How to switch to a Prime Student membership

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If you’re a college student, you’re probably aware that expenses stack up pretty fast. From ordering and renting textbooks to buying groceries, there always seems to be something that’s adding to your bills. 

I went through my fair share of these pesky costs — with Amazon being a major source. What I’d wish I had known, however, is that I (and my family) would have saved money and gotten discounts had I opted for a Prime Student membership instead of mooching off my parents’ more-expensive Prime account. Sorry, Mom and Dad. 

Don’t make the same mistake I did. If you have an .edu email account, switch your (or your family’s) Prime membership over to a Prime Student membership to reap the same benefits for half the price. 

What exactly is Prime Student? 

Prime Student is a discount service that gives higher education students access the same benefits as a regular Prime member for half the cost. The membership gets you unlimited photo storage, savings on rental textbooks, ad-free music for 99 cents a month, LinkedIn Premium, and the usual Prime member deals and free shipping services. 

Also: The best credit cards for college students 

Am I eligible? 

If you’re a student currently enrolled at a college or university, then, yes, you are eligible. You will be prompted to register for Prime Student with your .edu email account, so make sure you’re ready to use that.

How much does Prime Student cost?

Prime Student users start with a free six-month trial, which is significantly longer than the typical 30-day trial for standard Prime users. 

After the trial period, the membership will cost $69 per year or $7.49 per month. So if you subscribe in August, you can go until the New Year (January) before needing to pay anything for your discounted membership.

Prime Student members can also stream music and TV shows for an additional 99 cents per month. 

Enticing, right? You just need to switch the subscription plan of an existing Amazon Prime account.

How to switch to a Prime Student membership

On the mobile app or web browser, log in to your existing Amazon account using the same email you registered with. You don’t need to cancel this existing account to sign up, and your .edu email will be used later on in the process.

Once you’ve logged in, select Customer Service in the top right corner.

Amazon page with Customer Service in the top nav bar

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

In the Customer Service help library search bar, search for “Prime Student” and select the “Switch from Amazon Prime to Prime Student” option.

PrimeStudent info in the customer service help library

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

After selecting the Switch from Amazon Prime to Prime Student option, you should be prompted with a Try Prime Student button. Click it, and from there, enter the requested information into the form. This process allows Amazon to validate your enrollment at a college or university. When done, click “Start my six-month trial.”

Note: The six-month trial comes with every Prime Student subscription. You’ll still be enrolled once it’s over, but now you’ll be paying.

Form to fill out when switching to a Prime Student membership

Fill out the form by inputting the corresponding information. If you have trouble signing up, follow the link that says “Click here” and sign up with your .edu email.

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

Click submit. If your .edu student email is active, you should be good to go. The payment information for your standard Prime plan will carry over to the Prime Student one. (You can always change the payment method.)

Also: The 4 best smart pens: Tools for students


How long does Prime Student last? 

Your membership lasts until you leave school (typically four years), but can be prolonged if you move into a graduate program — just as long as your .edu address remains active. If you, for some reason, get an email from Amazon saying that your annual or monthly Prime Student subscription is ending soon, but you’re still enrolled in college, you can verify your continued status to extend the service.

To verify your continuing enrollment, click here or search for “Verify Continuing Student Status” in the Help and customer service search library.

How do I join Prime Student if I don’t have a Prime account? 

If you’re a student, don’t have a Prime account, and want to directly join Prime Student, you will need to sign up for an Amazon account first. 

Then, you can go here on Amazon’s website and click on “Try Prime Student” to enroll for Prime Student. 

Do I have to cancel my current account to get Prime Student? 

No, you do not have to cancel or deactivate your account. Just follow this link to transfer your account. The benefits you currently have, however, may change. For example, if you currently have a 20% discount on home appliances, that may be revoked in place of a cheaper video streaming service or another discount.  

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