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What is Amazon Prime and Amazon Subscribe & Save?
Post has was revised: Jan 2013
Amazon Prime is an annually paid membership with a fee of $79 that gives you free shipping on any eligible purchase, second-day shipping for $3.99, and access to Amazon's Instant Video service. The Instant Video service offers a large library of streaming content at no additional charge for Amazon Prime paid members.
"Free Super Saver Shipping" or "Free Shipping with Amazon Prime" is offered for millions of items on Amazon. For non-Amazon Prime members, a purchase of $25 or more is required to get free shipping on eligible items. To ease the buying process, Amazon offers an option on the left column of the page to only show Amazon Prime eligible items while searching. This is also a way to sort by items that are fulfilled by Amazon and not a third-party seller.
Amazon Subscribe & Save:
Amazon Subscribe & Save is a service from Amazon that lets users set up a scheduled repeat delivery of online grocery items, personal care items, and more. Select to have an item shipped every month or as infrequently as every six months. When ordering items through Subscribe & Save, you always get free shipping, even without Amazon Prime, and you get a 5% discount on the item. The price may fluctuate, but you will always receive 5% off with Subscribe & Save.
Click here for a complete list of Subscribe & Save items
Canceling the Services:
To ensure you will not be charged after a free trial Prime membership, go to Manage Your Prime Membership and set your membership to expire before the trial end date. It will not be renewed and you will not be charged.
Amazon Subscribe & Save can be canceled at any time, and the order can be altered easily through your account. You are billed as the order ships so you are only paying for what is on the way. You can cancel your subscription at any time. Do this at the Subscribe & Save management page.
Amazon Prime Shipping Free for Students and Moms:
Amazon offers free prime shipping for students and moms. This will not give you access to the Amazon Instant Video service but you can upgrade to a paid Amazon Prime account to gain access.
What's best for me?
With so many options which is the right fit for how you buy? For students and caregivers, it's easy to save on shipping and get some great perks. If you are not a very frequent Amazon shopper, but the benefits of Subscribe & Save are appealing, it might be the most frugal option to pick and choose what you want and get great savings. If Amazon is your go-to for any purchase, you may already be an Amazon Prime member. Or if not, I would highly suggest it!
How to have the best experience with Amazon Prime and Subscribe & Save:
Many users feel that signing up for an annual membership or getting monthly shipments of items is too much for just a 5% off discount or free shipping. But with a neat trick, you can easily save yourself the hassle of being charged for a second year's membership or for another shipment. Many banks and credit card companies offer one-time use card numbers that are generated at your request. This means the number is linked to your debit or credit card but is good for one use only, and then the unique number is deactivated. Canceling both Amazon Prime and Subscribe & Save is easy. But just to be sure, use this trick and never fear!
If you are one who does not like to wait or are in consistent need of Amazons wide variety of products, it is also worth noting that with Amazon prime, you get $3.99 next-day shipping, a fantastic value when compared to regular next-day shipping rates.
It pays to shop around - even within Amazon!
Many times Amazon offers the same item from multiple vendors. More times than not, they are advertising the best price - but not always. Click on “112 New from $12.23” to shop other merchants with the same item. At times, even with shipping through another merchant, it can be cheaper than Amazon with Prime shipping.
Amazon Prime offers a free one-month trial that is also eligible for streaming so you can get the full experience for free with no obligation. Amazon Subscribe & Save is on a per-item basis. So, if you set up a 2-month reorder schedule for granola bars for example, that is as far as the arrangement goes.
Thinking long term and capitalizing on Amazon's offers.
If you want to save money, chances are you'll have to change your shopping habits and break wasteful and inefficient routines. Amazon Prime and Subscribe & Save are valuable tools when used to their fullest advantage.
Trips to brick and mortar stores can be cut back or cut out entirely with Amazon Prime. Subscribe & Save often offers the best value on repeat purchases, like groceries and health and beauty products, even over brick and mortar stores. So try out these features and let us know how they work for you. Just imagine how much you'll save in gas!
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