An Amazon Prime membership includes perks like free two-day shipping, video streaming and photo storage — but there are some little-known benefits that you may be missing out on.

You’re paying $119 a year for the membership, so you might as well get the most out of it! Here’s how…

3 Amazon Prime benefits you probably don’t know about

1. Practically free sample boxes

Available exclusively to Prime members, Amazon offers more than a dozen sample boxes filled with personal care items, household products, pet treats and more.

This is how it works: You pay for the sample box, then Amazon gives you a credit for that amount — making it basically free.

The credit can’t be used anywhere on Amazon. For example, I bought an Aveeno sample box for $7.99 and the credit could only be used to purchase select personal care and beauty items.

I’ve received a few sample boxes so far and use the small personal care items when I’m traveling. Here’s my review:


  • Household Sample Box
  • Paid $9.99, received $9.99 Amazon credit
  • High-quality products
  • Included laundry detergent, flushable wipes, coconut oil
Household Sample Box

Household Sample Box


  • Women’s Skin and Hair Care Sample Box
  • Paid $9.99, received $9.99 Amazon credit
  • More than 10 samples
  • Included Crest Whitestrips, cleansing facial wipes, shampoo and conditioner
Women's Skin and Hair Care Sample Box

Women’s Skin and Hair Care Sample Box

Just okay

  • Aveeno Sample Box
  • Paid $7.99, received $7.99 Amazon credit
  • Very small samples
  • Included body yogurt, moisturizer, shampoo and conditioner
Aveeno Sample Box

Aveeno Sample Box

If you don’t forget to use the credit, any of the sample boxes are a good deal. You can find out more about them at

2. Six months of digital newspaper access

If you’re frustrated by all of the paywalls when you try to read articles online, Prime members can receive six months of free access to the Washington Post.

Don’t want to keep it? Remember to cancel before the six months is up or you’ll be charged $3.99 per month. Read more here.

3. Late delivery? Get a free Prime extension

When you order an item that’s eligible for Amazon’s free two-day shipping, you expect it to arrive on time. But what happens when it shows up late?

You may be able to receive a free one-month extension of Amazon Prime just by asking — it worked for me!

Here’s what to do: Go to Amazon’s Contact Us page, scroll down and select “Where’s my stuff?” and “Shipment is late,” and contact Amazon via email.

Amazon's Contact Us page

Amazon’s Contact Us page

In the email, I said that my package was late and asked if Amazon could make it up to me.

A short time later, I received an email from Amazon (great customer service) that said my Prime benefits have been extended by a month. It’s that simple!

NOVEMBER 2018 UPDATE: I got a $5 credit for another late delivery, not a Prime extension.

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