Today, Amazon announced it will be offering its Prime services to those receiving government assistance for only $5.99 per month. For those who qualify, membership includes unlimited free shipping on over 50 million items, streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video and thousands a playlists and stations with Prime Music. The regular membership cost is $10.99, making this a discount worth noting.

The new program will be available to any U.S. customer with a valid EBT card. This is the card that’s most commonly used for a number of government assistance programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (WIC).

It’s important to note that the card will only discount the cost of using Prime, but it can’t be used to make purchases on Amazon.com, or can it be used to pay for membership.

As noted above, the discounted membership will have all the perks associated with Prime, including free streaming video and music, free photo storage, access to the Kindle lending library, ability to shop from Amazon’s Essentials – the retailer’s low-cost line of everyday products, access to Prime Now, and more.

The obvious expectation is that it will make Amazon Prime more accessible to lower-income households and families, and could help Amazon lose the reputation that shopping its site and paying for its membership program are luxuries instead of more essential services. That’s far different from the Amazon that exists today, where Prime’s main growth has been basically fueled by upper-income shoppers.

“The ability to shop online has been limited – it’s an underserved audience,” explains an Amazon spokesperson. “E-commerce companies haven’t figured out how to help customers who may be uncomfortable paying with credit cards. The thinking at Amazon is that there’s so much value [with Amazon Prime] – there’s so much time, convenience, and savings…we felt like this was one small way to help a customer that’s temporarily in need.”

Also, for families with babies, a Prime membership includes a 20 percent discount on diapers and wipes subscriptions, which would also positively impact a lower income household’s budget.

To learn more about the program and to see if you qualify for it you can go here and apply.

Full PR from Amazon:

Amazon Introduces Discounted Monthly Prime Offer for Customers Receiving Government Assistance Customers participating in a growing list of government assistance programs get Prime benefits for $5.99 per month

Membership includes unlimited fast, free shipping on more than 50 million items with Amazon’s low prices, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video, thousands of playlists and stations with Prime Music, a rotating selection of e-books with Prime Reading, unlimited photo storage, and savings on select items and subscriptions

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jun. 6, 2017– (NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon today announced customers participating in a growing list of government assistance programs can now access Amazon Prime at a discounted monthly price. Currently, customers who have a valid Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card qualify for the discounted membership. Membership includes Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Reading, Prime Photos and unlimited fast, free shipping for $5.99 per month for one year, with the ability to cancel anytime. Customers can learn more or sign up for a 30-day free trial at amazon.com/qualify.

“We know when people try Prime they love it, because they save time and money with low prices on millions of items, unlimited access to premium videos and music, and fast, convenient delivery,” said Greg Greeley, Vice President of Amazon Prime. “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.”

Save with Prime: In addition to unlimited fast, free two-day shipping on more than 50 million eligible items, Prime members also receive unlimited access to the following benefits at no additional cost:

Prime Video: Unlimited access to tens of thousands of movies and TV shows Prime Music: More than two million songs and thousands of playlists and stations Prime Photos: Unlimited photo storage to preserve family memories Prime Reading: A rotating selection of free e-books and magazines Audible Channels for Prime: Premium original podcasts, audio series and audiobooks exclusively from Audible Kindle First: A free pre-release e-book each month Twitch Prime: In-game loot on Twitch and 20 percent off pre-release digital games Early Access: Exclusive early access to select Lightning Deals Savings: Discounts on select products including 20 percent off diaper subscriptions Prime FREE Same-Day Delivery: One million products, order by noon and get them today in eligible zip codes Prime Now: Free two-hour delivery on tens of thousands of items in eligible zip codes Enrollment Requirements: At launch, customers will need to qualify with a valid EBT card. An EBT card is commonly used to disburse funds for several government assistance programs including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (WIC). EBT cannot be used to pay for membership. Customers can qualify every 12 months up to 4 times. Amazon will add other ways to qualify in the future for customers participating in government assistance programs that do not utilize EBT. There is no annual commitment and members can cancel anytime. Customers can learn more or sign up for a 30-day free trial at amazon.com/qualify.

About Prime

Tens of millions of Prime members around the world enjoy the many benefits of Prime. In the U.S., that includes unlimited access to award-winning movies and TV episodes with Prime Video, unlimited access to Prime Music, Audible Channels for Prime, Prime Reading, Prime Photos, Twitch Prime, early access to select Lightning Deals, one free pre-released book a month with Kindle First, and more. Prime was built on the foundation of unlimited fast, free shipping and members receive Prime Two-Day Shipping on more than 50 million items, Prime Same-Day Delivery and Prime One-Day Shipping in more than 5,000 cities and towns, and two-hour delivery with Prime Now in more than 30 cities.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170606005643/en/

Source: Amazon

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