Amazon Prime is a premium subscription service offered by that provides added perks and valuable benefits for a simple one time cost of $79.99 per year.

1. Free Unlimited Two-Day Shipping

If you make Amazon orders on a regular basis like I do, it makes sense to spend the extra money and have the added convenience of free 2-day shipping for a full year. I've lost count of how many times I've had to buy random products here and there to boost my total order over the $25 needed for free super saver shipping and then I'd still have to wait 6-10 days for my order to arrive. There are also times where I have actually had to held off on an order (like a cheap $5 cable or adapter) until I had a reason to buy something else so I could bundle and receive the shipping promotion.

With a Prime membership you will receive unlimited free 2-day shipping on all your future orders without any minimum requirements (keep in mind items ordered must be “Prime eligible” to receive 2-day shipping). This means in my case I could get free 2-day shipping on the $5 cables or adapters I need without having to bundle items or buy something additional that I don't need to hit just to pass the quota.

2. Instant-Video Streaming

Included in every Amazon Prime subscription is unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows via their in house Prime Instant Video service. At the time of this article being posted there are 15,984 different streaming video choices including full seasons of popular shows like Downtown Abbey, Falling Skies, Pawn Stars, Arrested Development, American Horror Story, Fringe, and thousands more. The instant video service content can be streamed via a wide range of supported devices including a PC, Mac, iOS devices, Android devices, Roku, PS3, Xbox 360, and many more. New titles and licenses are being negotiated everyday so the need for a separate Hulu Plus or Netflix account is likely unnecessary with Amazon Prime. In addition, there is no reoccurring monthly fee like these competing services require.

3. Free Kindle Book Borrowing

If you're a Kindle owner you'll be happy you signed up for Prime since you are able to borrow a free Kindle book each month from the Kindle Owner's Lending Library. By borrowing the book you get to temporarily have access to a great deal of popular titles including The Hunger Games and many more. This saves on the cost of buying books each month especially if you pick a title long enough to keep you preoccupied while reading it for a whole month. My mother personally uses this feature and swears by its convenience and overall value provided.

Photo Credit: Luke Dorny