Amazon to offer discounted Prime membership to low-income customers
Amazon is making Prime more affordable for more families.
The tech giant will offer Prime membership at a discounted price of $5.99 a month to low-income families receiving government assistance, Amazon announced Tuesday.
Prime usually costs $10.99 a month, which comes out to about $132 a year, or $99 a year if paid annually. Right now, families who have Electronic Benefits Transfer cards—used for food stamps through SNAP, WIC, and TANF benefits—will be able to secure discounted Prime membership for $5.99 a month, which comes out to about $50 per year.
“We designed this membership option for customers receiving government assistance to make our everyday selection and savings more accessible, including the many conveniences and entertainment benefits of Prime,” Vice President of Amazon Prime Greg Greeley said in a statement.
Low-income customers need to have an EBT card to qualify for Amazon’s lower pricing but can’t pay for the membership using government benefits. Customers can get up to four years of discounted Prime membership, requalifying every year.
The discount is just for Prime’s membership fee, not for any specific goods or services available through Prime. Membership will come with all the usual Prime perks, including free two-day shipping and access to Amazon Prime Video.
Amazon said it plans to add more ways to qualify for this program in the future.
Amazon has made other efforts to reach low-income customers in recent months. In January, Amazon Fresh and other online grocers announced they would start accepting food stamps as payment through a pilot program with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Besides giving more families more options in how they buy the things they need, these programs are good for Amazon’s bottom line. Amazon is already in a battle with Walmart as the place to buy things cheaply and quickly — and Walmart has long served low-income customers.