Back in 2014, Amazon raised the price for their Prime membership from $79 to $99. As you can expect, people freaked. How could they raise prices on their faithful customers?! It was a damn outrage, a flop worthy of the Netflix fiasco when they decided to separate their services, and the company lost money.
Although the price hike was nearly two years ago now, some people still question whether the cost of the service is worth it. So, is Amazon Prime worth the cost?
What’s Included in an Amazon Prime Membership?
Amazon Prime includes a lot of features not available to regular customers. Here are a few of the benefits:
- Free two-day shipping on eligible items
- Free same-day delivery for certain zip codes
- Advertisement free access to more than a million songs
- Instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows
- Free unlimited photo storage on Amazon’s cloud drive
- Free books through Kindle First and the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library
- If you refer a friend to Prime, you earn $5
- Access to the Prime Pantry service that lets you purchase and ship low priced grocery, household, and pet care items for a flat delivery fee of $5.99 for each Prime Pantry box.
- Access to Amazon Elements products
- 30-minute early access to Prime’s lightening deals and new events on MyHabit.com.
- Access to add-on video subscriptions to ad-free premium content like Starz
- Amazon Family Deals and discounts can save you 20% off diapers and 15% off of eligible items from your baby registry.
- Membership Sharing: Two adults living in the same household can share certain Prime benefits.
Seriously, that’s a lot of benefits for a measly $99 a year. You could easily spend that much money on just one of those benefits categories alone. Better yet, you can try Amazon Prime with a 30-Day Free Trial! What’s not to like about that?
With that being said, Amazon Prime memberships do have a few restrictions that should be noted. They are:
- Amazon Prime can’t be used by businesses or individuals who intend to resell to other customers.
- Not all Amazon Prime items are available for free two-day shipping. Some items take 4-5 business days (i.e. standard shipping).
- Prime membership is subject to tax in certain states.
But, Will You Use the Services?
I can list all of the pros and cons of Amazon Prime membership until my head explodes, but whether or not it’s right for you really boils down to this: Will you use the services? If it just sits there unused like an exercise video before Christmas, then it’s not worth it…obvi. If not, there is a good chance Amazon Prime could save you some money!
Let’s pretend for a moment that you don’t have Amazon Prime. You make two purchases a month without Amazon Prime, which costs you at least $6 in shipping per month (or $72 per year). Or, let’s assume for the sake of argument that you don’t shop online, but you do watch one movie each Friday night by renting from Red Box. So, you pay $1.50 per DVD plus a 6% sales tax coming to $1.59 per week or $82.68 per year. Or, what about the photo storage? You can pay $2 per month for 50GB through something like OneDrive, coming to $24 per year.
Those three services alone (shipping, movies, and photo storage) come to a grand total of $178.68 per year. At just $99 a year, Amazon Prime is suddenly a pretty good bargain. By using Amazon Prime to fulfill all of these needs, you could be saving $79.68 per year (or $6.64 per month), not to mention all of the other money-saving services offered through Amazon Prime.
So…Prime may not be worth your money if:
- You hardly ever buy anything online.
- TV and Movies are a waste of your time.
- You don’t need discounts on bulk items like diapers.
- You already have other cloud storage options.
- You use the library for free eBooks.
- The other perks of Prime aren’t enough to entice you to spend $99 for the year.
Amazon Prime might be worth it if:
- Going to the mall is a form of torture for you.
- You frequently shop online, and Prime cumulatively saves you money on shipping over the course of the year.
- You watch a lot of TV or Movies that would cost more through other services.
- You order a lot of diapersand enjoy the Amazon family discounts.
- You have a lot of photos and enjoy Prime cloud storage.
- You like earning cash back on your purchases.
Amazon Prime: Test it Out
If you eat, breathe, and live online shopping, cash back rewards, free movie streaming, photo storage, etc., etc., etc. then yeah, you’ll get your money’s worth from Amazon Prime membership. For $8.25 per month, you can save yourself the headache of queuing in lines at actual stores, get easy access to discounts, free shipping, and all of the other benefits that come along with Prime. Heck, Netflix costs $7.99 a month, and that doesn’t even include any of the other benefits that come along with Prime.
Even though my daughter accidentally purchased Amazon Prime for us through her kindle, we’ve decided to keep it. For us, Amazon Prime is worth it. We easily recoup the cost, making the $99 pay for itself and more. But, if you’re not sure how often you’ll use it, take it for a test drive. Try Amazon Prime FREE for 30-days just by clicking our affiliate link. If you don’t like it, cancel your subscription. No harm, no foul.
Do you use Amazon Prime? Do you think the $99 a year is worth it for the services offered?