Review: Amazon Prime Membership: Worth The Cost?

Amazon Prime is a paid membership option for Amazon shoppers that offers benefits not available to the general public. But the question many have is whether the benefits one can receive is worth the yearly fee.

The cost of an Amazon Prime membership is $79 per year.  However, new members can receive a free one month trial to test it out and see how well they like the service before they pay the yearly fee. This allows the new member 30 days of the benefits to see if it really is worth paying.

As a regular Amazon shopper I was enticed with the most popular benefit of the program which is their free two day shipping on orders. I order through Amazon a lot and dislike paying the high cost of having a product shipped. Sometimes the cost to ship a book is higher than the cost of the book itself. This is what led me to try out the program and see how I liked it. There are several benefits to the membership that users can take advantage of.

Prime members receive free two day shipping on any order fulfilled by Amazon. Regardless of what the product is, it will arrive within two days at no charge to the customer. Most orders are shipped via UPS. If a person orders frequently from Amazon, the membership fee could easily be made up in what is saved on shipping charges.

If a member is in a hurry and needs the item sooner, they can upgrade any order fulfilled by Amazon to one day shipping for only $3.99.  For those last minute shoppers this is a bonus as overnight shipping is generally costly.

However, there is a down side to the shipping benefits for Prime members. The benefit only extends to merchandise that is fulfilled by Amazon. This means that if a private seller has the item at a lower price, it does not qualify for the Prime shipping. Occasionally this could mean the member pays a bit more on the cost of the item to ensure free shipping or low cost overnight shipping. In general though, opting for an item with a small difference in price and free shipping still saves the shopper money.

Members can also add up to four guests on their account. This allows them to place friends or family on the account so that they can take advantage of the special deals on shipping as well.

Another recently added benefit for Prime members is the ability to watch free streaming videos through Amazon at no additional charge. The service has over 5,000 movies and TV shows that are available for instant viewing to members with no fee.

Whether or not the Prime membership is worth the cost will vary greatly by person. For someone that orders online frequently the savings on shipping charges will more than pay for the membership. If a person is not prone to shop online then they may find paying for the membership is not very beneficial.

Potential members may test the program through a free one month trial.

Consumer Expert Norma Flatman

Norma is a full-time homeschooling mom in addition to being a writer. When not tackling hard subjects like Algebra, she loves writing in general and will give virtually any topic her all. In addition to her writing in the consumer and entertainment field, Norma works as a ghostwriter and has plans to author her own book.