Holiday shopping on Amazon is kinda a big deal. According to digital magazine ARC, 94% of people plan to shop on Amazon during the holiday season. That’s huge, people! With most of us shopping through Amazon, it’s only right that we dig up all the best Prime tools for you to use.
Here are 12 of the best ways to take advantage of Amazon Prime this holiday season.
First, if you don’t have Prime, get it–at least for the 30-day free trial.
Take advantage of Amazon Prime’s free 30-day trial while Christmas shopping. Its free 2-day shipping is perfect for sending gifts to out-of-town family members and friends. Plus, the money you save in delivery costs alone will make your holidays brighter. Once the trial period ends, it’s $99 per year.
1. Keep your family photos safe in a sharable vault with Prime Photo.
Access Prime Photo, Amazon’s free unlimited photo storage from anywhere and from any device just by signing in to your Amazon Prime account. While it’s free to Prime members, non-members must pay $12 a year. But lucky for you and your top five loved ones, you can share Prime Photo for free. That way, you and five others can upload, share, and store the best photos of the season in Amazon’s Cloud Drive.
BONUS: Use Prime Photo to create holiday and greeting cards right from your albums. And get this: delivery is also free!
2. Stay on top of the best Christmas gifts with Amazon’s Holiday Toy List.
Stress no more. Amazon has consolidated, organized, and tailored a list of the top toys for the 2016 Christmas season. The list is even categorized into age blocks from birth to 12 and up. Filter your options even further by selected parent favorites, kids’ picks, or something the whole family can enjoy.
There’s even a Deals section that will let you know what toys are about to go on sale to help you save even more.
3. Get 20% off new games with your Prime membership.
The gamer in your life will love getting that new release as a holiday gift, while you’ll love saving 20% on the price with your Prime account.
Here’s how it works: order new games when they’re in the pre-order stage or within the first two weeks of release. That’s it; it’s that easy to get the latest games at a great price. For example, order Pokemon Moon – Nintendo 3DS Moon Edition, which is normally priced at $39.96. With your Amazon Prime membership you get it for $31.99 with free shipping.
BONUS: Amazon Prime memberships now come with Twitch Prime, which includes free games, exclusive in-game content, and a free channel subscription every 30 days. This all means you won’t need to pay for the ad-free Twitch Turbo. All you do is link your account, and you’re ready to go–for free.
4. Read free Christmas stories with Prime Reading.
Amazon Prime Reading is a new feature that gives members access to unlimited books, audiobooks, and magazines with no due date.
Need a little holiday-home-decor inspiration? Check out your new free subscription to Better Homes and Gardens. Your kids are going to love the free access to hundreds of books like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Sneezy the Snowman.
5. Get a head start on the biggest discounts with Lightning Deals.
Beat other shoppers by taking advantage of your Prime membership and getting a 30-minute lead with Lightning Deals.
Amazon features popular toys, electronics, games, and more for a fraction of the original price with Lightning Deals, but you’ll want to get on these deals fast, because they go as quickly as they come.
When all the promotional discounts on a Lightning Deal are claimed by other shoppers, you’ll see a “Join waitlist” button. Click it to place yourself on the waitlist. When the promotional discount becomes available again, you’ll see an alert in the upper right-hand corner of your Amazon.com page.
6. Use Prime Now for last-minute gifts.
Amazon Prime Now operates in 27 cities and is only available to Prime members. With it, you get free 2-hour delivery on grocery and non-grocery items (1-hour delivery is also available for $7.99). If you live in one of these cities, this is a great option when you’re under the gun and need to get that holiday gift out fast. See why I’m a fan in Amazon Prime Now: Get Free 2-Hour Delivery on Pretty Much Anything.
TIP: If you need food delivered in a hurry for any of your holiday gatherings, Amazon Prime Now also delivers ready-made food from select restaurants right to your door in an hour.
7. Skip going to the grocery store with Prime Pantry.
With all that cooking and cleaning during the holidays, nobody wants to keep running to the grocery store–especially in bad weather. Prime Pantry is an exclusive service for Prime members that lets you shop for groceries and household products online. Just fill up a box for a flat fee of $5.99 on top of product prices. Groceries are delivered right to your home.
8. Get $5.99 in Amazon Pantry credit by picking No-Rush shipping.
9. Stream Christmas movies on a bigger screen with a Fire Stick.
Fire Stick is also portable, which means you can bring your Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu accounts, and more with you while you travel for the holidays; all you need is Wi-Fi.
10. Stream curated, ad-free holiday music.
Imagine hours upon hours of uninterrupted holiday music of your choice.
Prime members automatically get personalized commercial-free music that would cost up to $10 a month on Spotify. With more than a million songs and albums, Amazon Prime Music lovers have the luxury of an ad-free service at no extra cost.
BONUS: If you want to make the investment, Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Say any song you want–even from a distance–and Echo connects to a voice service called Alexa for instant listening pleasure. Echo retails for $179 for Prime members.
11. Give a year’s subscription of Prime to a special college student for only $49.
But first, have them sign up for a six-month free trial where they’ll get all the same perks as Prime members. Once it’s over, you’ll need to give them your credit card number so they can get an additional year courtesy of you.
Since a credit card is involved, we highly recommend doing this with your own child or someone you trust implicitly. The good news is, at the start, you can let Amazon know to automatically end the subscription after the year is up, or keep it going. A Prime Student membership is identical to the traditional Prime membership, except it’s half the price.
12. Make gift-giving easy with the gift of Prime.
I mean…who wouldn’t want a free year of Amazon Prime?!
The recipient of your gracious gift will get all the benefits of Prime: from free two-day shipping and unlimited ad-free music, to streaming movies and TV shows, unlimited photo storage, and free books.
Amazon will send your gift recipient an email on the day you choose, along with instructions on how to redeem the gift. If they already have Amazon Prime or would rather have something else, the membership can be exchanged for an Amazon gift card.
NOTE: The one-year gift membership does not automatically renew.