Amazon Offers EBT Recipients 45% Discount on Amazon Prime

Amazon Offers EBT Recipients 45% Discount on Amazon Prime

Today, Amazon announced that they'll be offering a 45% discount on monthly Amazon Prime memberships to shoppers in the U.S. receiving government assistance. Anyone with an EBT (Electronics Benefits Transfer) card is eligible for the price cut. EBT is used for programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). Amazon has plans to eventually extend this discount to programs that don't use EBT. Head over here if you are interested in signing up or getting a free 30-day trial.

Eligible customers can receive Amazon Prime memberships for $5.99 per month. That's 45% off the monthly rate, and almost 25% off the cost of a yearly membership. Customers will receive all of the normal Amazon Prime benefits: free 2-day shipping, exclusive discounts and deals, Prime Photo & Video access, and more. EBT cards cannot be used to pay for Prime memberships. Customers can qualify once per year for up to 4 years, with no annual commitment or cancellation penalty.

Amazon is also currently participating in a USDA pilot program along with six other companies. The two-year program, slated to launch this summer, will test out accepting food stamps to pay for online grocery orders. It is meant to help those in food deserts have better access to fresh, healthy food -- and relieve the social stigma that surrounds those receiving government assistance. While we're unsure whether or not food stamp recipients would also get a discount on AmazonFresh, which normally costs $14.99 per year, it is clear that Amazon is trying to reach a new market.

This is yet another calculated move by Amazon in their war with Walmart. Amazon already has Walmart beat on other aspects like free shipping thresholds, but Walmart knows what they're doing when it comes to food: groceries make up about 56% of the retail giant's revenue. When you consider the fact that online shopping could amount to 20% of grocery spending by 2025, it's clear that both stores need to step their strategies up. Walmart will need to develop a way for customers to shop for food online both easily and affordably, and Amazon will need to find a way to get their goods to every customer regardless of their yearly salary.

Amazon making their services more accessible to low-income customers can help breach the gap that comes from their lack of brick-and-mortar stores. Walmart doesn't have an in-house fresh grocery delivery service, but they do have Jet.com up their sleeve -- and Jet's bulk discount paired with their JetFresh grocery program could mean huge savings for someone working on a very tight budget. However, if Amazon becomes more competitive with Prime Pantry, they could give Jet & Walmart a run for their money.

We'll be sure to keep you updated on how this all unfolds. What do you think? Any predictions? Let us know in the comments below!

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