- Personal Finance
Should I Get an Amazon Prime Membership?
When Amazon.com introduced their “Amazon Prime Membership” program several years ago, it raised a few eyebrows among consumers.
Originally priced at $79 per year, the program in its original form gave members free two-day shipping on anything sold by Amazon. Looking at the math in those initial years, customers needed to do quite a bit of shopping to break even.
Since its original inception, however, the value of Prime membership has increased exponentially as Amazon keeps adding new features. The costs of the Prime Membership have thus increased to 99$ per year.
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"
- Do I buy more than 10 items a year on Amazon.com?
- Would I use Amazon Instant to watch movies or TV shows?
- Do I use an Amazon Kindle eBook reader?
If at least two answers are "Yes", don't hesitate and try the Amazon Prime 30-Day 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.
Review: Shipping Conditions Compared
Free of charge for most items
two day shipping
Free of charge for most items
If you buy more than one item a month on Amazon.com, the Free Shipping option is definitely a big deal maker for you.
Popular Movies included in Amazon Prime Video
Which Video Streaming Selection Is Better: Netflix or Amazon Instant Video?
Promise 2: Unlimited Instant Movie and Music 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.
Back in 2011, Amazon moved into the video streaming market in an effort to compete with the popular Netflix. Rather than create a separate service for subscribing to their catalog of streaming video titles, however, Amazon bundled it into the Prime subscription.
In 2014 Amazon added free Music streaming to their Prime membership as well. The Prime Music streaming does not include the full music catalog on Amazon.com, but there is still a large selection of popular hits included.
Amazon claims their movie and music streaming catalog contains several thousand titles (though that includes individual TV episodes), so you have lots of great content to choose from. Make the most of the streaming 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 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 or - as recently announced - Apple TV.
Amazon Instant Video: Hands-On
Review: Netflix vs. Amazon Prime
from $7.99 / month (= $95.88 / year)
$99 / year
Movies, TV Shows
Movies, TV Shows
up to 4K, 3D
up to 1080p
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
~ $10 / book
One free book / month
If you are planning to use Amazon's Kindle the Prime Membership will bring up some interesting reading stuff.
On the whole, Amazon Prime is one of the most cost effective programs offered by any retailer. Even at $99 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:
- Go to Amazon Prime Free Trial.
- Click Start Your 30-Day Free Trial.
- 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:
- Sign in to Your Account.
- Click Manage Prime Membership.
- Review your current membership details, the status of all members linked to your Amazon Prime membership, and options to add or remove members.
Students and EBT cardholders save up to 50%
Extra tip: If you are a student or a valid EBT cardholder, you qualify for a 50% discount on Amazon Prime.