Sure, you like to get your packages on time or even early.
But the question of whether paying $119/year is reasonable or not. I can see your hesitation for not wanting to get the service. It's not even easy to make money if you need money now.
Truth is that $119 is a big amount. I sure can feel your pain.
In this post, you'll find everything you need to make an informed decision. You'll find more than 13 things about Amazon Prime.
I've broken down the very basics of Amazon Prime membership and what it actually offers.
In this article:
- How Amazon Prime works
- What are the benefits of Amazon Prime?
- How much does it cost?
- Add-ons and pricing
- Is an Amazon Prime Membership worth it?
- Why it is not worth it
If you are ready:
How Amazon Prime works
Since Amazon Prime started a couple of years ago, it has expanded to include many other products/services like discounts on groceries, movie and music streaming, and delivery options.
How much is Amazon Prime? As a member, you can either pay $119/year or roughly $13/mo.
If you are a student enrolled in at least one course at a college here in the U.S. or Puerto Rico, you will be eligible for a student Prime membership account of only $59/year or $6.49/mo.
You can also have your packages delivered to you in your car as long as you have GMC, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick, or Volvo models from 2015 or later. The cars, however, need an active OnStar or Volvo On Call account to work with this type of delivery.
You will also get 10% discount on Whole Foods Markets and price cuts each week for select goods. In certain areas like big cities, Amazon Prime also offers two-hour grocery delivery. Click here for the best shopping apps.
Lastly, you can have couriers enter your house to drop off packages even though you're not there.
That can be done through Amazon Key. This service will require you to pay $220 for a camera and home smart lock.
What are the benefits of Amazon Prime?
Here are the Amazon Prime benefits you wish you knew a long time ago. These are Amazon features that can only be unlocked only when you are a member of Amazon Prime:
1. FREE two-day shipping
Shipping cost is no fun (i.e., it is way too expensive).
The key benefit of having an Amazon Prime membership is its free two-day shipping on over 110 million eligible items.
In certain cases or cities, you can even get your orders on the same day or within a day.
How cool is that?
It's a great feature of Amazon Prime especially when you are in need of products and don't have time to go to the brick and mortar stores to buy them. Click here to find out more online grocery delivery services.For busy people who don't have time to get what they need but need those products soon, Amazon is your solution. I can't remember the number of times Amazon Prime has come to my rescue.
If you like buying products one after the other and you spend a lot of time, money, mileage, and others doing that, you might as well be a member of Amazon Prime.
Is Amazon Prime worth it in this case? I say yes.
I know you'll agree with me that the $119/year is worth it when you factor in the time, money, etc. you spend going to the stores.
2. Amazon music
If you are a music lover, then, Amazon Music is for you. Best of all, it's FREE with Amazon Prime.
As a member of Amazon Prime, you get access to over 2 million songs ad-free and on-demand. No need to get access to other music streaming services like Pandora.
For a more extensive selection of songs and other music features, you can subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited. It only costs $7.99/mo for members and $9.99/mo for non-members.
Click here to try the Amazon Music Unlimited Free Trial and see the wonders unlimited music can offer you.
Note: Amazon Music Unlimited is different than the Amazon Music included in the Prime subscription.
3. Audible channels for prime
Are you busy and don't have time to read but like to? Then, Audible Channels is for you.
With Amazon Prime subscription, you can get access to Audible Channels, a $60/year value, for free. Find out other ways on how to save money fast.
Audible Channels includes listening (unlimited) to original audio series and playlists for every interest you have.
In addition to this, you will receive access to Prime Exclusive Audiobooks. This is a collection of streaming audiobooks that include family favorite, best sellers, and more.
Is Amazon Prime worth it in this case? I say yes.
Download the free Audible app, sign in with your Amazon account, and start listening to your books.
4. Deals and discounts (compliments of Amazon family)
Deals on baby stuff don't come along that often and baby stuff are expensive. You won't believe how expensive they are until you start buying those little things for your baby.
This is where Amazon Prime is best especially for parents.
If you have a newborn, baby, and want to save money on baby essentials, then, your best answer is Prime.
With a Prime membership, you can get up to 20% off baby food, diapers, and more via the Subscribe and Save. You can also get 15% off of eligible products from your baby registry.
Click here to create a baby registry and get Welcome Box from Amazon valued at over $35.
Also, click here to see our Amazon Baby registry gifts, which we got for FREE.
5. Prime photos
How valuable are photos to you?
Photos, for me, are valuable. They capture memories in time. That's why I store them digitally (and non-digitally) because I want to have access to those photos when I need to.
The problem with storing those in thumb drives, CDs, and other storage devices is that they can get corrupted.
That's why I love Prime Photos.
With it, I have unlimited access to Amazon's cloud storage and I get unlimited storage of photos plus 5 GB for videos and documents. Click here to learn how to make money from home with your photos.
With Prime Photos, you can store all your valuable digital data into Amazon's cloud storage for FREE. Now, I don't worry if my photos will be lost or get corrupted.
Imagine if you get a similar subscription from other companies, you would be paying a whole lot of money. With Amazon Prime, this is included.
6. Same day shipping
For orders $35 or over, you can get the same-day shipping if you buy the products before noon. Your orders will be delivered by 9 pm on the same day. That's pretty awesome if you ask me.
This same-day shipping is only available to over 5,000 cities in the US. If you live in a big city, there's a chance that the “same-day shipping” is available in your city.
Click here to see if you live where the same-day shipping is available.
7. Membership sharing
Two adults can create an Amazon Household if they live in the same household.
In short, there's no need to buy additional membership. This makes total sense.
In addition, if you paid your Prime membership under your personal account, you can share your shipping benefits with your Amazon business account, if you have one.
That's so simple, isn't it?
8. Amazon Video
Are you paying for Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, or other subscriptions along these lines? Do you know you can get this benefit for FREE when you get an Amazon Prime membership?
You can available the benefits from Amazon Video for FREE since it's an included benefit of Amazon Prime.
If you're asking “Is Amazon Prime worth it?,” the answer is YES.
Whether you like TV shows or movies (click here to get internet without a cable), you'll find a lot of them at Amazon Video. Best of all, there are Amazon Video originals (shows) you can only watch with an Amazon Video subscription.
Like what I said, this benefit is included in your Amazon Prime membership.
This means, you might as well get the Amazon Prime membership, which is only for $99/year and get the Amazon Video membership plus a lot more.
9. Whole Foods discount
Have you recently heard about the news that Amazon acquired Whole Foods? Yes, it did.
So, what happened next? Well, Amazon will start providing discounts to its Amazon Prime members.
If you are a fan of Whole Foods, would it make more sense to get the Prime membership and get special Whole Foods discount and other benefits Amazon Prime has to offer?
Currently, there's no Whole Foods in our area; however, I have heard that there's going to be one built a year or two from now. I can't wait for that to happen so I can buy great products from there at discount prices.
10. Amazon Pantry
Are you so busy to go to the grocery store or don't like going to the grocery store and fall in the lineup to pay? See here for a list of grocery list apps to save you money.
If your answer to this question is ‘yes', then, this service is for you.
Prime Pantry lets you order groceries (at low prices) and other select products and have them shipped to your house for just $5.99/box.
If you want the fee waived, all you need to do is buy five or more qualifying items and the fee will be dropped.
11. Free e-book per month
If you're a bookworm, then, Amazon Prime is worth it.
As a subscriber, you can borrow an e-book per month. You can choose from hundreds of thousands of e-books for easy download. Click here to learn how to get paid to read.
In addition, you'll get early access to Kindle First selections.
Just a side note, in order for you to get this free borrowed e-book per month, you'll need a Kindle (not the Kindle app), Fire phone or a Fire tablet.
How much does Amazon Prime cost?
The cost of an Amazon Prime membership depends on what plans you choose. In this breakdown, you'll find the answer to the question of “Is Amazon Prime worth?”
Here’s a breakdown of the plans:
- Prime Video: $8.99/mo. This type of membership gets you unlimited TV show and movie streaming. This alone will cost you $108/year.
- Prime: $12.99/mo. You can pay monthly payments to get all the benefits Amazon has to offer. That said, you'll have to pay about $155/year or $12.99/mo.
- Prime: $119 per year. This is a one-time charge and saves you roughly $35/year over the monthly-payment method. You'll get all the benefits Amazon has to offer.
There happens to be a discounted membership if you are a student. Don't worry, as an Amazon Prime member, you'll almost get all the offers of Amazon Prime. The only thing that won't work is if you are on a free-trial period, you won't be able to gain access to Kindle books or Instant Video.
- Prime Student: With valid school email address (granted you are a student), If you’re a student with a valid school email address, you can get a free six-month trial of Prime Student. You'll also get a discounted annual membership fee of just $59. and thereafter, as long as you are a student.
Adds-on and pricing
Is Amazon Prime worth it? You'll find the answer by looking into the add-ons.
There's more to Amazon Prime than just grocery, movie and TV show streaming, Whole Foods Markets discount, etc.
There are add-on subscriptions that you may also consider. Here are some of the most popular ones:
Amazon Channels is a collection of many streaming services you can subscribe, which is all done through Amazon.
You just need to go to the Amazon Channels page and select the content providers you'd want to use, and that's it. The cost per month varies from one channel to another.
For example, you can get Cinemax for $9.99/mo while you pay $14.99/mo for HBO.
Some of the channels include:
- Cinemax ($9.99/mo)
- Comedy Central Stand-Up ($3.99/mo)
- HBO ($14.99/mo)
- PBS Kids ($4.99/mo)
- PBS Masterpiece ($5.99/mo)
- Reelz ($3.99/mo)
- Showtime ($8.99/mo)
- Sports Illustrated TV ($4.99/mo)
- Starz ($8.99/mo)
- Sundance Now ($6.99/mo)
While Hulu and Netflix are some of the most popular streaming services out there, they aren't found in Amazon Channels. That said, there are plenty of other channels to choose from.
Do you need to be a Prime member to avail this option?
Yes. You need to be a Prime Member. Amazon Channels is only available to Prime members.
Is this service different than Amazon Video?
Yes. It is different. Amazon Video is more like the catch-all service for Amazon's many video-streaming services. Amazon Video, on the other hand, is an add-on if you want to access more content and stream everything through Amazon Video interface.
How often are contents added?
Just like any other streaming services like Hulu and Netflix, you'll see new releases or shows almost every month.
With Amazon being a large platform and its Amazon Video offering gets more and more traction and attention, expect to see more shows or contents.
Amazon Audible is another add-on service from Amazon. If you are a book lover and like to read and the free e-book included in your Prime membership isn't enough, then, an Audible subscription is a good way to go.
This is the fee schedule of Amazon Audible:
|Plan||Cost||# of Credits|
|Gold Monthly||$14.95 per month||1 per month|
|Platinum Monthly||$22.95 per month||2 per month|
|Gold Annual||$149.50 per year||12 per year|
|Platinum Annual||$229.50 per year||24 per year|
|Audible Escape Subscription||$12.95/month for standalone customers |
$6.95/month for Audible Members or Kindle Unlimited Members
Source: Amazon Audible
How do I save money on Audible?
You can easily save money on audiobooks quickly.
You can buy individual books that may cost between $12 and $35. For example, The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale costs around $27.
However, a credit costs approximately $20. So, you're saving $7.
In the same token, if you are going to listen to more than one audiobook, a monthly subscription to Amazon Audible is more cost-effective.
Amazon Music Unlimited
Amazon Music Unlimited is a stand-alone streaming service that offers over 40 million music tracks.
It's different from Amazon Prime Music, which is bundled together with your Amazon Prime. It offers 2 million songs.
So, while it's a great offer to have Amazon Prime Music, you may find the need to subscribe to Amazon Prime Unlimited because of its vast selection.
How much is Amazon Music Unlimited?
The cost is $9.99/mo. You don't need to have an Amazon Prime account to avail this service. Amazon also offers a family plan, which covers up to 6 people. The cost is $14.99/mo.
That said, if you are a member, you can get a discount, which drops the cost to $7.99/mo.
A 30-day free trial is available if you like to try it first before subscribing.
Is an Amazon Prime membership worth it?
Is Amazon Prime worth it? There are several ways to evaluate if an Amazon Prime is worth your money:
- Shipping. If you spent over $119 in shipping fees last year without Amazon Prime, then, it's best if you get a membership this year.
- Reading. If you buy e-books monthly, which roughly cost $9.99 per copy, you'd be spending over $100 in a year. A Prime membership is a good way to go.
- Streaming entertainment. Amazon has great selections of movies, TV shows, music, among others. All of these are free with your Amazon Prime subscriptions. You can combine the value of Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, among others and you'll still get more from Prime.
Why Amazon Prime membership isn't worth it
Those all said above, there are situations where an Amazon Prime isn't worth it.
- Shipping. If you're not buying things from Amazon to break even or get more from paying $119/year, then, you wouldn't want to use the Prime membership. You'd be better off paying the shipping as you need it.
- Refund. Once you've paid your fee and have used a Prime-eligible order, you can no longer receive a refund on your membership fee. That said, if you or any household member has not used its benefits, then, you can be eligible for a full refund.
Is Amazon Prime worth it?: Conclusion
In the grand scheme of things, if you're using Amazon a lot of times in a year and/or you like its various streaming services, then, it's worth your money.
These are the great wonders of being an Amazon Prime member. To tell you the truth, the benefits I get from Prime is way more than the money I paid for it. The Prime subscription is worth every penny.
If you are looking to save a lot of money by not paying for separate subscriptions for photo storage, TV and movie streaming, music, etc., Amazon Prime is your best solution. It's cheap, it's powered by Amazon, and it's just simply a great product to have and use.
That said, if you only use Amazon once in a blue moon, subscribing to Amazon Prime may not be worth your money.
Click here to get a 30-Day FREE trial of Amazon Prime.