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Is Amazon Prime Worth It?

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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:

  1. Free two-day shipping on eligible items
  2. Free same-day delivery for certain zip codes
  3. Advertisement free access to more than a million songs
  4. Instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows
  5. Free unlimited photo storage on Amazon’s cloud drive
  6. Free books through Kindle First and the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library
  7. If you refer a friend to Prime, you earn $5
  8. 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.
  9. Access to Amazon Elements products
  10. 30-minute early access to Prime’s lightening deals and new events on MyHabit.com.
  11. Access to add-on video subscriptions to ad-free premium content like Starz
  12. Amazon Family Deals and discounts can save you 20% off diapers and 15% off of eligible items from your baby registry.
  13. 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.

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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 diapers and 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?

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial!

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20 Comments

  1. I think once I have a family, it may make more sense. For me, living alone, I don’t see the value for it — especially while I’m trying to get out of student loan debt! 🙂 But I definitely see it for other people.

  2. “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”

    That’s how I feel about it, and we use amazon for most of our online streaming anyways. Of course, it does help that Prime is my Christmas gift from my father in law each year, but if it wasn’t I would purchase it anyways.

  3. We use Amazon Prime, and it’s well worth the cost to us, though we’ve been able to score free or half-price versions with Amazon Mom and Amazon Student. Apparently we are always having a baby or in school, because we’ve always qualified. I abhor going to the mall (and video store) so it’s perfect for me!

  4. I’ve been debating it but I read that having a membership, people actually spend more. Whether that’s true or not is beside the point. I tried the 30 day trial and found that I don’t like the selection of movies and tv more than netflix. My friend uses his parent’s prime so he gets free delivery, so I’m thinking about working out something with him where I pay him for what I want and he orders it. I heard they are kind of cracking down on sharing so that will be interesting.

    1. PS a couple times per year they drop the price. Last sept I think it was $67 (but it’s for new subscribers only), so I might be on the lookout for that.

  5. I live in southeast PA, not far from an Amazon distribution center, so we get packages quickly, even when using free super-saver shipping so time-wise, we have no need for Prime. We just save our Amazon shopping purchases when we will have $35 worth of items so we get free shipping every time. Also, since we pay for Netflix and have access to Hulu, we really don’t need Amazon for TV shows as well.

  6. Being we are on a serious mission to not spend money right now, it’s not worth it to us, but I think for “normal” people the service is absolutely worth it. Great review!

  7. We have Amazon Prime and like it. I miss getting it for free though as a student!

  8. And remember if your a student, you get six months free! We’re planning to start our free subscription in 2016 since the diaper discount will be worthwhile at that point. I paid for it in the past, but haven’t bothered for the last two years.

  9. Getting A-Prime is a topic of conversation for my wife and I. We used Amazon for Christmas shopping when we couldn’t find items the Grand-Kids asked for but I was able to take advantage of free shipping offers. My friend who is a single father of 2 young boys under the age of 7 buys as much as possible from them and says its well worth it. He even has his toilet paper delivered from Amazon. We are still on the fence.

  10. I have had prime for years. I was grandfathered into the share shipping with four friends. Each friend pays $20. $20 a year is less than road rage and a ding on your car at the mall.

  11. I’ve actually tried it but couldn’t cough up the $99 at the end of the free trail. I do Amazon Subscribe to Save every month for diapers, milk, and some other household items. I get 15 percent off if I have 5 or more items in the ship. The shipping is free for orders $35 and up, and I often find coupons for the Gerber milk and diapers. I’ve been able to catch coupons for the other stuff too. I’m also a heavy e-book reader, but during the trial, I couldn’t find much I wanted to read in the Kindle Library. I may reconsider in the future if I add up how much I actually spend on e-books, but for now I’m still saving more money through the subscribe to save.

  12. It’s worth it for us, because we do use Amazon for lots of presents, use the streaming video and music and the free e-books. We talk about cutting out Netflix, but it never comes up with Prime.

  13. I love Amazon Prime! I only pay $49 per year since I am a STUDENT. Amazon only needs your email with an .EDU in it and you’ll qualify for their student prime (free trial for 6 mos). And since I live in Hawaii, having the free shipping on everything prime is a no brainer. The plethora of free streaming videos and music is an icing on the cake.

  14. I actually get to share Amazon Prime with my sister if we use the same address. She uses my shipping address so that I can sign for her packages and we split the Amazon Prime cost. It\’s awesome!

  15. I love my amazon prime! Since I am still a student, I can get it at a steal of a price as Marvin mentioned above! They also give you 6 months free when you start out with a student account. Even though our family is small (hubby, myself and our fur baby!), Amazon Prime is worth it for us as we do a lot of online ordering/watching – our favorite is two day shipping to friends and family for gifts.

  16. We tried Prime a few years ago when we first got our Roku and Mrs. E had a kindle. The free 2 day shipping was nice, and we did end up doing more of our online shopping on Amazon because of it, but the bundled Kindle and video content was weak, and incredibly painful to find. Easy to find the video and books you have to pay for, and most of the interesting content you still had to pay for. So after the first year, we canceled.

    Now we just borrow Kindle books from the library, and watch Netflix, and that\’s another $100 we save each year.

  17. I have the student membership since I take grad school courses occasionally, 80% reimbursed by my employer 🙂 I believe it’s $49 for the year and the price is worth it to me – because brick and mortar shopping is torture to me just like you put it in the post!

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