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8 Amazon Prime membership perks you might not know about

As a Prime member, you have access to benefits you may have never heard of -- like exclusive discounts when you shop using Alexa.

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Your Amazon Prime benefits make shopping easier.

Angela Lang/CNET

You may have signed up for Amazon Prime to get free two-day shipping or to stream Prime Video movies and listen to Amazon Music without the ads. But there are so many other perks that you have access to with your annual Prime membership.

For instance, you can get packages delivered much sooner than you would think -- in a few hours, even. Or you can schedule a delivery date that's more convenient for you, in case you're not home. And you can even get exclusive deals, simply by using Alexa on your Amazon Echo.

If you're new to Amazon Prime, or simply don't know much about what it has to offer, here are some of the ways you can get the most out of your Amazon Prime membership.

Read more: Holiday gift guide 2021: CNET editors' top picks

Get free same-day delivery on qualifying items

If there's a product you want immediately, you can see if it's available for delivery the same day you order. To check a product's eligibility, look for delivery that's marked as "Prime FREE Same-Day" while shopping. Note that your order will need to contain over $35 of qualifying items. If not, you'll have to pay a small fee.

Amazon will deliver from morning until evening, so you won't have to worry about receiving your order at 3 a.m. However, same-day delivery isn't available in all locations, so enter your ZIP code on the Amazon Same-Day Delivery page to see if you're eligible.

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Schedule a convenient shipping date during checkout with Amazon Day.

James Martin/CNET

Get extra discounts by shopping with Alexa

You can use your Amazon Echo to ask "Alexa, what are my deals?" anytime. Alexa will then share Prime-exclusive deals and you'll have the option to add the item to your cart, buy it now or move on to the next deal.

Schedule a convenient shipping date for your package

Everyone knows about Amazon's free two-day shipping, but another option is to choose a delivery date during checkout. It's called Amazon Day and it's helpful if there's a specific day you know someone will be at home to answer for packages -- especially if it's something pricey that you don't want to risk leaving unattended. 

If you order multiple items on different days, you can have them delivered on the same day as long as they're eligible for this offer. 

Use your Amazon Echo to help track packages

If you have an Amazon Echo of any kind, you can use it to track your orders. 

Just say "Alexa, where's my package?" and your Echo will let you know where it is, who it's for and when it'll arrive. Once your order has been delivered, the Echo's ring light will pulse yellow and if you have the Echo Show, the delivery notification will appear on the screen.

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Use any Amazon Echo to track your packages.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Shop Early Access deals before non-Prime members

If something you've been eyeing says "Prime Early Access," as a Prime member you can shop that sale 30 minutes before non-Prime members. However, you'll still have to compete with other Prime members who are interested in the product before it sells out.

Send a gift to someone without knowing their address

A new Amazon Prime feature lets you send someone a gift, even if you don't have their address. For instance, if you'd like to send a coworker something for the holidays or their birthday but don't know what their address is, you can still send a gift. But there's a catch -- that person must also have a Prime account and you need either their phone number or email address associated with the account.

Be aware: Not every item on Amazon is eligible.

Share your Prime perks with family

If you've got another adult living in your household, like a significant other or friend, you can share your Prime membership with them. You'll still be able to keep your personal accounts separate, but you'll both have access to all the same Prime benefits. 

You can also share your account with up to four teens and up to four children in your household. While they'll have their own logins, you can still manage their profiles.

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Amazon employees can leave a package inside your house with Amazon Key.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Amazon can leave your package inside your house or garage

When you know you're not going to be home for a while and you've got a shipment on the way, it's much safer to have an Amazon employee leave your items inside your house or garage to avoid theft. At this time, in-home delivery is currently paused due to COVID-19, but we'll still tell you how to use it once it's resumed.

For in-home delivery, you'll need a Key-compatible smart lock and an (optional) Amazon Cloud Cam. The Amazon driver will send you a notification when they've arrived at your house and will request to unlock your door. Amazon will verify the package is at the right address and the driver is near the door, then will turn on Amazon Cloud Cam and unlock your door. 

You can also use Amazon In-Garage Delivery -- just select Key Delivery at checkout. The garage kit is $29 right now and turns your garage into a smart garage. It works the same as in-home delivery so Amazon will do all the verifying for you.

If you're wary of letting a complete stranger into your home, keep in mind that you'll also receive notifications during the entire process. Note that you can opt to block delivery access to your home -- for example, if you know you'll be home during that time.

For more shopping tips this year, here's how to send your Amazon packages back the fast, easy and free way. Also, read this before you buy a tech gift this holiday season.