Amazon Is Offering a Massive Prime Discount to Medicaid Recipients

08 March, 2018, 01:59 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • Amazon is taking aim at Walmart by offering a 54 percent discount on Prime memberships for Medicaid recipients

Amazon is making another move in its courtship of lower-income shoppers, announcing a discount on its Amazon Prime monthly membership fee for recipients of Medicaid.

To qualify for the discounted Prime membership, which normally costs $12.99, customers must have a valid EBT or Medicaid card.

Users are asked to upload an image of their state Medicaid card to qualify for the discount. When the program launched a year ago, it was open to customers with an EBT card.

Amazon has taken another step to woo low-income shoppers to its site and away from rival Walmart. Amazon already has a stranglehold on wealthy shoppers: More than 70% of upper-income households-with annual income over $112,000-had Amazon Prime memberships, according to one study.

This expansion of discounted Prime membership is a direct assault on rival Walmart's traditional stronghold.

"We hope to make Prime even more accessible", Amazon Prime Vice President Cem Sibay said in a statement. For Amazon, it also opens up a new customer base.

Industry analysts believe Amazon is maneuvering both to expand its Prime membership numbers, and to go after people whose first shopping destination may be Walmart. As of 2016, roughly 44 million people got benefits from SNAP, the program formerly known as "food stamps".

"They are enabling people who otherwise would be priced out", said Greengart. But Medicaid members will only have to pay $5.99 after a 30-day free trial period. And yes, an Amazon Prime subscription brings with the possibility of saving money in other ways: In addition to lower prices and free shipping often available at Amazon, Prime members could theoretically cut their spending by canceling Netflix, Spotify, or other streaming services and using Amazon's free options instead.

"I think customers that have tried this plan have seen enormous value from it", he added.

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