For Christmas this year, my husband kindly gave me an Amazon Echo – and so far, I love it. In fact, I wish I had one in every room. It’s great for listening to podcasts and my Audible audiobooks, plus the reminder function is very handy. Plus, now that my daughter is back at school and my home office is terribly quiet, it’s almost like Alexa is my new colleague, answering my questions and giving me the latest news updates.
When I first signed up, it was all about the upgrade in shipping. For £7.99 a month or £79 annually (or half that if you are a student member), any product with a Prime logo on it means that it’s eligible for free next-day delivery – it seemed good bargain.
But if you are only using your Prime membership to get your hands on your purchases more quickly, you are missing out on far more than you might think – and the money you could be saving is not to be sniffed at either.
Here are eight awesome Amazon Prime perks you forgot to use – or didn’t even know existed.
1 GET PAID FOR BEING PATIENT
Don’t need your order the next day? Choose no-rush shipping at checkout and get it in 3-5 business days instead. For every order where you select No-Rush Delivery, you’ll receive a promotional reward that’ll be automatically applied to your Amazon.co.uk account once the order dispatches. This promotional reward applies only to the type of items indicated in the offer at checkout, for instance, eBooks, digital movies, apps, music, games, and Prime Pantry.
To earn more credits faster, split up an order that has more than one item and choose no-rush shipping for each product.
2 GET YOUR GOODS ASAP
Prime also offers access to same-day delivery for no additional cost at locations throughout the Greater London Area, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and more. Sadly, my local area is not included – but my fingers are crossed.
What’s more, with Prime Now members to have their orders delivered as quickly as one hour after placing them. Using the Prime Now library, members have access to a collection of exclusive items that are eligible for free two-hour shipping. Orders over £40 qualify for free two-hour delivery, or £3.99 for anything less.
3 SHARE THE SERVICE WITH A FRIEND
Sharing is caring, or so the saying goes. And it is no different when it comes to your Amazon account perks – so long as you don’t have a student membership.
Set up an Amazon Household, for instance, and you can share your Prime benefits such as expedited delivery, streaming and the Kindle Lending Library with another adult in your household – and the terms and conditions do not stipulate that the other adult must live at the same address.
An Amazon Household can contain up to six members: two adults, each with their own Amazon account and up to four children, (fortunately, child profiles are not enabled to shop on Amazon!)
With Family Library, you can link two Amazon accounts and share books across devices, including your Kindle and other compatible Amazon devices and apps.
4 FREE BOOKS GALORE
With Amazon Prime’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, you can borrow books just like you might from your local library, so long as you have a Kindle or Fire device.
You can borrow one book per month, but there are no due dates to return your items, but if you want another title, you’ll have to return the one you already have first.
Choose from over 600,000 titles, including all seven Harry Potter books and other top sellers in the Amazon.co.uk Kindle Store
5 GET EARLY ACCESS TO FLASH SALES
Amazon Lightning Deals are crazy in the lead up to Christmas and in the January sales, but the selection on offer can be a bit hit and miss if you ask me. What’s more, these flash sales can also encourage impulse shopping. However, if you spot something in one of these sales and you had planned to buy it anyway, you can pick up a bargain.
The problem with these sales, and why I never seem to make the most of them, is that the deals only last for a few hours and there is only a limited amount of stock available. But, if you are a Prime member, you’ll get access to these deals 30 minutes before everyone else. You can’t beat a head start when it comes to sales.
6 DOWNLOAD MAGAZINES FOR FREE
If you love flicking through a magazine as much as I do, but don’t like shelling out for the cover price, you can borrow up to 10 magazines with Prime Reading.
Titles on offer include Vogue, Red, Prima, Harper’s Bazaar, Cycle Plus, Golf World and National Geographic.
All you do is select the option to borrow the title for free with Prime Reading, and then select the device or Kindle reading app you’d like to read the title on. What’s more, unlike the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, a Fire or Kindle device is not required. Prime Reading titles can be read on any Kindle e-reader or Fire tablet, or using the Kindle reading apps for iOS, Android, or Samsung.
7 STREAMING PROGRAMMES
Some would argue that Amazon Prime Video is even better than Netflix. Not only does it offer an enormous collection of free movies and TV shows – including original content such as Outlander, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Grand Tour, you can also purchase or rent TV shows and movies.When you consider that the cost of Amazon Prime Instant Video on its own (without signing up for a Prime membership, the price is a flat £5.99 per month), it seems quite the bargain.
What’s more, if you have a Prime Fire Stick or Kindle device, you can also download the apps for On Demand channels such as BBC, Channel 4 and ITV.
Thankfully, you can now also download Prime videos onto their electronic devices and watch them on the go without a connection to the internet – which comes in handy on flights.
8 LISTEN TO MUSIC
Admittedly, not as big as Spotify, the free music library that comes with a Prime Membership is still pretty good – with two million songs that can all be listened to ad-free and on-demand from all of your devices – it’s hard to complain.