another monthly expense. If you need even more storage, then you can get 100GB for videos for just £1.49 per month.”
Prime Photos also lets you share photos and videos with up to five family members with their Family Vault. You can access your files on any device, and you can download the Amazon Photos desktop app to back up all of your photos and videos onto your computer.
11. Amazon Family
With Amazon Family, you create a profile about your child or children through your account and you’ll then be able to benefit from up to 20% off nappy and baby food subscriptions, plus personalised product recommendations and exclusive deals.
To qualify, you must subscribe to at least five items, which means you need to get regular, scheduled deliveries of each one.
12. Amazon Household
Finally, it’s worth being aware that many of these benefits can also be shared with one other adult who lives at the same address as you do. Simply invite that person through your account online to activate it. You must also agree to share payment methods.
How do you sign up to Amazon Prime?
It’s easy to sign up to Amazon Prime (opens in new tab). However before you agree to anything, it’s well worth taking advantage of the 30-day free trial so you can see how useful it is.
If you decide it’s not right for you, you can cancel your subscription when the trial comes to an end through your account. If you don’t, you’ll automatically start paying £79 a year or £7.99 a month to keep all the benefits Amazon Prime offers.
Note, however, that you can also sign up for a free 30-day trial once every 12 months, so you might prefer to do this if you only want to use it once a year to save money with Amazon at Christmas (opens in new tab), or to take advantage of Prime Day deals, for example.
If you’re a student, you can also benefit from a cheaper membership of £3.99 a month or £39 a year. Students can also take advantage of a six-month free trial, rather than 30 days.
“Given the huge number of different features compared to other subscription services, Amazon Prime is definitely something worth investigating if you’re looking to save money and cut down on outgoings,” says Holly Andrews.
Rachel is a freelance personal finance journalist who has been writing about everything from mortgages to car insurance for over a decade. Having previously worked at Shares Magazine, where she specialised in small-cap stocks, Rachel developed a passion for consumer finance and saving money when she moved to lovemoney.com (opens in new tab). She later spent more than 8 years as an editor at price comparison site MoneySuperMarket where she helped support the CRM programme, as well as the SEO and PR teams, often acting as spokesperson. Rachel went freelance in 2020, just as the pandemic hit, and has since written for numerous websites and national newspapers, including The Mail on Sunday, The Observer, The Sun and Forbes. She is passionate about helping consumers become more confident with their finances, giving them the tools they need to take control of their money and make savings. In her spare time, Rachel is a keen traveller and baker.
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