Is Amazon Prime A Good Deal?
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We’ve now had over ten years of Amazon Prime. In that decade, it has gained some notable upgrades. Once no more than a free shipping offer, Amazon Prime is now a multifaceted service that many subscribers cannot do without.

Amazon Prime is $99 per year. That is an upfront payment. However, Amazon recently reinstated their pay monthly scheme Which Amazon Prime Subscription Is Right for You? Which Amazon Prime Subscription Is Right for You? Potential subscribers formerly only had one option when it came to Amazon Prime. However, now, Amazon is offering three different subscription plans so you can pick the one that best suits your needs. Read More , which will set you back $10.99 per month. Is Amazon Prime good value for that price?

Let’s find out.

Prime At A Glance


Amazon Prime has dramatically expanded its offerings in recent years 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now Scratch the surface. Amazon Prime has so many more benefits that people have forgotten about or simply don't realize exist. Read More . Similarly, it is no longer restricted to just the US. You can pick up a Prime subscription in the UK, France, Japan, Canada, and several other countries. However, you’ll have to check local yearly subscription fees as well as what is included. Today, we’re focusing on the US subscription.

The biggest Amazon Prime perk is free two-day shipping. Better yet, some ZIP codes within major cities are eligible for free same-day delivery on selected items. Furthermore, a Prime subscription can reduce the cost of one-day shipping and Saturday deliveries for other items. Regular two-day shipping costs vary, but even irregular Prime users can save a significant amount on shipping throughout the year.

Prime now comes with an extensive video library, including some extremely well received Amazon Originals, including the award-winning The Man in the High Castle and Transparent. Furthermore, Prime Music gives you access to over two million tracks, as well as thousands of playlists and stations. Finally, a Prime subscription gives you unlimited photo storage, and instant access to millions of Kindle eBook rentals.

Let’s dig a little deeper.

Going Postal

Free two-day shipping is the perk that brought many people to Prime in the first place. A closer look at Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping costs will help us understand where the value lies.


You’ll have to spend $49 to qualify for free Amazon shipping. This is a 40% increase on the $35 minimum set in 2013. This minimum purchase drops to just $25 for an order of books. Whether you choose two-day shipping depends on how quickly you want your items (duh!) versus the faith you have in the free shipping option. The below image shows a fictional order. Free shipping shows a delivery date between December 12th and 16th.


Two-day delivery — the key feature of Amazon Prime — comes in at $12.23 for this item. That makes 8 purchases before I’ve recouped the cost of my subscription. Free two-day shipping doesn’t apply to every item, though. And many items purchased through Amazon Prime are more expensive, which could increase your overall spending.

Of course, the difference might be made up for by shipping, and isn’t likely to break anyone’s budget. But a few bucks here and there can add up, particularly for heavy Amazon users. Once you’re a Prime member, pricing for Prime-eligible vendors will be prioritized when you’re logged in, which means you may end up paying more unless you’re meticulous about checking deals offered by third-party vendors.

Prime Instant Video Is The Real Value

Amazon’s Prime Instant Video Hulu Plus vs. iTunes vs. Netflix vs. Amazon Instant Video: Which Is Best? Hulu Plus vs. iTunes vs. Netflix vs. Amazon Instant Video: Which Is Best? Hulu. iTunes. Netflix. Amazon Instant Video. The lifeblood of online cinema and television. The new wave of home media. The providers of endless entertainment in which pants are not necessarily required. They are the contenders... Read More  is basically a Netflix clone, and works the same way. You sign in, you browse movies, you stream them. As long as you have a Prime subscription, you can access all the movies Amazon makes available to Prime members at no added charge.


The only major difference is pricing. Amazon’s year-long subscription breaks down to about $8.25 per month, which is less than Netflix’s $8.99 per month. However, Amazon now offers a Prime Video membership that will set you back $8.99 per month — the same as Netflix. You’ll have access to the entire Amazon Prime Video catalogue, but without the added benefit of two-day shipping (or anything else). In my opinion, paying the extra 74¢ for free shipping isn’t even a question.

Can the two services be compared? If they can, it is a very difficult comparison that will come down to your personal viewing preferences. Both Prime and Netflix see choices come and go as old contracts expire and new ones are inked 10+ TV Shows That Make Amazon Prime Worth the Money 10+ TV Shows That Make Amazon Prime Worth the Money Netflix is undoubtedly the king of the movie and TV show streaming services. However, Amazon Prime has some fantastic television shows that make it worth the asking price. Read More . Personally, I’d say they’re on even ground. Both do a decent job of grabbing up recent blockbuster movies and both have a good (but incomplete) selection of older television shows 8 Amazon Prime TV Channels Actually Worth Watching 8 Amazon Prime TV Channels Actually Worth Watching Amazon recently added about 30 TV channels that you can subscribe to for an additional monthly fee, but are they worth subscribing to? Here are eight that could be worth your time and money. Read More . Amazon has invested a huge amount into their original programming 12 TV Shows You Can Only Stream on Amazon Prime 12 TV Shows You Can Only Stream on Amazon Prime As an Amazon Prime member, an ungodly number of TV shows wait to be watched. In this article we recommend TV shows which are only available to stream on Amazon Prime. Read More , and it really shows.

For me, paying 74¢ extra each month to have my stuff delivered really fast is absolutely worthwhile.

Prime Music Brings The Beats

Amazon Prime Music features over two million ad-free tracks. You can stream playlists curated by “music experts” or personalize your own music stations. Like Amazon Prime Video, Prime Music has consistently improved and is now a serious contender in the digital music subscription pantheon.


Amazon Prime Music has an extensive catalog Why You Should Give Amazon Prime Music a Second Chance Why You Should Give Amazon Prime Music a Second Chance There are several reasons why you might want to give Amazon Prime Music a second chance. It certainly deserves much more credit than it's currently getting. Read on to find out why. Read More , but still falls short of other services like Spotify or Slacker Radio. However, its integration with Amazon’s Echo, Echo Dot, and Tap devices is a big plus.

Like Prime Video, you can purchase a separate Amazon Music plan Amazon Music Unlimited vs. Prime Music: What's the Difference? Amazon Music Unlimited vs. Prime Music: What's the Difference? Amazon recently unveiled a paid music product called Music Unlimited. How is it different from Prime Music? How much will it cost you? What will you get for your money? Read More . ­The separate music plans offer more music — around 40 million tracks — but there is nothing else included.


Kindle Lending Probably Isn’t Worth Your Time


The Kindle Lending Library offers subscribers an easy way to borrow books. The way it works is simple. When you sign into your Amazon Prime account, you’ll find a “Borrow” button alongside eligible items. One tap, and you’re done. There are no return dates, but you can only borrow one book at a time.

Kindle Lending is restricted to your Kindle. You cannot use this feature on your PC or any non-Kindle-Fire tablet. That is a pretty big restriction. Sure, you can borrow the books for free — but only after you pay for both the Prime membership and a Kindle reader or tablet. Furthermore, if you move away from mainstream literature, it becomes increasingly difficult to find free books to borrow.

Prime Reading Expands the Offering

Amazon Prime Reading is one of the latest subscriber perks Amazon Adds 1,000 Free eBooks to Prime Amazon Adds 1,000 Free eBooks to Prime Prime Reading offers Amazon Prime subscribers unlimited access to more than 1,000 eBooks, magazines, short stories, comic books, and more. All for free. Read More . Potentially realizing that a single book selected from mainstream literature isn’t for everyone, subscribers can now select from a rotating library of over a thousand books. The service, currently only available to Prime members in the US, also provides a changing selection of comics, children’s books, magazines, and more.


Unlike Kindle Lending, Prime Reading is available on any Android or iOS device as well as Kindle devices. It isn’t really a killer feature, but it certainly offers more to the readers out there.

Audible Offering

Amazon’s Audible audiobook service also receives its own Amazon Prime perk. You won’t have access to the outstanding Audible range. But Amazon Prime members will have access to a rotating selection of 50 audiobooks.


To sweeten the deal, Prime members also receive access to a new Audible feature called Channels. Channels provides ad-free podcasts, audio versions of articles from major publications, comedy shows, and other audio content. It would cost a non-Prime member $4.95 per month on top of their Audible subscription.

Again, this isn’t a killer feature, but certainly something that expands what is on offer.

Twitch Prime Is New, Too

Amazon Prime doesn’t stop there. Another recent addition is Twitch Prime Everything You Need to Know About Twitch Prime Everything You Need to Know About Twitch Prime Twitch Prime is Twitch's new premium offering for streamers, and offered as part of your Amazon Prime subscription. But what is Twitch Prime and how will it impact Twitch? Read More .

Amazon has partnered with video game streaming service Twitch to give subscribers exclusive discounts on new releases and pre-ordered boxed video games. Additionally, you’ll receive new characters, vehicles, skins, boosts, loot, and more for popular games, as well as free indie games.


One of the single biggest Twitch Prime features is account linking. Link Amazon Prime to your Twitch account and you’ll immediately enjoy an ad-free experience known as Twitch Turbo. There is also a free channel subscription to make use of, too.

This link isn’t surprising. When Amazon bought Twitch, the first thing that came to mind was “when will Twitch be bundled with Amazon Prime?” This is an excellent opportunity for Twitch to continue growing their viewership, in turn creating a valuable opportunity for the streamers.

What Else?

You want more? Some people . . . never satisfied. Luckily, there is more.

Amazon Prime grants you unlimited photo storage. The service helps keep your photo collection organized and all under one roof. Advance photo searching technology lets you search for “beach” or “dog” to find matching images. Prime members can share their photo storage with five family members How to Share Unlimited Photos With Your Family on Amazon Prime How to Share Unlimited Photos With Your Family on Amazon Prime Amazon Prime has a new feature called the Family Vault that lets you share unlimited photos with your family! Here's how to take advantage of it now. Read More too, bringing even more of your family’s memories into a single, massive photo album.

Prime members also receive early access to Amazon Lightning Deals. These are deals that take place every day across a wide range of Amazon products. And how about Amazon Prime Pantry Is Amazon Prime Pantry Worth Your Money? 5 Things You Need to Know Is Amazon Prime Pantry Worth Your Money? 5 Things You Need to Know Prime Pantry lets you shop for groceries right from the Amazon homepage—but is it a good deal? Will it save you money? We look at all the facts. Read More ? You can have fresh produce delivered to your door (if you live in select areas) for a set price.

Should You Sign Up For Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime is a great deal. Amazon continues to add perks to the Prime package What's Amazon Prime Day and How Do I Get the Best Deals? What's Amazon Prime Day and How Do I Get the Best Deals? Amazon Prime is one of the best events for consumers in last decade. It really brought online shopping to the masses and transformed the way we approach purchases. Read More that increase its overall value. Even if you’re an infrequent shopper, free two-day shipping can be extremely handy when needed. And Amazon Prime Video keeps getting better, with more Amazon originals set to arrive.

However, Kindle Lending leaves a lot to be desired, and services like Twitch Prime, Prime Reading, and the new Audible offer are somewhat niche.

I’ve had a Prime subscription for three years now, albeit in the UK. It’s been worth every penny for me. Try to see where the value lies for your own circumstances, and maybe sign up for a 30-day trial. Just remember to cancel it if it doesn’t work out!

Are you an Amazon Prime subscriber? Do you think Prime consistently adds value? Or are there other features you’d like to see added? Let us know your thoughts below!

Originally written Matt Smith on July 19, 2013.

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  1. Michael
    June 20, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Just signed up first 5 items I've tried, to watch not available in your location. Back to sky I think

  2. HeatherHousewife
    April 24, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    April 24, 2017: As an Amazon Prime member, I find the alleged free Amazon Music streaming "millions of songs" to be completely false. I can't stream a single cheesy '80's song without triggering popups urging me to sign up for Amazon Unlimited Music (the price seems to vary - $9.99 or $7.99, depending on whether I'm on my laptop or Samsung phone, and depending on whether I'm logged into my Amazon Prime account or not.

    Interestingly, Amazon seems to have somehow got my Sirius XM music preferences, and - in Machiavellian Sirius XM fashion - restricts me from listening to what I enjoy. Comparing notes with others in my approximate demographic (many thanks to the Colorado Dodge SRT owners' club for their help!) reveals that personal information is indeed being collected and used for marketing purposes, of a nefarious profit-maximizing kind. You read it here first! One member's Meat Puppets is another member's Poison.

    The depth of the corporate greed/depravity surfaces when you compare notes with others. For example, I like cheesy '80's hair bands like Poison. Amazon "knows" this, and won't let me listen to them for free. However, I can play a song by the Meat Puppets. The exact opposite is true for my friends who listen to alternative music and hate hair bands.

    Anyone else seeing this?

  3. Mitch H
    February 6, 2017 at 4:32 am

    I have got to say, as a new amazon prime user Im extremely impressed with it. I buy a large amount of consumer electronics. Mostly PC components. I build and upgrade my PC's on a (admittedly excessive) semi yearly basis, and up until I switched to amazon Prime I was using newegg premier. I am Canadian, so other than free shipping on *certain* items, premier gave me absolutely no benefit, and its pretty much the same price. I believe there is a newegg points promotion that exists, but its not available in Canada, so we get screwed very heavily.

    I went through my newegg history, and between my own PC upgrades, and the many PC's I have built for family and friends, over the past two years I have spent more than 20K on newegg. Something that I now actually regret quite a bit. I wish I had of done more research, because I would have been on prime much sooner. Thats totally me dropping the ball.

    I am only now after having prime for around 4 months starting to explore all the extras that come with this service. I am mostly a PC gamer, but I do very much love Sony's exclusive offerings. I have found that Amazon prime offers very nice 15% discounts on new games, and of course the free 2 day shipping. Or, if you are impatient like me and want to receive your game on day one, they offer a 3 dollar same day shipping which is just beautiful!

    I know I'm totally gushing on this service, but after receiving very little value for so much money spent over the past 2 years, I am now very happy to feel as though I am getting something in return.

    And I haven't even mentioned Prime Video... I am hooked on The man in the high castle!

  4. Phil N.
    December 16, 2016 at 2:59 am

    I'm on a Prime trial right now, my second free trial actually. I just don't see a huge benefit. I can borrow ebooks from my library, most of which come through Amazon anyway. Prime's video selection is pretty terrible compared to Netflix, which I get through sharing an account with a friend. I can get free streaming music from Google Play Music. The free 2 day shipping is nice but I usually don't need stuff in a rush and many things I order have free shipping anyway.

  5. Rachel Nelson
    November 18, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Thank you SO much for an awesome honest opinion it's absolutely fair and very helpful! You're so on point to explain the benefits based on the need of the consumer.

  6. Jay P
    August 24, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I think Amazon Prime is a great option for those who use it on a regular basis.

    • Phil N.
      December 16, 2016 at 3:00 am

      If you do a lot of shopping on Amazon it can be a money saver.

  7. Tom S
    July 23, 2013 at 5:56 am

    You don't mention that if you purchase a Kindle Fire, or Fire HD you get one year free.

    • Tina
      October 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      Thanks for letting me know this, I have been debating on getting a new tablet, possibly an ipad, and an amazon prime membership. The ipads are just so over priced so I was considering other options. Good to know that if I go with a Kindle I can save the $79 on the prime membership.

      • Phil N.
        December 16, 2016 at 3:02 am

        The ipads are over priced and not very good, however Fires are not very good either, still better than ipads though.

    • Tina
      October 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      I don't see anywhere that is says you get Amazon Prime free for a year with the purchase of a Kindle Fire, I see it lists the Prime membership and it says you can get a free 30 day trial if you have not had one in the past. Maybe that was a previous promotion?

    • Phoghat
      October 26, 2013 at 2:02 am

      Have Fire HD, Have one year free

  8. John
    July 23, 2013 at 2:59 am

    Is this comment board a big infomercial for amazon prime, amazon did away many of the cheaper ($5) items with free shipping. Its called a add on item, which just means you need to put it on a $25 bill to ship it for free. I still think Amazon prime is worth it. Namely for Amazon customer service. The movies selection is not great, not good enough. Kindle library is good if you only have a Kindle. The selection is good, even if you don't find what you want, at least you can borrow something that you would not ordinarily buy. As a consequence be exposed to something new. As far as the love fest of ordering $5 items. This is really about people getting excited about receiving packages from the UPS man. Not feeling guilty about paying for shipping on a $5 item, you could have easily bought at your local store...

  9. danny6114
    July 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Another thing, on Prime you can get next day shipping for $3.99 if you really need it quick. Plus, the non-Prime merchandise shipping is usually quite a bit more.

  10. ashley
    July 21, 2013 at 5:35 am

    I am a graduate student and amazon prime has totally been worth the money. I can wait until class starts to make sure I really need the textbooks and then order them with free two day shipping. I have saved so much money this way, and it is worth buying the books new from amazon because you can sell them back for gift cards, which I then just apply to my next purchase.
    Also, when I am buying an item- such as clothes- that has some colors/sizes/styles that qualify for Prime and some that do not, it really is worth it because usually the shipping charged by a third party vendor makes the total price equal or more than what I pay for the Prime product. Plus, I do not need to make the $25 minimum purchase in order to get free shipping with Prime.

  11. Brian
    July 20, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I just signed up for Prime after debating it for years. I love it, but a couple caveats. I find that I might be spending more money because the idea of getting all my stuff quickly is intoxicating. haha. I'm sure I'm not alone. Also, it's easy for me to pony up an extra 4 clams for overnight shipping which I think is a great deal even factoring in the initial 80. Regarding the streaming option, I like that it's there, but I think the library is average at best. But I also think Netflix library sucks anymore too so maybe this is as good as it gets.

  12. Ward Webber
    July 20, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    A small point: The article says you need Kindle Fire to borrow Prime books, but I believe any Kindle reader will work; I have an old Kindle and I've borrowed several Prime books on it.

  13. AJ
    July 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Everyone seems to forget the 3.99 next day shipping. That is primarily what i use Prime for. I am a tech sometimes I need things pretty quick. If i can wait I will do the two day though.

  14. Richard Lewis
    July 20, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I've been a Prime member for 2 years. What I like is that I can shop at Amazon, which is the most convenient way to shop!, and not even consider shipping and it arrives in 2 days 99% of the time. It can be a $5.00 item.

  15. Lisa B
    July 20, 2013 at 6:07 am

    I think it is well worth it. Videos are handy, but I also have access to free ebooks that would easily add up to more than the yearly cost. The free shipping seals the deal on most purchases too.

    • Phil N.
      December 16, 2016 at 3:09 am

      Can't you get free ebooks from your library?

  16. Linda
    July 20, 2013 at 2:28 am

    I have accessed every part of Amazon shipping on items ordered, borrowed a few books from the Lending Library what were part of a series I didn't want to pay for, and watched a bunch of videos (which are clearly marked with a Prime logo). I've had the service for 9 months and have definitely gotten my money's worth. There is no question that I will renew my subscription to the service.

  17. Dave
    July 20, 2013 at 12:18 am

    I think prime is worth it if you order a lot of things from Amazon. I loved the free trial. I can't justify the cost though because I only order maybe once or twice a month. One thing I dislike about amazon is the time it takes them to just ship the items even just one item can take 2-3 days and then the shipping another 3-4 days. I guess it helps make prime more appealing to people.

  18. Mary
    July 19, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    The shipping speed is a bit faster but the shipping vendor is also different, which is what matters to me.

    Super Saver gets delivered by USPS, which in my local area is really, really bad. Delivery is guaranteed to be problematic.

    2-day is delivered by UPS, which never has a problem delivering to me.

    I will pay extra money for 2-day shipping just to make sure that USPS never, ever touches something I actually want to receive.

    The video library is getting much better and I do have a Kindle, so overall I find Prime to be a great value.

  19. Bill Hinds
    July 19, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    One other point to consider is that you can have four "relatives" attached to your prime account to share the cost, but the "relatives" can't access the book borrowing feature.

    • TechnoAngina
      July 19, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      We find this really useful for our mother in law to ship us items quickly.

    • Kate
      December 17, 2016 at 10:42 am

      You can share the kindle benefits with other people, you can do it through Amazon Household, which basically lets you make another person a sort of co-holder of your Amazon Prime Account. See: You can add one adult person and up to four children.

  20. Jeff Sweet
    July 19, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    For Prime Shipping, you missed the option to upgrade to Overnight for $3.99 an item. I use that frequently when I'm in a hurry, leaving for a trip or just want it tomorrow.

  21. Douglas G
    July 19, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I have been a prime member for 3 years now. I am a student and started with a free trial for the textbook shipping because I needed them fast. Now that the trial is up, I pay a discounted rate as a student. This year I paid $39 as a student. I get the free 2-day shipping and I use the Prime Instant Videos fairly often--at least once a week. I don't use the Kindle rental as I do not have a Kindle device.

    One thing that I have found which is an additional plus for the Prime Instant Videos, is that I can view them in a browser on Linux--I use Ubuntu exclusively for my desktop. Netflix as far as I know has not yet provided a straight forward way to view on a Linux desktop OS. So I used to have to go to my wife's computer (Windows) to watch a show on Netflix. We have since cancelled that service.

    All in all I am quite happy with the Prime offerings I use. The student discount definitely makes it worth it. I will re-evaluate the cost to benefit ratio, once I no longer qualify for the student discount.

    Thanks for the coverage of the service.

  22. Jason K
    July 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    This will only help some people, but if you are a student (or teacher i suppose) with a .edu email address you can get prime for $39/year. which would be worth it in my book.

  23. Jason Cardiff
    July 19, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    What's also missing from the argument about Prime is the fact that you don't have to hit the $25 Super Saver threshold to get the free shipping. You mention the $25, but I've used Prime quite a few times for quick delivery on products that are valued much less than $25. Not good for Amazon in terms of shipping costs, but still good for them in terms of me staying in their ecosystem vs. perhaps driving to Target.

  24. Jeff
    July 19, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    I get Prime for half price since I am a student. So worth it.

    • TechnoAngina
      July 19, 2013 at 7:31 pm

      You don't get to add relatives with the lower priced ones, but I think that it's still an amazing deal.

  25. Tom W
    July 19, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    In the UK, Prime is £49 and offers free one-day shipping as well as Kindle borrowing. The UK Prime page also says you can share the benefits with family, but I'm not sure how many family members that includes.

    I used the free trial last year at Christmas, but I don't think Prime is worth the pricetag without video lending.

  26. Frugal One
    July 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    The way to make Amazon Prime a great deal is to share it with 4 others as is allowed. If you split the cost its only $16 for each household for a year of shipping. However, for the other benefits I think only the primary household gets the movies and library options so it you set up this make sure you're the admimistrator of it.

  27. Brandon
    July 19, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    The shipping option alone is worth it to me. SuperSaver is usually shipped USPS with no real tracking capability and spotty reliability. I live close to 4 Amazon warehouses, but SuperSaver average ship times were 6 days. On Prime, shipments are UPS and my average is actually next day delivery. I find that the price of Prime options generally is better than non-prime when shipping is factored. The Kindle library and Videos are a nice addition as they complement my Netflix sub.

    • Matt.Smith
      July 19, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      I've gotten next-day delivery on some Prime items too. It's a nice surprise when that happens.

  28. Dane M
    July 19, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    We've gotten a great deal of value from it. I am very pleased with the deal, though i am a heavy Amazon Customer to start with.

  29. Marion
    July 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    It's worth it for streaming The West Wing alone - enough said.....

  30. WorknMan
    July 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    I do most of my shopping at Amazon. Pretty much anything that isn't a grocery item or doesn't need to be tried on first is ordered through Prime :) Definitely worth it, IMO.

  31. Bill
    July 19, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    I buy a lot through and have had a Prime account for a couple years. It's well worth it to me just for the 2 day shipping. Yes you can get free shipping with a $25 order but it's not 2 day. I've also placed a $6 order and got it shipped 2 day for free. That's pretty sweet. The streaming portion isn't all that great and they could do themselves a big favor by improving on it.

  32. Vic
    July 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I had Prime for a year. Used it for shipping a few times, but the primary benefit was indeed the instant video. However, I also have Netflix, a service which I found to be slightly better in terms of most content(they are virtually identical in most areas).

    So for me, the only way it would have been worth renewing would have been for the shipping, which in my experience was not worth it. I found no real difference in arrival times with or without the service(2 day is never a guarantee paid or not) and most of the time my items come sooner than expected anyway.

    Bottom line, as the article states, if you were buying lots of big ticket items, it would be worth the yearly fee, otherwise, you are essentially paying for a slightly cheaper version of Netflix, with slightly less content.

    Good article.

    • Jason B
      July 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      "So for me, the only way it would have been worth renewing would have been for the shipping, which in my experience was not worth it. I found no real difference in arrival times with or without the service(2 day is never a guarantee paid or not) and most of the time my items come sooner than expected anyway."

      What exactly are you saying about 2 day not being a guarantee? I shop at Amazon for just about everything and they have never delivered an order late. If the item is prime eligible it has always made it to my home in 2 days… sometimes I have even gotten them next day.

    • Mike
      October 17, 2013 at 2:07 am

      2 day is actually a guarentee on most Prime items. If it says "Order in the next X hours, and receive by" message, and it doesn't arrive in the 2 day time frame, you are eligible for a refund of what the shipping cost would have been. Some items do not qualify, and they will not offer the promised date, however customer service always honors this. I ordered a lawn tractor which mistakenly made the 2 day promise (who expect to be able to order a 700 pound tractor and get it in 2 days???), and when it was later than that (took 4 days total), I called up and got a $400 refund.

  33. Jeff
    July 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    I think the Kindle lending library is better than you give it credit for. It's certainly not worth the cost of prime if that's all your using. But if you are an avid reader like me and you already own a Kindle device, it's pretty awesome. If you borrow one book a month at $3.00 per book (that's the average sale price I've seen of books in the lending library) you save $36.00 per year. That means you are now getting the shipping and video streaming for $43.00 per year.

    Also, the free shipping is super cool. Yes, Amazon already provides free shipping when you spend $25.00. But it's pretty dang cool to see a $4 item and buy it, have it shipped for free in my home in 2 days. Before I got Prime, I always waited several months until all my little $4 nick nacks added up to $25. (Or bought $21 worth of stuff I didn't want that bad) Now I just buy them when I feel like having them.

    • jkcook
      July 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm

      I agree with you about the shipping. Not HAVING to buy $25 to get free shipping is a real benefit. Also I RARELY find new items actually cheaper once the shipping cost is added in. Often used items (books) can be cheaper, but rarely other things. Living overseas, we use amazon a LOT, because they're one of the few places that doesn't charge extra to ship to military addresses, so Prime is definitely worth it to us for the shipping.

  34. Jason T
    July 19, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    I've been asking myself this question for a while now. I've been trying to use the instant video more and the ebook borrowing is something I didn't know about. For me, the faster shipping is pretty significant. There are some things that I probably wouldn't order If I have to wait 5 or more days to get it. I'll just suck it up and go hunting around local stores to buy it. But two days? I can often wait for that. The guaranteed 2 day shipping is also big around Christmas time. That's when the regular free shipping times start to become unpredictable.

  35. Roseann S
    July 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    I tried Amazon prime, mostly for the Prime Instant Video and was not impressed. There are not that many selections that are free that you would want to see. It is difficult to tell that a particular movie/tv show is free until you click to view it.

    Netflix does a better job of showing you which titles are available for streaming and there is a much better selection.

    • Matt.Smith
      July 19, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      That is a good point which I've noticed before, but forgot to mention. Prime can be frustrating because it's sometimes not obvious what's free. I prefer Netflix slightly for that reason.

  36. Rich Sneiderman
    July 19, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    You missed one fact about the 2 day shipping. You can add 4 addition amazon accounts to the 2 day shipping feature. So not only do I get the benefit but so do my wife, 2 daughters and my sister. This doesn't change the points you bring up but it does add more value to the service.

    • Joel Lee
      July 19, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      Awesome, I didn't know that. This would've come in handy when my girlfriend needed her textbooks ASAP, but I'll keep it in mind for the future. :D

    • Matt.Smith
      July 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      Good point, I didn't know about that.

  37. Steve
    July 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Prime is called Premium here in France. It costs 49€ and offers next day delivery, I don't think it offers any other benefits.