Finally – a perk to forking over thousands of dollars a year in graduate student fees…

Free Amazon Prime for six months!

Click here to skip my review and sign up.

That is essentially what this latest offer that the folks Amazon have dubbed “Amazon Student” consists of.  Sure there are some other interesting little aspects that fall under the Amazon Student banner, but they are merely the frills.

Free 2-Day Shipping – Plus Some Other Stuff

The real deal here is that right now, if you have a working email address from one of Canada’s major universities or colleges you can get free 2-day shipping across Canada.  While they are still ironing out the kinks for certain student bodies, it appears that in some cases even alumni student addresses work (although you didn’t hear that from me).

amazon-studentIn addition to the free shipping, Amazon Student Prime also gives you access to specific student-friendly deals on textbooks, electronics , and dorm-room chic stuff.  For example, the current deals see discounts of 22% on middle-of-the-road Acer notebooks and tablets, and a massive discount on a small vacuum cleaner.  Nothing too earth-shaking, but certainly something to take a look at before heading down to Future Shop.

If you’re the type that waits until the last minute to buy textbooks (and you should btw, in our book we recommend waiting until the first class to see if the book list is really what you need to buy, or just something the professor basically through together on their way out the door for Summer Break) you now have no reason to stand in line at the overcrowded bookstore.  Buy it using your Amazon Student Prime account and you’ll likely get it in time for your next class (certainly if you live in a major urban centre).  They also offer rental options if the book is one of those pricey monster tomes.

Get Your Groceries Delivered to Your Door

Amazon has begun to gradually increase their Canadian selection when it comes to stuff like hygiene products and non-perishable groceries as well (although we still lag substantially behind the selection our American counterparts enjoy).  When I lived car-less in residence and was begging for rides or doing grocery shopping by bus, getting my breakfast cereal and deodorant shipped to my building would have been a godsend!  Even today, as a sometimes-lazy rural person that has to drive an hour to walk into a Wal-Mart I think I’ll make good use of this increased selection.

How To Make Sure You Never Pay When the Free Trial Ends

Of course, what Amazon is hoping is that you’ll either love this service so much, that you won’t mind the $39 annual fee that starts in six months (probably my position), or you’ll forget to cancel your subscription and be too lazy to go after the $39 that comes out of the account.  There is a way to get around this however, if you really want to make sure you don’t get dinged in six months, simply:

1) Go to “Your Account”

2) “Manage Your Prime Membership”

3) Set your cancellation date

That’s it.  Cancel a day before your six months will be up (if you can’t figure out that date you should probably just cancel your post-secondary email address and choose another path in life).

For me, I plan to at least accomplish the majority of my Christmas shopping before making  the decision one way or another.  For most students the textbook options and free shipping alone might actually make this deal worth the $39 a year.

Make no mistake, Amazon’s mom didn’t raise no fool.  They know that the more they seduce you as a student, the more likely you are to stay on as a full-fledged Amazon Prime member at an annual cost of $79 when you graduate. (Or after 4 years – it’s up to you to disclose when your graduation date is… think about that for a second, I’m not saying, I’m just saying.)

Cheap Diapers Too?

For some for some of you with young families out there, one other perk is that you can sign up for free to Amazon Family with this membership as well.  That means cheap diapers and a few additional perks.  Not something I want to be dealing with anytime soon, but I’m sure every dollar saved on diapers is pretty big deal given all the ways an infant can stretch your budget!

Get $5 for Every Friend You Send Over

Finally, in order to get the word out (Amazon must have realized that “kids these days” were on social media or something) the corporate big wigs have said they’d toss us a $5 bone for every person that we can get to sign up for the 6 month trial.  Anyone is eligible.  Just head on over to the Amazon Student Prime section and they’ll give you the code that allows you to email it to others or post it on Facebook & Twitter.  If you hurry you might be able to post your link on your university’s or college’s page and get Amazon to pay for your textbooks this semester.

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