Is Amazon Prime Worth it? The Cost and Benefits of Membership
If you’re not much of an online shopper, it’s easy to dismiss Amazon Prime as another unneeded subscription service that is primarily intended to squeeze a few more dollars out of gullible consumers’ pockets. Its price is no joke after all- $99 per year as of this writing ($12.99 monthly) – especially if you’re the type who dislikes spending on frivolities.
But what most people don’t know is that Amazon Prime’s benefits go way beyond the realm of online shopping. It also encompasses video and music streaming, photo storage, eBooks, and other services too. If your entertainment needs (i.e. music, movies, games) are hugely reliant on the internet- then Amazon Prime would be a great deal for you.
Free Two-Day Shipping on Eligible Items
There are millions of items on Amazon that are eligible under Prime’s two-day shipping. It doesn’t matter how small or how big the item is- as long as it’s under Prime, then you’ll be able to get it within two days for absolutely free. This can translate into tremendous savings when you’re buying and shipping heavier items.
Free Same-Day/One-Day Shipping on Eligible Items
One-day and same-day shipping are also available on select items to Prime members from certain states and zip codes. These offers are limited to users in the continental United States though.
Free No-Rush Shipping
Not in a hurry to receive your items immediately? Then you can opt to avail Amazon Prime’s Free No-Rush Shipping during checkout. Just for agreeing to receive your purchases within a six-day delivery time frame, you’ll be eligible for rewards and discounts on future purchases.
First Dibs on Lightning Deals
Lightning deals are limited-time promotions for certain items that Amazon regularly runs on the site. These deals (limit: one per customer) offer some of the best discounts around. That’s why the stocks are often so limited.
However, there is a bigger chance for you to successfully snag Lightning Deals if you’re on Amazon Prime. Prime Members get early access on select Lightning Deals. They can get in 30-minutes earlier than the general public.
Take Part in Prime Day
Imagine one single, glorious day when the items and gadgets that you want are suddenly offered with deep discounts and ludicrous price cuts that other stores just can’t match. That’s what Amazon Prime Day is. In fact, Amazon itself has stated that they discount more of their wares on Prime Day than on Black Friday. The event is that BIG.
While there is no set schedule for Prime Day, the event is usually held around July every year. Only Amazon Prime members are allowed to avail of the deals that will be offered during the event.
Amazon Prime members get exclusive goodies, virtual currency, and loot bags for specific games on Twitch. On Blizzard’s Overwatch for example, you can receive up to five standard loot boxes. Twitch Prime also gets you characters, vehicles, skins, and boosts for games like Hearthstone and Smite.
Prime Music is much, much cheaper than Spotify. Consider the price: a subscription to Spotify Premium costs $9.99 a month. Amazon Prime is $12.99 a month, has a library of two million songs, and comes with a variety of other benefits too.
Just like Spotify Premium, Prime Music provides ad-free music streaming with unlimited skips on demand. This is a great service if you aren’t on Spotify Premium or Apple Music store yet.
Getting tired of Netflix? Amazon users get instantaneous access to Prime Video when they sign up for Prime.
This service is pretty similar to Netflix- it allows you to stream videos, movies, and TV shows whenever and wherever you like. Amazingly enough, Amazon actually has its own exclusives and original programming series too. Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent, and Man in the High Castle are some of the shows that you can enjoy on Prime Video alone.
Prime Video also has offline access available for certain shows. The service can run on mobile devices running on Android and iOS; it also provides support for the Sony PlayStation, Apple TV, Roku, xBox, smart TVs, and Amazon’s very own Amazon Fire TVs too.
Avid bookworms, unite! Amazon Prime actually lets you get your hands on newly published books- even if they haven’t been released to the public yet! Kindle First gives Prime Members a chance to read any one of the Editor’s Picks for free. Otherwise, you would have to pay $1.99 for the early access.
No, contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a Kindle device to access Kindle’s impressive repository of eBooks. You only need to download the free Kindle app! With Prime Reading, you’ll be able to read over a thousand comics, books, and magazines to your heart’s content for absolutely no charge at all.
Other Awesome Benefits
If you find yourself buying the same items over and over again (like for grocery items and toiletries), then Prime Pantry is a lifesaver. Just pick a minimum of five Prime Pantry items- these are usually household products, beverages, baby and pet care items, beauty products and the like- and you’ll receive discounts AND free shipping on your purchase.
Purchases are shipped through normal ground shipping (i.e. it might take longer than two days for your purchases to arrive, so buy them in advance!).
Amazon Prime members don’t need to sign up for other cloud storage services either. Amazon Prime comes with unlimited storage for photos. All of your family photos, on the cloud, absolutely free.
Considering that other cloud storage services have a cap on the amount of data you can upload (Dropbox offers a measly 500GB for $9.99), Prime Photos is probably one of the best deals you can get on Amazon Prime yet.
So, Is Amazon Prime Worth It?
No, it isn’t— if you buy just a single item on the site in the course of a year.
But if you use Amazon regularly, then it’s imperative that you sign up for Amazon Prime. The $99 yearly subscription fee is nothing compared to the discounts, perks, and benefits that you’ll receive when you’re an Amazon Prime member.
Still not convinced? Thankfully, Amazon offers a free 30-day trial that new users can take advantage of. This time period should be enough for you to get a taste of what Amazon Prime can offer.