Review of Amazon Prime Membership

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PRODUC NAME: Try Prime for Free for a Month
Prime One Year Membership
Overall Ranking: 4.5 out of 5
Price: One month trial – free,  One year prepaid membership $99.00
Owners: Amazon is a publicly traded company
Website: Amazon

INTRODUCTION

Amazon Prime is a membership subscription that includes a number of useful benefits.

These include but are not limited to the following:

  • The Prime membership benefits that actually have some value to Expatriates who live overseas are many.  One of the best is Prime Video which is unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.  Do not be discouraged if you do not live in the U.S. or Puerto Rico you can readily receive all internet delivered Prime benefits by accessing Amazon through a U.S. based virtual private network (VPN).
  • Like Prime Video Prime Music is unlimited, ad-free access to Prime Playlists such a old time rock and roll, classical music and Christmas Carols.  In addition there  more than a million songs available to members who live in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.  Also like Prime Video these can be access outside the U.S. or Puerto  Rico via a U.S. based (VPN).
  • Prime Photos is Amazon’s name for secure cloud storage and it supplies photo organizational and enhanced search features in Amazon Drive.
  • Prime Pantry is a different shipping and payment option available for Prime members. Members can purchase and ship low priced grocery, household, and pet care products for a flat delivery fee of $5.99 for each Prime Pantry box.   This is a convenient way to buy a number of low cost items at the same time that if purchased separately the freight cost for each item would make the purchase prohibitive from Amazon.
  • Are you an online shopping addict?  If so, with the Prime Early Access benefit you get 30 minute early access to Lightning Deals on Amazon.com.   Be first to score your deal!
  • If you are a Kindle user Prime membership includes access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.   Expats living outside of the U.S. will have to access this through a VPN.
  • Prime Reading is  similar to the Kindle unlimited subscription service, but it provides access to more major publishers best selling new releases and the ability to borrow E Books from other Prime members.  Specifically you can borrow books, magazines, and more from the Prime Reading catalog and read them on your Kindle application for your PC Mac Cell Phone and or Tablet.
  • Kindle First gives Prime members early access  in the U.S. to download a new book for free every month from the Kindle First picks. Like other internet delivered services this is available to non U.S. residents over a VPN with U.S. based servers.
  • Audible Channels for Prime gives members free access to Amazon’s Audible Channels, which they sell separately for $60 per year. Audible Channels are narrated books and magazines that help you keep up when you are on the go.
  • Twitch Prime is for members who are gamers. Amazon gives Prime members exclusive discounts on physical games pre-orders and new releases.  If you are a Twitch.tv user you can link their Amazon Prime account to get ad-free viewing on Twitch as well as exclusive access to free game content.
  • Amazon Prime members also have access to discount subscriptions for music, premium video such as HBO and other membership discounts not available to non Prime Amazon shoppers.
  • Prime Rewards: Prime members can earn 5% back at Amazon.com using the Amazon Prime Credit and or shopping cards. All Prime members earn 2% rewards with Amazon Prime Reload which requires you to purchase using a debit card connected to a U.S. bank account instead of you credit card.
  • Probably the main reason many people join and continue to subscribe to Prime is the free 2 day shipping on many items to addresses in the continental United States.  While this is less important to expats living abroad many of us have a US address for a freight forwarder.
  • Free same-day delivery in to some US zip codes.  This of course has little or no value to Expats living outside of the United States.
  • Prime Now is another benefit that currently does not have any value to people living outside of the United  States, but if you do live in the United States, in one of the participating zip codes, 2 hour home delivery of thousands of items would be very convenient.
  • Free Release Date Delivery for eligible pre-order items delivered on their release date to ZIP codes within the continental U.S. This will only benefit expatriates with US based mail forwarding service.

PROS

Amazon Prime is an excellent package of service, products, discounts, shipping options and continually evolving benefits for members, especially those living in the continental U.S. where the shipping benefits are very effective.

CONS

For expatriates and others living outside of the  continental U.S. the shipping benefits all but disappear. Further, while available the internet content (music, video, reading) has to be accessed via a VPN and not directly from you home internet service provider.

WHO IT IS FOR

Prime is best suited for continental U.S. residents because as of this time they receive the most benefits.   There are significant entertainment benefits available to non U.S. residents as well, but they all must be accessed through a U.S. based VPN service.

SUPPORT

Standard Amazon support

PRICE: Try Prime for Free for a Month  <== try it here
Prime One Year Membership $99.00 <== buy it here!


FINAL OPINION

We have used Prime for years, and we have found great value in it, more so in the U.S but also living in the Tropics.  Receiving the benefits living in the tropics requires a VPN and a U.S. shipping address so you will have to do some additional work to enjoy the benefits of Prime, but for us it was and continues to be well worth the work





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