Amazon Offers Prime Discount to Those on Government Assistance

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Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has come up with a new program that offers discounts for its Prime service to people on a number of government assistance programs. Those who want to use the program have to demonstrate they qualify with a valid EBT card.

An EBT card is commonly used to disburse funds for several government assistance programs including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (WIC), Amazon management said.

The price of the service will be $5.99 a month. Prime usually costs $10.99 a year. As is the case with regular Prime memberships, people can cancel at any time.

Greg Greeley, vice president of Amazon Prime, said:

We know when people try Prime they love it, because they save time and money with low prices on millions of items, unlimited access to premium videos and music, and fast, convenient delivery. We designed this membership option for customers receiving government assistance to make our everyday selection and savings more accessible, including the many conveniences and entertainment benefits of Prime.

Amazon did not say how many people it thought would use the new program.

Prime is considered one of the best-run customer loyalty programs from any consumer facing company in the United States. For a modest price, customers get two-day free shipping and access to a massive library of streaming video content, some of which Amazon produces itself. It is widely believed that Prime members are much more likely to shop regularly at Amazon than those who are not in the program.

Prime fights for market share in the streaming video business against two other large providers of streaming services: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX).