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Should I Get an Amazon Prime Membership?

Updated on July 1, 2013

When Amazon.com introduced their “Amazon Prime Membership” program several years ago, it raised a few eyebrows among consumers.

Priced at $79 per year, the program in its original form gave members free two-day shipping on anything sold by Amazon. Looking at the math in those initial years, customers needed to do quite a bit of shopping to break even.

Since its original inception, however, the value of Prime membership has increased exponentially as Amazon keeps adding new features without raising the price.

In this article we will introduce the key benefits of the Amazon Prime Membership program and give you some saving tips.

Should I get an Amazon Prime Membership Or Not?

Definitely, if you can answer at least two of the following questions with a "yes"

  1. Do I buy more than 10 items a year on Amazon.com?
  2. Would I use Amazon Instant to watch movies or TV shows?
  3. Do I use an Amazon Kindle eBook reader?

If at least two answers are "Yes", don't hesitate and get an Amazon Prime Membership starting with a Free Trial

Promise 1: Free Shipping, No Minimum Order Size

The average cost for standard shipping on items from Amazon.com is in the four dollar range while paid two-day shipping averages around ten dollars.

Assuming standard shipping is fast enough for most people to get what they order online, you would need to make around 15 purchases from Amazon.com per year to make the cost of Prime worth it based on shipping costs alone.

While you can find just about anything on the mega-retailer, the majority of customers don’t buy things more than once a month. Luckily for those considering a membership, Amazon has built in a convenient pricing loophole to be able to spread the cost among your family.

If these benefits appeal to you, you should probably get an Amazon Prime Membership. Or not?
If these benefits appeal to you, you should probably get an Amazon Prime Membership. Or not? | Source

Review: Shipping Conditions Compared

 
Amazon
Amazon Prime
standard shipping
$4
Free of charge for most items
two day shipping
$10
Free of charge for most items

Conclusion 1

If you buy more than one item a month on Amazon.com, the Free Shipping option is definitely a big deal maker for you.

Which Video Streaming Selection Is Better: Netflix or Amazon Instant Video?

See results

Promise 2: Unlimited Instant Movie Streaming

As if the shipping benefits weren’t good enough, Amazon has continued to add perks over the years as they branch further out with their products.

In 2011, Amazon moved into the video streaming market in an effort to compete with the popular Netflix Instant. Rather than create a separate service for subscribing to their catalog of streaming video titles, however, Amazon bundled it into the Prime subscription.

Amazon claims their streaming catalog contains over 10,000 titles (though that includes individual TV episodes), so you have lots of great content to choose from. Make the most of the video content by taking advantage of every possible way to access it.

In addition to apps on most major smartphones and tablets including iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, Amazon Prime Instant Videos can be watched on your television through internet-enabled TVs, gaming systems like the Wii and Xbox 360, or streaming media players from companies like Roku.

Amazon Instant Video: Hands-On

Review: Netflix vs. Amazon Prime

 
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Price
$7.99 / month (= $95.88 / year)
$79 / year
Video Library
150,000+
150,000+
Content Types
Movies, TV Shows
Movies, TV Shows
Video Quality
1080p, 3D
720p

Conclusion 2:

If you already love Netflix you will probably find Amazon Instant Video pretty useful as well.

Promise 3: Free Kindle Books

The last benefit that many people fail to take advantage of on Amazon Prime is the free Kindle Lending Library.

This one takes slightly more of an investment than the others because it does require you to own a Kindle device (the apps for phones and tablets don’t work with this program).

Those users with a Kindle and Amazon Prime can borrow one book per month for free from a collection of over 300,000 titles. Read enough and you’ll quickly pay off the price of your Kindle with the savings.

Review: Amazon Prime Kindle Benefits

 
Amazon
Amazon Prime
Kindle
~ $10 / book
One free book / month

Conclusion 3:

If you are planning to use Amazon's Kindle the Prime Membership will bring up some interesting reading stuff.

Overall Conclusion

On the whole, Amazon Prime is one of the most cost effective programs offered by any retailer. Even at $79 per year it’s a good deal for people who shop even casually on Amazon and are interested by the video catalog or Kindle library. Split the cost among your family and the program becomes a steal. With all the benefits, almost anyone could make the $20 per year worth every penny.

Amazon Prime Saving Tips

Take Advantage of the Free Trial

Amazon.com recently offers to start your Prime Membership with a free trial.

Amazon Prime Free Trial members enjoy all the same benefits as paid members.

To sign up for the Amazon Prime free trial:

  1. Go to Amazon Prime Free Trial.
  2. Click Start Your 30-Day Free Trial.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Tip: We recommend choosing the free trial and instantly enjoy Amazon Prime Video streaming!

Involve Your Family and Friends

When you sign up for an Amazon Prime account, you actually get access to the benefits for you and up to three members of your family.

Amazon doesn’t care if you live in the same household or even communicate that often as long as you are related. That means that you could share an account among yourself, your parents in California, your brother in New York, and your sister in Mississippi.

While one of you has to put your credit card down for the cost of the Prime membership, each individual account acts totally autonomously. Have your family members each reimburse you for their quarter of the Prime price, and you can all end up with the benefits for just $20 per person per year.

To invite family members to share your Amazon Prime membership:

  1. Sign in to Your Account.
  2. Click Manage Prime Membership.
  3. Review your current membership details, the status of all members linked to your Amazon Prime membership, and options to add or remove members.

Comments

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    • zaton profile image

      Zaton-Taran 9 months ago from California

      Nice article on online video streaming with Amazon. A quick heads-up, though: the price has now risen to $99 and will probably be around $119 by next year.

    • skperdon profile image

      skperdon 2 years ago from Canada

      Great hub Tobias. I must look at Amazon Prime, I must confess I didn't know anything about it but your hub has gotten my interest piqued.

    • LoisRyan13903 profile image

      LoisRyan13903 2 years ago from Upstate NY originally from Long Island

      For me I did the Amazon Prime for the first year but canceled the membership. With my Kindle Fire I loved watching the movies and got into watching television show. But after a while, about when I got halfway through Lost, they wanted to charge me to watch the rest of the programs. I notices that with some of the movies as well. So I joined Netflix and had no problems watching movies or shows, they didn't all of a sudden start watching them.

      I don't really buy a lot from Amazon so it wasn't worth keeping the Prime for the shipping, But I know some people who use Prime Pantry and purchase a lot of groceries and save tons of money.

      I never used the Free books but like that free book a month.

      Prime does have an excellent return policy. When I canceled it, they offered to refund me the amount unused. I had canceled about six months in. But I just let it run out to the end of the year.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Tobias - I am interested in the Amazon Prime and learned you can get Amazon Fire for your TV to run the free streaming video offered by Prime. It is a small box separate from your cable. Thanks for this info, as I may find a new movie experience with this information. Blessings, Audrey Sharing

    • Kimberly Vaughn profile image

      Kimberly Vaughn 2 years ago from Midwest

      I have netflix, hulu, and Amazon Prime. I decided not to renew Amazon Prime because I use it significantly less than the other two.

    • profile image

      Muthyala Ramakrishna Rao 2 years ago

      membership in your Amazon India

    • jabelufiroz profile image

      Firoz 4 years ago from India

      Great article on Amazon Prime Membership. Voted up.