Noting the “tough economic climate,” Amazon on Monday rolled out Amazon Access, a new platform for customers looking for SNAP EBT payment options, discounted membership offerings and other value-focused information.
To mark the five-year anniversary of Amazon’s reduced-price membership program for those who receive government assistance, the retailer renamed it Prime Access. It allows qualified government assistance recipients to receive all of the benefits of a Prime membership for $6.99 a month, more than half off the cost of a full-priced membership.
“Given the tough economic climate with many facing rising costs on essential needs, we want our customers to know about all the accessible offerings available on Amazon, no matter their circumstances,” the company said in a statement.
Amazon declined to say how many customers had signed up for the Prime Access program, but said program membership has grown more than 300% from 2019 to the end of 2021 and that members saved an average of more than $1,600 last year from
Amazon Access was born after Amazon launched a “grassroots” listening program, to hear feedback from customers around the country. Many said they wanted to find ways to save money and time, the company said.
The platform includes information about SNAP EBT payments on Amazon, a program that has expanded to every state except Alaska to permit those receiving government assistance to buy groceries online from Amazon, Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh.
It also includes information about Amazon Layaway, which allows customers to pay 20% down on an item and then pay the rest over time without interest or fees.
Those eligible for Prime Access will receive all the benefits of the full-cost program, including discounts of up to 15% on food and household items via Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program as well as streaming movies, photo storage and prescription discounts. Members also get 20% off select essentials at Amazon Fresh stores around the country.
“Over the last five years, we’ve committed to making Amazon’s everyday selection and savings accessible to customers by offering a discounted membership for qualifying government assistance recipients,” the retailer said.