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Amazon Prime’s latest perk is discounted student loans

ICE Graveyard 21/07/2016 Sarah Perez

Amazon Prime is known for its 2-day shipping service and other perks, like free movies and TV shows for streaming through Prime Video and unlimited photo storage, among other things. But now you can add another benefit to the growing selection of perks that come with being a Prime customer: student loan discounts. Wells Fargo and Amazon announced this morning plans to offer Prime customers a discounted interest rate on their loans through the lender.

Through the partnership, Wells Fargo is offering a 0.50 percent interest rate discount to Amazon Prime Student customers. This can be added on top of a 0.25 percent interest rate reduction for enrolling in an automatic monthly loan repayment plan, as well as any interest rate discount tied to another Wells Fargo global promotion, says the lender.

“We are focused on innovation and meeting our customers where they are – and increasingly that is in the digital space,” said John Rasmussen, Wells Fargo’s head of Personal Lending Group, in a statement. “This is a tremendous opportunity to bring together two great brands. At Amazon and Wells Fargo, delivering exceptional customer service and helping customers are at the center of everything we do.”

This is the first time Amazon has partnered with a loan provider to offer discounts to student shoppers since the Amazon Student program launched in 2010 to target student shoppers. Wells Fargo is currently the only loan provider that will be able to offer discounts to Amazon customers, which gives it a competitive advantage over rival lenders.

One of the largest U.S. banks and the second-largest private student lender by origination volume, Wells Fargo today has over 1.05 million customers, including students, parents and family, across the U.S., who are served by its Education Financial Services arm. Customers can apply for loans at over 6,000 Wells Fargo banking locations as well as online.

The student loan discount is being made available only to Amazon Prime Student customers, not those students whose parents may have a Prime membership of their own.

Prime Student, for those unfamiliar, is a special version of the Prime membership program available to those who are currently enrolled in a college or university, and have a valid .edu email address.

The program is half the cost of a regular Prime membership at $49 per year, but includes the same type of benefits, including the 2-day shipping, free streaming, and more, as well as one-day pickup service at a number of campus locations. The program is currently sponsored by Sprint, making it free for the first 6 months.

Because Prime Student members must already be enrolled in school, many of those who opt to take advantage of the Wells Fargo discount may be doing so by refinancing their current loans, rather than applying for a new loan – but the discount can be used either way.

According to The WSJ, the partnership between Amazon and Wells Fargo has been in discussion for over a year, and involves a multi-year agreement between the two companies. The report also confirmed there’s no compensation on either side.

That said, the loan discount could certainly encourage more Amazon Prime Student sign-ups, which benefits Amazon, while also giving Wells access to millions more potential borrowers.

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