How much does Amazon Prime cost (and is it worth it?)

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There are two big reasons right now why you might want to consider an Amazon Prime membership: Amazon unveiled a two-day sale that looks like a second Amazon Prime Day for 2022. And the holiday shopping season, my friends, fast approaching. Really.

40 Best Amazon Prime Perks to Use in 2022

And we could give you myriad other reasons why now is the perfect time to buy an Amazon Prime membership. Among them: ongoing supply chain issues that continue to leave empty spaces on store shelves and of course, inflation, including food prices. (Online shopping with Amazon can’t help you with gas prices, at least for now, but this box get you Thursday Night Football.)

But Amazon itself has come under cost pressure in 2022. For the first time since 2018, when Amazon Prime fell from $99 per year to $119, the cost of an Amazon Prime membership rose to $139. per year (the monthly rate has also increased) .

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How much did Amazon Prime cost?

  • Amazon Prime cost February 2005 – March 2014: $79 per year
  • Amazon Prime cost from March 2014 to May 2018: $99 per year
  • Amazon Prime cost from May 2018 to April 2022: $119 per year

For many, this price increase didn’t matter, especially for shoppers too busy to visit multiple brick-and-mortar stores to buy everything on their shopping lists, from groceries and gadgets to books and clothes. The Amazon Prime subscription service has made buying these items online much easier – now offering overstock items from Amazon Outlet and second-hand items from Amazon Warehouse.

The main benefit of Amazon Prime is free two-day delivery – which was there when it launched – but over the years Amazon has added many other benefits that have attracted more than 200 million buyers worldwide for get an annual or monthly Prime subscription. . According to market data portal Statista, about 56% of Amazon Prime shoppers spend between $612 and $2,400 per year on Amazon. Expedited shipping alone can quickly make membership fees worthwhile, depending on how often you order.

If you haven’t joined Amazon Prime yet, but are considering doing so, read on to learn more about the different plans offered, costs, and key benefits.

How much does Amazon Prime cost per month?

The Amazon Prime annual plan membership fees are $139. You are billed in advance and the annual subscription automatically renews every 12 months. Benefits include free two-day delivery, access to same-day, one-day, or even two-hour delivery on select orders, unlimited music streaming and photo storage, and access to Prime Reading (opens in a new tab) (book and magazine downloads) and Whole Foods discounts and delivery.

You can try before you buy. The first 30 days of Prime membership are free. So if you’re not ready to commit to an annual subscription, you can test the waters with the Amazon Prime monthly plan. The monthly Prime membership fee is $14.99, totaling around $180 per year (as opposed to the $139 annual deal). You get the same benefits as annual members. It’s a good option for shoppers who are worried about getting cold feet and want to cancel their Prime subscription in the middle of the annual subscription.

How much does Amazon Prime cost if you’re a student?

College students can join free for six months Premium Student Package trial membership. Initially, you are expected to register using an “.edu” email address so that Amazon can confirm your student status (email may be changed later). Once verified, students can enjoy the same Prime benefits as annual members, plus access to Prime Gaming (opens in a new tab) (which includes free game content and ad-free viewing on Twitch.tv). Student members are also the first to get daily deals on everything from skincare products to school supplies. After the free trial ends, you can sign up for a discounted annual Prime membership ($70) valid for four years or until you graduate, whichever comes first. Or, you can continue to subscribe monthly to the Prime student subscription for $7.49.

Attention moviegoers: Even if you’re not a heavy online shopper, there may still be an Amazon subscription for you. The Prime Video package (opens in a new tab) lets you stream movies and TV shows on a variety of platforms for $8.99 per month (Prime Video is included for free in your $139 annual subscription).

All the benefits of Amazon Prime

If you regularly order from Amazon, Prime’s free two-day delivery (often one day, sometimes same day) is probably quite attractive. However, this is not the only remarkable benefit that members with annual, monthly or student plans can enjoy for free:

Free same-day or one-day delivery is available in select metropolitan areas. You must spend at least $35 on eligible products to qualify for expedited shipping. For same day dispatch, orders must be placed by 12 noon to receive by 9pm same day. For one day shipping, orders placed in the afternoon will arrive by 9pm the following day. You can enter your shipping zip code on Amazon.com to find out if either shipping option is available near you. There’s also the Prime Now option, which offers a two-hour delivery window on select items in certain areas.

Amazon Prime members can also sign up for Amazon’s Key by Amazon (opens in a new tab) home delivery service (check your zip code to see if it’s available in your city). It allows keyless and home delivery of your orders when you are away. Key by Amazon gives the delivery person access to your home to drop off packages right inside your front door or in your garage instead of leaving them outside. You will need a smart lock on your front door and your garage door opener must have the ability to interact with the MyQ app (Amazon will walk you through this). You’ll need to download the Amazon Key app to be able to lock and unlock your front door remotely, as well as watch your package being delivered (an option if you’ve installed a compatible camera).

You also get free delivery on the release date of eligible pre-order items. You will need to order the item in advance and it will be delivered to you on the release date. For example, “The Last Chairlift,” John Irving’s latest novel (and first in eight years), which is currently available for pre-order but not available in stores until October 18, is eligible for this shipping option. Prime members who don’t need their order urgently can choose the non-rush shipping option to receive a discount on their active order or a promotional reward towards a future purchase.

First video offers unlimited streaming of a wide variety of movies and TV shows (opens in a new tab). And don’t worry, these are things you might want to watch, including Amazon Original, which is worth billions of dollars. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (opens in a new tab). You can also subscribe to Amazon Channels to watch cable network shows, including Showtime and Starz, for an additional monthly fee of up to $15 (don’t look for HBO; Amazon has discontinued this paid service).

Premier Music can be useful for those who regularly use music streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify. Prime members get ad-free access to select playlists (opens in a new tab), personalized radio stations and over a million songs and albums. It’s available on a variety of platforms, including PC and Mac computers, Android smartphones and tablets, and iOS and Sonos devices. Note that Amazon Music Unlimited (opens in a new tab) is a separate subscription service offering access to tens of millions of songs for $8.99 per month.

For future Prime members with busy families or lifestyles, grocery shopping on Amazon Prime is a no-brainer. Members can purchase individual-sized groceries and household items, such as a box of cereal or a pack of diapers. These same items are often only available in bulk (and at a higher cost) to regular Amazon users. Prime members can also purchase AmazonFresh from the site (opens in a new tab) section, which offers free grocery delivery and pickup services in select major cities. There may be a minimum order to trigger free shipping, depending on the city you live in.

And then of course there’s Whole Foods, which Amazon bought in its entirety in 2017. Since then, shoppers have been able to order the high-end grocer’s private label products from Amazon.com, including those from 365 Everyday Value, Whole Paws and Whole Catch. , and other items. Amazon also rolled with two-hour free grocery delivery from Whole Foods to Prime members in select cities (opens in a new tab). Until recently, shipping was free. Now Amazon/Whole Foods charges $9.95 per delivery. And that’s on top of your annual Prime subscription. Amazon is also giving Prime members an extra 10% off sale items at Whole Foods stores. (look for the yellow signs) as well as other seasonal offers.

Alternatives to Amazon Prime

If the $139 annual subscription fee makes you think about canceling Amazon Prime altogether, there are a range of alternatives, which are likely to up the ante on Amazon with competitive deals. These include:

  • Walmart+
  • walmart.com
  • Totaltech Best Buy
  • Newegg.com
  • Scribd (audiobooks and e-books)
  • Barnes & Noble Annual Membership
  • ShopRunner.com
  • Target.com
  • Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta rewards program
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