Should You Buy An Amazon Prime Membership?

by Hank Coleman

Is Amazon Prime Worth the Cost?

Is Amazon Prime Worth the Cost?Is Amazon Prime price worth the cost for the annual subscription? It is currently estimated that there are 54 million Amazon Prime members in the United States, but regardless of the membership service’s popularity, is it right for you?

This guide will explore the benefits of Amazon Prime and discuss potential downsides to help you decide whether to drop $99, the Amazon Prime price for an annual membership.

Is Amazon Prime Price Worth the Cost?

Free 2-Day Shipping

Is Amazon Prime worth the price of membership?One of the number one benefits offered to Amazon Prime members is the free, 2-day shipping option. Now that free standard shipping only comes to regular Amazon customers for orders over $49 (it used to be $35), the Prime shipping is a huge benefit, especially if you order from Amazon multiple times per year.

In fact, say you place an order with Amazon once per month. If you have to pay for shipping each time – and sometimes want to upgrade it to 2-day shipping – then the amount you pay for shipping over the course of the year might be higher than the cost of a Prime membership! This calculation alone would make Amazon Prime worth it for some folks but if you’re still on the fence then read on.

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Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

Did you know that there are over 800,000 titles for Prime members to explore through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library? Although you’re limited to one free book rental per month, this benefit can still save bookworms an average of $60-180 on books they would have otherwise purchased on Amazon over the course of 12 months.

Whether you enjoy a good adventure story or you want to catch up on the year’s trending memoirs, there are so many options available to Amazon Prime members through the Lending Library. However, one downside is that this benefit is only available if you own a Kindle or Amazon Fire tablet or phone. If you’re only using the Kindle app on a different device, you will not have access to these free books.

Prime Music

Sure, you may not get access to the 30 million songs and albums that $10/month streaming programs like Apple Music or Spotify boast about, but Amazon still offers over 1 million songs through its Prime Music streaming service. You can stream songs and albums from thousands of different artists, including well-known performers like Adele and Sam Hunt.

The best part is: you don’t have to pay a dime extra because the music streaming is already included in the annual cost of an Amazon Prime membership.

Amazon Video

Amazon has nearly 100,000 movies available for rent or purchase in its online marketplace. As a Prime member, you have free access to over 18,000 movie titles, as well as several thousand TV shows for free streaming. Your Prime membership also gives you access to exclusive television series created by Amazon, such as its Golden Globe-winning series, “Mozart in the Jungle.”

One downside to the Amazon Video service is that some major movies and TV shows are not offered for free to Prime members, which means you probably won’t want to ditch the Hulu or Netflix accounts just yet.

Prime-Member Deals

If you’re a fan of browsing Amazon’s Lightning Deals section, then you might be able to save a bit more money as a Prime member with special discounts on items, as well as “Prime Early Access Deals.”

Prime Pantry

Yet another exclusive Prime member benefit is the Prime Pantry. This program lets you order a box of household items, snacks, beverages, and vitamins then have it delivered to your door within four days for the low cost of $5.99.

Alternative: Amazon Student

If you have a valid .edu address and have never tried Amazon Prime before, then you could get a free 6-month trial through the Amazon Student program. You basically get access to the same benefits as regular Prime members, including the free 2-day shipping option and music and TV streaming. You’ll also receive updates and discount offers on school-related supplies such as electronics, backpacks, textbooks, and more!

After six months, either your membership will expire or you have the option of extending it for a year for half the price of a regular Prime account.

The Final Verdict

If you shop on Amazon’s marketplace more than 5-6 times per year, then most likely a $99 Amazon Prime membership will be more than worth the cost. The free 2-day shipping alone convinces many people to sign up, but the added benefits of free music, TV, and movie streaming, as well as special Prime¬-only deals and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library make Prime worth the expense.

What do you think? Is Amazon Prime price worth the cost of an annual subscription? I’d love to hear your thoughts on theAmazon Prime price.

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and a graduate certificate in personal financial planning. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.


Hank Coleman has written 581 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Money Beagle

We use most of these benefits except for the free book, because we don’t have a Kindle, though I have been tempted to get one.

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Amy White

Great post! I’m on a free trial membership and had been debating if I should continue it. One of the selling points was the lending library. I didn’t know it need specialized devices. That is a huge negative. Thanks for the info.

Reply

Hank Coleman

I completely understand, Amy. But, it is definitely worth it I think. I love the service.

Reply

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