Is Amazon Prime really worth the cost? Are you truly getting your money’s worth? Are you extracting ever last cent of value from Jeff’s boudoir? Here are some questions for you in order to answer that and more. And at the end, you can decide fully if you think Amazon Prime is worth it or not
1. How much does Amazon Prime cost?
Starting Feb. 18, 2022 the price is $139 per year unless you’re eligible for a discounted Prime membership. You can pay yearly or you can pay monthly, but as is the norm with subscriptions, you’ll pay more overall if you go for the monthly membership. It’s $14.99 per month, which comes to $179.88 per annum — that’s $40.88 more than you’d pay for an annual membership.
2. Can you get free shipping without Prime?
Yes. If you meet the minimum spend amount of $25 per order, you’ll get free shipping even if you’re not a Prime member.
But consider this: If you make more than 24 small Amazon purchases per year (i.e. less than $25), you’re paying for the cost of a Prime membership anyway, and you might as well get all the other benefits, (which we’ll get into below).
Non-Prime members pay about $5 in shipping fees for each order less than $25. A Prime membership costs $139 per year. So, by this logic, it’d take about 30 shipments (orders that cost less than $25) to break even the cost of your Prime membership.
3. Do you like packages sitting on your porch all day?
If not, as a Prime member, you’ll get to use Amazon Lockers for free. Sure, non-Prime members can use them too. But they pay shipping fees like a regular Amazon delivery.
Another way Amazon tries to solve the packages-on-the-porch-all-day problem is by offering Prime members up to two Amazon Days per week. This is a day of your choice to receive Amazon orders (like on the weekends, for example if you work out of the home all week). Amazon will combine items into single packages/shipments as often as possible to give a shout out to the planet too.
4. Would you use free Amazon grocery delivery?
It’ll be a Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh or Prime Now delivery, depending on what service is available in your area. Deliveries usually cost about $5 for non-Prime members, but they’re free for members. It’d take 24 deliveries to justify the cost of your Prime membership — two deliveries per month.
5. Would you like to get 20% off on diapers?
Diapers are a budget buster for most families, so finding where to buy cheap diapers is one of the first parenting survival skills one learns.
Amazon Family is a dependable way to save on diapers. It’s a program just for Prime members to save up to 20% on diapers, wipes, formula — basically everything related to baby needs. You will be setting up recurring orders (twice a month, monthly, whatever you’d like) to be able to avail these savings.
6. Do you want to police how many episodes of cartoons your kids watch?
At $1.99 per episode, it’d take 60 TV episodes to pay for your Prime Membership.
And yes, most of us would (begrudgingly) admit our kids watch more TV than we want them to, especially since the pandemic. Setting the parental discussions aside, know you’re not alone. Sign up for Prime and start setting the extra money you save aside for their college (or therapy. But probably college).
The movie version: If we assume a movie rental on Amazon is $2.99-$5.99, it’d take 20-40 rentals every year to pay for your annual Prime Membership — two or less rentals a month.
7. Are you willing to get your packages a few days later if it means free money?
When you’re a Prime member you get free shipping yes, but you can also choose the “no-rush shipping” option and get your package in five days instead of one or two, plus earn $1-$5 toward eligible e-books, movie rentals, and other digital purchases.
To earn even more, create separate orders for each of your items, and you’ll get separate credits every time you choose “no-rush shipping.”
8. Do you like on-demand music without commercials?
Every Prime member gets on-demand access to Amazon Music Prime, which boasts over two million songs, ad free. Sure, you can opt for Spotify or Apple Music instead. Both will run you $9.99 per month without any benefits beyond music streaming. Do keep in mind that the library is a little hamstrung compared to the former two, however.
9. Do you want free access to e-books, even before they’re released?
Every month, Prime members can download one free e-book to a Kindle, iPhone, or Android device for free. Otherwise, you get unlimited access any time to thousands of well-known titles like Harry Potter or 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
10. Do you ever use audiobooks on road trips, commutes, or days when you’re the family taxi?
As a Prime member, you can access Amazon Audible and choose from a list of 50 audiobooks for free and the titles change frequently.
The thing is, Audible is pretty pretty expensive by itself. You get just one audiobook per month, and it costs $14.95. Using it through Prime however, you would pay for the cost of your Amazon membership in just seven months.
11. Would you like getting cash back on every Amazon purchase you make?
…Even at Whole Foods!
Prime members get access to the Amazon Prime Visa Signature credit card, which offers 5% cash back on all Amazon purchases and 1% back on other purchases. Only Prime members are eligible for this higher percentage of savings.
If you spent $2,400 on Amazon (or Whole Foods) in one year, you’d get your membership fee ($139) back in the form of cash-back savings (if that’s your goal). Otherwise, just enjoy getting cash back whenever you do make a purchase.