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 DealNews.com, 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 MyHabit.com — 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 GoBankingRates.com: 11 features that make Amazon Prime worth the money

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like