Amazon made a big splash in the tech world when it announced plans to use drones for insanely fast delivery. While we’re many years from Prime Air becoming a reality, there are still plenty of cool features available today for members of Amazon Prime.
Most people in the program sign up for the free two-day shipping, which can pay for itself depending on how much you shop. It can also be a great multimedia source, thanks to a large free streaming video library and a Kindle e-book lending library.
But there’s more to be had than these three features. Below, check out some of the extra perks that Prime has for you.
1. It Comes Free With Amazon Student
Amazon designed one of its other membership programs for the studious set. Amazon Student gives members six months of free Prime two-day shipping. After the free period, members can continue to get the great free shipping benefits for $39 per year.
The paid accounts also include access to some of the video and library options.
2. It Comes Free With Amazon Mom
Parents can also catch a break by ordering through Amazon’s membership programs. Like Amazon Student, Amazon Mom has a free trial (however, it gives only three months free) followed by a fee of $79 per year. The program offers exclusive discounts on products for new parents, Amazon’s free two-day Prime shipping and access to video and e-books.
3. Gift Prime Membership
If there’s an Amazon fanatic in your life, you can enable the addiction by giving him or her a year of membership. The good news is that you don’t need to worry about whether the recipient already has an account. When he or she gets the notification, there will be an option to click a button and exchange the membership for a gift card of the same amount.
4. Share Shipping Benefits
Keeping your passwords protected have never been more important, and Amazon Prime makes it easy to maintain that crucial security. Prime members can share their shipping perks with up to four people at the same address. Whether that’s your family members or your co-workers, you can easily update your account management. All you need to know is the name, relationship, birthday and email address of the person you want to add.
5. Control Your 1-Click
In your settings, you can enter presets to check out faster. Pick a default address, payment method and shipping speed so that any of your purchases go through without any extra hassle. For Prime members, Amazon recommends setting standard shipping as your default, because the company’s system is savvy enough to apply the faster two-day shipping when it’s available.
6. Watch Instant Video in Your Living Room
Amazon Prime’s Instant Video isn’t just for your computer. If you have a newer TV model that can connect to the Internet, you’ll be able to connect and stream directly. You can also access the video features through multiple game consoles in the PlayStation, Xbox and Wii families. The couch can still be the center of your entertainment world.
7. Prime Exclusives in Video
Many people who waver on whether to purchase a Prime membership question if they’d need it when they already use Netflix or Hulu Plus for video streaming. Amazon knows the competition is there, but it’s made it easy for you to see what a Prime member does get on the video side.
When you search in the Instant Video section, you can limit results by Prime Exclusives. Currently, there are about 300 video titles not available through Netflix that are eligible on Prime, including several excellent TV shows. From there, you can do the usual sorting by genre, mood or customer reviews.
8. Build Up a Watchlist
When so many videos are available to Prime members for instant streaming, you need a way to sort through the movies and TV seasons that you want to watch. You can save titles to your Watchlist with the tap of a button. As you add titles, you can then sort through those videos alphabetically or by date added when you’re ready find something to stream. It’s a useful way to give some organization to all of your available media.
9. Set Parental Controls
In your settings, you can limit what type of content a given device can play. For families, this is a very useful tool because it allows you to make sure your kids won’t see videos that they shouldn’t.
You can opt to set a lock and a PIN number based on the ratings that Amazon places on videos. You can also choose to apply those parental controls to specific devices, so that if your kids are only watching on the TV, you can skip using them on a tablet.
10. X-Ray for Instant Video
Part of the appeal of the second screen trend is being able to look up information about what you watch. Who’s that actor? When did this episode air?
Amazon has a built-in way for you to see all of that information without taking your eyes off the screen — the X-Ray feature, which comes from a partnership with IMDb. It offers all sorts of behind-the-scenes information and trivia for a growing number of titles. It’s available on select videos that you watch on Kindle and Wii U devices.
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