Is Amazon Prime worth it?

As Amazon evolves as an online retailer, the company continues to reward its most loyal of fans — Amazon Prime members.

An Amazon Prime membership costs $99 a year, or $49 for students, but it might make sense for frequent users who are looking for free shipping, video streaming and other rewards. If you’re wondering whether you should try Amazon Prime, take a look at this rundown of some of the benefits.

1. Free Two-Day Shipping
Paying for shipping is so yesterday … as well as waiting a week for a package to arrive. Perhaps one of Amazon Prime’s most beloved perks is its free two-day shipping for more than 20 million Amazon items nationwide, except Alaska and Hawaii. This could be a major holiday crutch, particularly for last-minute shoppers.

Certainly, there are exceptions to two-day delivery. Larger items, like a treadmill, might take longer but are still free to ship. Amazon Prime could be worth the money if you make a lot of small purchases under $35, which is the magic number that earns non-Prime members free shipping.

A non-Prime Amazon shipment is calculated by the shipment and item. Although it depends on your order, here’s an example. Based on a calculation for a non-Prime member on the site buying a book and DVD totaling just under $20, the two-day shipping costs $14.97; with Amazon Prime, two-day shipping is free.

If you have an extensive holiday shopping list, having free and fast shipping as an Amazon Prime member might come in handy. Even if you bought items from a physical store and went to ship them, you might easily pay more than the $99 Prime fee with UPS, depending on the size and weight of your shipment and quantity.

2. Same Day, Even Hourly Shipping
Let’s say you forgot someone on your holiday gift-buying list and need to send a gift right away. Well, Amazon Prime also offers same-day free delivery to those who live in one of the 16 metro areas where the service is offered.

To do this, Amazon Prime members must order more than $35 worth of items. If your order totals less than $35, you can still get same-day delivery, but you’ll pay $5.99 per order. Just look for the “Prime Free Same-Day” logo while you scroll through items to see what qualifies. If you order by the cutoff time, typically noon, you’ll get your order by 9 PM.

Same-day shipping is also available for non-Prime members for $8.99 per order plus 99 cents per item. And for some, Amazon PrimeNow might be helpful. This is a one- to two-hour delivery service on thousands of items, but it’s only available in select cities. (Las Vegas is one of them)

3. Streaming Video
When everyone in your home is off for the holidays, you’ll need a good pastime. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you’ll have free access to thousands of streaming television shows and movies.

You can find Prime movies and TV shows in the Prime Video category online or on the Amazon Video app home screen. New titles are added frequently. For example, HBO TV series are now available to Prime subscribers. Fan favorites like “The Wire” and “The Sopranos” are now at a Prime member’s fingertips. Amazon Prime also makes its own programming, such as the Golden Globe-winning comedy, “Transparent.” Note that titles are also occasionally removed.

Amazon Prime was estimated to have more than 17,000 movies and TV series, compared with only 10,000 streaming titles on Netflix, according to Consumer Reports. The site found that Netflix, however, offered more high-definition titles than Amazon Prime. A standard plan for Netflix costs $9.99 a month, or just under $120 per year, versus Amazon Prime’s $99 per year.

4. Amazon Prime Music
If you’re looking for some holiday jingles, or anything but holiday tunes, streaming music might be the way to go for you. Although music lovers have plenty of music streaming options out there, you can also get a good variety of tunes through Amazon Prime Music.

Prime members get access to more than a million songs, albums and customized playlists, free of advertisements. Just as with video streaming, the Prime Music catalog is consistently being updated and is available on any Amazon compatible device.

At this time, the selection doesn’t exactly rival other popular subscriptions, such as Spotify, which claims to have more than 30 million songs. However, a premium membership for Spotify is $9.99 a month, which costs more annually than the $99 Prime fee.

5. Unlimited Photo Storage
For the photo enthusiast, this feature could be quite valuable. By taking advantage of Amazon’s cloud storage, Prime members can archive unlimited photos for free. If you take a lot of photos around the holidays, you’ll have this option for storing them.

Prime subscribers can upload photos from their Web browser or by using Amazon’s free mobile app. Storage is secure, photo backups are automatic (if you so choose), and users can access photos from anywhere. There’s an additional bonus to this feature: Amazon Photo also comes with 5 GB of free space for non-photo files like videos. External hard drives to store photos can cost the price of a Prime membership or more, so that might be something to consider if you’re looking for storage options.

6. Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and Kindle First
If you’re looking to cozy up by the fire with a good read or two this holiday season, these two Kindle programs offer registered Amazon Prime readers fast and free access to books. According to, a consumer saving website, the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library offers Prime members more than 500,000 books, including many best-sellers.

A Prime member can borrow one digital book each month for free. Although Amazon Prime members are limited to one checkout monthly, they don’t have to worry about return reminders because there are no due dates.

Kindle First gives Prime members “first dibs” to download one of the six editors’ picks a month before it goes on sale, for free or at a reduced price. Non-Prime users can subscribe to the Kindle First newsletter and can download one new title a month at a reduced price a month before it goes on sale.

These features can offer big savings when considering the rising costs of e-books. According to The Wall Street Journal, in the Kindle bookstore, titles by the five biggest publishers cost on average $10.81.

7. Amazon Elements
Another exclusive for Prime members is Amazon Elements, the company’s own line of daily necessities. By the company’s own description, the brand is promoted to families and the product — currently one is available: baby wipes — is developed from customer input.

Unless you’re in the market for new baby wipes that promise to be durable and soft, this perk might not excite you much. However, a company press release suggests that more products will roll out in the future.

8. Prime Early Access
For bargain shoppers who like to be first in line, Prime members have 30-minute early access to Lightning Deals on Amazon and sale events on — another Amazon site that offers up to 60 percent off designer labels for the family and home with daily events.

If you like scoring a deal and have fast fingers, the Prime Early Access feature might make a Prime subscription worthwhile for you and help out with the holiday shopping. Of course, it’s important to note there is still a sell-out risk.

9. Prime Pantry
For those who are looking for grocery delivery for some of their holiday staples, Prime members have access to Prime Pantry, Amazon’s virtual store that allows members to fill a “pantry box” with groceries and household items in everyday package sizes for a flat shipping fee of $5.99 a box. The program touts itself as a way to shop for things as needed rather than in bulk.

A grocery delivery alternative, such as Peapod, requires a $60 minimum purchase with delivery fees ranging from $6.95 to $9.95. So if you need less than this, Prime Pantry might be a good option. Before rushing off to fill your pantry box, you should know all orders are shipped using ground shipping — meaning no two-day (or free) delivery.

10. Amazon Mom
Amazon Mom offers deals for moms with young children, as well as moms-to-be. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get 20 percent off a diaper subscription and an up-to 15 percent, one-time discount for other items on your baby registry. It’s 10 percent for non-members.

In order to get the discount on diapers, you’ll have to enroll in the “Subscribe and Save” option at checkout, which allows you to pick the quantity and frequency of deliveries (every month to every six months). However, Subscribe and Save isn’t just for Amazon Prime members and Amazon Moms. The subscription can help over the holidays by keeping your diaper stash full when you’re preoccupied with Christmas stockings and not stocking up on diapers.

If you’re not enrolled in Amazon Mom, a box of Huggies, for example, could cost you $42 rather than $33.60. Coupon deals from baby to household items are also available to Amazon Moms.

11. Membership Sharing
Two adults and four children can share an Amazon Prime membership using the Amazon Household feature. As part of this arrangement, however, the two adults on the account will also be sharing each other’s payment methods, which is something to keep in mind when setting up your Amazon Household.

The member-sharing feature allows Prime members more than free shipping. They’ll have access to Prime Instant Video, Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, Prime Early Access and Subscribe and Save deals. With this sharing option, everyone can conveniently make a Christmas wish list and shop for gifts from one well-loved Prime account.

From 11 features that make Amazon Prime worth the money

Holiday Parade Lights Up Downtown Summerlin
Holiday parade lights up Downtown Summerlin every Friday and Saturday night through Dec. 22.
Nevada's solar industry on the rebound
In 2015, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission voted in favor of a new tariff structure that reduced net energy metering buyback rates and increased fix fees for residential solar customers.
Apartment complexes selling fast in Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ apartment vacancy rate is among the smallest in the country, and rents are climbing faster than the national average. (LVRJ)
Aristocrat Opens $45M Campus In Summerlin
Aristocrat Technologies Chairman Ian Blackburne discusses the company's growth. (LVRJ)
Sunrise Hospital celebrates 60 years
Sunrise Hospital opened its doors to patients on Dec. 15, 1958. Employees of more than 35 years celebrated at a luncheon Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. Jessie Bekker/ Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Maya Cinemas to open soon in North Las Vegas
Moctesuma Esparza, CEO of Maya Cinemas, talks about the newest location in North Las Vegas, set to open Jan. 10. The aim of the theatre chain is to serve latino-centric, underserved communities.
Holiday shopping and returns make this the busiest time of year for UPS
The UPS Las Vegas South facility is the company's busiest pre-load operation in the country, and it's even busier this time of year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times
The mall, attached to Primm Valley Resort, opened in 1998. Back then, it was a “textbook, perfect outlet-center location." But now, Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times. Las Vegas Boulevard has endless shopping spots. And there are other outlet malls that don’t require a hefty drive to the state line. Its mortgage-holder foreclosed on the mall in late September.
Miltary auction at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
Humvees, ammo cans, construction equipment, field gear and more is on the auction block Friday and Saturday at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. About 10,000 items in all are for sale in what GovPlanet bills as the largest auction of its kind.
Las Vegas residents discuss avoiding holiday scams
Las Vegas residents discuss their donation habits and how they avoid giving money to scam charities during the holiday season. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory ahead of economic impact expectations
The Tesla Gigafactory’s economic impact on Nevada has exceeded projections, bringing in more than 7,000 jobs. In 2014, Nevada agreed to give the automotive and energy company $1.3 billion in tax abatements. In return, Tesla promised to meet certain requirements in areas like employment and capital investment. As of June, Tesla has brought in a total of $6.05 billion in capital investment, surpassing the $4.95 billion projection. The original contract gave the company until 2024 to make $3.5 billion in capital investments in Nevada. Derek Armstrong, deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Land sales near the Las Vegas Raiders stadium
Land around the Las Vegas stadium site has been selling for high prices. A few months before the stadium’s groundbreaking, Global Trust Group acquired a 2.5-acre parcel just north of the stadium site. The property sold for $7.25 million, or $2.9 million an acre. Osprey Real Estate Capital and Huntington Hotel Group acquired a 2-acre industrial site just west of the stadium site in late November. The property sold for $6.5 million, or $3.15 million per acre. That's roughly 12 times the average price of land in the valley this year as tracked by Colliers International.
T-Mobile Tech Experience Truck parks in Toshiba Plaza at T-Mobile Arena
The Tech Experience Truck is a state-of-the-art showroom on wheels, with demonstrations that put connected drones, smart cities, augmented/virtual reality and smart tracking. The exhibit shows new wireless technology – including 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents to keep them from teetering off into homelessness. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vrgas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Crowds camp out for Chick-fil-A opening
Dozens of customers camped out 24 hours ahead of the 6 a.m. Thursday opening of the new Chick-fil-A on Rainbow Blvd.
Cheapest listings for sale in Las Vegas
Listed for $39,990, 585 S. Royal Crest Circle, Unit #9 is one of the cheapest homes currently listed for sale in Las Vegas. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Terry Miller discusses Convention Center
Project Manager Terry Miller explains the phases of Convention Center construction.
Zappos treats their team members on Cyber Monday
Zappos rolls out a variety of food, drinks and special activities for all team members at their downtown Las Vegas headquarters for Cyber Monday. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Team Hybrid at the 2019-Model Motor Trend International Auto Show
Among the companies showing off the 2019 model cars, Team Hybrid shows off its modified cars. Las Vegas resident David David talks about the team, which is in its ninth year exhibiting at the show, and his show car.
Black Friday Shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal
Black Friday shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfYe
Black Friday shopping in Las Vegas
Black Friday sale shopers express their shopping experience. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas Livestock recycling Strip food waste
Las Vegas Livestock collects and recycles food from many Las Vegas Strip companies. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday at Fry's
Shoppers line up for deals early on Black Friday at Fry's Electronics on Las Vegas Boulevard South. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am on Nov. 23. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Black Friday - 1am Closing Time
Quiet night.
Black Friday - 12:30am - Best Buy Arroyo Crossing
Sam's Town Holiday Lighting Ceremony
On Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, Mystic Falls Park opened with its annual tree lighting ceremony, hosted by Boyd Gaming Executive Chairman Bill Boyd. The attraction features a Winter Wonderland theme and holiday-inspired laser light show, available daily Nov. 23 to Jan. 1. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What Is A Smart City?
George Karayannis, vice president of CityNow, Panasonic’s smart-city arm, explains. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Walmart uses virtual reality to train employees
Walmart Academy Facilitator demonstrates the VR training program being used by Walmart stores across the country.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like