I have mentioned Amazon Prime tons of times over the years but I thought the New Year would be a great time to refresh memories about this service.
Prime service is charged at $99 per year. You get a lot of perks included with that fee so for many people it can be very worthwhile. This service is not going to be worth it to everyone but I have paid for it for years now and wanted to pass along the information so you can decide what you think.
Here are the perks:
Free 2 day Shipping on any order.
This is so nice because you don’t have to spend $35 for free shipping. It really adds up if you order lots of little things especially during the holiday season! Amazon prime saved me because I ordered so many little things and it was all shipped to me free with 2 day delivery (books, dolls, stocking stuffers etc…) I once found a children’s book for $.49 on Amazon and got it shipped free.
I often pull up the Amazon price when I am in various stores and just order on the spot if the price is better. Once example is a book I needed quickly for my daughter’s school- I stopped in a bookstore and it was $17.99. The price from Amazon was $8 for the exact same thing I didn’t have to run all around or try to price match or have any hassle. Just order and it comes in 2 days.
The major exception is if you purchase items not sold by Amazon directly- so a third party listed on Amazon. Those items do not offer free shipping with Prime.
Discounted Shipping Upgrades.
I also find this to be a huge convenience for last minute things or when the time slips past you. Get overnight shipping on your Amazon orders for $3.99. I was on vacation once and my camera broke. I had a new one to the hotel the next day for the price of the camera + $3.99. This is a weekday service but they are now offering Saturday service for $8.99.
Free Kindle Books.
If you have a Kindle device you can borrow over 350,000 books from the Kindle lending library. The books have no set return date so borrow away without any worries.
You can borrow one book per month and the books do change frequently. That is 12 free books to read each year. (Get the details on how to borrow books here.)
Prime Movie and TV Streaming.
Amazon has a bunch of free movies and tv shows that members can stream. I don’t think this benefit is available for trial offers or Amazon Student but it is a nice little perk. My kids watch cartoons like Sesame Street and Dora on Prime and I watch TV shows I have missed. (I watched Titantic the mini series last year which was really good) and I caught up with Downton Abbey prior episodes awhile back too. I find the movies to be a little bit older so you won’t be able to catch all the brand new releases for free but there is still a ton to pick from. We use this service all the time when travelling.
This is a great service right now for those of you stuck at home with the freezing weather outside! Make it movie night every night- goodness knows there is nothing on TV. (except those new Sprint commericals with James Earl Jones. Love those!)
You can share Amazon Prime with family members in your household. If you have Grandma living with you or whatever you can invite up to 4 family members to share the membership as long as it is all under the same address. As an example My Father in Law lives with his brother and her wife (they are snowbirds so only in CA half the year)- so they can split the membership between them as long as it is all sent to that CA address.
You can also share with co-workers! If you have a small business you can share benefits with up to 4 coworkers. The coworkers would need to shop under the corporate account.
The price is $79 per year. That works out to $6.58 per month.
I have paid for Amazon Prime for several years now. The way I justify the expense is one with the free book- I read a ton and I figure I spend on average $5 per Kindle book anyway.
I also justify it by the time savings. In December of last year I was looking for a movie and I drove to 3 stores looking for this movie. Two were sold out and the 3rd had it but I wanted to price match and there was a coupon to make it slightly cheaper…. well that trip made me realize that it is simply not worth my time to save the $2 or whatever. I should have ordered from Amazon and spent that time cleaning my house, making dinner, reading to my kids etc… Not running all around wasting time and getting crabby.
Free Trial Membership
If you have not previously had a free trial of this service, you can get a free 30 Day membership to check it out and see what you think. This offer runs through January 10th so don’t wait to sign up if you are interested.
And one last perk for college students:
This is a slightly different program- you get almost all the same benefits except I am not sure if the TV Shows and Movies are Free.
You can also borrow the books and the great thing is many of them are classics- which you are probably studying in your classes anyway. Dang if those book fees aren’t a killer!
This is available until you graduate or up to 4 years total. To register you need an .edu address or you need to submit proof of your status.
Oh and if you like the service you can also refer your friends and get a $10 credit on your Amazon account- the offer is not available in AR, ME, RI, MN, MO & NC.
*One last note. Sometimes people are tempted to open multiple accounts to take advantage of free trial offers more then once. I just wanted to warn you against that. Not only can it be a headache to manage but Amazon does not allow that and they will cancel your account and not let you order stuff anymore which would be very sad indeed.