What is Amazon Prime?

Is Amazon Prime worth it? Learn the benefits and price for each service offered.

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Amazon Prime, at its simplest definition, is the shipping subscription package for members who want an expedited fulfillment service. 

The Amazon Prime membership program allows access to a 2-day shipping timeline and a couple of exclusive deals during each Amazon Prime Day where products are sold at slashed prices. 

With over 150 million active subscribers and counting, this service proves to be a top-notch pick for fast shipping. Amazon Prime is largely dominant across all states in the US. 

Other Prime-eligible countries include Spain, Germany, Canada, Austria, the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, and India. You can visit the Amazon Prime page to know if the service is currently available in your country. 

How Amazon Prime Works

The whole process is pretty simple. First, you need to sign-up for an Amazon Prime membership account. If you’ve not been a member in the last 12 months, Prime offers you a 30-day free trial. 

You, however, need a credit or debit card for the sign-up. And once the trial phase expires, an automatic membership fee will be charged from your card. 

Amazon Prime is exclusively built to optimize shipping times. Unlike standard shipping, all orders are delivered to your doorstep in 2 days or less. And there’s more to Prime than just shipping– which we’ll look at in a moment.

This service doesn’t chain its users to any monthly commitments. You can terminate your membership anytime without any penalties.  Amazon Prime refunds subscribed members who don’t use any of its services.

Consequently, if a household member uses the account to make an order, you’re, unfortunately, not eligible for a refund. 

What are the perks on Amazon Prime?

While it costs a sizable chunk of money to join Amazon Prime, you can afford to forego the many perks it has to offer. 

The subscription-based software allows a user to share shipping services with another adult in the same household. Its streaming platform, the Amazon Prime Video, allows up to 3 people to watch at once. 

You can also fetch a couple of rare deals if you do some grocery shopping on Amazon Fresh. Visit this link to check if the delivery service is available in your location.

Depending on the order volume, a member is eligible for up to 20% discount rate on in-demand produce, plus a 2-hour free delivery service. 

In fact, Amazon recently announced that it will offer free fresh produce deliveries on orders above $35, for all previous members who used to pay a further $14.99 fee per month to use this service. 

 Amazon Prime members can access updates on release dates for books, movies, music, among other digital products. The Amazon FreeTime Unlimited is yet another digital service where members can win back fat discounts.

This is kind of like an entertainment and educational subscription channel with parental controlled content for kids of all age brackets. 

Members have to pay 2.99/month while for non-members, the FreeTime Unlimited costs $4.99/month. Again, there are no monthly commitments, so you can cancel your subscription anytime. 

College students can also bag some benefits from the Amazon Prime Student program. To be eligible for the 6 months trial period, a student needs to have a valid email address with the suffix “.edu” on the domain. 

Students often get amazing deals and coupons, which seems like a perfect way to make amends for the amount spent on membership.

Each Prime Student subscription includes the Music Unlimited channel which is usually a paid service that costs about $7.99 per month on the regular Prime membership. 

With Twitch Prime, gaming enthusiasts can get a thrill out of the world’s outstanding video platform. Twitch is a social forum exceptionally built for the video game culture and deep-dyed gaming streamers. 

Amazon Prime services

Amazon Prime Shipping

Prime shipping is tiered in three differential categories. Let’s check them out. 

Free two-day delivery: This shipping option doesn’t hold any minimum purchase amount. Simply stated, you can order a single item and have it delivered at your address in two days. 

There’s also a free same-delivery for all qualified locations. You’ll, first, need to confirm your ZIP code with Amazon Prime’s support team, to know whether you’re eligible for a same-day shipping service. 

For easy navigation, products are marked with a delivery window status; either “Today” or “Overnight”. If you order an item at 5 PM from states such as Orlando, Phoenix, or Philadelphia, you can get your order delivered to your doorstep, roughly within 5 hours. 

We also have the Prime Pantry program. It’s all hooked on delivery of groceries, household essentials, and snacks at reasonably low prices. Your typical shopping routine is almost entirely covered here.

For all orders above $35, you get a free delivery service, plus members can save up to 10% on discounted products which they add to cart.

If your bill falls under the $35 mark, you’ll only pay $5.99 as the shipping fee. You should note that Prime Pantry may subject purchases made from some states to sales tax.

This program uses ground shipping as its fulfillment method, hence, orders made from Alaska or Hawaii, unfortunately, can’t be delivered. 

Key by Amazon In-Home Delivery: The Amazon Smart Lock kit uses wireless technology to help the homeowner remotely control access to all in-home deliveries. Its integration, which works with Ring, is fast and secure. 

Together with the Ring app, its Video Doorbell allows you to monitor live and receive real-time notifications on all in-home deliveries using your mobile device, for free.

As a matching preference, you can choose the Key by Amazon In-Garage Delivery option, which works, more or less, the same. 

Amazon Prime Now: I’d describe Prime Now as a delivery service on steroids. It’s, so far, the quickest channel for foodstuff, pet supplements, electronics, gifts, and snack deliveries.

You, first, need to check to confirm if your city’s zip code is eligible for Prime Now deliveries. 

Customers with a preference for mobile over desktop shopping experience can download the Prime Now app which is available on both Android and iOS devices. 

Whether you’re at homes, office, or in a hotel room, Prime Now delivers within a 2-hour timeframe, so long as your zip code is proximate to any of the local stores or restaurants subscribed to the ground shipping. 

All restaurant orders are fulfilled so after you hit the checkout button. Prime Now notifies the customer with real-time tracking updates on the order status.

This shipping service is now available every day of the week from morning till late in the evening. 

Apart from the US, Prime Now has scaled the heights to other countries such as the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Spain. Plans to stretch Prime Now to other in-demand countries are still underway. 

Prime members can easily track their orders straight from the orders page. While a lofty size of scrutiny and attention goes into fulfillment, Amazon also makes it possible for Prime members to file for a return or refund. 

Amazon Prime Bonus Deals

Another way to leverage your annual plan is to lean on some of the bonus services Amazon Prime is willing to offer. 

Prime early access deal: Prime members get access to lightning deals, 30 minutes earlier than usual shoppers. These deals are made of limited products in stock, from electronics to apparel, and are all sold at a bargain price. 

Typically, early access deals are available on Amazon Prime Day but exclusively limited to Prime users. As a member, you can switch notifications on your account to get clued up anytime Amazon posts the lightning deals.

To garner more context, you can visit the Amazon Prime Early Access main page. 

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card: Unlike other brands, there are no annual credit card charges or cross-border transaction fees for customers with an active Prime membership. 

You can shop on Amazon with points earned. Prime members earn up to 5% cashback on all eligible purchases, while regular shoppers rake 3% back. To enroll for the Amazon Rewards Visa Card, the much you need to do is sign up for a Prime account. 

You’ll be automatically registered for the program by simply adding the signature card to your Amazon account. If you want to penny-pinch your spend, there’s nothing more gratifying than an Amazon Visa Rewards card. 

Amazon First Reads: Prime members get early access and brushed-up editors’ picks newsletter, plus a free Kindle book every month. The reader gets a chock-full list of exciting genres like thriller, mystery, contemporary fiction, children picture books.  

Amazon Prime Entertainment

Amazon Photos: With Amazon photos, you don’t have to worry much about storage any longer. Prime members can put the unlimited cloud space to its best use by signing up on Amazon drive as a backup for high-resolution photos.

Amazon Drive gives prime users  5GB video storage. For the 100 GB Amazon storage plan, this space doesn’t count for photos saved by Prime members.

Before signing up for any remote storage service, potential users often spur a myriad of concerns regarding the level of security standards.

With the kind of intensity which Amazon’s support team brings on board, your privacy is, for sure, guaranteed. For more insights, you can check the Amazon Prime Photos page out. 

Prime Video: In comparison, Prime Video is kind of like the Netflix pinch-hit. It’s an unlimited movie and TV streaming service that comes with a library stuffed with the latest and entertaining video content for both Amazon Prime and non-prime members. 

To put it on the testing ground, users with an Amazon account can join and enjoy the free trial session. Same as Hulu, or even Netflix, you can watch from anywhere via your phone, tablet or smart TV.

Prime Video isn’t your ordinary cable tv–no offense intended. There’s nothing much to dwell on this plan to sign up. Only that you have to pay $8.99/ month to access       

One differential feature is its offline mode. Using the Prime Video app, users can download a movie and watch it later. You can also save data by watching on a phone or tablet and calibrating the video quality. 

Twitch Prime: If you’re a gaming enthusiast, Twitch racks up as the best platform to bootstrap your skills and be in the loop with all the latest updates. It includes a chatting channel for members.

There’s a lot of varied content for both viewers and streamers, so your $4.99/month plan is notably worth it. 

Unlike typical game-stream services, Twitch gives you ad-free content, which is quite impressive since you get to ride on a seamless experience, throughout. 

Amazon Prime Pricing

Like any other service on the internet, Amazon Prime comes at a cost. A very thrifty one though. So don’t panic. The membership plan is transparent and there are no hidden fees to fuss over. 

The standard Prime package costs about $199 per year, while the Prime Student membership plan is priced at $59 per year. But going by the numbers, the Prime Annual serves as the most popular plan of them all. It has so many perks for heavy Prime users.

If you choose to pay monthly, the basic Prime membership is $12.99 per month, and that for students is $6.49 per month.

Members with a Medicaid subscription are eligible for a discount. You should also refer to other additional costs for extra services which we’ve highlighted in this guide. 

For users who want to only subscribe to a single service such as Prime Video($8.99), this trims the perks offered to full Prime members.

There’s also a large extent of convenience for users who want to cancel their Prime membership. Over time, there are usually adjustments on the pricing, so it’s better to seek an update on the current costs for each plan. 

Why you might not need a Prime membership

For the most part, there's a flip side to everything that seems worthwhile. But for Amazon Prime, you’ll hardly catch any major flaws to complain about. Instead, the moot point here is how often you shop for products or services on Amazon. 

If the intervals are sort of scattered, then Amazon Prime, especially the annual subscription is not a great deal to consider. And while most of their services are top-notch, some don’t include all elements you might be looking for. 

The Prime music subscription, for example, isn’t as unlimited as you’d expect it to be. Its collection of playlists is not so huge if you compare it to a streaming service like Spotify. 

If you’re still holding some reservations on whether Amazon Prime is an ideal fit for you or not, you can first take a stroll using its 30-day free trial window-shop.

Still and all, you’ll need a credit card to sign up for the freebie, where the membership fee is charged automatically. 

To most first-timers, that poses like a raw deal. So you might want to be on the lookout and cancel your membership before the free period expires. 

If you already have an active subscription on Netflix or Hulu, it’s no secret that you have a better entertainment ingress than the Prime Video option. 

Final Thoughts

Back to the drawing board for a quick recap. Is Amazon Prime worth every penny? 

Well, it’s arguably the most responsive and wide-reaching delivery service, in comparison to other options in the market. The sign-up process is sort of easy and users with an Amazon account won’t find it to be a heck of a job.

After all, the sharing benefit is such a wild card for adults living in the same household. You can take advantage of its advanced logistics blueprint to have orders reach your doorstep in two days or even less. 

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