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With Amazon Prime membership over 100 million, nearly one in three Americans are paying for premium services when they shop the retail giant. Amazon is technically free to use, but to benefit from its famously fast delivery speeds and other features, you need to be a Prime member. If you’ve been wondering if you should join the crowd and sign up for Prime, right now is probably the best time to do so. Amazon Prime Day, a two-day bonanza of deals exclusively for Prime Members, is just around the corner (July 15-16).
If you want in on the Prime Day action, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial (or six months if you’re a student). After that, the membership costs $12.99/month or $119 a year. Membership costs $6.49 a month for students and $5.99 a month for EBT or Medicaid cardholders.
Many of Amazon’s hallmark features are only accessible with a Prime membership. A quick overview what you get with the basic membership:
- Fast, free delivery on eligible Prime products (often within 1-2 days)
- Access to Prime Video, Prime Music, Twitch Prime, and Audible Channels. These are some of our favorite on-demand and music streaming services.
- Savings at Whole Foods
- Free reading through Kindle, including early-release editor’s picks
- Unlimited photo storage
- Eligibility for Amazon’s reward credit cards
- Whole Foods products delivered in less than two hours with Prime Now (in select markets)
The basic benefits offered to Amazon Prime customers are worthwhile on their own, but it’s the access to bonus subscriptions that really adds value to the Prime membership. One reason Prime Day is an especially good time to join is the potential savings on some of these add-ons.
Some of the most popular subscriptions are Prime video channel subscriptions to Starz, HBO and more. Here are some of the other worthwhile add-ons and the promotions around them for Prime Day:
- Amazon Music Unlimited. Right now, four months of AMU costs less than $1.
- Audible, the audiobook streaming service, costs $4.95 per month for your first three months (that’s 66% off the regular cost)
- Audible Escape, which offers unlimited love stories, costs $3 a month for three months (75% off the regular price)
- New users can get $15 off their first order from AmazonFresh, the grocery delivery service, with code FRESH15 (this deal is only eligible where AmazonFresh is available)
- FreeTimeUnlimited includes access to thousands of kid-friendly books, movies and more. Right now, a three-month subscription costs $2.99 and includes a free pair of Disney kids’ headphones
- Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers curated children’s books, is 30% off the first box through July 15
Prime Day Deals
With Prime Day right around the corner, you’ll really be able to make the most of your Prime membership (or even just the free trial) if you sign up beforehand. You’re likely to see deals on big-ticket items, like TVs, smartwatches, and furniture. Check out our roundups of Smart Home and Cord Cutting deals to watch for on Prime Day. Items that are rarely discounted, like phones and Alexa speakers, are also likely candidates for discounts, according to Amazon.
As deals go live, we’ll update this page with some of the most noteworthy ones. In the meantime, you can check out our Amazon shopping lists to keep track of the sales.
The Jabra Elite 85h Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones ($300) are one of the exclusive Prime Day launches available only to Prime Members. They have eight built-in microphones, so Alexa will hear you loud and clear.
Amazon’s Fire TV Recast lets you record up to two shows at once and has storage for up to 75 hours of HD programming. It’s already $100 off for Prime Day, bringing the price down to $130. Note that you’ll need an HD antenna and a Fire TV, Echo Show, or a mobile device to use the Fire TV Recast.
Through July 16, if you spend $50 in Amazon’s physical stores, like their Amazon Books and Amazon 4-Star stores, you’ll get a $10 Amazon.com gift card.
Through July 16, use the code PANTRY to get $10 off orders of $40 or more from Prime Pantry.
All deals current as of 7/11/19