How Much Is Amazon Prime and Are the Benefits Worth It?

Amazon prime boxes delivered to a front door of residential building. stock photo
Daria Nipot / iStock.com

It seems you can buy just about anything on Amazon. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can also usually get fast free shipping on purchases through the retail giant. Now that many other online retailers also offer free shipping, this perk alone may not be worth the price of Prime. However, when combined with the many other benefits you get as a Prime member, it might be a cost worth considering.

So, how much is Amazon Prime and what benefits does membership provide? Read on to find out.

How Much Is Amazon Prime Right Now?

Amazon’s primary Prime membership is $139 if you pay annually, but other pricing plans are available. The following provides pricing details for each membership plan:

  • Prime membership: The standard membership, with its full slate of benefits, costs $139 per year, or you can pay monthly at $14.99.
  • Prime Video: If you want only Prime Video access, the fee is $8.99 per month. 
  • Prime Student membership: If you’re a student, you’ll pay $69 per year or $7.49 monthly. Prime Student includes some extra benefits, such as up to 10% off airfare and hotels through StudentUniverse and a free three-month subscription to Calm Premium.
  • Discounted membership for eligible customers: Amazon also offers a discounted Prime membership for people who qualify for EBT and government assistance benefits. Once you’ve provided proof of eligibility for one of the following programs, the monthly fee is $6.99, plus tax: 
    • Supplemental Security Income
    • SNAP
    • Direct Express Debit Card
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
    • National School Lunch Program
    • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
    • Women, Infants and Children program 
    • Tribal assistance 

Can You Get Amazon Prime for Free?

Amazon offers a free 30-day trial Prime membership that allows you to try out some of Prime’s benefits. These include free two-day shipping, Prime Video and Prime Music. 

You can take advantage of the free month if you have not been a Prime member during the previous 12 months. You’ll need to sign up with a credit card or Venmo account, and you will be automatically billed at the end of your trial period if you don’t cancel the membership.

Can You Share Amazon Prime Benefits?

If you don’t qualify for a discounted Prime membership, you may be able to save by sharing a Prime membership with a family member or close friend. Through Amazon Household, two adult Amazon account holders can share a single Prime membership for the $139 annual or $14.99 monthly price.

Make Your Money Work for You

Both adults must have their own Amazon account, live in the same country or region and have a shared Amazon marketplace preference. You must also agree to shared payment methods, so you should only consider this option with someone you know and trust.

What Do You Get With an Amazon Prime Membership?

The headliner of Amazon Prime is the free one-day and two-day shipping offered with no minimum purchase. Non-Prime members get free shipping on eligible items that meet Amazon’s minimum stated threshold, but your stuff will take much longer to reach you — five to eight days, Amazon says.

Additionally, Prime offers free same-day delivery to customers living in select areas. To take advantage of this perk, you must meet Amazon’s order minimum on eligible products and place your order before the one-day delivery cutoff time, as shown in the “order within” countdown timer on eligible product pages.

Plenty of deals for Prime members have little or nothing to do with shipping. Here are a few of them:

  • Prime Video: With access to hundreds of streaming television shows and movies, including Amazon Originals, there’s no reason to keep your cable subscription.
  • Amazon Music: Prime members get access to an impressive library with millions of songs and countless podcasts for free, plus curated playlists and stations through Amazon Music.
  • Unlimited Photo Storage: You can archive unlimited photos on Amazon for free and automatically. The storage is secure and you can access your images from anywhere.
  • Prime Gaming: You’ll get a free Twitch channel subscription and in-game content for your favorite games.
  • Prime Reading: Help yourself to books, magazines and more through Prime Reading that you can read on a Fire tablet, a Kindle e-reader or Kindle reading apps. With Prime Reading, you can also download two of several editors’ picks every month for free.
  • Prime Day: Prime Day is a two-day shopping event during which Prime members can take advantage of significant deals and discounts.
  • Grocery Delivery: If you live in an area served by Amazon’s grocery delivery, you can get two-hour delivery on groceries, including meat and other necessities.
  • Prescription Delivery and Savings: Prime members receive free two-day delivery on prescriptions. If you don’t have insurance, Amazon Pharmacy has some savings plans.
  • Amazon Prime Premiere: If you enjoy watching movies on the big screen, as a Prime member, you can get free tickets to early screenings of new Amazon Original content in select theaters before the Prime Video release date.
  • Prime Try Before You Buy: Have up to six clothing items shipped to you for free for a seven-day try-on period. Only pay for the items you love and return the others free of shipping charges.
Make Your Money Work for You

Is Prime Worth the Money?

Whether Amazon Prime is worth the membership cost depends on several factors, including your shopping and streaming habits. Many retailers today offer free shipping, as Amazon Prime does, but the real appeal is the variety of the services provided. Grocery delivery from Instacart starts at $3.99 for same-day orders of at least $35. The charge for Netflix ranges from $6.99 to $19.99 a month, depending on the chosen plan, and that’s in addition to other streaming services you might have.

So, when you crunch the numbers, is Prime worth the cost for most households? If you subscribe to at least one entertainment streaming service and get at least one grocery delivery a month, the answer is probably “yes.” This is especially true if you qualify for one of Amazon’s discounted memberships or can split the cost of a shared membership with someone else. Just be sure to occasionally evaluate your usage and cancel your Prime membership if it’s no longer saving you money.

Lia Sestric, Jami Farkas and Andrew Lisa contributed to the reporting for this article.

Information is accurate as of Oct. 10, 2023.

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