Amazon Prime is continuously growing, both in popularity and in features. To begin with, Amazon Prime was simply a way to get unlimited next day delivery at no extra cost, but it not encompasses a video streaming service, music streaming service, access to the Kindle Lending Library and Kindle First, unlimited cloud-based photo storage and more. Read on to find out everything you need to know about Amazon Prime, its various features and how much it'll cost you.
Don't miss: Amazon Prime Day Deals
What is Amazon Prime: What do you get when you sign up for Amazon Prime?
In this section, we'll be listing all of the different benefits you'll get if you decide to sign up for Prime, and you can read on further to find out how much it costs and more detailed information about each feature.
The core feature of Amazon Prime is delivery. You'll get unlimited one-day delivery at no extra cost for millions of eligible items. In some postcodes, which we will go into more detail about below, you can even get unlimited same-day delivery on some items.
Plus, if you're not in a hurry you can choose no-rush delivery to get promotional credit as a thank you.
Amazon's Netflix Rival is called Amazon Prime Instant Video, and there you'll find thousands of films and TV shows, some exclusive, to stream instantly. Better yet, you can download them to watch offline. See: Best movies to watch on Amazon Prime.
Additionally, you'll get Prime Photos, which gives you a secure way to store unlimited photos in the cloud.
Prime Music is a fairly new addition to Amazon Prime but it is one that is rapidly growing and improving. It's Amazon's answer to Spotify with thousands of songs available to stream.
If you're a bargain hunter you'll like the Prime Early Access feature, which means you'll get 30-minute early access to Amazon's Lightning Deals to ensure that you don't miss out.
And for readers, you'll enjoy Kindle Owners' Lending Library, which lets you borrow a book per month for free, as well as a book from the Kindle First picks.
Amazon Pantry is another benefit that offers access to purchase everyday essentials in a virtual box for just £2.99.
Some of these benefits aren't limited to one individual, either. With Amazon Household, you can share delivery, Prime Video and Kindle Owners' Lending Library books with one other adult member of your household.
What is Amazon Prime: How much does Amazon Prime cost?
To get all of the benefits listed above for a year, you can pay an upfront sum of £79, which works out at £6.58 per month. Don't forget to take advantage of the 30-day free trial first, though.
There is an option to pay monthly if you only want the Instant Video benefits, but that'll still cost you £5.99 per month so we think it's worth paying the £79 if you think you'll make use of any of the other features.
What is Amazon Prime: Amazon Prime Day deals
Amazon Prime Day is coming up for Prime members, so if you're considering taking advantage of the 30-day trial, now's the time to do so. There are countdown deals in the lead up to 12 July when the main event will take place. Find out more about Amazon Prime day by clicking here.
What is Amazon Prime: Amazon Prime Student
For students, there's a brilliant Amazon Prime six-month trial, after which you'll pay £39 per year. Amazon Prime Student members do miss out on a few benefit during their free trial, though. You won't get access to the Kindle Owners' Lending Library or Kindle Frist, and you can't share the membership with another member of your household.
And of course, to get access to Prime Student you'll need to actually be a student! After you graduate, or at the end of your fourth year of the membership, your membership will become an Amazon Prime membership at its full price of £79 unless you cancel.
What is Amazon Prime: Amazon Family
Another option is to join Amazon Family, which in addition to all of the Amazon Prime benefits listed above gets you 20% off nappies subscriptions and exclusive offers and discounts. The trial is 30 days just like Amazon Prime and costs the same £79. You'll need to provide a few details about you and your family in order to qualify, and only one membership is available per household.
Below, we go into more detail about each of Amazon Prime's different services to give you a better idea of what you'll get if you sign up.
What is Amazon Prime: What is Amazon Prime Instant Video?
Amazon Prime Instant Video started life as LoveFilm but was purchased by Amazon and transformed a few years ago. It's a Netflix rival that provides unlimited streaming of more than 15,000 films and TV shows for a monthly fee of £5.99 or as part of the Amazon Prime £79 membership (£39 if you're a student).
You'll find many exclusive Amazon Originals available, including the hugely popular The Man in the High Castle and Mr Robot. You'll also find the likes of The Walking Dead and Arrow as well as films like The Dark Knight and Paddington.
However, it's worth noting that not all content is included in the monthly fee, which is where it differs from Netlfix. If the film or TV episode has a Prime banner and you're already subscribed to Prime, it won't cost you any extra, but within the service you may also see films and episodes within Amazon's library that are available to watch instantly but require you to cough up some extra cash if you want to buy or rent them.
An added bonus is the fact that you can download many (but not all) of the shows and films available on Amazon Prime Instant Video to watch offline whenever you choose to, perhaps on a commute or on a flight. You can download videos to iPads, iPhones, Android devices and Amazon Fire devices at no additional cost. See: How to download Amazon Prime videos.
For more, read: Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video
What is Amazon Prime: Is my address eligible for Same-Day delivery?
If you're a Prime member, you can get Same-Day evening delivery for no additional charge if you live in an eligible area. For non-Prime members that service would cost £9.99 per delivery.
So far, Amazon has made Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Dudley, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hemel Hempsted, London, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Slough, St Albans/Welwyn, Walsall, Woverhampton and Worcester part of the service, and you can check your specific postcode here.
What is Amazon Prime: What is Amazon Prime Now?
If that's not quite fast enough for you, you can even get deliveries within the hour thanks to Prime No. Exclusively for Prime members, Amazon Prime Now is an app that you can download for iOS, Android or Amazon devices with a large selection of products that are available to order for delivery within one hour. It'll still cost £6.99 but that seems a small price to pay if you've forgotten to buy an anniversary present and your partner will be home in an hour and fifteen!
You can order from Prime Now for two hour delivery, too, and that's available for free as part of your Prime membership.
Right now though, Amazon Prime Now is only available for London, Birmingham, Newcastle and Manchester, but the eligible postcodes are growing fast.
What is Amazon Prime: What is the Amazon No-Rush Delivery Programme?
If you're a Prime member and you're ordering something that you really don't need in a hurry, you can choose the 3-5 day delivery option and get a promotional credit towards a future purchase. This can be applied to Kindle, MP3 or Amazon Video purchases from Amazon.
What is Amazon Prime: What is Amazon Prime Photos?
Amazon Cloud Drive is an online service that lets you store files remotely and securely to access from wherever you are. With Prime, you'll get free unlimited photo storage to enable you to backup your photos and access them from the web, on the mobile app or on the desktop application.
What is Amazon Prime: What is Amazon Prime Music?
Amazon Prime Music now has more than a million songs available to listen to ad-free as part of your Amazon Prime membership. The artists are more limited than some rival services like Spotify right now, but the library is growing all the time. You can find out more about Amazon Prime Music here.
What is Amazon Prime: What is Amazon Prime Early Access?
Amazon Lightning Deals are particularly popular during busy shopping periods like Black Friday, the lead up to Christmas and January sales, as they're a chance to pick up bargains across a huge range of different product categories. The catch is that the deals only last for a few hours and there is only a limited amount of stock available.
With Amazon Prime you'll get access to these deals 30 minutes before everyone else, meaning you'll be more likely to be able to take advantage of the deal before it runs out both in terms of time and quantity.
What is Amazon Prime: What is Amazon Household?
You can share your Amazon Prime benefits with one additional adult and up to four children using Amazon Household. Find out more about how to share your Amazon Prime membership here.
What is Amazon Prime: What is Amazon Pantry?
You might not have realised this, but Amazon actually sells groceries, and it's pushing the idea one step further with its Amazon Pantry service, which is pretty new to the UK but has been available elsewhere for a while now.
You can fill a 'Pantry Box' with up to 20kg of groceries from a huge list of options including food, drink, health products, beauty products, pet supplies and more, and then Amazon will deliver that for £2.99 with an additional fee of 99p for each extra box you buy in that same order.
It's designed to be convenient, meaning everything you need is delivered right to your door, and it's quite cheap too - cheaper still if you take advantage of the weekly deals and coupons.
What is Amazon Prime: What is Kindle Owners' Lending Library?
The Kindle Owners' Lending Library lets you borrow books to read on your Kindle, Fire tablet or Fire phone. You can borrow one for free each month but there's no due date so you can take as long as you need to read it.
What is Amazon Prime: What is Kindle First?
If you like to read books ahead of everyone else then you'll like Kindle First, which lets you buy one featured book for free each month in addition to the free book you'll get from the Lending Library.
What is Amazon Prime: Amazon Prime game pre-orders
In the US, Amazon has just introduced another new perk for Prime members. They'll name be able to get 20% off game pre-orders and new releases that have been available for two weeks or less.
The deal applies to physical copies of games available on Amazon even if they're special editions, but doesn't apply to any bundles. The discount is automatically applied at checkout.
We're keeping our fingers crossed that a similar deal will arrive in the UK soon because we would certainly take advantage of it!