It’s hard for some people to imagine shopping online without Amazon Prime. The benefits it can offer are significant: free shipping on select items, two-day shipping on others, and some exclusive discounts during sales events.
But the service isn’t exactly free, though. Since March 2022, the cost has increased to either $15 per month or $139 per year for the subscription. That’s a noticeable increase from the $119 per year, or $13 per month, which is what the service used to cost.
So, in light of this price hike and the rising cost of living in the US, is Amazon Prime still a good deal?
If you shop online often enough, that free shipping might pay for itself. People who often order items on Amazon instead of buying from local stores might be better off just getting a yearly Prime subscription and keeping their costs down that way.
Keep in mind, though, that going out of your way to buy things on Amazon just to “make the most” of your Prime subscription isn’t actually going to save you money. You can’t ever save by spending. If your shopping habits already have you buying everything online, that’s the time to get into a recurring subscription.
Like free shipping, the two-day shipping perk could be worth $139 per year depending on your shopping habits. If you’re usually ordering items that you need right away, this can be a lifesaver. Paying for expedited shipping on items through USPS or private carriers can be prohibitively expensive.
However, if the two-day shipping is just a luxury, seriously consider just ordering the item without Prime and waiting a few more days. After all, $139 a year is a lot of money just for the perk of not having to wait!
Of course, Prime includes some benefits that are unrelated to shipping and packages. These include access to Amazon Prime Video and Prime Music, which are streaming services comparable to Netflix and Spotify, respectively. Subscriptions to these services individually are a bit cheaper than a full Prime subscription, but some people use all of the features enough to make this a sensible expense.
The short version is that if you order packages from Amazon often already, you might as well get Prime to watch TV shows like The Boys and listen to music on your Alexa device. However, if you only buy from Amazon once per month, or less frequently, you can basically ignore Prime and save money.