GT Explains: Important Differences Between Amazon Prime and Amazon Student

George Tinari

Amazon tends to bill Amazon Student as just a discounted Amazon Prime membership so students on a low budget can sign up and take advantage of the service. It’s true that it offers a generous discount: a standard Amazon Prime membership is $99 per year while an Amazon Student membership is just $49 per year. However, there are actually a few key differences between the two memberships.

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None of them should be deal breakers, but some differences between Amazon Prime and Student are worth knowing | ymgerman / Shutterstock.com

You might be thinking that because Amazon Student is half the price of Prime, it cuts out some features that Prime members have. This actually used to be the case — and more on that in a bit — but the two services both have their pros and cons.

The universal truth available to Amazon Prime and Student members throughout the entirety of your membership is the free two-day shipping.

Students Get Less Benefits During the Free Trial

Amazon Student members get significantly less perks of the Prime membership during their free trial. Students can not stream movies, music or television from Amazon Prime Instant Video or Amazon Prime Music. Both of these are included with a Prime membership as well as in the standard free trial, but not the students’. Students also can not rent free books from the Kindle Lenders’ Library for the duration of the free trial.

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Note that this is likely due to the significant differences in length between the two free trials. The regular Amazon Prime free trial is for just 30 days, after which you’ll have to start paying $99 per year to continue your enrollment. Amazon Student’s free trial is for a full six months, after which you begin paying $49 every year. That’s six months of free two-day shipping compared to 30 days free, but it also comes without access to Amazon’s aforementioned media services.

Students Get Exclusive Discounts

Amazon makes it clear that students in particular get exclusive deals, especially targeted for students. Product categories that support these deals are school supplies, snacks, dorm and apartment furniture and accessories, PC and electronics and even entertainment items like video games. Amazon also advertises that students can save up to 90 percent on textbooks.

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While Amazon Prime members don’t seem to get these discounts, it’s not all bad: regular members likely won’t be buying school supplies, dorm supplies or textbooks anyway. Plus, plenty of other websites and apps offer terrific shopping discounts.

Account Sharing is a New Perk for Students

Important Update: It appears Amazon has actually removed this feature for Student accounts.

It’s worth clarifying that Amazon very significantly changed one feature of Amazon Student accounts. Once a significant limitation up against the regular Prime subscription, Amazon Student accounts can now share Prime benefits with family members in the Amazon Household. That means up to one other adult and four children can receive free two-day shipping for qualified products as well as other features like Prime Instant Video and even 20 percent off of diapers.

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To set this up, visit the Amazon website and log in. Hover over Accounts & Lists in navigation and select Account & Settings. Scroll down to Digital Content and click Manage Your Content and Devices. Click the Settings tab and then either click Invite an Adult or Add Child.

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Note: Adults must have an existing Amazon account to become a member of the Amazon Household and receive the benefits. Children do not need an account.

Once you’ve invited them to join, you can successfully share your Prime membership regardless of whether you’re a student or not.

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George Tinari

Written By

George Tinari

George Tinari has written about technology for over seven years: guides, how-tos, news, reviews and more. He's usually sitting in front of his laptop, eating, listening to music or singing along loudly to said music. You can also follow him on Twitter @gtinari if you need more complaints and sarcasm in your timeline.