Do you have time to go shopping in crowded malls? Personally, I hate it and shop online whenever I can.
What can be easier for holiday shopping than Amazon Prime service that allows you to get so many things with two days free shipping? However, does Amazon Prime really worth its price? And if it does, is there a way to get a discount on the subscription price?
Let’s see what’s in the package and do some simple math to make an educated decision.
Note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
How Much Does Amazon Prime Cost?
The regular price is $119 per year (or $12.99 per month). There is a special price of $5.99/month for qualifying customers who have EBT or Medicaid card. EBT stands for Electronic Benefit Transfer and it might be issued by several temporary government assistance programs.
Students can sign up for special Amazon student program that gives free 6 months trial and 50% discount on Prime services for 4 years or until you graduate.
Is Amazon Prime Worth It For You?
Per Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos letter to the shareholders, more than 100 million people use Prime worldwide. Probably all of them think they get enough benefits to justify the price. Everyone might have his own reasons depending on the shopping habits and the need for different services included in the membership.
What can YOU get out of it? Is Amazon Prime worth buying for YOU? Here is how I see it.
Free And Fast Shipping
This was the initial idea of Prime service – to get your order for free (with few exceptions) within two business days (and even faster in some areas). It also cancels the need for the minimum order value that non-Prime Amazon customer must reach to qualify for a free shipping.
My view: Even before getting Prime, I tried to buy on Amazon only the products with free shipping and free return options. There were very rare cases when I had to pay any shipping expenses. Therefore, I see this Prime advantage rather as a convenience and not a real money saver.
Prime Video, Reading and Music
As part of the Prime subscription, the users get free access to Prime Video – hundreds of movies and TV shows available for streaming on various devices. An additional perk is the Prime Library with many books, magazines that the users can download to their tablets, phones or Kindles. Well, Amazon started as a bookstore, so it’s very natural for them to offer a reading experience. Prime music gives an access to more than two million songs you can listen to on any device.
My view: These are nice perks, but they are not comparable by quality and quantity to the paid services like Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify. Personally, I don’t use any of them at all.
Prime subscribers can store an unlimited amount of photos and organize them with an easy search function. It helps to free some space on the phone and be sure you are not going to lose your precious pictures.
My view: We store photos on our personal cloud, so I don’t see any great advantage here.
Amazon Prime Credit Card
In my opinion, this is the most important benefit you have to check out, especially after the acquisition of Whole Foods (if you shop there frequently).
Being a Prime customer gives you an option for Amazon Prime Visa Credit Card that comes with several great benefits. Personally, I look at these benefits as the single factor I need to take into account in order to decide whether Prime is worth for me or not. Take out your calculator and check:
Benefit #1: 5% cash back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases. Go to Amazon and check how much did you spend there during last year. Login into your credit card account and check your total amount of the purchases from the Whole Foods store. Then calculate 4% from these figures (I see only 4% as a benefit because you already get 1% from any credit card you have).
For example, if you spent $3,000 at Whole Foods and Amazon together, the benefit from being a Prime member would be $120. It means that an average spending of about $250 per month ($3,000/12) is a break-even point.
However, Whole Foods also offers Prime subscribers a benefit of 10% additional discount on all the items on sale and special discounts on specific items. We buy a lot of meat products on sale at Whole Foods every month, so our break-even point is about $1,300 per year (or $110 per month) spent on these items, as the real benefit is 9% of this amount.
In addition, Whole Foods runs special promotions for Prime members, but it’s hard to predict how much they will save you during the year.
Benefit #2: 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations. I have the same cash back from my other credit card, so I don’t count this as Prime benefit for me, but if you don’t have a credit card that offers similar cash back percentage, think about the total amount that you spend on restaurants and gas throughout the year. Then add 1% of this amount (for example, $20 if you spend $2,000 annually) as real Prime benefit. (I only use 1% as a benefit, because you already get 1% from any credit card you have.)
Benefit #3: 1% cash back on all other purchases. This is a standard for any credit card, so nothing special to look at here. In my opinion, it doesn’t count as a benefit of being a Prime user.
For our family that spends a lot at Whole Foods and Amazon.com, the Prime membership is a money saving service. The convenience of two days shipping makes it a no-brainer for us.
If you think it can save YOU money as well – get it before holidays. But wait, why pay $119 if you can pay less?
How To Get A Discount On Amazon Prime? Three Simple Ways
Are there any promotional codes for Amazon Prime? If you never had Amazon Prime before, you can use one of the offers below to get a nice discount on your first-year subscription.
Get 30-day Free Trial
If you never tried Amazon Prime before, you can sign up for 30-day Free Trial. You’ll be able to get unlimited FREE two-day shipping, borrow Kindle books, watch movies and TV.
TopCashback offers $15 Amazon Gift Card for new Amazon Prime subscribers.
If you are not a TopCashback user yet, you’d better sign up before the Holiday gifts shopping, as this site has the highest cash back rates (and it’s guaranteed!) and even doubles them for Black Friday and other holidays. It can save you a lot of money. Read my full TopCashback review here or just sign up with the button below.
Swagbucks has the same offer of $15 Amazon Gift card if you use their website to get your first time Amazon Prime subscription.
In case you never heard about Swagbucks before, this is a very popular extra income website that allows its members to make some money by doing simple tasks, such as completing surveys, watching videos, searching the web, answering daily polls etc. It also has various offers that pay for signing up or shopping online. Sign up using the button below:
One last tip
If you already have Amazon Prime, don’t forget to get Paribus. This invisible software can help you to get compensation for late deliveries (longer that promised two business dates). Read my Paribus review for more details.
P. S. Do you have Amazon Prime membership? Why do you think it’s worth your money?
Share your opinion in the comments below