Up until last month, it wasn't possible to purchase an Amazon Prime membership for anyone but yourself. Citing customer demand, Amazon rolled out the ability to gift Prime memberships just in time for the holiday shopping season. Amazon hasn't said how many Prime memberships have been gifted since the feature went live, but we'd be surprised if it didn't contribute a large chunk to the 1 million memberships that were added in the third week of December.
Amazon Prime is the cat's meow! (Image Source: Flickr - formatc1)
"Amazon Prime membership continues to grow, and we now have tens of millions of members worldwide. They benefit from all-you-can-eat free two-day shipping on millions of eligible items and our members have a voracious appetite," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. "We are extremely grateful to our customers around the world and wish everyone the very best for the coming year."
An Amazon Prime membership runs $79 per year (~$6.59 per month), paid up front. The most popular benefit is free two-day shipping on millions of eligible items, and upgrading to one-day shipping usually only costs a few bucks. Amazon Prime members also enjoy unlimited streaming of 41,000 movies and TV episodes, along with the ability to freely borrow over 350,000 Kindle titles. As far as membership programs go, it's one of the most robust and value oriented around.
You can join or gift an Amazon Prime membership by going here. If you're a student, Amazon Prime is free for six months and then $39/year while enrolled (go here). If you're a mother, you tack on Amazon Mom to your Prime membership for free and receive additional money saving benefits.