Amazon Prime is an excellent subscription service that allows frequent Amazon customers to receive free 2 day shipping as well as many other benefits which I have outlined in a previous article ‘3 reasons why you should sign up for Amazon Prime'. If you've never been an Amazon Prime customer before there are several ways to test out a trial of the service or receive a significant discount on the membership after the trial expires (Amazon Student accounts only). I will run through the three possible options for doing so below:
Option #1: Student Account
If you are a student currently enrolled in college and have a valid .edu email address you are eligible to sign up for Amazon Prime's Student account. By doing so you will receive exclusive offers and free 2-day shipping for 6 months at no cost. Once this 6 month period is over you will be automatically charged $39 to continue the membership and receive the free shipping and Amazon Instant video benefits for an additional year. Keep in mind you can sign up for this account and cancel the Prime membership before the automatic renewal.
Option #2: Mom/Dad Account
If you are a mom, dad, grandparent, or caretaker you are eligible to sign up for an Amazon Mom account and receive 3 months of free 2 day shipping as well as exclusive deals, and more importantly 20% all diapers and baby wipes. After the 3 month period it will automatically renew at the $79/year price tag if not cancelled ahead of time.
Option #3: Amazon Prime Trial
If you don't qualify for a student or mom/dad account then you can resort to signing up for the Prime trial which only includes 30 days of free use before the automatic $79 yearly subscription charge. The benefit however is that unlike the student and mom/dad accounts you get full access to the Amazon Instant Video and free Kindle book borrowing program during this 30 day trial period.
UPDATE (7/17/17): The updated pricing for Amazon Prime is now $99/year and $49/year for Amazon Student. These prices were originally raised in late March of 2014. The three methods of achieving a free trial are all currently active except the Mom/Dad account is now limited to a 30-day trial period.
UPDATE: (10/19/17): Amazon's Mom/Dad accounts have been discontinued and their Amazon Family option remains priced at $99 while offering discounts on things like diapers and baby food upon participation in subscriptions and monthly deliveries.