Here at KCL, we’ve written several articles about Amazon Prime (see “How to Get Free Shipping on Amazon”“Primed to Save: The Many Benefits of Amazon Prime” and “Get Free Holiday Shipping with an Amazon Prime Free Trial”). For those readers who aren’t familiar with Amazon Prime, here’s a basic summary of the service:

  • Amazon Prime costs $99 for a 1-year membership. However, you can get a free 1-month trial (just make sure to cancel before the month is up, or you’ll be automatically charged for a 1-year membership). Click here to sign up for Amazon Prime.
  • Amazon Prime members receive free 2-day shipping on eligible items.
  • Amazon Prime members have access to unlimited streaming of movies, videos and television shows with Amazon Instant Video.
  • Amazon Prime members get one free e-book per month from the Kindle Lending library.

1. Get a free 1-month membership extension when your order arrives late

If you received free shipping through Amazon Prime, you may be eligible for a free 1-month extension when the promised delivery date isn’t met. If you have a 1-month, Amazon Prime, free, trial membership, then you may only receive one free 1-month extension during that month. If you have a full, Amazon Prime, annual membership, then you can get up to 12, free, 1-month extensions during the course of your year-long membership.  To get your free 1-month extension, you must contact an Amazon customer service representative.

2. Receive a promotional credit when you select the “No-Rush Delivery” shipping option

Depending on the item, Amazon Prime members can get free 2-day shipping or free standard shipping (generally, 2 to 5 business days with the vast majority of orders arriving in 2 to 3 business days). With some Amazon-Prime-eligible items, you’ll see a third shipping option: “Free No-Rush Delivery.” With Free No-Rush delivery, your order will typically arrive within one week (excluding holidays). The amount and type of promotional credit is variable, but it typically consists of a $1 to $3 credit to purchase music or movies at the Amazon MP3 store or the Amazon Video Store. The credit will be automatically applied to your account once the first package from a No-Rush-Shipping-eligible order ships. You’ll receive an e-mail as soon as the credit is available. You may select No-Rush Shipping as many times as it’s offered to you, but you won’t be eligible for the credit if you cancel your No-Rush Shipping order or return items from it.

3. Share your free, 2-day shipping, Amazon Prime benefit with up to 4 members of your household

While this Amazon Prime perk has been around for a long time, very few people seem to know about it. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can “share” your free-shipping benefits with up to four eligble household members (friends and/or family who live at your address). If you purchased your Amazon Prime membership as a small business, then you can share your free-shipping benefits with up to four co-workers who share your work address.

To share your Amazon Prime free-shipping benefits:

  1. Sign into your Amazon account
  2. Once signed in, go to Manage Prime Membership
  3. Click on “Invite a household member.” You’ll then be asked to enter your birthday as well as enter the name, relationship, birthday and e-mail address of up to four people you’d like to share your free shipping benefits with.

In order to accept the invitation, the invited person will need to provide the month and day of your birthday. Keep in mind that sharing your free-shipping benefits with an invited person doesn’t mean you’ll be paying for their Amazon purchases—but rather, the invited person pays for their purchase themselves and then gets free 2-day shipping thanks to you.

Note: You can only share your Amazon Prime, free-shipping benefits with your invitees; you can’t share any of your other Amazon Prime benefits with your invitees, such as access to Prime Video or the Kindle Lending Library.


4. Get 1 free e-book per month with Kindle First

Amazon’s Kindle First program gives members the opportunity to download one of four editors’ picks one month before the official publication date. New titles are announced at the beginning of each month. As an Amazon Prime member (including regular, discounter or 1-month, free-trial, Amazon Prime memberships), you’re automatically eligible for the Kindle First program; and each month, you can download one Kindle First title of your choice for free to your Kindle e-reader or tablet. The four, March 2014, Kindle First titles included Hidden, The Seventh ChildThe Bird Eater and Mickey Outside (see image below).

Note: If you don’t have a Kindle e-reader or tablet, you can still read your free, monthly Kindle First book by downloading the free Kindle app for your iPhone and iPod TouchAndroid deviceWindows Phone or BlackBerry 10 Phone. You can also use the free Kindle Cloud Reader to read e-books using your Internet Broswer.


5. Get 6 free months of Amazon Prime free 2-day shipping with your Amazon Student account

Amazon Student is a free membership program for U.S. college students with a valid .edu email address. If you sign up for Amazon Student, you’ll also get six free months of Amazon Prime free 2-day shipping on eligible items. After the six months, you can become an Amazon Prime member for a discounted price of $49 per year (Amazon Prime normally costs $99 per year).

6. Get 3 free months of Amazon Prime free 2-day shipping with your Amazon Mom account

Amazon Mom is a free membership program for parents of small children. If you sign up for Amazon Mom, you’ll get three free months of Amazon Prime free 2-day shipping on eligible prices. However, after the free-three-month period ends, you’ll have to pay the full $99 price for an annual Amazon Prime membership.

Get the Most Out of Your Amazon Prime Membership with These 6 Little-Known Benefits