We’ve been Amazon Prime members for the last few years, and for the most part, it’s made financial sense for us. We make plenty of purchases on Amazon, and when Christmas time comes, the two-day free shipping it includes is amazing for last-minute shopping.
At $79 per year (under $7 a month), Prime is reasonable for anyone who would ordinarily spend that much per month on shipping costs — especially because membership includes thousands of free streaming media titles (similar to Netflix) and roughly 500,000 free Kindle ebooks. So if you shop on Amazon frequently, enjoy streaming media, and read a lot of books, this is a good deal.
But back in March, Amazon announced it’s raising its Prime rate to $99 per year, which is an additional $20. That’s about $8.25 per month. Since Amazon is eager to maintain its massive Prime customer base, it’s added a new benefit: Prime Music. Similar to Pandora One and Spotify Premium, Prime Music will allow users to listen to one million song titles, arrange playlists, or access pre-set playlists completely ad-free.
Is Prime Worth It For You?
To figure out if Prime is worth it for you, consider how many of these features you use on a regular basis, right now. Saying you’ll use it once you’re paying for it usually doesn’t mean anything.
If you’re ordering multiple times a year from Amazon and are concerned about speed, Prime is worth the price regardless of the other features. However, if you only order a few times a year and don’t care about fast shipping, there are other ways to get a discount. For instance, many items qualify you for free shipping if your total purchase is over $35. It won’t be two days, but it’ll be free. This might work just fine if you’re a Christmas-only online shopper who will be making large purchases.
Even the free media and book titles come with a disclaimer: Prime’s selection might not include your favorite shows, authors, or artists. If your Amazon Prime account allows you to drop Netflix or Hulu Plus, it might be worth it, but not if you’re still paying for the other services.
So what does all this boil down to?
Crunch the numbers on what you spent on shipping and streaming media over the past year. That’s what will determine if Prime is worth it for you. If it’s not, don’t hesitate to cancel your membership. Sure, you’ll miss a few things here and there — but your budget will thank you.
Are you an Amazon Prime member? Why or why not?
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