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- An Amazon Prime membership can help you save money on deliveries.
- The costs of membership depends on how you pay (annually or monthly), as well as whether or not you’re a student.
- You’ll have to consider your ordering habits, as well as the pros and cons of membership to determine whether Prime is worth the cost.
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Amazon Prime is Amazon’s membership program, which allows users to access things like free two-day (or even two-hour) shipping on eligible items. If you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon yet, there’s a lot to consider.
One major factor that will impact your decision is the cost of signing up.
Here’s a breakdown of what it costs to get a Prime membership, what each membership covers, and other costs to consider before making your decision.
How much an Amazon Prime membership costs
It depends on who you are and how you choose to pay.
As of May 2018, most people will pay either $119 per year for an annual Amazon Prime membership, or $12.99 per month. Paying month-to-month will cost you about $37 more than the annual option over a year.
Students can get a Prime membership for $59 a year, or $6.49 per month (about $19 higher than the annual option).
There is also a discounted membership available to EBT and Medicaid cardholders. That costs $5.99 a month, and it’s available to each user for up to four years. (That membership comes to about $72 per year.)
You could also opt to subscribe solely to Prime Video for $8.99 per month, which would limit your access to any memberships perks outside of the Prime Video library.
What an Amazon Prime membership covers
- Free two-day delivery on Prime-eligible items (and yes, there are many of those — more than 100 million items, according to Amazon).
- Free one-day shipping, same-day, and two-hour delivery on select items.
- "Amazon Day," which lets you make orders and then specify the day everything you’ve ordered that week will be delivered.
- Free release-date delivery on select items, like video games and music.
- Discounted, expedited delivery
- "Amazon Prime Day" deals.
- Free streaming of Prime-eligible (as well as Amazon original) movies, TV shows, and Audible Channels.
Additional costs to consider with Amazon Prime
Prime may give you access to free, fast shipping on many items, but it doesn’t cover everything. That goes for other freebies, too. For example, you will likely run across items that do not have free shipping, or movies that aren’t included with your Prime account.
For those who are willing to make a few concessions, there are ways to maximize your savings. This might mean opting to buy only Prime products (you’ll see the Prime icon next to eligible items).
Is Prime worth the cost?
If you’re the type of person who frequently shops online, and can afford the annual membership, the Prime membership may be a good way to save money.
The convenience factor is also quite high, since delivery can be as quick as two-hours from ordering. And, assuming you take advantage of the various perks, it makes for a solid service. (But keep in mind that Amazon does offer free shipping without Prime, as long as your order is $25 or more.)
If you aren’t planning to spend more than the membership cost on deliveries in the next year, however, it probably doesn’t make sense to spring for the annual membership. A monthly membership (or the free 30-day trial) might be a good option, if, for example, you knew you were going to be making a lot of orders in the next few weeks.
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