Anyone can shop on Amazon for personal use. But, for those wanting exclusive deals, discounted shipping, and other perks, Amazon offers a membership program known as Prime, which is paid on a monthly or annual basis. Small business owners can access all the benefits of Amazon Prime with a personal account -- but they can get added benefits from a Business Prime account.
Here are some comparisons (and differences) to consider when deciding which is best for you.
Amazon Prime is a paid membership that, for an annual or monthly fee, gives access to a number of Amazon services and enhancements. It's now used by millions of people who have signed up to receive a swathe of benefits, such as free same-day or two-day shipping and streaming of movies, TV, and music. Prime Day is an annual sales event offering discounted products to Amazon Prime members as an added benefit.
Which benefits are included with Amazon Prime?
With an Amazon Prime personal account, your membership fee unlocks a number of benefits for shopping, streaming, delivery, reading, and more. Some of these include free shipping at shopbop.com, two credits to try Audible, and upgraded shipping at Zappos. You also have the option to link one other adult to your Amazon Prime account to share all the same benefits for free.
- Amazon Day: Pick a delivery date and shop through the week, then have your packages delivered on your chosen day.
- Key by Amazon: Where eligible, Amazon will deliver packages to your home, garage, or vehicle for free.
- Free One-Day and Two-Day Delivery: No minimum purchase required on over 10 million items.
- Free Same-Day Delivery: Where available, qualifying orders of $35 or more can receive delivery by 9 p.m. if ordered before noon.
- Free Ultrafast Grocery Delivery: Available areas get free two-hour delivery on groceries.
- Free Release-Date Delivery: Choose this delivery option to get new books, movies, music, and more by 7 p.m. on the date of release.
- Free No-Rush Shipping: Earn rewards toward future purchases if you don't need your order right away.
- Prescription Delivery and Savings: Get prescriptions delivered with free two-day shipping and discounts for paying out-of-pocket.
- Amazon First Reads: Choose one free editors' pick per month to keep and read prior to the official publication date.
- Discounted Prime magazine Subscriptions: Pay just $0.99 for four-month magazine subscriptions.
- Prime Reading: Use any device to access over a thousand comics, eBooks, magazines, and more.
- Amazon Family: Make shopping easier and save on everyday supplies with subscriptions.
- Amazon Prime store or rewards card: Earn 5% on purchases at Amazon.com and Whole Foods.
- Member Deals at Whole Foods: Discounts and promotions online and in-store.
- Prime Exclusive Deals: Get deals exclusive to Prime members.
- Prime Early Access to Lightning Deals
- Prime Day: Two-day annual sales event.
- Prime Wardrobe: Try on accessories, clothes, jewelry, and shoes at home and send back what you don't want.
Streaming and digital benefits
- Amazon Kids+: Get up to 40% in discounts for access to over a thousand kid-friendly books, educational apps, games, and movies.
- Amazon Music Prime: Millions of songs and podcast episodes available, ad-free, including offline. Upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited for over 70 million songs and podcasts with a 20% discount as a Prime member.
- Amazon Photos: Unlimited storage to back up and share photos, viewable from all linked devices.
- Prime Gaming: Exclusive discounts on pre-order video games, a monthly Twitch subscription, and free games to play every month.
- Prime Video: Use almost any device at home or away to access thousands of popular TV series, movies, and Amazon originals.
- Prime Video Channels: Pay $4.99-$14.99 per month for access to HBO, Showtime, and STARZ channels with the ability to cancel at any time.
How much is an Amazon Prime membership?
Amazon Prime has a flat cost for everyone. You can choose to pay the annual fee of $119 for an account or pay monthly at $12.99 per month. If you pay monthly, you'll pay a total of $155.88 per year.
The cost of Business Prime membership varies by the amount of users:
- Essentials: Up to 3 users = $179 per year
- Small: Up to 10 users = $499 per year
- Medium: Up to 100 users = $1,299 per year
- Enterprise: Unlimited users = $10,099 per year
Existing Amazon Prime accounts can add a Business Prime Duo (single user plan) to their personal Amazon account for an additional $69 per year. This allows you to keep all the shopping and entertainment features while also accessing work benefits including free analytic tools, discounts, and business shipping.
How much is Amazon Prime for nonprofits?
The size of the nonprofit will determine how much you pay for Amazon Prime. The annual fee can be as low as $69. Most 501(c)3 charity organizations can qualify for multi-user, tax-exempt status with Amazon Business. Amazon also provides access to AmazonSmile charity lists, COVID-19 supply hub, a Live Amazon nonprofit business advisor, and more.
How many household members can share a Prime account?
An Amazon Prime account can be shared with other family members to make up an Amazon Household. The Household can hold up to two adults, four teens, and four child profiles. The main account user has primary control of the account.
With a Business Prime account, the number of users depends on the plan. Business Prime accounts can have anywhere from a single user to more than 100. The primary business owner can limit access and create roles in the admin account for other users.
With Business Prime, business owners can access perks like creating logins for their employees, applying purchasing rules, getting corporate credit, collaborating on documents, and more. With a 30-day free trial, they can take their time considering whether Amazon Prime or Business Prime is right for them.
Users can sign up for a free Amazon Business account to become a registered seller, get incentives and discounts on purchases, and other benefits. The Amazon Business account also comes with free Business Analytics tools to track business spending, monitor sales, make adjustments as needed, and make plans for future growth. Other free tools include:
- Setting preferred suppliers
- Opening an Amazon Corporate Credit line
- Granting access to users to make purchases
- Creating approval procedures and applying spending caps for purchases
- Setting up consolidated delivery for large items to your preferred personal or business address
Registered sellers can use their Amazon Business account to make fulfilling orders easier by taking advantage of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). With FBA, you ship your products to an Amazon warehouse. When someone places an order, Amazon picks, packs, and ships the item to the customer. Amazon will also handle refunds and returns. FBA comes with a fee that varies by product and order.
Which benefits are included with Amazon Business Prime?
The benefits offered in the Business Prime account depend on the membership plan. All plan levels have the same shipping and shopping benefits. Not all shipping speeds and methods are available on all items or in all areas. Deliveries default to business days only, but can be changed to daily if requested.
Shipping benefits include:
- Free Amazon Day Delivery
- Free 3-5 day Consolidated Shipping
- Free One-Day, Same-Day, or Two-Day Shipping on certain items
- Discounted Expedited Delivery
Shopping Benefits include:
- Prime Day Deals
- Prime Early Access to Lightning Deals
- Progressive Discounts
Amazon WorkDocs allows for collaboration on invoices, receipts, and other business documents in one secure location. Amazon WorkDocs is available on:
- Essentials: 1 user and 250 GB of space
- Small: 3 users and 750 GB of space
- Medium: 5 users and 1.25 Tb of space
- Enterprise: 10 users and 2.5 TB of space
These same plans allow the business owner to set rules for preferred and restricted buying for employees who are provided user access. Owners can also use spending pattern insights to plan budgeting and buying decisions. Small and Medium membership plans include 45-day fee and interest-free payment terms on invoices, while Enterprise plans get 60 days plus Amazon Business Professional Services assistance.
Small businesses who are tax-exempt can use the Amazon Tax Exemption Tool to enroll online for the Amazon Tax Exemption Program. Once approved, you can apply tax-exemption status to qualifying purchases when reviewing your order.
Does Amazon Business Prime include TV?
The Amazon Business Prime account does not include TV, but you can link a standard Amazon Prime account to your Business Prime account to access TV features. If you already have an Amazon Prime account, you can add the Business Prime Duo plan for $69 per year to access both standard and business benefits.
How much does Amazon Business Prime cost?
Is it worth having an Amazon Business Prime account?
An Amazon Business Prime account has perks that are beneficial to small businesses compared to a personal Amazon Prime account. With Business Prime, you can get discounts on large quantities of products and may qualify for tax exemptions. You also have access to business analytics tools to track business spending and Amazon Workdocs for team collaboration.
Are Amazon Business Prime prices cheaper?
Amazon Business Prime prices can be cheaper than a standard Amazon Prime account. If you're buying in large quantities, you can get discounts or tiered pricing on certain items that the general public can't access. You can also flag preferred suppliers and products using the Guided Buying tool. Amazon Business Prime members can also consolidate shipping to a personal or business address for large purchases.
Does Amazon Business pose any disadvantages to buyers or sellers?
An Amazon Business account can provide sellers exposure to a wide range of consumers and B2B merchants, which can boost sales and revenue. FBA also helps sellers by letting Amazon do the work of shipping orders and handling refunds and returns. However, disadvantages to an Amazon Business account include limited buyer communication and limitations on what can be shipped to customers. Selling on Amazon can both increase and limit brand awareness and restrict the buyer/seller relationship.
Is Amazon Prime or Business Prime right for you?
Should you choose Amazon Prime or Business Prime? If you're a business owner, the perks offered by Business Prime may be worth the extra cost. However, if you're only purchasing products as needed and aren't purchasing in bulk, you may not need Business Prime. You can still take advantage of the free tools offered in your Amazon Business account, even if you don't purchase Business Prime.
Both Amazon Prime and Business Prime come with a 30-day free trial. To register for Business Prime, use your business email and provide your business address and tax ID. Amazon will verify your business within 24 hours, and you can track your status online. To help you determine if Business prime is right for you, Amazon Business has partnered with Forrester Consulting to calculate the potential return on investment (ROI) for your business if you purchase a membership.