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- Amazon Prime is $119 for an annual membership, or $12.99 per month.
- The subscription is a great deal if you plan to use its features, whether sparingly or to shop the daily sales.
- Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.
Asking the question “How much would you pay for Amazon Prime?” is kind of like asking how much would you pay to keep using Google. It’s so fundamentally entrenched in our daily lives that it has reached a near-ubiquitous status. We are used to near-instant gratification, and, for many of us, it’s hard to put a price on that convenience.
If you pay month to month, an Amazon Prime membership is $12.99 per month, and a Prime Student membership is $6.49 per month. For EBT and Medicaid holders, additional discounts bring the cost down to $5.99 per month. Overall, paying month to month for the average user will cost you about $37 more than the annual option over a year.
Is Amazon Prime worth it at $119?
In short, yes. JPMorgan has estimated that your Amazon Prime membership is actually worth $785 annually.
For the $119 annual fee or $13 monthly fee, Prime members get a ton of benefits (which definitely range in usefulness). Among them are free one-day delivery, free same-day shipping, and free two-hour delivery on eligible items (of which there are many), exclusive rewards and discounts, access to Prime Video, Prime Music, online photo storage, music and books, and over 20 other perks.
As a Prime member, you also get access to Prime Day discounts on everything from new TVs to Instant Pots to Amazon Echo devices. For those not familiar, Amazon Prime Day is the retail giant’s annual sitewide savings event exclusively for Prime members. It took place on June 21 to 22 this year.
Granted, you may not use every feature included in your membership, but the convenience alone is worth the cost.
If you’re a student and/or have access to a university email, you can save 50% on the yearly or monthly fee with Amazon Prime Student. You can also share your Amazon Prime and most benefits with family members via Amazon Household, making your dollar stretch even further. Even if none of that applies to you, it’s still generally a great investment.
Ultimately, most of us will pay a bit more for the perks we’ve come to rely upon without much grumbling. But, if you want a breakdown of the ways you’re saving and potentially reassess the cost, check out our breakdown below. If you’re unsure and haven’t made the leap yet, check out a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime before deciding it’s worth committing to.
Here’s a breakdown of why Amazon Prime is still a great value, even at $119 per year:
The annual or monthly price includes free one-day delivery on over 10 million items with no minimum purchase. Without Prime, you’ll get free regular shipping if your order is over $25, but no one-day perk.
One-day shipping (give or take a couple of bucks) typically costs about $10. If, as a Prime member, you place 11 orders of under $25 over the course of a year on Amazon (say, you need paper towels but not much else), the membership pays for itself.
And while expedited shipping is an abnormal cost for most of us, it’s a pricey one. Prime’s Same-Day speeds offer delivery on millions of items in 47 major metropolitan areas for orders over $35.
On average, Amazon Prime members spend $1,400 US dollars on the platform every year. Non-Prime users spend a little less than half that ($600), but they may be picking up the tab elsewhere, like in the cost of gas to shop in-store, the higher price of items from big-box retailers, and shipping from other stores.
Video streaming services
One of the suspected reasons for the increase in annual fees in 2018 was due to the amount of money Amazon planned to pour into its digital content, which is one of the best perks of the Prime membership.
Prime Video lets you stream from a large library of movies and TV shows for free, including Amazon Originals content, and rent the latest releases for low prices. Prime members can also subscribe to over 100 channels (and only pay for the channels they want, which is great for saving money without losing convenience), including HBO, Showtime, and CBS All Access.
Plus, it’s probably only going to get better as streaming competition intensifies.
Unlimited photo storage and sharing, as well as 5 GB for videos and files
Amazon Photos lets you save and share unlimited full-resolution photos across desktop, mobile, and tablet, as well as share unlimited photo storage with up to five people. If you’re paying a few bucks every month to increase your iCloud storage just to make room for the photos on your phone, you can cut out that cost and use your membership to a fuller extent.
You’ll also get five GB for videos and files. And Amazon Photos comes pre-installed on Amazon devices, so you can also view your photos from your Fire TV and Echo Show.
Sharing Prime benefits across an entire household at no additional cost
If you’re using it as a family, Amazon Household is one of the easiest ways to see the return on your Prime membership investment. Two adults and up to four teens and four child profiles may link in a ‘Household,’ allowing everyone in the family to enjoy Prime benefits (free shipping, Prime Video, Amazon Photos and share content like ebooks, audiobooks, games, and apps) without paying extra. This alone makes Prime a good deal if you or your family members use any of the features even sparingly.
Another benefit of linking accounts is that adults can approve orders before they’re placed (for teens) and set parental controls on digital content (for kids).
Prime exclusive rewards and discounts, like Prime Day deals, Lightning Deals, and a rewards credit card that gives you 5% cash back
Your Prime membership also makes you eligible for lots of exclusive deals, which are the metaphorical cherry on top of the rest mentioned.
The most impactful is access to Prime Day deals, Amazon’s annual holiday that took place earlier this year. If you missed it, don’t fret, you also get exclusive access to the following:
Early access to Lightning Deals: Prime members get an extra 30 minutes to shop lightning deals (which typically last only for a few hours) before they’re officially open. Just look for the “Prime Early Access” label as you shop the page.
Discounts or rewards for choosing no-rush shipping at checkout: If you can wait a few extra days for your order to arrive, you can either earn rewards on future purchases or receive discounts immediately. Rewards are automatically added to your account once your free No-Rush order ships and they are automatically applied to qualifying orders as well.
A rewards credit card with no annual fee or foreign transaction fees: Get 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases. You can redeem your points on Amazon as well as for cash back, gift cards, and travel.
The option to try clothes on at home before actually buying them
Prime Wardrobe lets you try on and purchase new styles at home. Choose three or more items across their many lines and try them on at home before deciding what to keep and pay for. You have seven days to choose, and you can just check out online once you’ve decided. From there, return your unwanted items for free using the resealable box and prepaid shipping label.
If you don’t frequently shop online this might not save you much money through your membership. But if you’ve ever gotten burned by a short return window and a busy schedule, the try-before-you-buy is a great feature to save money in the long term.
Access to books, magazines, and comics
Prime members get access to Prime Reading which means they can choose up to 10 titles at a time from more than 3,000 options as a perk of membership, and Amazon First Reads gives you access to one free Kindle book every month chosen by Amazon book editors.
And if you have kids and find yourself spending a lot on kids’ books, movies, TV shows, or educational apps and games put together, Prime members can pay $2.99 per month for a single child or $6.99 for a family of four kids for Amazon Kids+, which gives members unlimited access to thousands of options. Start a trial here before committing.
Parents can set controls like time limits and content filters, and personalize the experiences of each child profile. It’s available on Fire Tablets (books, videos, apps), Echo (audio), Kindle eReaders (books), and Android phones and tablets (books, videos).
Free Amazon Music streaming and discounted Amazon Music Unlimited
Amazon Music is a benefit of your Prime Membership that features a growing selection of 2 million songs, playlists, and stations that you can listen to ad-free and on-demand. If you want to expand your options, Amazon Music Unlimited ($7.99 per month) has a larger library of tens of millions of songs and podcasts you can download for offline listening on any device. Depending on your own preference, Amazon Music Unlimited might be a better deal than popular choices like Spotify Premium ($9.99 per month). You can find a trial here to determine which one is better ultimately for you.
Save 50% on Prime with access to a university.edu email or as a qualifying customer with an EBT or Medicaid card
If you have access to a .edu email and haven’t yet become a member with it, you can get a six-month trial of Prime Student at no cost and then pay 50% less than other Prime users ($6.49 per month or $59 per year) after the trial ends for four years or until your indicated graduation date — whichever comes first.
Prime is also discounted ($5.99 per month) for qualifying customers with an EBT or Medicaid card.
Free standard shipping and returns on Shopbop, East Dane, and Woot!
Your shipping benefits are key, and they extend beyond Amazon.com. You can get free standard shipping by signing into your Amazon account while shopping at Shopbop, East Dane, and the flash deals at Woot! as well.
Prime Gaming live video streaming and viewing
With Prime Gaming, Amazon Prime members enjoy tons of free, exclusive content for your favorite PC, console, and mobile games. Prime members get a free Twitch channel subscription (starting at $4.99 per month otherwise) and a collection of PC games every month that you can keep forever.
Perhaps the biggest (and most valued) thing you will save with Prime is time. With same-day delivery, Prime members can get millions of items in 47 metropolitan areas.
And if you find yourself waiting in lines for new video game releases, you’ll save even more with free release-date delivery on new video games, books, music, and movies if you can wait until 7 p.m. day-of for delivery.
In select cities, you can even enable Amazon Key in-home delivery, so you don’t even need to be home to bring your packages indoors. It’s a secure in-home delivery on millions of eligible items. It’s possible with the Amazon Key Home Kit ($219.99), which can also be used normally to schedule home access for guests, friends, and family. Eligible shoppers can also get packages delivered to their garage or car when it’s parked in a publicly accessible area.