More Amazon Prime Benefits?

Category: Finance

Did you know that Amazon handles 50 percent of all online purchases? Amazon Prime is the foundation of the e-commerce giant’s success. A Prime membership locks in customer loyalty with the promise of fast and free shipping for many items. But the list of other Prime perks is long and just got longer. Here is what's new with Amazon Prime...

Amazon Prime Benefits Keep Getting Better

It's true that Prime members spend more money per visit than other shoppers on Amazon. Where are you going to shop after paying $119 for a year’s worth of Prime? CEO Jeff Bezos announced in April 2018 that Amazon has over 100 million Prime subscribers worldwide, so apparently lots of people find it worthwhile. (I did the math -- that US$12 billion in revenue just from Prime subscriptions.)

Prime membership has grown faster than dandelions in the Spring! Research firm Prosper Insights & Analytics finds that in the five years ending August, 2018, Prime membership among all U. S. consumers jumped from under 20% to almost 43%. But that metric has faltered in recent months, from a peak of 47.8% in April. The drop is likely due to the $20 increase in the price of the annual fee for Prime that took effect in May.

But when Prime stumbles, so does Amazon’s stock price, and something gets done to boost Prime’s appeal. The most popular Prime perks have been free two-day shipping, video streaming, and a free e-book every month. (See the complete list of over two dozen Prime benefits.)

Amazon Prime- New Perks and Benefits 2018

New benefits added to Prime this year include even faster shipping with free one-day and even same-day delivery, exclusive savings at Whole Foods Markets, more free content on Prime Video and Prime Music, the Prime Wardrobe service, and some other fun stuff. Let's take a look at the newest perks for Prime members.

Free Same-Day and One-Day Delivery are now available in 8,000 U. S. cities. You can check to see if it covers your ZIP Code here. Prime Now 2-hour delivery is only available in 30 Whole Foods cities.

Amazon now has a highly visible presence in Whole Foods, the fancy grocery store chain that Amazon bought on August 28, 2017. This includes Amazon store-within-store sections and checkout lanes where Prime members get VIP treatment. Discounts of 10% on hundreds of Whole Foods grocery items plus a continual stream of deeper promotional discounts keep Prime members feeling special. Two-hour delivery is available in many cities. Bananas are still $0.69 a pound, though.

Prime Wardrobe lets members order up to five apparel items at once, try them on at home for up to seven days, and keep only what fits perfectly. Returns are as free as shipping.

The Amazon Key In-Car and In-Home Delivery option looks sketchy but some forward-thinking consumers seem to like it. Prime members buy a specific smart lock and allow Amazon drivers to enter their homes or cars to leave packages in secure places. I read of one guy who remotely opened his garage door so an Amazon driver could put a package in his car’s trunk, then close up the garage.

Amazon Fresh includes meal kits containing all ingredients needed for a gourmet meal you cook at home. Fresh groceries delivered to your door for free!

The Prime Video streaming service has added exclusive content including Jack Ryan, The Big Sick, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Romanoffs and the new season of Sneaky Pete (new season), all at no extra cost. Meanwhile, cable companies are raising prices again. (We started watching Sneaky Pete because we found out it was filmed at a farm just down the road from our house! If you love thrillers with heart-pounding endings, this is a good pick.)

Prime Music welcomed Alexa, who can find just the tunes you want among the 2 million curated songs available. These are not bootlegged YouTube copies of garage bands, but fully licensed studio-quality recordings.

Prime Photos is now Amazon Photos. Unlike Google, which trades you unlimited free stoage in exchange for compressing your images, Amazon Photo leaves them in their original sizes. Unlimited photo storage comes with 5 GB of video storage, too. With Alexa, you can use your voice to launch music or videos on an Amazon Fire Stick or Echo Show smart display.

That’s just what’s new in 2018. And did you know that Amazon offers discounts on Prime membership to students and low-income folks who are receiving Medicaid or SNAP (food stamp) benefits? The student rate is $59/year vs. $119. Low-income memberships are $5.99 per month; proof of eligibility in the form of a government-issued benefits card can be uploaded.

Are you a Prime member? Do you use it for anything besides free 2-day shipping? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "More Amazon Prime Benefits?"

(See all 32 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

13 Nov 2018

Gene you are correct but so is Perry. I have ordered a couple of items from Amazon in the last month that were sold by outside vendors but fulfilled by Amazon, they were labeled Prime and they took a week to arrive.

Posted by:

13 Nov 2018

Over the past week, prime shipping has changed a lot. One item I ordered with prime shipping gave me the option of free shipping with arrival between Nov 14-26, or pay $3.99 and guaranteed delivery by Nov 26. None of the other items I've ordered since were anything less than a week. Maybe they ship in 2 days with slow delivery?
So the 3rd season of Sneaky Pete doesn't start until next spring? I enjoyed Bosch more, and recommend it to anyone liking cop series.

Posted by:

13 Nov 2018

Prime Wardrobe lets members order up apparel items, try them on at home for up to seven days, return it back to Amazon and sell it to another person... This is DISGUSTING to wear those item after another person... Hygiene issue...

Posted by:

14 Nov 2018, purchasing and wearing clothing from a brick and mortar store where other people tried the item on, perhaps several people, didn't buy but returned it to the rack isn't (disgusting)?

Posted by:

14 Nov 2018

I love Prime! We use Amazon Prime for the shipping, video, Whole Foods discount, and the new wardrobe perk. My best Prime story was when I ordered a large gas generator for running my house during outages. I didn't realize it, but it qualified for Prime. They sent it on a plane from the Midwest to the nearest airport in Connecticut. A courier then trucked it from the airport to my house. Yup, two-day shipping! The generator weighed hundreds of pounds! Free shipping!

Posted by:

14 Nov 2018

I have no interest in the "perks" of Prime and I've had so many problems with wrong items being shipped, items arriving broken due to inadequate packaging, and the incompetent service of Amazon's delivery "service", I no longer buy anything from Amazon except ebooks since they haven't figured out how to mess them up (yet). At least 60% of the time, I can find better prices and 90% of the time, better customer service somewhere other than Amazon.

Posted by:

Jay R
14 Nov 2018

Like MS and Google, Amazon has gotten too big for its britches. Or should I say skirts in the day of PC? Prime has never been attractive to me. If I need it quickly, there are stores in my town. (Being retired, shopping helps pass some time.) If I don't need it quickly, then I can shop on line and kill some more time. I can't say that I never purchase anything from them, but I can say that it is so infrequent that Prime would cost me money. Sometimes, I love being a grumpy old white man. Even when I don't, I find solace in reading Bob's stuff.

Posted by:

14 Nov 2018

Amazon? Meh.

Posted by:

14 Nov 2018

While I've not had the problems with delivery dates that GuitarRebel has, I have seen Amazon default to higher prices on an item so that if I didn't check the "Other Sellers on Amazon" box, I would have missed a better deal.

Posted by:

14 Nov 2018

RE: KATHY: "this bogus prizewinner page comes up and I have to close everything to get out of it. "

Have you already tried Malware bytes? (free version)

Posted by:

14 Nov 2018

I never buy anything from Amazon for several reasons. I feel there business is sleazy no better than sleazy cc companies that charge the seller as well as the buyer when ever you use your cc. Amazon not only charges and outrageous price to the buyer for prime. They market it to people so they think they "need it" and when they buy it they feel obligated to buy to get the use out of the money they already spent so they in many cases spend more money on things they can't afford and don't need but they need to in order to get there moneys worth out of the prime price. Then on top of charging the buyer for prime, they also charge the seller for prime as well and in many cases they are paying interest on the cc bill too. Marketing at IMHO it's sleaziest. And on top of that, I personally have never seen and honest review on there. I want a review that tells me about not only the product but also the seller which quite often is NOT amazon. To much dishonesty sleazy for me.

Posted by:

14 Nov 2018

I buy out-of-print books, used or new, been doing that all my life. Use to (still do) search used book stores, then came the internet. Amazon was a great source, so was & is Alibris & ABE, both I use quite often. Other than a book from Amazon, I have no other use for them. Same goes for computer parts which I check local stores first and then Ebay.
Amazon is not destroying the brick & mortar trade, their buyers are. So many good stores, small, large, local, national are now gone, along with malls, strip malls, and their employees. When I buy a major item: PC, TV, Stove, Fridge, Auto etc: I shop around, test & research the item. If something is wrong with it at home, I do not have to save the box, repack & ship using my time. And have to do without during the shipping process, it is now the stores worry. Yes, sometimes problems do occur, but that is life. Exception being Ivanka's products, we buy many things of hers on Amazon, but unfortunately they always arrive with a problem or we don't like, and we have to ship them back, such is life.

Posted by:

Kerry L.
14 Nov 2018

The 2 day shipping does not apply to Hawaii members! The delivery dates are usually more than 10 days from date of purchase. Several times I was not allowed to purchase a product that included lithium batteries.

I found Prime great but addicting (wasted a lot of time watching movies/etc.). Did not renew my membership. Still purchasing products at; however, not before checking prices via Honey which finds the lowest price for you on the WWW.

Posted by:

14 Nov 2018

I don't get out much to shop, and have found Amazon to be a lifesaver. PRIME works well for me but that free shipping is not "free". It is often included in the price, since one can frequently find the same item for less elsewhere but then shipping cost is charged. It's just a game. I do use Honey mentioned by another poster, which can be helpful when doing price comparisons.

I do like to watch movies/documentaries/series for free also. So I guess for me it's worth the price. I would prefer local shopping but as stated I don't get about much.

Posted by:

14 Nov 2018

I have loved Amazon Prime, though I didn't like the increase in price. I have always gotten everything I ordered in 2 days and all has arrived safely. I'm elderly, so get hearing aid batteries, vacuum cleaner bags & other hard to find practical items ordered from my living room and delivered right to my door free of charge!

Posted by:

14 Nov 2018

For Ed

To find Amazon seller reviews click on the seller's name on the product page you are checking out, and you will find reviews of the seller themselves on their seller profile page, regarding all items they have sold, not just the one item.

Everyone has their opinion on the product reviews and their authenticity, and each must decide whether to take note of them.

Posted by:

15 Nov 2018

Amazon . . . where do I start. I've been a prime member for years - since the beginning. I used to absolutely LOVE Amazon but not so much anymore. Just this past year I have started having problems. Items not being delivered for several days after promised. Subscribe and save has turned into a nightmare. You have to have 3 items on your list to get the discounts but if they are out of one of those 3 items, they send the other 2 but charge you full price (or more) and don't even notify you that they are out of the one item. A couple of months ago I got a notice that I am PERMANENTLY banned from writing reviews FOR LIFE! Apparently they think I violated their reviews rules. I have never done that and in fact rarely review. The very rude email they sent me, said to never contact them again with this matter because they will not discuss this with me. I have no idea what I supposedly did and they won't tell me. Is that any way to treat a long time customer? Another area they are cracking down on is if you return too many items, they will not allow free shipping on the return. I don't know what their quota is but I'm sorry if the item is not what I was expecting, it needs to be returned. Their customer service has drastically been reduced this past year. They aren't as helpful as they have been. Amazon is no longer the cheapest place to purchase - the most convenient, but not the cheapest. I find consistently cheaper on a lot of items and I get free shipping as well. Here's the kicker -- If I do not renew my prime membership yearly, I will loose all my videos, kindle books, and audio books that have been purchased. At some point I will just have to be OK with loosing my purchased movies, etc. and leave and not look back. --- Now that felt good to vent!

Posted by:

15 Nov 2018

Well, I must be the elephant in the room. On the few occasions I looked at their website, it's totally mindbogglingly crazy the way it's all set up. Page after page after page of various items similar to what I was thinking about buying. I suppose if I had two hours to spare searching it "might" be worthwhile. 
My answer is a resounding no thank you to pay extra for getting an item two days faster. Silly!

Posted by:

18 Nov 2018

I am a Prime user/member, and I love it. I am getting up in age, 75-years-old, and getting around these days isn't as easy as it use to be. I don't drive anymore.

I happen to like the 2-day shipping and that I can have things shipped to my home for FREE! To me, that is a real bargain. As for checking things out on prices ... I KNOW how to do that and have been doing it for years. Since I got my first computer, I have priced check all sorts of items and still continue to do so.

Example - Right now, I am looking at a new Keurig Coffee Maker, Amazon is too high for what I want, Sam's Club doesn't have the model I want ... However, thank heavens for good old Walmart ... Not only do they have the model I want but at a great price, about $50 or $60 cheaper! It is a roll-back special, and I will take it.

Also, Walmart and Sam's Club have FREE shipping, must pay the taxes though, just like Amazon ... I also have a Sam's Plus card that makes anything I order online and wants to be shipped... The shipping is FREE. Oh, plus my Sam's Plus card also gives money back on the amount of each purchase. Usually, I don't have to spend any of my own money on my renewal, since I seem to get enough through the "rewards system" to pay for my membership. Now, I would call that a Win-Win situation.

I LOVE the Prime Video, especially the Prime Only ones. I watched Jack Ryan and can NOT wait for the 2nd Season!!! For those who have Prime, to me, Jack Ryan is a MUST SEE!!! For pure pleasure ... The Worst Witch is merely wonderful. Yep, I admit ... I am hooked on Prime Membership ... But, I pay monthly. I also have Netflix and am just as hooked on it, as well!!!

Posted by:

Craig Thayer
19 Nov 2018

I no longer purchase anything from Amazon. Last several orders arrived with damaged products (usually due to lack of proper padding). Also in Tucson , orders are usually delivered by OnTrac which has horrendous customer service.

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