Amazon Prime had a price hike awhile back making it $99/year ($49 for students). One thing to note is that an account holder may invite 1 adult household member and up to 4 children (children do not get free 2-day shipping – for obvious reasons, I guess). That means an entire household can use Prime for free. If everyone chips in, Prime can cost as little as $16.50 (or $8.17 for a collection of students). Note that Amazon has just made it trickier to share account usage with members outside the home.
As far as the math goes, you need to figure out if the services provided by Amazon Prime are worth it. For instance, do you ever pay for shipping? How much did you pay for shipping last year? Remember to take into account driving expenses if you actual went out in public (gasp) to buy something. Basically… how much do you normally pay to get your hands on goods each year? You can easily tell by looking at your digital footprint on Amazon.com and elsewhere. This part is essential when determining if Prime is worth it.
The biggest reason anyone gets Prime is because it offers free 2-day shipping. That’s pretty awesome. Some people even get their items within one day. That’s almost freaky. But what about the other features? How to they factor into determining whether or not Amazon Prime is “worth it”?
Amazon has some other cool features included in the cost of Prime. None of course add up to $99 worth of goodness but they are all things to consider:
If you want 5gb of storage, you could find it with other free services. But Amazon offers unlimited Prime Photo cloud storage on the free 5gb for everything else: ie video, etc. If you need more storage than free photos plus 5gb of everything else, Amazon still offers the cheapest unlimited cloud storage available today. You can get it now for just $60 per year! That is absurdly cheap.
Compare this with Hulu Plus ($95.88 per year) and Netflix ($95.88 per year for cheapest plan).
Included with Prime. Compare this with Spotify ($10 per month)
As mentioned earlier. Unlimited photos in cloud storage.
Members enjoy 20% off diaper subscriptions. You also receive promotions geared towards parents.
Get one or two-hour delivery on thousands of items with Amazon Now. Two-hour delivery is free (but tipping is encouraged) and one-hour costs $7.99. This is possible only in densely populated areas close to Amazon distribution centers. Enter your zip to see if it’s available where you live. P.S. everything is still hand-delivered. That’s why I said tipping is encouraged. The drones haven’t landed yet.
This is kind of an odd program so I’ll let Amazon do the explaining:
The Kindle First program gives Kindle First members the opportunity to download one of six editors’ picks a month before the official publication date, either for free or at a reduced price. New titles are announced at the beginning of each month.
Nothing really compares to this.
Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
There are more than 800,000 books to borrow for free with no due dates – including bestsellers and all 7 Harry Potter books.
Similar subscription services available are eReatah (starting at $14.99 per month), Scribd ($8.99 per month), and Oyster ($9.95 per month).
Each delivery of a Prime Pantry box is an additional $5.99 on top of your annual Prime subscription. This is cool because you can buy everyday grocery items at reasonable prices. Shipping takes longer though. Because the food can’t be flown, expect deliveries to take 4 days. Prices aren’t hiked compared to normal grocery stores either. And this is available to all continental United States. A comparable service is Google Express (though only available in major cities) at $95/year or $10/month on orders over $15.
Prime Day had its debut in 2015. It was met with some harsh criticisms. The goal was to ‘give Prime members ‘more deals than on Black Friday‘. It’s hard to compare this day with any other from any other major retailer.
Is Amazon Prime worth it to you?
You’re the only person who can decide. But if you have a family… or just like to shop, take photos, get deals, change diapers, or get ridiculously fast shipping… it probably makes sense for you.