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9 Amazon perks you're probably not using

9 Amazon perks you're probably not using
© Dennizn | Dreamstime.com

Amazon is one the most valuable retailers in the world with a market value of more than $250 billion. One reason for that huge number is simple: People love Amazon.

Whether it's the convenience of online shopping, the deals, the selection or all of the above, people keep buying. That's one reason many people sign up for the $99-a-year Amazon Prime, which offers free two-day delivery on most items.

Buy a waffle maker for $20, and it'll be there in a couple of days with free shipping. Order a 300-pound refrigerator, and shipping is free. Order a $125,000 Picasso painting and, you guessed it, shipping is free. Although, for that one, Amazon will tell you that you have to be home to sign for it.

However, free delivery isn't Prime's only perk. Far from it. Keep reading for some of our favorite Prime perks that don't get as much press.

1. Get deliveries the same day

Amazon Prime's big draw is free two-day delivery, but in some cities and for some items you can get same-day delivery. In some cases, it's even free. Learn more about Amazon's same-day delivery and if you can get it near you.

2. Share with others

Amazon Prime isn't just for you. Prime membership benefits can by shared by up to two adults. To edit your account sharing settings, log in to your Amazon account. Next, navigate to your Manage Your Content and Devices page. Click on the Settings tab and choose Households and Family Library and then select Invite an Adult.

3. Watch streaming video

If you watch streaming TV shows like "House Of Cards" on Netflix or Jerry Seinfeld's "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" on Crackle, you know there are great shows online that you can't see anywhere else. Amazon has a few of those on its streaming service, Prime Video.

Prime Video isn't a warehouse for old shows. There are a lot of top-notch shows, including Amazon originals you can't watch anywhere else.

Those include the multiple Emmy-nominated "Transparent" with Jeffrey Tambor, and the romantic comedy "Catastrophe." Amazon also snapped up the co-hosts of the BBC's long-running, hugely popular car show "Top Gear."

Plus, Prime Video airs reruns of shows that are still on the air, like HBO's "Veep," and PBS's "Downton Abbey." It streams older shows too, like HBO's "The Wire." Amazon also has deals with cable channels like Showtime and Starz, so you can watch their programs at a discount.

4. Listen to music

Free TV and movies are nice, but so is free music. There are so many streaming music sites now that you have to pay for. But not Amazon Prime Music for Prime members.

It has more than 1 million songs for free. Songs like Jill Scott's "Closure" or entire albums like The Eagles' classic "Hotel California" are free to stream, or download to play later. Plus, you can have Amazon play songs like a radio station does. With Prime Stations, music is grouped into genres like "50 Great '80s Rock Songs," and it plays for hours.

Plus, you can upload your own music library and listen to your songs anywhere you go through the Prime Music app or the web-based player.

5. Get free books and magazines

It wasn't all that long ago when Amazon did nothing but sell books, then music and a few other things. These days, Amazon sells everything. It's a resource for busy people, people who can't get around the way they used to or, we've all had these days, people who just don't feel like shopping.

Amazon remembers its roots and rewards its members with Amazon Prime Reading, a monthly collection of free eBooks and magazines.

Amazon's Prime Reading is a book lover's dream. Prime members will have unlimited access to over 1,000 books, comics, magazines and Kindle singles. It will work similarly to their video streaming service where the selections rotate. So if a book you want to read isn't there now, it may become available in a couple months.

You don't need to buy a Kindle, these selections can be read on any device. You just need to download the free Kindle app, which is available for Apple and Android users. With the app, you can also check out over 4 million eBooks (some of which are free), use the built-in dictionary to look up words while you read, and sample books before you buy them.

6. Store your photos and more

Here's a really good perk. If you've got lots of photos and videos on your laptop, smartphone and tablet, you know it's nerve-wracking. What if you lose them? For Prime members, Amazon offers unlimited storage for photos in its secure Cloud Drive. Yes, unlimited. It also gives members 5GB of cloud storage for music and videos.

For photo printing, the online shopping giant's printing service Amazon Prints conveniently connects to a Prime member's Cloud Drive. If you tend to print photos a lot, that's another photo perk that's worth having.

Interested so far? Click here to start a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime now, or keep reading for more.

7. Order food and household items

Amazon has a really unusual and potentially fantastic perk. It's not totally free, but for just $5.99 per box, you can get a box with up to 45 pounds of groceries delivered to your front door.

First, go to Amazon Pantry, order and pay for groceries and household items. For now, its selection is pretty thin, and some items are prohibitively expensive. But, here's the perk, Prime members get access to a wider array of products than non-members.

Amazon also has a subscription service for parents, grandparents and caregivers. For $99 a year, its Amazon Family is essentially Amazon Prime, with a few extras, such as diapers.

They're expensive and, as you know, with a new baby you'll need a never-ending supply of them. Amazon Family parents get a discount up to 20 percent off regular prices for diapers, with a monthly subscription. That subscription means diapers will show up at your door when you need them.

Plus, if there's a baby on the way, you can put together a wish list of all the supplies you'll need. Add those products to Amazon Family's Baby Registry, and many of them will be discounted 15 percent until the baby arrives.

8. Get 20 percent off video games

Here's a great perk for Amazon Prime members - a 20 percent discount on video game pre-orders and new releases.

Amazon's new release window is the first two weeks after a game's launch and the discount is applicable to all physical copies of a game, including special editions, but it doesn't apply to console game bundles.

If you're an avid video gamer, this Amazon Prime perk is definitely worth shooting for.

9. Have restaurant meals delivered to your door

Just when you thought DoorDash was a wild innovation, Amazon created its own dining delivery service. It's very simple to use, just visit Amazon Restaurants and order a multi-course meal.

Once you place an order, both the restaurant and delivery person are immediately notified. The restaurant accepts the order and prepares the food.

Amazon picks up the order at the restaurant and packs it in an insulated bag to keep it fresh and warm. 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!

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