I am a die-hard Amazon fan. Ever since Amazon came on the scene back in my early dial-up connection days (when I needed a Flintstone wheel to improve download speeds) I have admired this site to help make smart online purchases. Then my appreciation grew after I discovered the free Super-Saving shipping feature. By bundling my purchases and a few clicks of the mouse, I could have products on my doorsteps within a week of purchasing, without a shipping fee!

My latest Amazon discovery is Amazon Prime. A membership costs $79 per year, and in the beginning I wondered if it would be worth that money. But I quickly discovered the service pays for itself in just a few short months. That breaks down to less than $7 per month, and I can easily spend that much each week in lattes and smoothies alone!

My on-the-go family can use Amazon as a library, movie rental house and shopping mall. The Amazon Prime membership includes these benefits:

  • Try before you buy. Free one-month trial with no strings attached. Thinking about trying out Amazon Prime? Give it a trial run in November or December, when you’re likely to do more holiday shopping and shipping.
  • Free two-day shipping. This service offers members free two-day shipping with no minimum purchase requirement. You can also share free two-day shipping for up to four additional household members or co-workers. A lot of people don't know about this little secret, but this option can be found under the settings menu under "Your Account." To access this, click on "Your Account" when you sign into Amazon. Look at the "Settings" section and find "Manage Prime Membership." Once you click there, you can send invitations to family members or co-workers in your same office by selecting your relationship, birthday and email address so an invitation can be sent to the recipient. This option allows other members to get free two-day shipping also. Many members split the cost of the prime membership among others in the household, or co-workers, to save even more money.
  • Instant streaming movies and TV shows. View on up to six devices registered under the Prime account, and choose from more than 5,000 programs.
  • Instant access to free Kindle books. Available on up to six devices registered under the Prime account through Kindle's Lending Library. You can borrow one title each month with no due date. Kindle books can also be loaned to another reader for 14 days. The reader doesn't have to own a Kindle, since they can be read using the free Kindle reading application for PC, Mac, iPad and iPhone, Blackberry and Android Devices. TIP: Since only the primary holder of a Prime membership can stream videos for free on the Kindle Fire and other devices, register ALL of your devices on the Prime account to access this service.
  • Amazon Student and Amazon Mom members receive several months of free shipping and receive exclusive deals and promotions. Amazon Student is a free membership program created for college students. It works like this: Students with a .edu address can receive benefits such as six months of free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime, exclusive discount and promotional information, and lower Prime Membership rates of only $39 per year for up to four years. This also entitles students to Prime instant videos and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. Amazon Mom isn’t just for moms! It was created for parents of small children and offers three months of free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime, 20% off diapers and wipes that are auto-delivered to your door through their Subscribe & Save program, plus exclusive discounts for Amazon Mom members. After three months, there is an option to register for Amazon Prime, which offers all the benefits listed above (free shipping, videos, and books), plus you’ll continue to receive 20% off diapers and wipes subscriptions. If you decide not to join, you will still receive Amazon Mom benefits.

This is a guest post by Deborah from San Diego, CA
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Primed to Save: The Many Benefits of Amazon Prime