Amazon Prime lands in Canada

Canadians can take advantage of Prime's unlimited, two-day shipping but not the e-book lending or video streaming available in the U.S.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Amazon Prime has expanded its coverage to Canada, but not all benefits will be part of the package.

Starting today, Prime will be offered to Canadian consumers for the yearly fee of $79.

The service's unlimited two-day shipping will be available in most of the country, according to Canada's Times Colonist. People in rural areas can grab the unlimited shipping but with no two-day guarantee. Those in certain locations will be able to upgrade to one-day shipping starting at $3.99 per item.

Steve Oliver, the country manager for Amazon.ca, told the Times Colonist that the shipping guarantee is good for millions of products sold by the store.

Amazon Prime also provides both free Kindle e-book lending and the Instant Video streaming service to its U.S. members. But Canadian subscribers are out of luck. Oliver told the Times Colonist that at this point the company has no plans to offer those options in Canada.

An Amazon spokesperson also sent CNET the following statement:

We believe Amazon Prime is an exceptional price, even without the digital benefits we offer in the U.S. Amazon Prime has always been $79 per year, even when we didn't offer digital content to U.S. members. Just as we did with the U.S. Prime program, we are continually looking for ways to add greater value to the Prime program for its members.

Amazon Prime is available in the U.K., Germany, France, Japan, Spain, and Italy. The Kindle lending Lending library is active in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and France, while Instant Video is offered only in the U.S.

Updated 12 p.m. PT with response from Amazon.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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