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Switch to a Prime Student membership to score October Prime Day discounts for less. Here's how

It's easy to sign up for -- or change your account to -- a Prime Student membership before Amazon's Prime Big Deal Days. We'll walk you through the steps.
Written by Christina Darby, Associate Editor
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Amazon

If you're a college student, you're probably aware that expenses stack up pretty fast. From ordering and renting textbooks, booking flights back home to buying groceries and essential back-to-school tech, there always seems to be something that's adding to your bills. 

What I wish I'd known as a student is that Amazon Prime's student membership can help you save. And with Amazon's Prime Big Deal Days coming up on Oct. 10 and 11, it's the perfect time to switch from your existing Prime account, sign up for one in general, or test the six-month free trial.

Also: Amazon's Prime Big Deal Days: Everything to know

Before you make any decisions, here's some more information about Prime Student, its cost, and perks. 

What exactly is Prime Student? 

Prime Student is a discount service that gives higher education students access to the same benefits as a regular Prime member for half the cost. The membership gets you unlimited photo storage, savings on rental textbooks, ad-free music for 99 cents a month, LinkedIn Premium, and the usual Prime member deals and free shipping services (like Prime Day early access sales). 

Who is eligible for a Prime Student membership? 

If you're a student currently enrolled at a college or university, then you're eligible. Amazon requires students to register with their .edu or school-linked email address, so make sure yours is active and ready before proceeding to make an account.

How much does Prime Student cost?

Prime Student users start with a free six-month trial that you can cancel at any time. So, if you wanted, you could start your trial when you went back to school, then cancel before the membership fee kicks in.

After the trial period, the membership will cost $69 per year or $7.49 per month. So if you subscribe now for Prime Big Deal Days, you can go until April 2024 before needing to pay anything for your discounted membership.

Also: How to make money on Amazon by sharing your favorite products

Prime Student members can also stream music and TV shows for an additional 99 cents per month. 

If you're a student with an existing Amazon Prime account, but without the Prime Student perks, here's how to switch your existing Prime subscription into one more tailored to a student lifestyle and price point. 

How to switch to a Prime Student membership from an existing Prime account 

1. Sign in to your existing Amazon Prime account

On the mobile app or web browser, log in to your existing Amazon account using the same email you registered with. You don't need to cancel this existing account to sign up, but hang on to your .edu email as you'll use it later in the process. 

2. Select the Customer Service tab

Once you've logged in, select Customer Service in the top right corner.

Amazon page with a bright yellow arrow pointing to the Customer Service tab in the right corner of the navigation bar.

Log into your existing account and head over to the "Customer Service" tab in the navigation bar. 

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

3. Search for "Prime Student"

In the Customer Service help library search bar, search for "Prime Student" and select the "Switch from Amazon Prime to Prime Student" option.

Bright yellow arrow pointing to the PrimeStudent info in the customer service help library
Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

4. Fill out your education credentials

After selecting the Switch from Amazon Prime to Prime Student option, you should be prompted with a Try Prime Student button. Click it, and from there, enter the requested information into the form. This process allows Amazon to validate your enrollment at a college or university. When done, click "Start my six-month trial."

Also: How an Amazon Prime membership can save you money on groceries

Note: The six-month trial comes with every Prime Student subscription. You'll still be enrolled once it's over, but now you'll be paying.

Form to fill out when switching to a Prime Student membership

Fill out the form by inputting the corresponding information. If you have trouble signing up, follow the link that says "Click here" and sign up with your .edu email.

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

5. Submit

From here, just click submit. If your .edu student email is active, you should be good to go. The payment information for your standard Prime plan will carry over to the Prime Student one. (You can always change the payment method.)

How to join Prime Student if you don't have an existing Prime account

If you're a student without a Prime account, and you want to join Prime Student directly, you will need to sign up for an Amazon account first. Then, you can go here on Amazon's website and click on "Try Prime Student" to enroll for Prime Student. 

FAQs

Do I get access to Prime Big Deal Days sales with Prime Student? 

Yes. Since Amazon's Prime Big Deal Days is an exclusive sale for any Prime members, Prime Students can benefit from the deals. And if you want to test the perks of Prime before fully committing, now might be a good time to take advantage of the six-month free trial. 

How long does Prime Student last? 

Your membership lasts until you leave school (typically four years), but can be prolonged if you move into a graduate program -- just as long as your .edu address remains active. If you, for some reason, get an email from Amazon saying that your annual or monthly Prime Student subscription is ending soon, but you're still enrolled in college, you can verify your continued status to extend the service.

To verify your continuing enrollment, click here or search for "Verify Continuing Student Status" in the Help and customer service search library.

Do I have to cancel my current account to get Prime Student? 

No, you do not have to cancel or deactivate your account. Just follow this link to transfer your account. The benefits you currently have, however, may change. For example, if you currently have a 20% discount on home appliances, that may be revoked in place of a cheaper video streaming service or another discount.  

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