Is Amazon Prime Worth It? Clearly, this is a trick question — but let me tell you why I still subscribe to Prime, and about the many, many Prime benefits that make it worth the price.
Note: Amazon Prime went up to $139 a year in 2022. This works out to $11.58 a month, to help you figure out if the benefits are worth the monthly cost.
I first wrote about why I subscribe to Amazon Prime several years ago. Since I’m still a subscriber in 2021, it’s high time to update the many reasons why I feel Amazon Prime is worth the price. (Of course, I do think it’s still worth subscribing to Prime; otherwise I wouldn’t still be paying for it!)
So, here are the many reasons Prime provides enough value for our family to be worth $139 a year! — plus some additional benefits which we don’t even touch over here, since every family is different. Prime’s worth to you and your family will depend on which of these Prime benefits you’re likely to use.
As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Is Amazon Prime Worth It?
At $139 per year, your cost for Amazon Prime breaks down to $11.58 a month. When you think about Prime as a monthly cost, it really does help clarify whether you’ll be saving enough and/or using enough benefits to make Amazon Prime worth it for you.
- Sign up for a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime, to help gauge if the service is right for you
Note: You save by paying annually. If you instead choose to pay month-by-month, Prime will cost $14.99 per month. With either plan, you can cancel at any time.
How can you save on Amazon Prime?
Amazon almost never offers a discount on Prime memberships. You may qualify to save, however, with:
- Prime Student. Students get a free six month trial, and then enjoy Prime at 50% off.
- Prime EBT. Qualifying government assistance recipients can purchase a Prime membership for $5.99 a month. (Not sure yet what that is going up to.)
- Select Metro by T-Mobile plans include free Amazon Prime.
You can also subscribe to Prime video by itself for less, if all you want is the video streaming. Just change to that plan at checkout. (This is not necessarily worth it if you will ever use any other Prime benefit).
What do you get with Amazon Prime?
So here’s a rundown of what all you get with your Amazon Prime membership, with notes on which services our family tends to use the most. Amazon Prime includes so much more than just the free expedited shipping benefit! (Although, that free shipping? It’s just SO useful…)
Free Prime shipping
You get several shipping benefits with Amazon Prime:
- Prime gives you free two day shipping on items shipped from and/or sold by Amazon
- Amazon offers free same day Prime delivery on many items (in select metro areas, with a minimum $35 order)
- Amazon Day delivery allows you to get all your items in fewer boxes, delivered on the same day — just check the free Amazon Day Delivery option at checkout
Free Prime shipping is SO useful, especially over the holidays — or, when you need something small but don’t want to take the time to run out to the store for one thing. I generally do the bulk of my holiday shopping on Amazon. They often have the best prices on items I’m looking for, and it’s so nice not worrying about getting each order up to the $25 free shipping threshold (then inevitably remembering something else small you should have thrown in, right?!).
Beyond the holidays, Prime shipping comes in handy all year long. Just in the past month, for instance:
- My son was running out of his daily allergy medication. I found it on Amazon for the same price as at Costco, and it arrived on my doorstep two days later.
- I was looking for a specific book for a last-minute birthday gift. My local Barnes & Noble offered to special order it with a wait; Amazon had it to me the next day.
- We were running low on our cats’ preferred brand of food. Amazon had a big bag in stock $5 cheaper than my local Target, and it arrived well before we hit the bottom of the last bag.
These savings in gas, time, and avoiding impulse buys (especially at stores like Target!) really add up across the year. Quick, free shipping is also a blessing when you don’t want to drag small kids out to the store or if you work long hours. As long as you’re getting a decent price on Amazon, why not get it delivered for free and gain back the time you’d otherwise spend driving to the store and searching for one or two things?
Limit your search to Prime-eligible items
Quick tip: When searching for items on Amazon, easily limit your search to those products available for Prime shipping. How? When you’re looking at your page of search results, just check the Amazon Prime Delivery box on the top left-hand side of the screen to filter.
Amazons allows you to pre-order eligible products for delivery on their release date, with a pre-order price guarantee. Release-date delivery is free to Prime members who select two-day shipping at checkout.
No-Rush Shipping Rewards
When you’re not in need of faster Prime shipping, watch for No-Rush Shipping rewards offers at checkout. Amazon often (but not always) offers Prime members credit towards future purchases or rentals of digital products if you choose free no-rush shipping rather than two-day shipping.
When time is not an issue, it’s well worth accruing these in your account. Use them to pick up a free Kindle book, or to rent a streaming instant video! You can check your current No-Rush Shipping rewards balance here.
Free Prime Shipping at Other Stores
Speaking of free shipping, Amazon Prime members also receive automatic free shipping at Woot (which is owned by Amazon). Woot also runs occasional Prime-only discounts and coupon codes.
Prime members also get:
If you shop at any of these places, you’ll offset some of the cost of your Prime membership with what you would have otherwise paid in shipping fees.
In-Garage Delivery with Amazon Key
Amazon Key in-garage delivery is free for Amazon Prime members. How does this work? Amazon delivery drivers get temporary, one-time access to your garage in order to leave your delivery securely inside. (Drivers are vetted via a background check.)
Free Prime Digital Content and Services
Your Prime account unlocks access to a bunch of free Prime-exclusive digital content and services, including videos, photos, e-books, gaming, and more. Here are some of your online benefits:
We cut the cord on cable years ago, but still have access to more shows than we could ever watch between Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and the free local channels on our Roku TV. (Since our Netflix plan has gone up to $15.49 a month, it’s actually much more expensive than Prime — and streaming is all you get from them. You get so many additional benefits with Prime!)
Prime Video includes movies, shows, and original Prime series that you won’t see on Netflix or elsewhere, and they’re always adding more, including some sports. You can stream the WNBA and some MLB on Prime now, for instance.
Just a few shows and Amazon Originals we’ve watched with our Prime membership recently include:
- Kitchen Nightmares
- The Expanse
- Carnival Row
- Good Omens
… and much more. Between Prime and our couple other streaming services we barely even bother to touch over-the-air TV any more; the last thing we watched on broadcast TV was the Super Bowl!
Free Prime Music Streaming
Prime Music includes over two million songs in its on-demand, ad-free music streaming catalog. Listen to specific songs or albums, choose from thousands of stations and playlist, and enjoy hands-free listening with Alexa. (I listen to Amazon Music constantly on my Echo while I’m working.)
Free Prime Reading
Prime Reading is yet another Amazon Prime benefit, although this one is honestly pretty limited. Prime members get unlimited access to read over 1000 books, magazines, comics, Kindle singles, and more. Prime Reading also includes books with Audible narration, so you can switch seamlessly between reading and listening.
More to read? This one’s better: Prime members can also select a free Prime First Reads editors’ pick title for Kindle each month. These are early-access reads, before the official release date!
Unlimited Free Photo Storage
Prime members benefit from free unlimited full-resolution photo storage (as opposed to 5 GB of free storage for non-Prime members). You can also add photos to a family vault, so that others can view and share them. If you’re paying for cloud photo storage elsewhere, you can drop that service and move all of your photos to Prime Photos instead.
Free Prime Gaming
Prime Gaming is included for free with your Prime membership. What do you get here?
- Exclusive free video game content
- A free Twitch channel subscription every month
- A rotating collection of free PC games
You’ll just need to click to activate your Prime Gaming membership, then can browse through everything currently available.
Discounts and deals just for Prime Members
Beyond the shipping, streaming, and storage benefits, Amazon offers a number of Prime-exclusive discounts and deals on Amazon purchases. (Your savings on these alone can help you recoup the cost of that yearly subscription.)
Do you have a little one in diapers? Amazon Family (included with Prime) gives up to 20% off your subscriptions to diapers, baby food, & more. They also regularly offer high value coupons to combine with subscribe & save for an even better deal.
Share your children’s age or arrival date on the Amazon Family page, and you’ll start receiving emails containing exclusive baby-related coupons & deals. Amazon Family also includes a 15% off baby registry completion discount, which can add up to some pretty significant savings. What new parent couldn’t use a convenient source for cheap diapers?
Amazon Prime Day
Amazon launched its annual Prime Day event in 2016, and it has since turned into a two-day extravaganza of Prime-exclusive discounts and deals! (This, by the way, is always a super time to sign up for your 30-day free trial of Prime — so that you’re eligible for all of the exclusive savings and deals.
Prime Subscribe & Save Discounts
Prime-only Subscribe & Save coupons & discounts pop up regularly. If you are a Subscribe & Save fan (I am, and get a box almost every month…), Prime-only savings here, again, help balance out the monthly cost of the service
Early Access to Lightning Deals
Some lightning deals are either Prime-exclusive, or offer early access to Prime members. Some of the best deals sell out during the 30 minute Prime-exclusive window before they ever make it to the general public, especially during the holidays.
Amazon offers an ever-changing array of exclusive deals and discounts for Prime members. Shop all Prime-member-only Amazon deals here.
Additional Prime benefits and services
But wait… there’s more! Here are some more Prime benefits and services you might wish to take advantage of.
Amazon Prime Household
If you use your Prime account for gifts, you don’t necessarily want a shared cart or order history with your significant other, right? Some Amazon Prime benefits, including two day shipping, Prime Video, unlimited Amazon Photo storage, Twitch Prime, Amazon discounts, and more are shareable with another adult household member.
- Visit Amazon Household to add another household member and share your Prime shipping benefits between two separate accounts.
Household is also useful if you want to share Prime shipping benefits with your teen. (I use this with my own high school kid!) When a teen using a shared Household account creates an Amazon order, that order is sent to a parent to review, and you have the opportunity to approve or deny it.
Note: Prime Student benefits cannot be shared, only regular Amazon Prime accounts have access to this service.
This is so cool: Amazon Prime Wardrobe lets you “try before you buy.” Choose up to eight qualifying clothes, shoes, jewelry, and or accessories items, and they ship to you for free. Once your package arrives, you get a seven day try on period to see what will work for you. Return whatever you don’t want using the provided prepaid return label (easy drop-off at your local UPS store) — and, you then pay only for the items you keep!
I’ve used Prime Wardrobe several times now, and highly recommend it for bras & swimsuits in particular.
Prime Wardrobe also offers a personal shopper service, at $4.99 per styling.
Prime Grocery Savings
Beyond saving on pantry staples with subscribe & save, you can also save on grocery delivery or pickup with your Amazon Prime account. Here are your options:
Amazon Fresh is Amazon’s online and physical grocery store presence, and Prime members in select regions (sign in to check) get free grocery delivery on orders that meet the local free delivery threshold. Prime members also get additional savings on select items in store, as marked or advertised. These often include 20% off a particular product; see their weekly ad (select a store here) or in-store signage for these promos.
Prime Savings at Whole Foods
Prime members get exclusive in-store and online savings on select Whole Foods products. Just link the phone number associated with your Prime account, or download the Whole Foods app. Get an extra 10% off sale items, deals on seasonal favorites, special online grocery deals, and free two-hour grocery delivery and one-hour pickup from your local Whole Foods (in select cities).
Both Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market delivery orders are eligible for free Prime member Amazon Key in-garage delivery. At the time and date of this updated post on 2/12/22, first-time grocery orders with Amazon Key qualify for a $20 Amazon credit. This could change at any time.
At Prime Pharmacy, you can search and compare medication prices across multiple pharmacies, including Amazon Pharmacy. Prime members get special pricing, as well as free-two day delivery on medications.
New: In January 2023, Amazon also launched Amazon Pharmacy RxPass. Prime members can subscribe for $5 and pay one monthly price for all of their eligible generic medications.
Amazon Prime Visa
If you do a lot of shopping on Amazon and tend to pay off your credit cards every month, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa may be worth investigating. With an eligible Prime membership, you get 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods Market purchases made with this card, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.
Then, easily shop with those points on Amazon. I’ve had this card for years and am quite happy with it, but I do pay it off every month. Make careful note of the current interest rates and policies.
At the time and date of this post’s last update on 2/12/22, Amazon is offering a $50 Amazon gift card with new Amazon Prime Visa card approval. This promo could change at any time.
So… is Amazon Prime worth it to you?
Do you have an Amazon Prime subscription? What Prime services do you tend to use — and, did you know about all of these Prime-only benefits that are available to you?!