Amazon Offers Prime Discount for Some US Customers Receiving Government Aid

Amazon is now discounting Prime for customers receiving certain types of government aid. (Corporations, farm subsidy recipients, and mortgage holders will not benefit.)

On Tuesday Amazon said it would discount its popular Prime subscription service for shoppers who receive U.S. government aid, taking aim at a key customer base for rival Wal-Mart.

Amazon said it would offer the $10.99-per-month or $99-per-year Prime service — which includes fast shipping as well as streaming of movies and TV shows — for $5.99 per month to those receiving government assistance including welfare and food stamps.

Six dollars per month times twelve months in the year equals $72, or $27 off the annual price.

The online retailer’s move directly challenges Wal-Mart — the biggest beneficiary of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — where at least one in five customers pay by food stamps.

Prime subscriptions have been key to Amazon’s retail growth strategy, as the service encourages shoppers to buy more goods, more often.

Customers with valid Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards receiving aid from programs including SNAP and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program will qualify for the discount, Amazon said.

(Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)

image by drewgstephens


  1. Kate6 June, 2017

    I don’t think that will work, frankly. WalMart is offering a *discount* if you ship to store. Not just free shipping, but negative shipping costs.

    Unless Amazon is willing to give Prime to those customers for free, I don’t think they’re going to have many takers.

    1. Nate Hoffelder7 June, 2017

      I think it’s just a stunt, and a milquetoast one at that. You’re right, it should be free.

      1. Frank7 June, 2017

        This is certainly a stunt but at least it is a nice gesture for those with aid. Amazon should not make it free because then there would be more fraud with people signning up that didn’t deserve it.


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