I canceled my subscription to Amazon Prime right as the pandemic lockdowns began and 12 months later I don’t miss it at all

Jeff Bezos
Amazon cofounder and former CEO Jeff Bezos.

  • It turns out that Amazon Prime isn’t necessary, even if you’re ordering from Amazon frequently.
  • I canceled my subscription in May 2020, and it has had zero impact on order speed or pricing.
  • On the plus side, I’m saving at least $120 annually on the expensive membership fee.
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In April 2020, just as the pandemic lockdowns were taking effect in New York City, I canceled the Amazon Prime subscription my wife and I shared.

In the year-plus since that subscription ended, I’ve not missed it a single time – and we’re saving $130 annually, plus tax, by not paying for the service.

We aren’t anti-Amazon crusaders by any means: This year so far, I’ve placed 15 separate orders for products delivered through Amazon. Last year, the total was 20 orders.

How much were my shipping costs for all of those orders? A grand total of $17.57 for 2020, and a whopping $12.26 in 2021 so far.

That includes two air conditioners (with free shipping), two large Tommy Bahama beach chairs (again, free shipping), and a variety of gifts sent to a relatively remote town in Pennsylvania.

Email from Amazon after canceling Amazon Prime subscription.
In the email confirming my Amazon Prime cancelation there is a massive button to re-join Amazon Prime, naturally.

While it’s true that some of those items we purchased would’ve come with a slight discount through Prime, or that some would’ve been delivered the very next day (rather than two or three days later), it’s extremely unlikely that those discounts would add up to the over $100 difference between what we’re paying in shipping now versus what we were paying for a Prime membership.

Moreover, even without a Prime membership, most items we buy through Amazon are delivered shockingly fast.

Living in Brooklyn, not too far from a major Amazon distribution center on Staten Island, assuredly doesn’t hurt! But I’ve had similarly positive experiences sending gifts through Amazon to family in Pennsylvania and Ohio, where packages arrived days ahead of projected arrival times.

But what about Prime Video? Frankly, we weren’t using it, and we’re already paying for Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max. I can name specific reasons for those subscriptions – shows, movies, or entire libraries that justify the ongoing subscription fee. With rare exception, that didn’t happen with Prime Video for us.

More often than not, the video we did want to watch on Prime Video still required a rental fee. That happened enough times that we stopped turning on the service altogether.

My context isn’t everyone else’s context, of course. My wife and I don’t have kids, we live in a major city, and we own a car. Frankly, there weren’t a lot of good reasons for us specifically to pay for Amazon Prime.

Do we really need the Frankie’s Spuntino cookbook delivered the next day, or is it okay if we wait a few days? I kinda think we’ll survive.

But maybe you’re a new parent and you need diapers tomorrow, no matter what? Or you’ve got a job that keeps you from getting errands done during normal business hours? Or any other number of perfectly reasonable situations? I get it!

There is more to the calculation here than strictly financials, and the decision depends on a lot. For $120 annually, though? It’s a decision worth considering.

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We calculated how much 2-day shipping would cost without an Amazon Prime membership, and the tally proves why the $119 fee is worth it

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amazon prime shipping features
  • Amazon Prime includes free 2-day shipping for members, who pay $119 per year.
  • For non-members, shipping is free with purchases over $25, but not guaranteed within 2 days.
  • If a non-member placed 2 orders per month and paid for 2-day shipping, they’d spend about $144 per year.
  • While there are many perks of a Prime membership, free two-day shipping is one of the best.

An Amazon Prime subscription offers its members many benefits (more than 25, in fact), but one of the best and most popular perks is free two-day shipping. The convenience of purchases delivered straight to your door, sometimes only within hours of ordering, is well worth the annual cost of Prime alone.

Non-Prime members have to order at least $25 of eligible items to get free shipping, and orders aren’t guaranteed to arrive within two days. If you order less than $25, you’ll be charged a shipping fee, which varies on the shipment weight and selected shipping speed.

For example, ordering an Anker Powerline+ II USB-C Cable, our pick for the best smartphone charging cable, would typically cost $15 with free two-day shipping for Amazon Prime members. Since the order amount is less than $25, non-Prime members would have to pay $6 extra for standard shipping, $10 for two-day shipping, and $13 for one-day shipping. Of course, that cost may vary depending on location, shipment weight, and Amazon seller.

Assuming $10 is the average cost of tw0-day shipping, if you opt for two-day shipping on two under-$25 orders per month, an annual subscription to Amazon Prime would still be cheaper ($119 v.s. $144 per year).

This doesn’t even account for all of the perks and benefits included with Prime, like access to Prime Video and deals during the upcoming sales event, Amazon Prime Day 2021.

If you’re in the Contiguous US and willing to pay the yearly fee, you’ll have a handful of different shipping options at your disposal, year-round:

No matter how many benefits Prime membership offers, it’s inevitably up to you to determine if it’s worth the cost to join. Whether it’s because you’re not much of an online shopper or you just don’t feel like the $119 membership is for you, you can still qualify for free shipping that’s fast enough if you’re able to spend over $25 per order.

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How to get a free 15-day trial of Walmart Plus, Walmart’s Amazon Prime-like membership

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walmart delivery unlimited

Walmart launched its own Amazon Prime competitor earlier this year. The new subscription shopping service is called Walmart+ and it costs $98 a year or $13 a month.

Like Amazon Prime, Walmart+ features several benefits for its members, including free shipping on many items, as well as gas discounts and a new “Scan & Go” feature for in-store shopping. More perks are expected to be added over time. You can read more about all of the Walmart+ benefits here.

If you’re on the fence about signing up for a new subscription service, Walmart is allowing new members to test Walmart+ with a free trial before they commit to a paid membership.

Below, we’ve detailed everything you need to know about the Walmart+ free trial, including how long it lasts, what you get, and how it compares to Amazon Prime’s free trial.

How to get a free trial of Walmart+

Walmart+ includes a free 15-day trial period for new members. You can sign up for the free trial now through the Walmart+ website.

When you sign up for the trial you’re first required to enter in your address to see what features are available in your area. After your address is confirmed you can either sign into an existing Walmart account or create a new one. Customers can then select the annual or monthly plan option and enter in payment details.

The website states when your trial will expire so you know when payment will begin. If you decide not to extend your Walmart+ membership beyond the 15-day trial and you want to avoid paying the fee, you should cancel your membership before the trial expiration date.

What’s included in the Walmart+ free trial?

The Walmart+ free trial includes all of the features and perks that come with a paid subscription. With that said, certain features may not be available in specific locations yet, so you’ll need to confirm what features are offered in your area when you sign up. Key benefits that members receive with the service include:

  • Free delivery: Members receive unlimited “fast as same-day” free delivery on more than 160,000 products. Walmart previously offered this option for a yearly or monthly fee via its “Delivery Unlimited” subscription service. Current “Delivery Unlimited” subscribers will automatically be upgraded to Walmart+. Walmart has also removed the $35 minimum order requirement for this feature, so members can now take advantage of free two-day or next-day shipping on most purchases shipped by Walmart. Walmart+ members can also utilize two-hour Express Delivery for just $10, while non-members must pay an additional delivery fee on top of the $10 Express Delivery fee.
  • Gas discounts: Subscribers can save up to 5 cents a gallon on gas at Walmart, Murphy USA, and Murphy Express locations. Sam’s Club gas stations will be added at a later date.
  • Scan & Go: With the Scan & Go in-store shopping feature, members can use the Walmart mobile app to scan and pay for items with Walmart Pay as they shop.

Walmart+ free trial vs. Amazon Prime free trial

Walmart+ and Amazon Prime both offer free trial options for new members, but the duration of each trial differs. The Walmart+ trial currently lasts 15 days while the Amazon Prime trial lasts 30 days. When it comes to perks and benefits, both trials include everything that a paid subscription offers.

Though you do get 15 more days to try Amazon Prime for free, once the trial ends the paid subscription cost is actually a little higher than the fee for Walmart+. Amazon Prime currently costs $119 a year or $13 per month. Meanwhile, Walmart+ charges $98 a year or $13 per month.

For more details on how Walmart+ stacks up against Amazon Prime, check out our Walmart+ and Amazon Prime comparison here.

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Peloton stock price surges 14% to record high on $420 million Precor acquisition

Peloton

  • Peloton shares spiked as much as 14% to a record high on Tuesday, boosting the connected-fitness company’s market capitalization by up to $6 billion.
  • The maker of internet-connected exercise machines has agreed to acquire Precor, a leading commercial supplier of fitness equipment, for $420 million in cash.
  • Peloton intends to use Precor’s US manufacturing facilities to ramp up production and improve its delivery times.
  • The company also expects the deal to bolster its innovation and generate more sales of equipment and subscriptions to gyms, hotels, colleges, and other commercial customers.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Peloton stock surged as much as 14% to a record high on Tuesday after the connected-fitness company struck a deal to acquire Precor for $420 million in cash. The rally added up to $6 billion to Peloton’s market capitalization.

Precor makes cardio and weight machines, and ranks among the largest commercial suppliers of fitness equipment in the world. Peloton plans to use the 40-year-old company’s 625,000 square feet of US manufacturing capacity to make more equipment and ship it to domestic customers sooner.

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The takeover will also add nearly 100 people to Peloton’s research-and-development team. Moreover, Peloton hopes it will boost sales of its bikes and treadmills – which are equipped with internet-connected screens to allow users to stream live and on-demand classes – to gyms, hotels, colleges, apartment blocks, and companies that buy exercise equipment for shared use.

Peloton stock has skyrocketed 450% this year as the pandemic has spurred more people to invest in home gyms and online fitness classes. The company’s revenues spiked 232% year-on-year last quarter to $758 million, swinging the company from a $50 million net loss to $69 million in net income.

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However, Peloton’s manufacturing and distribution has been severely restricted this year, resulting in lengthy waiting times for customers. Its Precor purchase is likely intended to help iron out those issues.

Here’s a chart showing Peloton’s remarkable stock-price gains this year:

Peloton stock chart

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