How to sign up for Amazon Prime

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This year, Amazon’s Prime Day sales will be coming on October 13th and 14th — three months later than usual, due to the coronavirus pandemic. (And yes, Prime Day is actually two days.) If you’re attracted by the goodies being offered, but you haven’t signed up for Amazon Prime, don’t worry — Amazon makes it very easy. (As you’d expect, it’s the sorry vendor who makes it difficult for people to become new customers.)

Besides giving access to Prime Day bargains, Amazon has come up with a bunch of features to entice people to sign up to its Prime service. These include: access to Prime Video, its streaming video service; free and faster shipping on purchases (with two-day delivery for many items and even same-day delivery for some); deals on Whole Foods Market purchases; Prime Music audio streaming (not to be confused with the more extensive Amazon Music Unlimited, which is an additional $7.99 / month for Prime members); Prime Gaming, which includes free Twitch games; online photo storage; and Prime Reading, which gives access to a library of comics, books, and magazines.

You can share your Prime account — and all of its features — with one other adult. And you get a 30-day free trial, so you can try it (and the Prime Day specials) out to see if it suits.

Here’s how to sign up.

Amazon Prime plans

Besides its basic plan, Amazon offers video-only and plans for students and EBT / Medicaid users.

Choose a plan

  • Go to and click on the link “See More Plans”.
  • Choose which plan you want. The basic plan lets you sign up for the service at $12.99 / month or $119 / year, which comes out to a little under $10 / month. You can also sign up for Prime Video alone at $8.99 / month, but you won’t get to take part in Prime Day.
  • If you’re a student, then click on the link that asks “Are you a student?” and sign up for Prime Student. You’ll get a free six-month trial subscription and after that, you’ll only have to pay $6.49 a month. You also get some extra discounts, such as Showtime for 99 cents a month (up to a year), or Amazon Music Unlimited for 99 cents a month.
  • If you’ve got a Medicaid card or an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which means you’re getting aid from government assistance programs, you can also join for less: $5.99 a month. However, you cannot share Prime with anyone else in your household as you can with the basic plan.
  • Is it your birthday soon? If you have a generous friend or relative, they can gift you with a Prime membership for either three months ($39) or the full year ($119).

Create an account

  • Once you’ve decided what plan you’re going to go with, then you’ll need an Amazon account. If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to sign up. Click on “Try Prime” and then “Create your Amazon account” and set one up with your name, email, and password. We strongly recommend setting up two-factor authentication for your account as well.
  • On the next page, Amazon will verify your account by sending what it calls an OTP (one-time password) to your email. Go to your email, copy the OTP, paste it in the Amazon page, and click on “Verify.”
  • You’ll then be asked to enter your credit or debit card information.
  • And you’re done!

We should probably mention the obvious: you can sign up for a Prime membership, take advantage of the free 30-day trial, and then cancel it after the Prime Day sales are over. But you can only do that once — and you may regret that decision next year when Prime Day comes around again.

Update September 30th, 2020, 10:30AM ET: This article was originally published on July 10th, 2019, and it has been changed to reflect updated information about Amazon Prime.

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