8 Benefits of Using Amazon Prime Over the Holidays

'Tis the season to maximize your membership.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year (to have an Amazon Prime membership, that is). We’re breaking down some of the very best Prime member benefits to help you survive the holiday season ahead.

What is Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime is a $119 annual membership service that gives customers free two-day shipping on millions of items, free streaming music and video, unlimited photo storage and more. Now, Prime members can enjoy free, one-day delivery on more than 10 million items with no minimum purchase. Learn more about one-day shipping here.

If you’re not sure whether you’ll need Prime benefits for the entire year, there’s also an option to join by paying $12.99 per month.

And for qualifying customers with an EBT or Medicaid card, Prime is just $5.99/month (vs $12.99 regularly). Go here to get started or learn more about this opportunity.

Don’t forget that Amazon Student is also available at a reduced rate of $6.49 per month and gives Prime benefits to anyone who is actively enrolled in at least one U.S.-based college course and has a valid .edu email address.

RELATED: Here’s Why Amazon Prime Student Is a Pretty Good Deal

Anyone can sign up for a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime before committing to the annual fee. Students, on the other hand, qualify for a free six-month trial.

Try Amazon Prime for Free

8 Perks of Having Amazon Prime During the Holidays

1. Fast & Free Shipping

Free and fast shipping is probably the most well-known advantage of Amazon Prime — and it definitely comes in handy over the holiday season. Eligible items are marked with a little Prime logo next to the price tag.

If you’re in the midst of some last-minute shopping, here’s Amazon’s official 2019 holiday delivery calendar:

  • Sunday, December 22nd: Last day for free delivery with Prime
  • Monday, December 23rd: Last day for free one-day delivery with Prime
  • Tuesday, December 24th: Last day for same-day delivery in select areas

Pro Tip: Already knocked out your holiday shopping? Select No-Rush Shipping at checkout to earn instant discounts or rewards on future purchases.

2. Same-Day Delivery

If you really waited until the last minute to buy gifts, Amazon can help. Prime includes free same-day delivery for members residing in select metro areas across the country. Even better, Prime Now includes free 2-hour delivery on thousands of items like wrapping paper, gift bags and stocking stuffers.

3. Streaming Video

Let’s face it: The holidays are great, but they can also be exhausting. Fortunately, Prime members can unwind from all the festivities with unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows via Amazon Prime Video.

The company’s video streaming service also provides premium subscriptions through Amazon Channels. Prime members can choose from various add-ons like HBO, SHOWTIME and STARZ for $4.99–$14.99 per month after their free trials.

RELATED: Amazon Prime Video: Which Subscription Add-Ons Are Actually Worth It?

4. Festive Listens

Prime members also have access to Amazon Prime Music, which features more than two million ad-free songs like those holiday classics you know and love. If you prefer, you can upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited for $7.99 per month to unlock tens of millions of songs instead.

Pro Tip: Right now, you can try four months of Amazon Music Unlimited for just 99 cents. Plus, new subscribers will receive 53% off their first three months of Audible. Learn more about this limited-time offer here, but act fast, the deal will be over by Monday, 12/23.

Pro Tip 2: Both Amazon Music Unlimited and Audible can be easily accessed using Alexa-enabled devices. Make your gatherings even more festive by asking Alexa to “play holiday storytime favorites on Audible!”

5. Amazon Photos & Prints

Amazon Prime comes with secure, unlimited photo storage (plus 5GB for videos and other files) through Amazon Drive. Plus, you can share your photos and videos with up to five people using Prime Photos Family Vault.

Additionally, Prime members receive free delivery from Amazon Prints. This service is similar to Shutterfly or Snapfish and allows you to print single photos, photo books, calendars and more. (Hello, grandparent gifts!)

6. Affordable Entertaining

iStock.com/400tmax

The host(ess) with the most-est is sure to appreciate Amazon Prime’s grocery benefits. Prime Pantry, for example, offers up free shipping on a huge variety of items when you order five qualifying items or more. Otherwise, Amazon charges a flat delivery fee of $5.99 per box.

If you’re new to this program, Amazon is offering $10 back (to use on a future Pantry order) on your first Prime Pantry order of $50 or more when you use code 10Back.

And for those of you who like to stock up for the winter season, Prime Pantry can help you save up to 15% on your entire order when you buy in bulk. Any combination of 5 Pantry items saves 5% on the order, any 10 saves 10%, and any 15 or more Pantry items saves 15% on the entire order (discount automatically applied at checkout). This also stacks with the new-customer promotion for $10 back on your order of $50+. See more details at amazon.com/pantry.

Need more grocery delivery options? AmazonFresh, which previously cost an additional $14.99 per month, is now included as part of your Prime membership at no extra charge, and offers free 2-hour delivery in select areas for grocery essentials, like meat, seafood, produce, snacks and other household items.

RELATED: AmazonFresh Review: Is It a Good Deal?

Prime members also get exclusive savings at Whole Foods, and those in qualifying areas can snag free two-hour delivery on groceries, as well.

Pro Tip: Keep in mind that a Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card (Prime membership required) nets you 5% cash back at Whole Foods and Amazon.

7. Discounted Necessities

Amazon Subscribe & Save is an easy way to slash up to 15% off things you buy on a regular basis without having to face those holiday crowds. You can set the delivery items to be shipped in one- to six-month intervals, and you can modify your preferences until your order is ready to ship.

Prime members also have access to exclusive deals — for example, save 20% when you use an Alexa skill to make a purchase. Check this page often for the latest members-only discounts on books, electronics, Amazon devices, toys and so much more!

RELATED: The Ins and Outs of Amazon Subscribe & Save

8. Seasonal Reads

The holiday break is an excellent time to finally catch up on your reading. Prime members can borrow up to 10 titles from 1,000+ top Kindle books and magazines available in the Amazon Prime Reading Catalog. Prefer to listen instead? Prime members can try Audible for free (or save 53% on the first three months).

Right now, first-time Kindle Unlimited users can get 3 months of enhanced reading access for just 99 cents.

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Give the Gift of Amazon Prime

Not sure what to give that certain someone on your list? Consider the gift that keeps on giving with an Amazon Prime membership. The recipient will get free one-day shipping on more than 10 million items with no minimum purchase, unlimited streaming of movies, TV shows and music — plus access to Prime Day 2020. Also, there’s no delivery cut-off to worry about! The gift of Prime is available in 3-month and 12-month increments, and there’s no limit on how many months you can stock up on.

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Lesley Sheridan

Lesley Sheridan is a freelance fashion and beauty writer who lives for Pinterest boards, animal prints, strappy shoes and coupon codes. Her bookshelves are filled with Kevyn Aucoin makeup guides, and her favorite band is and will always be INXS. A Kentucky girl at heart, she currently resides just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, with her rescue cats, a boyfriend who wishes he were an astronaut and a dog whose favorite word is “pizza.”

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