We can all do with perks and benefits from our favorite subscriptions.
In case you don’t know, Amazon Prime is one of the best subscription services to provide you with a ton of benefits for different things, from movies and music entertainment that you can stream to delivery perks that make shopping online so much more convenient.
How much is Amazon Prime worth?
If you use Amazon a lot, you’ll benefit from its excellent delivery benefits. A Prime subscription will also be worth it for you if you love having a steady stream of music, movies, and books at your disposal.
There are currently more than 150 million Prime members around the world and you might wonder if you should be another one.
To help you figure it out, let’s take an in-depth look at the Amazon Prime membership and how it works so you can see what you can really get by signing up and if it’s worth it for you and your lifestyle based on what Amazon Prime includes. We’ll also look at how Amazon Prime stacks up against its competitors.
Brief History Of Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime dates back to 2005. When it first came out, it offered an unlimited one-day delivery membership for a million products.
It was focused on giving customers a fast delivery service, and it got people talking because of how it was one of its kind at the time. Customers who signed up to Prime would pay $79 upfront and then they were rewarded for their efforts with an all-you-can-eat two-day delivery on orders.
Although some sceptics had their doubts about this subscription, which was set to change the way people shopped forever, it was a success – and today Amazon Prime is still successful.
In 2018, Prime members were found to spend and purchase more than non-Prime members, which shows that the membership definitely encourages shoppers to make the most of all the benefits they have. This membership certainly makes sense if you consider all the fantastic benefits that Prime members get to enjoy.
What, Exactly, Is Amazon Prime?
If you want two-day shipping, you’ve probably heard that you can get it from Amazon Prime. But this subscription offers so much more than that.
Amazon Prime gives you a variety of benefits, such as exclusive Amazon deals before the rest of the world can catch up; streaming services – whether that involves music, movies or TV shows; Prime Gaming (which offers you rewards and free games); a rewards credit card that doesn’t come with an annual fee and helps you reap discounts on a variety of purchases; and more!
Why Should You Subscribe To Amazon Prime? Top-Rated Features
It’s good to know how much you’ll have to pay to make use of Amazon Prime because prices have obviously gone up since this ground-breaking service was first offered to Amazon customers.
As of 2021, you’re looking at a monthly cost of $12.99 or a yearly amount of $119. This varies for students, who can make the most of half prices.
However, while your Prime membership might seem costly, JP Morgan estimated that it’s actually worth a lot more – $785 per year! This is because of all the benefits that you get for free.
If you’re not sure if you should sign up to Amazon Prime, let’s check out some of its best features and benefits you can enjoy by being a Prime member.
As a Prime member, you have a variety of shipping and delivery benefits to enjoy. This is a big part of the Prime membership and it makes your purchases so much more convenient because there are a variety of delivery options as well as delivery-related discounts.
- You get two-day shipping for millions of Amazon items and free one-day shipping for over 10 million items – best of all, you don’t need to make a minimum purchase in order to benefit. If you don’t have a Prime membership, you’ll only get free shipping on your purchases if your orders are higher than $25.
- In some cities, you can make use of one-hour or two-hour delivery times, thanks to Amazon Prime Now. This service definitely makes a Prime subscription worth it because it not only saves you money but time!
- Other delivery options include Release-Date delivery, which ensures you’ll get new books, movies, music, and games as soon as they’re released, and Amazon Day delivery. This is for people who have multiple Amazon deliveries in a week as it will combine them so you can get them all in one delivery on a day of your choice.
- There’s also Key By Amazon, which includes services that bring your delivery right inside your home, garage, or car. This feature brings Amazon deliveries to the next level and is worth it if you regularly purchase items from Amazon but aren’t home to collect your deliveries.
- As a bonus to Prime subscribers, you won’t only gain free shipping by shopping from Amazon. You’ll get free two-day shipping and next-day shipping from Shopbop and free expedited shipping on Zappos orders.
Streaming video content is one of the best parts about having an Amazon Prime subscription. You can stream from a large library of TV shows and movies and rent the most-recent releases for low prices.
In addition to streaming tons of content, you can also subscribe to more than 100 channels such as CBS All Access. Best of all, you only pay for the channels you want, so nothing goes to waste.
Gamers will love this feature! Prime Gaming enables you to make use of a free Twitch channel subscription so you can support your favorite streamer, five free PC games on a monthly basis, and free content to enjoy in your favorite games. It’s the perfect way to take your love for gaming to the next level.
And, as a nice bonus, in the first month of your membership you’ll receive over 20 PC games for free, which include Metal Slug 2, Art of Fighting 2, Dungeon Rushers, and Trüberbrook, to mention a few.
Deals And Discounts
Another big perk you’ll be able to enjoy as a Prime subscriber is access to the best discounts and deals offered by Amazon. Here’s a rundown of some of the best.
- Access To Lightning Deals: When there are lightning deals – deals that are available on Amazon for a few hours – you’ll be able to get an extra 30 minutes to shop before non-Prime members. This means you’ll never miss out on the items you really want.
- Rewards for no-rush shipping. If you don’t need your items in a hurry, you can opt for no-rush shipping that will deliver your purchases within six business days. It comes with a nice bonus – you’ll get immediate rewards added to your Amazon account when your order ships.
- Rewards with the Amazon credit card. The Amazon Prime Visa Signature Credit Card doesn’t charge you an annual fee and you won’t have to pay fees for foreign transactions. But what’s really nice about it is that you will receive 5% cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods Market, 2% at gas stations, drug stores, and restaurants, and 1% on all other purchases.
Visa Signature Card
We’ve already touched on the rewards you can gain by using this card, but there’s more to know about it. While Amazon offers its customers a variety of credit cards, such as those aimed at small business owners, this Visa card is definitely the best one for consumers.
Not only does it offer the rewards we already listed, but it has other benefits, such as giving you a $50 Amazon gift card simply for signing up to it. You do, however, need to ensure that your credit is in good standing.
Some retail cards are only allowed to be used in certain stores, but what’s great about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is that you can use it anywhere Visa is accepted.
This card is especially useful if you shop at Amazon regularly and like Whole Foods, which Amazon now owns. As a bonus, the exclusive discounts on certain items from Whole Foods are not only available online but also at physical stores.
If you love buying books, this is one part of your Prime membership that you’ll never want to miss out on. Prime Reading offers you over 1,000 books that you can borrow and you can keep up to 10 at a time.
You’ll also have access to Amazon First Reads every month, which includes a free Kindle book chosen by editors.
Perks For Loved Ones
It’s not just account holders that will benefit from Prime. You can share your benefits with other members of the family, which is one of the Amazon Prime pros you can enjoy.
Amazon Prime Household gives you the chance to add members of your household to your account and you can share your benefits with another adult or four kids, so it’s perfect for the whole family. If your family members live at separate addresses, you can still make use of this Prime perk.
This service enables you to share payment details with one other adult, so that they can access some of your perks. You can also share your perks with four children and four teens.
The adult you share your Prime membership with will be able to enjoy games, books, apps, shipping, AmazonFresh, Prime Video, Family Valut, audible channels, Amazon First Reads, early access discounts, 2% rewards when reloading an Amazon Gift card balance, and up to 20% off subscriptions on a variety of products, such as baby food and diapers.
Teens and children will also be able to enjoy some perks from your Prime subscription. With teen purchases, you’ll have the final say to either approve or deny their orders. As for kids, they won’t be allowed to purchase from Amazon, but you can share digital content, such as books, with them.
Amazon Prime Student Benefits
If you’ve ever asked, “Is Amazon Prime worth it?” and you’re a student, the answer is definitely yes. This is largely because you don’t have to pay the full fee to get a Prime membership.
You’ll get a six-month free trial and then pay 50% less than a regular subscription, as mentioned earlier. You’ll also be able to enjoy this reduced subscription rate until you graduate or for up to four years, whichever scenario comes first.
If you want to improve your music collection, Prime Music will enable you to do that. How it works is that you’ll gain access to two million songs. This includes thousands of radio stations, top playlists, and even hands-free listening with the use of Alexa. Prime Music is included in your Prime membership at no extra cost.
If you reach the point where you want to upgrade your access to music, you might want to consider signing up for Amazon Music Unlimited. This gives you tens of millions of songs to enjoy, but it does come at an extra cost. Still, as a Prime subscriber you will be able to enjoy discounts on Unlimited plans.
Early Access Entertainment
One of the perks of being an Amazon Prime member is that you will have early access to a variety of services, just by being a member. If a day of deals is coming up, such as Prime Lightning Deals, you’ll get 30-minute early access to shop, as we already mentioned. This is known as Prime Early Access.
But, there are also other ways in which you can get early access to products, such as when it comes to your choice of entertainment. An example can be seen with books. Amazon First Reads allows members to gain early access to a free Kindle book every month.
When it comes to movies, movie lovers will be able to enjoy early access to the flicks they love. This is thanks to Prime Cinema which enables you to enjoy the latest movies that have just been released in the theaters, without having to leave your couch.
Amazon Prime Photos
You have collected a lot of photos of your family and friends, but where do they go? Amazon has thought of everything, even your photo storage. As a Prime member, you will have 5GB of video storage and unlimited photo storage.
You’ll also get extra features, such as the Family Vault, which enables you to add five family members to also receive the unlimited photo storage feature and with whom you can share and collect photos. It’s totally free if you become a Prime member.
Amazon Prime Fresh
If you want groceries delivered straight to your door, you’ll love the Prime Fresh service that’s completely free with your Prime subscription. If your order is more than $50, you’ll also be able to enjoy free delivery. Since Amazon owns Whole Foods, you can enjoy 365 brands from Whole Foods as well as organic foods that are now available for you to purchase.
If you need to have your monthly medication delivered to you, perhaps because you don’t have time to head to your local pharmacy, Amazon offers a prescription service to Prime members.
You’ll be able to get medication from the Amazon pharmacy, but you’ll also have free two-day delivery on your orders and enjoy savings when you pay for your medication without insurance.
Amazon Prime Vs. Competitors
Amazon Prime is just one subscription that offers you the chance to stream lots of content. Is it worth it?
Let’s see by comparing it with other popular streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Apple TV. We’ll explore what all these services have to offer in different categories.
How much do they cost?
How much these services cost will obviously play a very important role in which one you choose to buy.
- Netflix has three plans in place for customers. These are the Basic plan, which is $8.99 per month; the Standard plan, which is $12.99 per month; and the Premium plan, which is $15.99 per month. With the Basic plan, you can’t view HD content and you’ll only be allowed to view programs on one screen at a time. You’ll need to bump up to the Premium plan if you want to stream content on four devices simultaneously.
- Hulu offers customers a variety of plans. The Basic plan is $5.99 per month, the Premium plan is $11.99 per month, and the Basic + Live TV plan is $64.99 per month. You can also choose the Premium + Live TV, which is $70.99 per month. The Basic plan provides you with access to full seasons of TV shows, movies, and Hulu originals. You’ll also get FX on Hulu, which offers exclusive shows and TV shows that are set to air on FX the following day. With Hulu’s Basic plan, you will be able to stream content to two devices.
- Apple TV+ costs $5 per month, or $50 for a yearly subscription. You can enjoy six simultaneous streams.
- Amazon Prime costs $12.99 per month. But, you don’t only get the chance to stream content. You can make use of tons of other benefits. You will be able to stream the same content to a maximum of two devices at the same time.
What free trials do they offer?
All of these streaming services offer free trials.
- Netflix offers a 30-day free trial.
- Hulu offers different trial lengths depending on the plan you choose. If you want a Basic plan, you’ll be able to enjoy a 30-day free trial. If you want a Hulu + Live TV plan, you’ll only be able to enjoy free streaming for a week before you’ll be billed.
- Apple TV+ comes with a seven-day free trial.
- Amazon Plus offers a 30-day free trial, but if you’re a student you’ll be able to enjoy a six-month long free trial.
What content do they have?
When it comes to content, there’s tons to enjoy! But, some shine more in certain areas than others.
- Netflix offers customers approximately 2,769 hours of TV shows, movies, and other content. It has 3,781 movies and 1,940 TV shows.
- Hulu offers approximately 2,500 movies and 1,650 TV shows.
- Apple TV+ only offers about 50 shows and movies, so it does lag quite a bit behind the other streaming services when it comes to content.
- Amazon Prime was said to offer approximately 18,405 movies and 1,981 TV shows.
It’s clear to see from the above that Amazon Prime is the must-have streaming service if you love movies.
What extra perks can you enjoy?
If you’re looking for a service that offers more than streaming content, here’s the lowdown.
- Netflix offers streaming content and you can also receive DVDs via shipping – but you’ll need to pay extra for a DVD subscription. You can get a Standard DVD plan which allows you to rent one disc at a time, and Premier, which lets you rent two.
- Hulu enables you to make use of and enjoy add-on channels, but those do come at extra costs. There are no other features besides for streaming.
- Apple TV+ forms part of Apple One, which offers a bundle of services. You can choose from different combinations of subscriptions, so your Apple One bundle could include Apple News Plus, Apple Music, iCloud storage, and Apple Fitness Plus.
- Amazon Prime not only lets you stream movies and TV shows but you get a range of other benefits with your Prime subscription, such free shipping on orders, faster shipping times, books, music, and more.
Amazon Prime Vs Walmart Plus
Amazon Prime has some competition when it comes to its delivery and shipping benefits in the form of Walmart Plus. What’s the lowdown on it and which service should you choose?
First, let’s look at how they are similar. Both are available for an annual fee. Amazon Prime costs $119 and Walmart Plus costs $98. But their monthly costs are pretty much the same – Amazon Prime costs $12.99 while Walmart Plus costs $12.95.
If you want to try out the services before you commit, you can enjoy a 30-day trial with Amazon Prime and 15 days with Walmart Plus.
When it comes to what delivery perks you can gain from these services, Amazon Prime offers same-day delivery for Prime members if they purchase an order that’s more than $35. By comparison, Walmart Plus will give you same-day delivery for grocery orders that are more than $35, but you’ll get free same-day delivery if you purchase other products.
That said, Amazon Prime offers customers a lot more when it comes to the products that are available. You can choose from 3 million products, while Walmart Plus offers 16,000 products.
When it comes to services that are offered, you can buy groceries from both but Walmart Plus has an edge over Amazon Prime because Walmart is the largest grocer in the United States and offers cheaper prices as compared to Whole Foods.
So, while you won’t have access to as many products as what you’ll find on Amazon Prime, you will save money. As a nice bonus, you can also get fuel discounts with your subscription. That said, Amazon Prime offers streaming content, which Walmart Plus doesn’t.
Can Amazon Prime Membership Be A Gift For Someone?
If you want to spoil someone special in your life with an Amazon Prime membership, you’ll be glad to know you can do this.
You have two options: either purchase your loved one a one-year membership for $119 or purchase a three-month membership for $39.
You can easily buy a gift membership by going to the Give The Gift Of Prime page on Amazon, choosing the type of membership you want, and then choosing “Add Prime to cart.” Choose “Proceed to checkout” and enter the gift recipient’s email address. You’ll also need to choose the delivery date and your personalized gift message for your loved one. Choose “Save gift option,” then follow the instructions.
What happens next is that the gift recipient will receive an email on the day you have chosen it to be sent to them as well as instructions on how they can redeem the membership. They will be able to begin their Prime membership immediately.
So, Is Amazon Prime Worth It?
Based on the fees you have to pay monthly or yearly to get Amazon Prime, you might wonder if it’s worth it to sign up.
This is especially because of how Prime membership fees have increased. That said, you can get reduced fees, such as if you’re a student who signs up to the Prime Student membership, as that will cost you half of the regular membership rate.
Similarly, if you’re a Medicaid or EBT holder, you can get further discounts, which effectively bring your Prime membership down to $5.99.
Although it might seem like a lot of money to pay for Amazon Prime, you can save money by opting for a yearly subscription instead of a monthly one – in fact, you’ll save $36.
In addition, you have to take into consideration all the other savings that you’ll be able to enjoy with your Prime membership. It’s been calculated that Prime members spend an average of $1,400 on Amazon every single year.
Customers who aren’t Prime members spend almost half of that, but it’s good to bear in mind that they are probably spending more outside of Amazon, such as when it comes to delivery fees, gas, and items that they are buying from other stores that don’t come with discounts.
Ultimately, since Amazon Prime offers a wide variety of benefits in different categories – such as entertainment, home, food, deliveries, and more – you can certainly find perks that will appeal to you. And, as a bonus, if you don’t want to be the only one to make use of all those perks, you can share them with other members of your family.
How To Sign Up With Amazon Prime
Ready to become a Prime subscriber? Here’s how to do it.
- Go to Amazon Prime and click on “Start your 30-day free trial.”
- You will then have to add your payment details, which need to be a valid debit or credit card.
- If you don’t cancel your free time before it comes to an end, you will automatically be billed on this card.
What Is Prime Day?
If you’ve ever heard of Black Friday, Amazon’s Prime Day is a similar concept. Basically, for one or two days in the year Prime members get to enjoy massive savings on a variety of items.
Will you get taxed on your Amazon Prime subscription?
Most U.S. states will include a sales tax on your Prime membership. You can find out the details about this by reading, “Why Is There Tax On Amazon Prime?”
Is Amazon Prime good?
If you’re tempted to sign up with Amazon Prime, after reading this article you now have a much better idea of the Amazon Prime benefits you have to gain by signing up to this subscription.
We’ve also looked at Amazon Prime details and how the service compares in important categories when pitted against other streaming services, such as Hulu and Netflix.