9 Amazon Prime perks you're probably not using
Same-day delivery? The option to share your benefits? Tech expert Kim Komando highlights the Amazon Prime perks you should start using. USA TODAY
Amazon.com likes to change the rules. First, it started selling books online. Then it launched an online shopping revolution. When it started the subscription service Amazon Prime, customers received two-day shipments for free. Each innovation caused a paradigm shift in how we shop and entertain ourselves.
Amazon is certainly not without competition. Walmart has definitely taken aim.
More than 65 million people were actively enrolled in Amazon Prime last year, paying $10.99 per month or $99 per year. Many customers use their accounts for free shipping, but they don’t realize that other terrific benefits exist as well. Here are nine Prime perks that you may not be using.
Free same-day delivery
It sounds too good to be true: You order an item, and someone hand-delivers the package within a few hours. How is this possible? Amazon Prime Now usually works like this. You can order a product by noon and expect to receive it by 9 p.m, sometimes even within an hour. It's only available in some cities and towns. Learn more about same-day delivery.
Share benefits with others
There you were, enjoying the rewards of an Amazon Prime membership. Then you moved in with your significant other, who also orders a lot of stuff online. You can share the same Prime Membership with two other adults in the same household. To share your Amazon Prime membership, go to Account Settings >> Manage Your Content and Devices >> Settings >> Holds and Family Library >> Invite Adult.
Tip in a Tip: Shopping on Amazon the right way is more than clicking items and loading up your cart. Once you learn a few tricks, you’ll find sales and price cuts that you never imagined possible. Five insider secrets to save money on Amazon.com.
Watch streaming video
Amazon Studios gained global attention at the 2017 Academy Awards when Casey Affleck won Best Actor for “Manchester by the Sea.” Like Netflix and Hulu, Amazon is producing a wide range of high-quality programs, and critics are giving the retail giant a big thumb’s up.
However, Amazon also offers a colossal library of movies and TV series, from HBO flagships like “The Wire” to indie films like “The Lobster.” Keep in mind, not every flick or episode is available for free, but you can easily buy or order a streaming version of almost any movie imaginable. You can also download certain titles to watch offline. Here are the steps on how to do this.
Download free music
Many people enjoy their first year of Prime membership without ever knowing they can download music for free. That’s right: download. Yes, you can also stream songs, the same way you stream music on Apple Music, Spotify, and Pandora, but you can also choose from more than a million mp3s to keep forever on your phone or computer.
The Prime Music app is also a handy tool. You can upload your own music library and listen to your songs wherever you go.
Read free books and magazines
Amazon started as an online bookstore, so it’s no wonder that the mega-store would nod to its roots with free volumes on Kindle. Amazon Prime reading offers you a trove of ebooks, comics, and magazines, which you can download at no charge to pretty much any device.
The service works just like Prime Video, where the selections rotate regularly. So if the book you want to read isn’t there now, it maybe become available in a few months. Just download the Kindle app and you should ready to read. Verbophiles can even use the built-in dictionary to look up unfamiliar words.
Use special cloud storage
The truth is scary: Many people still don’t back up their hard drives. These folks are always one man-made or natural disaster away from losing all their pictures, music, videos, and documents. If you don’t already have a dependable storage service but you do have a Prime membership, you can use Amazon’s handy Cloud Drive, which gives members 5GB of storage for music and videos.
Even better: You can use Amazon Prints to turn some of those stored photos into beautiful, frame-worthy images. Find out how to print high-quality photos for cheap.
Order food and domestic goods
Imagine walking into a supermarket, picking up a box, and filling it with 45 pounds of groceries. Okay, now imagine that you don’t even visit the supermarket, but someone deliveries this box directly to your door. Sound fantastic? Well, that’s basically what Amazon Pantry does. For $5.99, Amazon will ship a box of individual household items you select, up to 45 pounds.
The service is still working out its kinks, so you won’t find the same selection you’d find at your local Super Target. But the idea is catching on, and many customers appreciate its versatility. Prime membership grants you access to a wider array of products. If you like the service, you can also subscribe to Amazon Family for $99, which gets you some extra perks, such as discounts on diapers.
Get a discount on games
Diehard gamers love to be the first to nab a new release. Amazon Prime members get a 20% discount on video game pre-orders and new releases. This applies to any game that has hit the market within two weeks of ordering. Just keep in mind that it only applies to physical copies of the game, and it doesn’t include console game bundles.
Get restaurant meals delivered to your door
Just when you thought DoorDash was a wild innovation, Amazon created its own dining delivery service: Just visit Amazon Restaurants and order a multi-course meal. Granted, you have to live in a city where Amazon Prime Now already exists. But if you do, you’re guaranteed to receive your steaming entrée within an hour!
What other digital life benefits are you missing out on?
Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com
Copyright 2017, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.
For $99, Amazon Prime members get free 2-day shipping, but they may be missing out on extra benefits to this online service. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has details. Buzz60