Like most people, you probably signed up for Amazon Prime for a specific reason. Maybe it was the free shipping, the streaming videos or the free music. Or maybe you wanted one special bargain and decided to jump on board. (Note: Prime Day is almost here, July 16, tap or click here to learn how to get the best deals.)
But even now, several years after Amazon Prime was founded, few people know the full breadth of their membership perks. They knew there were a handful of other benefits, but never actually took the time to find out what those were. Don't worry, we're here to help.
We've put together a master list of every major thing you can do with your Amazon Prime account.
Take a breath and buckle in, because this list is pretty extensive.
1. Free Two-Day Shipping
This is the granddaddy of all features, the one that made Prime so famous to begin with. When you see the little blue "Prime" logo next to an item, that means you can ship it for free. You can expect your purchases to arrive at your door within 48 hours. Even now, this advantage may feel like magic. Not every item gets free shipping, so make sure you see that logo, but you'll find multiple items that do.
2. Free Same-Day Delivery
It almost takes you back to the days of newsies and milk trucks: Imagine clicking on an item and then receiving it the same day for no shipping fee. Granted, this only works in select ZIP codes – specifically, ZIP codes near an Amazon distribution warehouse – but for people lucky enough to live in these hubs, same-day delivery is an incredible boon.
3. Prime Now
Wait, so receiving an item the same day isn't quick enough? You need it within two hours? Amazon can do that, presuming you live in the right area. Only a fraction of Amazon's stock is available on Prime Now, but that still amounts to more than 10,000 individual items.
4. Amazon Family
If you're a parent, you already know: Kids are expensive. So when you have access to Amazon Family, you appreciate the 20-percent-off-diaper subscriptions.
If you're still expecting, consider putting your baby registry online, because Amazon Family also grants you 15 percent off certain products. You can even create a profile specifically for your child, so that Amazon will help you figure out what it is you need to buy and when.
5. Free Release Date Delivery
This is one of those features that many Prime members have never heard of: Suppose you're waiting for a hardcover book from one of your favorite authors.
You can't wait for the book to get released, so you can finally tear into it. Well, now you don't have to: The second that book is available, it'll be delivered to you for free. Many other items are also available the moment they hit shelves.
6. Prime Video
There are lots of online video services available, but Amazon Video is still one of the greats. Producing original movies and TV series, streaming movies for free, and making tons of other flicks available for rent or permanent purchase. Amazon was also one of the first companies to make their content available for download, so you can view your watch list offline.
7. Prime Music
Much of Amazon's music collection can be heard through its streaming service, almost exactly like Spotify. But Amazon Prime also lets you download more than a million of its songs for free. It's like Napster used to be, but legal. Just keep in mind, you will need to download the free Amazon Music app in order to download songs, and it's only available for mobile devices. If you want to put songs on your regular desktop or laptop, you'll have to stream songs or buy them for offline playback.
8. Prime Photos
After snapping your way through multiple vacations and family functions, you've got so many photos, you don't even know what to do with them. Well, Prime Photos is just the place for them: Amazon provides unlimited photo storage for Prime members, and you can even use its first-rate search features to retrieve just the right portrait. Easily share albums with the people close to you, as well.
9. Prime Pantry
Basically, it's like shopping at your local grocery store without the carts, cashiers or car. With your Prime membership, for an additional $4.99 per month you can get free shipping on all orders of $40 or more, or pay a flat $7.99 shipping fee for each order placed. You don't have to live in any particular ZIP code. The only bummer is for people in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, where the service is not available.
10. Amazon Elements
What are Amazon Elements? Basically, this is where you find regular over-the-counter health items, like calcium pills and baby wipes. If you're into basic wellness but don't want to pay an arm and a leg, Prime grants you access to the exclusive Amazon Elements storefront.
11. Amazon Dash
What if there was a button you could push in the laundry room, and Amazon would immediately send you a new bottle of Tide? This is almost exactly what Amazon's Replenishment Service is. Amazon Dash makes the process of ordering much faster, by letting you press these buttons or scanning product bar codes with your smartphone. At the press of a few Dash Buttons, you can collect a whole cartload of domestic products in seconds.
12. Prime Early Access
Are you feeling really competitive? Are you worried that your most coveted items will sell out before you have a chance to order them? Early Access lets you order things 30 minutes before they are released to the general public.
In Amazon parlance, these are called "Lightning Deals," and you get the inside scoop. Think of it as sneaking into a shopping mall on Black Friday a half-hour before the doors open, minus getting arrested or trespassing.
13. Amazon Prime Store Card
So the Amazon Prime Store Card is exciting, but it's important to understand what it is: It's a credit card that gives you a 5-percent refund. This is remitted every month in the form of a statement credit.
Keep in mind that it applies to only approved items, but it's still a pretty good deal, assuming you shop a lot on Amazon and keep an eye on items that receive the credit. If that doesn't float your boat, you can exchange the credit for promotional financing offers, which might benefit you for expensive purchases.
14. Prime Reading
This option expands your reading palate even more, by giving you access to magazines and other periodicals. Borrow a wide range of literature for a set amount of time and read them on your Kindle. Don't have a Kindle? No sweat. You can download the Kindle app on almost any mobile device.
15. Kindle First
Like Early Access, Kindle First lets you see books before anyone else can nab a copy. Each month, the Kindle First editors get together and decide on six titles to make available; then you can download one of those books for free. These lists depend on the editors' tastes, but if you have a diversely read palate, you'll probably like the surprise.
16. Audible Channels for Prime
Audiobook fans were shocked when Audible, their go-to service, released Audible Channels, a rapidly growing catalog of free podcasts. This streaming service offers everything from short fiction to classics to original audio dramas. You could spend all day jumping from one literary tidbit to another, all for free.
17. Amazon FreeTime Unlimited
This costs extra, but for families with some time to kill, FreeTime is a godsend. Starting at $2.99 per month, you'll find a treasure trove of literature, educational games and TV series geared specifically toward children.
If you're already fond of online programs like ABC Mouse, you may find FreeTime enriching and fun. Plus, like the name says, it's pretty much unlimited.
18. Washington Post Free Trial
It's ironic: Quality newspapers may be endangered, but their subscriptions can still be pricey. This is just one reason you may enjoy a 1 month free trial to the Washington Post, courtesy of Amazon Prime. The subscription automatically renews at $100 per year after the free month trial, but you can cancel anytime.
19. Twitch Prime
Gamers rejoice! Prime grants you ad-free viewing on Twitch.tv, Amazon's gaming-focused streaming video site. You can also get discounts on games and exclusive pre-orders.
20. Membership Sharing
The concept of Amazon Households makes perfect sense, no matter what your relationship with your co-habitant is: You can merge your accounts into a single Prime membership.
Now your spouse/significant other/roommate/butler can enjoy all of the above benefits together. Remember, sharing is caring.
21. Amazon Channels
Maybe you cut the cord on cable, but you're not quite happy with Netflix or Hulu. That's why Amazon came up with Channels, which offers you easy access to traditional cable networks like HBO, Showtime and Starz. Use the Amazon Video app to keep up with the latest season of "Homeland" and "Game of Thrones."
22. Shopping With Alexa
"Alexa, order some deodorant!" We've saved the best for last: Owners of an Amazon Alexa-enabled device can shop Amazon without even using their hands. Available only to Prime members, this feature is like dictating a list to a robot assistant and then sending her off on a shopping trip, just like a "Jetsons" episode. Technology like this is putting the "primo" in Prime.
Speaking of Amazon Alexa, have you heard what she has recorded you saying? Listen to all your recordings now
Alexa recorded Kim talking about a real estate deal. She also recorded a conversation she had with her mom. Neither conversation had anything to do with Amazon.
Take a moment and listen to what Alexa has recorded you saying. Then, delete the ones you don't think Amazon should have access to.