You likely signed up to Amazon Prime for one reason: You wanted packages to show up at your door faster. However, that subscription fee you’re paying grants you access to much more than quicker shipping times. There are plenty of services available to Prime members that don’t get much as much of a spotlight.
First Reads is a program where you can gain access to yet-to-be-released Kindle books. Normally, you would pay $1.99 to receive one of these books every month, but Prime members can bypass that additional charge and get one book for free each month. There are even editor’s notes for every book to give you a better idea of what you’re getting into before making your choice. After you make your selection, you can either read your First Reads book on the Kindle app or the First Reads page itself.
Having packages be delivered on your porch isn’t always a great idea. They can easily be stolen or damaged by the weather. This is what Amazon Key aims to solve, as it allows you to remotely unlock your yard gate, front door, garage, or even car so Amazon delivery drivers can drop off your package inside. However, this will require a bit of set up to work.
Update, 12/1/21: In-home deliveries are currently on hold due to the pandemic. All other methods mentioned in this section are still available, including in-garage deliveries.
For in-house deliveries, you’ll need to purchase and install Amazon’s smart lock kit or a compatible third-party option. Ring has a remote unlock yard gate system Amazon recommends, but it does require professional installation (which Amazon will provide). When it comes to cars, you have to have a certain model to work, which you can check by using Amazon’s car compatibility tool.
For in-garage deliveries, you’ll need to purchase and install Amazon’s smart garage kit, unless if you already have a compatible smart garage hub or Wi-Fi garage door opener. You can check if you do with the garage door compatibility tool.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Key is only available in certain cities right now. You can check if it’s in your area by typing in your zip code on the Amazon Key page and navigating to whichever service you’re interested in.
Buying clothes online isn’t exactly ideal. Size numbers aren’t a guarantee that a piece of clothing will fit you, and you might find the clothing uncomfortable upon arrival. But now with Prime Try Before You Buy, you can have Amazon ship a box of up to six pieces of clothes to your house, try them on for free, and send back the ones you don’t want. You only pay for what you keep, so you don’t have to worry about how something will look or fit before paying up.
Of course, if you want to make use of this program, you’ll have to make sure the piece of clothing you’re looking at supports Prime Try Before You Buy. It’s pretty easy to tell—supported clothing will have the Prime Try Before You Buy logo on its store page. There is also a dedicated storefront for Try Before You Buy where you can specifically browse supported clothing.
Photos are precious things, so naturally, you want to make sure they’re backed up somewhere safe. If you’re still in search of that safe place, then Amazon has an option for you, as it allows Prime members to store unlimited photos in Amazon Photos—a cloud-based photo-storage service. You can access your photos on the Amazon Photos app whether you’re on a phone, computer, or FireTV. You can also share your Photos library with up to five other users, and allow everyone to contribute to the “Family Vault.”
You’re probably already familiar with Twitch, even if you’re not a fan of livestreams. However, what you might not be aware of is that your Amazon Prime account can link with Twitch for some key benefits. (You can also connect your Prime account to a preexisting Twitch account.) First off, you can subscribe to one streamer for free each month (bypassing the typical $4.99 a month cost). This grants access to all of the standard benefits you would get from subscribing, such as custom emotes. (This varies per streamer.)
The second benefit is “Prime Loot.” This gives you free in-game items and currency for various games, and access to free games to play on PC. The selection of free titles available changes regularly, but once you claim a game to your account it’s yours forever. You can then launch these games from either the Twitch launcher or the Amazon Games launcher.
Speaking of free things, there is a massive library of books, audiobooks, magazines, and graphic novels available to Prime Members. The selection is pretty impressive, and you can access them all on either the Kindle app or the Prime Reading page itself. There are no limits and no additional fees to be paid.
Music streaming subscriptions can be expensive, as is buying songs individually. Prime Music can come to your rescue then, as it gives access to a large library of songs and playlists to Prime members. This shouldn’t be confused with Amazon Music Unlimited, which is Amazon’s other music streaming service (and has a larger library). You’ll have to pay extra for that, but Prime members get a discount from the normal $9.99 a month down to $7.99 a month.
For a small add-on to your Prime membership, Kids+ grants access to thousands of kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, and apps for $2.99 a month (discounted from the $4.99 a month price non-Prime members pay). With content from the largest kids’ networks like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, the library is jam-packed with content aimed at kids 3 – 12 years old. While using this service, Amazon promises a safe place where your child can be entertained, without seeing anything they probably shouldn’t.
Picture books aren’t exactly cheap, but you can save some money with Prime Book Box. Book Box is an exclusive subscription available to Prime Members and allows users to order monthly boxes of picture books hand-selected by Amazon. You can also choose what age range the books should be tailored for. This is something you have to pay extra for, but it’s still cheaper than purchasing the books individually.
Prime Book Box costs $16.99 for your first box, and $19.99 for any subsequent boxes. Each box contains either two hardcover books or four board books.
Amazon Book Box: Reading Level Baby-2
Monthly picture book boxes tailored for kids of certain age ranges.