Travelers know convenience often comes at a price. And while some services don’t pay for themselves, Amazon Prime and the included Amazon Prime perks can be a worthwhile investment for tech-savvy and entertainment-driven travelers.
Membership now costs $119 annually (or $12.99 monthly); for that price, you get well-known benefits like free two-day shipping, access to exclusive deals, and Prime Video. But the real boon for travelers are the lesser-known Amazon Prime perks that deliver trip-ready extras like entertainment, last-minute delivery, photo storage, and even frequent flyer points. Here’s how to use Amazon Prime perks to become a more prepared and happier traveler.
How to Use Amazon Prime Perks for Travel
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Prime Reading and Audible
As an Amazon Prime member, you can read books like The Handmaid’s Tale and the Harry Potter series for free with Prime Reading. The feature offers over a thousand free books and magazines to download on any device with a Prime membership. I think it’s one of the best secret Amazon Prime perks out there, especially for frequent travelers. As a Fire Tablet user, I browse this section before any long flight and download at least one free book for my trip.
Also be sure to check out Amazon’s Audible channels or audiobooks, with discounts for Prime members.
Insider Tip: For Kindle users, a Prime membership grants you access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, where you can borrow one book at a time, along with one pre-released book per month with Amazon First Reads. To learn more about using your Kindle, see 9 Secret Amazon Kindle Tips You Probably Don’t Know About.
Offline Downloads for Entertainment
One of the best lesser-known Amazon Prime perks perfect for travelers is offline downloading for TV shows and movies. You can even search for this feature on the Amazon Video app. Just go to the Library icon, hit “Refine,” and filter by the “On Device” option. All downloads will go to a download folder on the app, or you can watch directly from the show’s or movie’s page.
Shipping Benefits: Prime Now
Yes, most people know free two-day shipping comes with a Prime membership, but did you know about the Amazon Prime perk that offers free same-day delivery? This feature is available in 10,000 cities (you can check availability by zip code here), and it’s perfect for travelers. Whether you’re packing last-minute and need a specific item or you forgot something and need it delivered to your hotel room, Prime Now is a great benefit for travelers. In select areas, Prime Members can get secure in-home, in-garage, and even in-car deliveries with Amazon Key.
Insider Tip: Did you know that you can earn rewards for future purchases with free, no-rush shipping? If you don’t need your Prime order right away, select No-Rush Shipping and receive a discount or reward for a future purchase. Prime members can also select an Amazon Day, which means you can have all of your orders arrive on a specific day of the week.
Access to Exclusive Products and Deals
An Amazon Prime membership grants access to a variety of products and deals that can save you money on travel-related products and clothes. Prime members have early access to Lightning Deals (also called Prime Early-Access Deals), Prime Exclusives, and a whole day or two dedicated to member shopping deals, Prime Day, which is typically in July.
Another one of the lesser-known Amazon Prime perks is a service called Amazon Elements. This Prime-exclusive line is limited right now (only baby wipes and vitamins so far), but the idea behind it—a dedicated store that uses customer feedback and reviews to create better products—has the potential to become an invaluable tool for travelers who only have enough suitcase space for high-performing products.
Amazon is also providing discounts at Whole Foods for Prime members: Get an additional 10 percent off sale items and special deals on select items.
Insider Tip: If you order through Alexa-enabled voice shopping, you get access to even more deals and discounts as a Prime member.
Prime Photos and Drive
With Amazon Prime, you get unlimited photo storage via Amazon Photos, which is perfect for backing up your vacation photos and storing your favorite memories. Photos are easily organized, you can share photos in a “Family Vault,” and you can even order prints directly from Amazon.
Prime members also get 5G of free storage for files, videos, and anything else you want to store on the cloud with Amazon Drive.
Prime Music and Video
With Amazon Prime, you get unlimited, ad-free streaming on Amazon Music. And while Prime Music has over two million songs, Prime members also get a discount with Amazon’s other music streaming service, Amazon Music Unlimited.
Another one of the lesser-known Amazon Prime perks is Prime Video streaming, which grants you access to award-winning original movies and TV shows like Manchester by the Sea and The Man in the High Castle. Amazon also hosts other network TV shows like Mr. Robot and The Sopranos. Prime Video also has a library of popular shows and movies to rent and buy.
Insider Tip: You can add premium network subscriptions to your Prime membership via Amazon Channels. This allows you to watch channels like HBO, STARZ, and Showtime without having a cable or satellite account.
JetBlue passengers can earn three TrueBlue points for Amazon purchases made in flight. Just make sure you understand which products are excluded from the offer—this includes things like subscription Kindle products and Amazon Fresh.
Amazon Credit Cards and Points
Making the most of every dollar you spend is another Amazon Prime perk. Prime members have exclusive access to certain credit cards: The Amazon Prime Store Card and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card.
The Visa card gives you five percent back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases and two percent back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, with no annual fee. You can redeem your points for Amazon purchases, and the card also has travel benefits like no foreign transaction fees, baggage delay insurance, and travel accident insurance.
The Store card lets Prime members receive five percent back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, has no annual fee, and gives access to promotional financing.
Some credit card companies let you “Shop With Points” on Amazon, though you won’t get Prime benefits.
Insider Tip: All Prime members can earn two percent rewards on debit spending when you reload an Amazon.com Gift Card Balance with a checking account.
Food Delivery: Prime Pantry and Amazon Fresh
Amazon Prime members also receive exclusive access to Prime Pantry. This service allows for convenient delivery for household items like toiletries, delivered straight to your door. Prime members also receive coupons and discounts on hundreds of items through this service.
If you want to schedule a delivery at a vacation rental or to have items waiting upon your return home, check out Amazon’s grocery delivery service, Amazon Fresh.
Discounted Memberships: Student and Family
Amazon Family costs $119 per year with a free 30-day trial, but lets you create a household—meaning multiple users—for shared family benefits. Amazon Family also comes with discounted prices FreeTime Unlimited—a subscription service for kids’ entertainment—as well as special discounts on household products and diapers.
Prime Student comes at the discounted rate of $59 per year with a six-month free trial to start and a special student page filtered for college-specific needs.
Our Favorite Perks from Amazon Prime
More from SmarterTravel:
- 15 Weird Things to Buy on Amazon (That Are Actually Perfect for Travel)
- 9 Things You Should Never Buy at the Airport
- 7 Things You Shouldn’t Buy Before You Travel
Editor’s note: SmarterTravel.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.