Hitchhiker’s Guide to Amazon Prime: 6 Tips for Getting the Most out of Amazon

By Paul Riegler on 25 July 2016
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Many of us at FBT regularly use Amazon Prime, a paid membership program that gives customers free two-day shipping on most purchases, access to Prime video and books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

Most people use only a fraction of what’s included in the $99 per year membership price. Therefore, as a public service, we are pleased to show how to get the most out of the service.

Here’s what you need to know.

1.)       Same- or next-day shipping is free or significantly reduced in cost.

If you are in an area where Amazon offers same-day delivery, any order $35 or more will incur zero shipping cost, versus $5.99 for Prime customers with orders under $35 or non-Prime customers who pay $8.99. In addition, in many cases, one-day shipping is available to Prime members for just $3.99, versus $20 or more for non-members.

2.)       You can ship to any address, not just your own.

Whether it’s a holiday gift or you are sending something to your travel destination, Prime-eligible products will ship anywhere in the United States free.

3.)       Amazon will give you a free month if your delivery is late.

It’s called Guaranteed Accelerated Delivery and it’s the company’s promise to get your goods to you by the stated delivery date. If the company fails to meet its promise, you will receive a Prime Extension of one month but you have to ask for it. You can get as many as 12 Prime Extensions per year but student accounts aren’t eligible.

4.)       Students pay half price.

Amazon offers students (that is, anyone with a .edu address) six months of Prime free and a 50% discount thereafter, although some features aren’t included.

5.)       You can share the subscription.

Until recently, you could share Prime membership with three other people but it’s now down to one. The beneficiary will receive free two-day shipping, access to Prime Video, early access to lightning deals, Prime Photos, and access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

6.)       You can get Prime Pantry shipments free.

Amazon Prime Pantry allows you to fill a decent sized box with anything ranging from cereal to laundry detergent to peanut butter to water. Prices are comparable in many cases to warehouse stores but there’s a $5.99 per box fee. In many cases, you can choose “Free No-Rush Shipping” and receive a $5.99 credit good towards your next Prime Pantry shipment. This makes it a no brainer to fill up the box with something big but particularly cheap from Pantry.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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