TLDR; Amazon Prime costs $12.99/month or $119/year. Students pay just $6.49/month or $59/year. It also comes with a 30 day free trial so you can try out all of the Prime benefits before committing to a membership. If you're a frequent shopper at Amazon, Amazon Prime is definitely worth it and is one of the best subscriptions you'll purchase. Savings on express shipping fees will more than make up for the cost of membership. Along with free express Amazon Prime delivery (free two-day shipping, free same-day shipping) you'll also get access to other Prime products like Prime Video, Prime Music, and Prime Books. Read below to learn more or click here to go directly to Amazon Prime.
Amazon, the world’s most coveted online retailer, fulfill billions of orders daily from consumers all over the globe. From the hottest gadgets to coffee mugs, this online behemoth carries it all. But most importantly, what keeps Amazon thriving is its customer-first approach, and as such, this company is globally lauded for its seamless pre and post-purchase customer service. Thanks to Amazon Prime, more than 100 million Prime Members get Amazon orders delivered to their doorsteps within just 2 days.
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This article will be all about Amazon Prime Membership and its benefits. If you aren’t an Amazon Prime member yet, or are reconsidering your membership, this article will help you understand if joining or sticking with your membership is worth it.
What is Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime is Amazon’s popular subscription service that gives its loyal users access to a myriad of benefits such as lightning-fast shipping, streaming video and music service, exclusive members-only deals on Amazon Prime Day and other perks.
How much does Amazon Prime Cost?
If you are thinking about signing up for Amazon Prime, you’ve two plans available – $12.99/month and $119.99/year.
In 2018, Amazon increased their annual membership fees by 20% throughout the US from $99 to $119, which caused plenty of members to rethink and even cancel their subscription. This price increase did not affect Amazon Prime Canada. However, the price amount turns out to be the same when the currency is converted.
If you're a student: You get a 6-month trial instead of a 1-month trial, and you get 50% off their monthly and annual plans. You can choose between $6.49/month or $59/year.
7 Major Benefits of Amazon Prime
Still on the fence? Here are 5 of the best features offered to Amazon Prime members.
1. Free ONE-DAY Shipping and SAME-DAY Shipping
If you shop on Amazon often, you'll know that standard shipping costs can oftentimes end up being more than the cost of a small product you are trying to buy. Express shipping can drive the shipping fees even higher.
Amazon Prime’s wide range of free & fast shipping options is one of the most salient benefits that attracts majority of users to sign-up for Amazon Prime. If you're tired of waiting a week or two for your orders to come in, then their free express shipping options will bring you significant savings in both time and money.
There’s more though – Amazon Prime also offers FREE Same-Day shipping on select items. Eligible orders over $35 made before noon are delivered before 9pm. Orders placed after the cut-off time, will be delivered the next day. This isn't available for every product they offer, but they currently have over 1 million items that have same-day shipping available, and over ten thousand items in their marketplace that qualify for 1-hour and 2-hour delivery as well.
2. Free TWO-DAY Shipping
Unlike the free same-day or one-day shipping options, Amazon Prime’s Two-day shipping is available for almost all of their products offered. Over 90% of all items sold on Amazon offer two-day free shipping to Prime members.
If the item you are trying to purchase is available for Prime shipping but is out-of-stock, it will be delivered to you within two-days once it's back in stock.
The Two-Day Shipping offer does not have any minimum purchase requirements. However, if you order from an international vendor, two-day shipping may not be available.
3. Amazon Prime Video
Cord-cutters have no shortage of streaming platforms these days. There’s Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and many more… BUT they are exclusively streaming services and their monthly fee is considerably higher than Amazon Prime Video – which feels like more of an awesome “free perk” that comes with your Prime membership.
Although smaller than its competitors (for now), Amazon Video carries a diverse collection of movies and hit TV shows like Community, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Wire, Mr.Robot, and Parks and Recreation to name a few. Users can also subscribe to over 100 channels including HBO, Showtime, and CBS All Access. The best part is, you can pick and choose which channels you want to pay for, which gives you more savings options from your regular cable bill.
New shows and movies are constantly being added to their platform. They're also producing more of their own content, called Amazon Originals. The price increase for Prime membership is speculated to be because of Amazon's plans to invest further into new digital content creation and licensing.
Although Prime Video is smaller than its competitors for now, it sure looks likely that it's going to get better each year.
4. Unlimited music streaming
Similar to Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music, Amazon also has its own music streaming service with over 75 million songs from popular artists like Shawn Mendes, Drake, and Imagine Dragons. It contains over 2000 playlists that you can choose from based on your mood.
What lacks in Amazon music is the ability to deeply customize the stations depending on your taste. For instance, it doesn’t allow you to make your own station around a specific song which can be annoying for a musicophile. But if you're a student or a music lover on a budget, then getting access to ad-free music as another “free added perk” of Prime membership is extremely valuable.
Amazon Prime Music is supported on Iphone iPad, Android Phones & Tablets, Echo Devices, Web, Fire TV, Automotive, Mac & PC.
5. Prime Reading
If you're an avid reader who goes through multiple books a month but don’t have the budget to keep buying new books, then you’ll love Amazon Prime Reading.
No, you don’t need a Kindle to take advantage of this feature. Prime Reading is available to all Amazon Prime members, and anyone with a web browser can use Amazon’s Cloud Reader to access their online library containing over a thousand books and magazines. Some of the books also come with an audio narration (similar to audiobooks). While the amount of books available don't really change much, new books are added constantly while the old ones fade out of the collection.
6. Amazon Fresh
Amazon Fresh is Amazon's grocery delivery service. This used to be separate from a Prime membership and users had to pay $15/month to be able to order groceries online and get it delivered. Now, it's included for free for all Prime users as part of their membership.
7. Whole Foods Delivery + Discount
Amazon acquired Whole Foods in 2017, and that's great news for Prime members because they can now get groceries delivered free from Whole Foods as well. Additionally, members will also be able to save an extra 10% off everything, excluding alcohol. This discount applies to in-store purchases as well.
Occassionally, Whole Foods will also offer exclusive deals and discounts for Prime members only.
Amazon Prime for Students
If you're a student who frequently uses the internet to stream content and rely on Amazon for most of your shopping needs due to its affordability and convenience, then you should look into Amazon Prime Student.
Students enrolled in two and four-year schools can take advantage of a more affordable Amazon Prime plan not available for general public. Not only do you get 6 months of free trial, but after that trial period ends, you can sign up for their $6.49/month plan, or an annual plan of $59.00, which is almost half of what you will pay for a general Amazon Prime plan. To sign up for Amazon Prime Student, all you need is your school email address.
Amazon Prime Student members get access to all the benefits of Amazon Prime such as Free Two-Day Shipping, One-Day/Same-Day shipping, Instant Access to hundreds of movies and TV shows through Amazon Prime Video. On top of that, you will receive access to exclusive students deals on textbooks, laptops, fashion and more, free subscription to Twitch Prime, and Free unlimited photo storage on Amazon Drive.
What is Amazon Prime Day?
Held in July, Amazon Prime Day is an annual shopping event that exclusively celebrates Amazon Prime Members by rewarding them with magnificent deals that’s not available at any other time of the year, or to the general Amazon shoppers. The event lasts for 48-hours. Amazon Prime Day is very comparable to Black Friday but longer. Some of the deals are known as lightning deals which means they are only available for a specific period of time.
Some Amazon Prime deals are exclusively available on their apps, and then there are other deals that are available sitewide. This is a very popular event, and some of the top-selling products in Amazon Prime Day 2019 were 23andme Health + Ancestry Kits, LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, and PlayStation 4 Slim with Spiderman and Horizon: Zero Dawn.
Many non-Amazon Prime members sign-up for a free trial just to shop to their heart’s content on Prime Day. Amazon, of course, hopes that you’ll be hooked to their service and stick with it far after the event is over. But if it’s not for you, you can easily cancel your subscription plan before your trial period ends.
Is Amazon Prime Membership Worth It?
Amazon Prime membership is worth it for people who frequently shop on Amazon, and want their purchases quickly at their doorsteps. If you are someone shopping on their platform every couple of days, standard shipping rates can add up to a significant amount. By subscribing to Amazon Prime, you can save on repetitive shipping costs even if same/one/two-day shipping is not available for your products because it does offer discounts on standard shippings on many of their products.
Amazon Prime is also perfect for students for whom most of the spending is relegated to textbooks, laptops and entertainment. Prime Student gives you free access to Amazon Prime for 6 months, and the plan for students cost about 50% less than their regular subscription options.
Prime members also enjoy steep discounts offered on Prime Day that can significantly make up for the membership fee.
And, if you turn to streaming services to curb your entertainment needs, Amazon Prime Video and Music has a not-too-shabby collection of popular movies, TV shows and song titles – All for free. Even if you count their monthly/annual membership fee, it’s still less than most of their streaming competitors.
Should you sign-up for Amazon Prime?
Whether you should sign up or not depends on how much you'll be using Amazon for your shopping.
Being able to order something with just a few clicks from home and have it show up at your door later the same day is amazing. I, personally, use my Prime membership for everything now. I buy everything pretty much everything from Amazon now – toilet paper, coffee beans, dog food, office supplies, even furniture.
Not only do I get awesome deals, I get free shipping and it saves me hours each week since I don't have to drive to the store to pick them up.
If you only shop on Amazon a couple of times per year, then it might not be worth it. However, with all the added free perks that Amazon is adding onto their membership bundle, it's becoming harder and harder to not get a membership anymore.
Users get access to a massive library of free books, free movies and TV shows, free music streaming, and more. While fast shipping was the main driver for signing up new customers, it's becoming difficult to determine what the main feature is now since every additional service they offer is getting better and better on their own.
Regardless, if you are curious but still hesitant about Prime, you can sign-up for their free trial to test out the service for 30-days at no cost to you! If you don’t like the service, and cancel before your trial period is up, you won’t be charged.
Try it out free: Click here to get a 30-day free trial to Amazon Prime