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With Amazon Prime Day starting today (15 Jul), you may be wondering what Amazon Prime actually is and whether it’s worth getting. Here we explain the benefits and alternatives, so you can decide if it’s right for you.
What is Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime is a subscription service that gives members access to a range of special discounts and extra services on Amazon. Exactly what’s included has expanded over time, as Amazon works to diversify its offering, but some of the perks include free music and video streaming, free next-day delivery and early access to discounted goods.
How much does it cost?
Amazon Prime costs £7.99 a month, or £79 a year. If you’re unsure about whether it’s worth buying though, there’s a one-month free trial available to new customers, which extends to six months if you’re a student.
What are the benefits of having Amazon Prime?
There are plenty more benefits to Amazon Prime than just free next-day delivery, although many regular Amazon users see this as a big enough perk to buy the subscription. Here’s a summary of what you can expect if you sign up.
You can benefit from different delivery services at no extra cost, including:
- Unlimited next-day delivery – available to UK addresses across millions of items.
- Unlimited same-day delivery – available to selected postcodes and on a wide range of items.
- Delivery upgrades – for faster delivery. Find out more here.
- Amazon Day – choose a weekly delivery day for items purchased each week.
Videos and photos
If you like watching films and TV, there are plenty of benefits for you:
- Prime Video – unlimited streaming of films and TV series.
- Prime Video Channels – add TV channel subscriptions for a lower monthly fee.
- Prime Photo – secure, unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive.
Emerging as a competitor to Spotify and iTunes, you’ll also have access to Prime Music, which allows you to stream, store, manage and play over two million songs anywhere from the cloud.
Amazon has a second, superior music service called Amazon Music Unlimited, which costs £7.99 per month on top of your Prime membership fee. This gives you access to over 50 million songs, and if you’re unsure about this, you can currently try the service for £0.99 for four months.
Books and Kindles
Amazon Prime users have three different book and Kindle services at their disposal:
- The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – allows Prime members to borrow one book per month for free.
- Kindle First – allows Prime subscribers to download a new book onto their kindle each month, at no extra cost.
- Prime Reading – allows you to borrow books, magazines and much more from the Prime reading catalogue and download them onto your Fire tablet, Kindle e-reader, or Kindle reading apps for iOS and Android.
This Prime-exclusive service allows you to try eligible clothing, shoes, watches and accessories for seven days before you commit to buying them. The items are delivered to your home and you’re only charged for the ones you decide to keep. Prime users must have a delivery address in the UK mainland to access this service.
Not content until it has catered for your every need, Amazon Pantry provides members with the ability to purchase everyday essentials such as groceries and other household items. The minimum cost of an order is £15, delivery is £3.99, and orders of £90 or above are given an automatic £4 discount.
Prime early access
This feature gives Amazon Prime members access to Lightning Deals 30 minutes before non-members – a great perk on Black Friday. It also means you can take part in Amazon Prime Day 2019, which is a day packed full of great deals on a range of goods.
How to get Amazon Prime
It’s easy to sign up. Simply visit the Amazon Prime homepage and follow the instructions.
What are the alternatives to Amazon Prime?
If the full Prime membership doesn’t appeal to you, Amazon allows you to sign up for certain services separately. For instance, if you don’t buy from Amazon enough for a Prime membership to make financial sense, you can pay for next-day delivery on a one-off basis at checkout. You can also purchase services like Prime Video or Amazon Music Unlimited separately, too.
Overall, Amazon Prime is a comprehensive, one-stop shop for all your online needs. However, due to the range of services it offers, it can be more expensive than single-purpose subscription services such as Netflix. So your decision on whether to subscribe depends on the needs you require to be fulfilled and how often you think you’ll be using the service.
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