Amazon Prime Offers Discounted Service for Food Stamp Recipients

At an event today in Chicago, Amazon employees from nearby fulfillment centers packed 2,000 care packages to send to soldiers abroad who are not able to come home for the holidays Friday, December 4, 2015. Since 2010, Amazon has shipped more than 12 million packages to APO and FPO addresses. …
Peter Wynn Thompson/AP Images for Amazon

Amazon is offering discounted service on its Amazon Prime service to people receiving food stamps or other forms of government assistance.

People who receive food stamp benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can purchase an Amazon Prime membership for $5.99 per month that includes free shipping and unlimited streaming of TV programs and movies, CBS News reported.

A Prime membership normally costs $99 per year, or $10.99 a month for those who cannot pay up front for the same benefits as the discounted package.

To qualify for the discount, customers will have to have a valid EBT card. The company says, however, that EBT cards cannot be used to pay for Prime subscription fees. Customers can qualify for the discount once every 12 months, up to four times.

The move is an effort by Amazon Prime to diversify its customer base among lower-income consumers to compete with other retailers such as Walmart.

Amazon Prime is most popular with higher-income households, with the fastest-growing segment of customers earning more than $112,000 per year in household income, Business Insider reported in 2016.

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