Amazon Prime access is a money and time saver.
- Amazon Prime costs $14.99 per month, but if you’re receiving some forms of government assistance, you can sign up for just $6.99 per month.
- SNAP recipients can also use their benefits to pay for grocery items at Amazon and Whole Foods Market.
- Grocery costs were greatly inflated in 2022, so having the ability to save money on them is a win.
Amazon Prime is a convenient luxury many people enjoy. It comes with fast free shipping (two-day shipping is standard, but that has been reduced to one day in some areas), a streaming video service that includes well-reviewed original content, and more. Unfortunately, it’s not cheap. In February 2022, Amazon’s membership price went up to $14.99 a month, but you can save money by paying for the entire year at once, which will run you $139. And if you only want streaming video service, getting that costs $8.99 per month.
Prime’s benefits can help a lot of people save time and money on their shopping, but the cost is definitely a barrier for some. The good news is that low-income Americans can qualify for a cheaper Prime membership through a program called Amazon Access.
How does it work?
Amazon Access offers discounted Prime memberships to people receiving certain forms of government assistance. Recipients must provide proof of being enrolled in these programs (which consists of a card or an eligibility letter). The programs include:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Direct Express Debit Card (DE)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC)
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF)
If you’re enrolled in one of the above programs, you can receive a Prime membership for just $6.99 per month, or a savings of more than 50% off the standard monthly price. What a deal! And if you’re receiving SNAP benefits, you can even use them on Amazon to purchase groceries. Note that the price is guaranteed based on annual eligibility, so after a year, you’ll have to prove your eligibility again if you want to keep the benefits of Prime at a discount.
Special SNAP recipient benefits through Amazon Prime
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, ensures that low-income families receive money benefits for use on food. While Amazon might not immediately spring to mind if you’re thinking of the best places to buy groceries, you can in fact buy them there, and SNAP recipients can use their EBT cards to buy products like fruits and vegetables, meat, and pantry items .
Amazon also owns Whole Foods Market, so if you have a Whole Foods in your area, you can shop there online via Amazon and pay with your SNAP benefits. Grocery costs were one of the spending categories hardest hit by inflation during 2022, so being able to squeeze out more savings on groceries by buying with Amazon is definitely a win for your bank account.
If money is tight in your household, it pays to look for ways to save on food costs and sign up for as many of them as you can. The odds are good that food is one of your larger expenses, and buying grocery items online (and getting free delivery) can save you money as well as time. If you’re receiving SNAP benefits and not taking advantage of a discounted Prime membership through Amazon Access, it’s worth checking it out.
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