If you regularly shop on Amazon as a consumer, or if you shop on Amazon Business as a business owner, it's worth checking out Amazon's membership programs: Amazon Prime and Amazon Business Prime, both of which include some nice benefits that are hard to ignore.
To help you better understand how they differ, we've detailed everything you need to know below. But, before you dive in, perhaps you should read our primer on Amazon Business. It's a version of Amazon that offers unique features specifically for organizations, entrepreneurs, and startups, such as multi-user accounts and quantity discounts.
What is Amazon Prime?
Amazon offers a membership program to consumers. It's called Amazon Prime. If you subscribe, you become a Prime member and instantly get access to extra benefits like free same-day or two-day shipping on eligible purchases, as well as the ability to stream movies, shows, and tunes, and the option to use new services like Prime Wardrobe and Prime Pantry.
And let's not forget Prime Day: Amazon began holding an annual sales extravaganza a few years ago -- Prime Day -- which it says is "bigger than Black Friday." But Prime Day is exclusive to Prime Members. So, if you don't subscribe to Prime, you not only forgo access to several perks, but you also lose the ability to partake on Prime Day and snag items on sale.
- To learn more about Prime Day, see ZDNet's guide here.
Where is Amazon Prime available?
Amazon Prime is available internationally in several countries, including but not limited to: US, UK, Spain, Mexico, Japan, India, Italy, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium, Austria, Australia, Singapore, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and the United Arab Emirates.
How much does Amazon Prime cost?
Last year, Amazon hiked the price of its membership fee for Amazon Prime.
New members are now charged $119 per year for an annual Prime membership (or $59 per year if registered as a student). Alternatively, you can pay $12.99 per month (or $6.49 for Prime students). Amazon also offers a free 30-day free trial.
- To sign up for the Amazon Prime free trial, go to Amazon's Prime Free Trial page.
- To change your membership, go to the Manage Amazon Prime Membership page.
Which benefits are included with Amazon Prime?
To learn more about each of the benefits below, go to Amazon's About Amazon Prime page.
- Free two-day shipping on eligible items in the US.
- Free same-day delivery in eligible zip codes.
- Prime Now: Get two-hour delivery on thousands of items in eligible zip codes.
- Free release-date delivery on eligible pre-order items in the US.
- Free no-rush shipping: Earn rewards on purchases you don't need right away.
- Prime Video: Access to movies and TV episodes for members in the US.
- Amazon Channels: Watch content from HBO, SHOWTIME, and STARZ channels for an additional $4.99 to $14.99 per month, depending on the channel.
- Prime Music: Ad-free access to Prime playlists and songs for members in the US.
- Amazon Music Unlimited: Discounted Amazon Music Unlimited monthly plans.
- Twitch Prime: Discounts on physical games pre-orders and new releases. Plus, Twitch.tv users who link their Amazon Prime account get ad-free viewing on Twitch, a free Twitch channel subscription every month, and exclusive access to free game content.
- Prime Reading: Borrow books, magazines, and more from the Prime Reading catalog and read them on your Fire tablet, Kindle e-reader, or the Kindle reading apps.
- Amazon First Reads: Early access for members in the US to download a new book for free every month from the Amazon First Reads picks.
- Audible Channels for Prime: Unlimited listening to original audio series and playlists.
- Whole Foods Market: Exclusive savings and two-hour delivery via Prime Now.
- Amazon Dash for Prime: The ability to use the Dash Wand.
- Amazon Fresh: Pay an additional monthly membership fee to receive free shipping on all Amazon Fresh grocery orders of $50 or more, or pay a flat delivery fee.
- Prime Wardrobe: Try on clothes (eligible items only) before you buy. You will only be charged for the items you decide to keep.
- Prime Pantry: Members in select regions can shop for groceries and household products and pay an additional delivery fee.
- Amazon Elements: Access to Amazon's own line of everyday products.
- Prime Day: Access to deals during Amazon's annual summertime sale event.
- Prime Early Access: Get 30-minute early access to Lightning Deals on Amazon.com.
- More deals: Regular discounts on items like diapers and baby food, plus 15% off eligible products on your baby registry.
- Membership sharing: Two adults in the same household can create an Amazon Household to share certain Amazon Prime benefits. If you have a paid Prime membership under your personal account, you can also share your shipping benefits with your Amazon Business user account (more on that later).
- Prime Photos: Unlimited photo storage in Amazon Drive.
What is Amazon Business Prime?
First, let's discuss Amazon Business, a free version of Amazon that's tailored to businesses.
It gives registered businesses a streamlined procurement experience by providing access to business products -- like IT and lab equipment and education and foodservice supplies -- at special pricing with quantity discounts. Businesses can add multiple team members to a single account, too, so that employees can easily shop for them.
And, similar to how Amazon users can subscribe to Prime, Amazon Business users can subscribe to Amazon Business Prime to unlock extra benefits, including free same-day or two-day shipping on eligible items. There's a 30-day free trial, too.
Where is Amazon Business Prime available?
Amazon Business is available in eight countries, but Amazon Business Prime is only available in the US, Germany, and Japan.
How much does Amazon Business Prime cost?
The price of Business Prime is based on the number of users per Amazon Business account:
- Essentials: $179 a year for up to three users
- Small: $499 a year for up to 10 users
- Medium: $1,299 a year for up to 100 users
- Enterprise: $10,099 a year for over 100 users
- Public Sector*: $3,499 a year for over 100 users
Once you figure out which plan is best, go here, and click the "30-day free trial" button.
*Public sector is only available to US federal, state, local, and regional government entities, public education organizations, non-profit private universities, and healthcare facilities.
Which benefits are included with Amazon Business Prime?
These key perks make Amazon Business Prime unique:
- Business pricing: Members get access to Business Prime exclusives and Prime Day deals.
- Spend visibility*: Powered by AWS QuickSight, this feature provides visualizations of company spending, making it easier to analyze data and spending trends.
- Guided buying*: Account administrators can mark certain suppliers and products as preferred, set specific product category restrictions, and more, to improve compliance and consolidate suppliers.
- Amazon Business American Express Card: Business Prime members can get access to a no-annual-fee credit card. Visit www.amazon.com/businesscard for more details.
- Extended terms for Pay by Invoice*: Business Prime members can request "Extended Terms for Pay by Invoice" -- extending their payment terms to 45 or 60 days, depending on their plan, to pay an Amazon Business invoice.
- Business delivery: Free same-day, one-day, and two-day shipping on eligible items, plus free delivery on special items, discounted expedited delivery, and consolidated deliveries that arrive on a pallet on your receiving dock or doorstep.
Note: You do not get Amazon Prime features, like Prime Video, with Business Prime.
*Not available to Essentials plan users.
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