How much is Amazon Prime? Is Amazon Prime Worth It?

How much is Amazon Prime? Is Amazon Prime Worth It? It’s likely that you and nearly everyone you know have an Amazon Prime membership, or at least access to one. Statista estimates that more than 76.6 million households have an account, after all.

The popular subscription service costs $139 per year for annual members. Those paying for Prime on a monthly basis pay $14.99 per month, while those with Prime Student accounts pay $69 per year.

Having an Amazon Prime membership might seem like a rite of passage — or sometimes an absolute necessity — but is it really worth an extra line on your monthly or yearly budget?

Below, CNBC Select breaks down the rewards, benefits and perks of having an Amazon Prime account, plus a few things to keep in mind if you’re on the fence about purchasing the service.

How much is Amazon Prime?

The cost of an Amazon Prime membership differs depending on how you want to pay. As of February 2022, it costs $14.99 per month or $139 per year, so with the annual rate, you save $40. We’ve seen a few price hikes over the years as e-commerce exploded and Amazon added more perks: From $79 to $99 in 2014 and then to $119 in 2018, before reaching its current price. Prices across Europe have also increased by up to 43%.

If $139 is too much, there are ways to avoid paying full price for shipping. First-time subscribers can sign up for a free 30-day trial. Students can sign up for Prime Student, which costs $7.49 per month or $69 for the full year and offers exclusive discounts. Those who qualify for government assistance, such as EBT or Medicaid, can get Prime for $6.99 a month for up to four years.

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If you want Prime just for the free shipping, you can qualify for free delivery in 5-8 business days by spending $35 or more on eligible items. Or subscribe to specific items if you buy something regularly. This will knock off 15% of the final price and qualify you for free delivery.

Amazon Prime

What Does a Prime Membership Include?

The biggest benefit of an Amazon Prime membership is free shipping, but you also get unlimited access to many Amazon-owned services, such as Prime Video and Amazon Music, and extras are added all the time. Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of what you get:

Free Delivery

  • Free two-day shipping on eligible items.
  • Free one-day shipping with no minimum purchase on select items.
  • Free same-day shipping on orders $25 and over in eligible ZIP codes.
  • Free release-date shipping for eligible pre-order items.
  • Free no-rush shipping.
  • Free Amazon Day Delivery, where all your weekly Amazon orders are delivered on the same day each week.
  • Free in-garage delivery through the Amazon Key service on your Amazon Day Delivery, a great way to protect your front door deliveries.

Shopping Perks

  • Whole Foods: Prime members get exclusive discounts when shopping at Amazon-owned Whole Foods. Two-hour delivery is also available in select cities.
  • Amazon Fresh: Amazon Fresh offers 1-hour pickup or 2-hour delivery windows in more than 2,000 US cities and towns. Prime members can get free delivery on purchases over $100 and save 10% on eligible in-store purchases at a physical Amazon Fresh store.
  • Try Before You Buy: Prime members have access to a program that allows them to try on clothing at home before committing to a purchase.
  • Amazon Elements: Subscribers gain access to Amazon’s line of everyday essentials, including vitamins and supplements.
  • Shopbop: Free shipping and free returns on all orders.
  • Woot!: Free standard shipping on all Woot! orders and free express shipping on shirt orders.
  • Zappos: Link your Prime account with Zappos to get free upgraded shipping on all orders.
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Is Amazon Prime Worth It?

When it comes to subscription services, worth all comes down to how often you use what you’re paying for. Amazon Prime costs $14.99 per month; $11.58 if you pay for the $139 annual Prime plan. Are you getting that money back in value each month?

To answer that question, think about how often you make purchases on Amazon and get free shipping as a result of Prime. Or consider how much you’re paying for shipping without a membership and see if that number is higher than what you’d pay for a membership.

Prime offers many perks that can make it feel worthwhile, but services like Prime Video and Music Prime sweeten the deal only as much as you watch movies and listen to music through those services.

Amazon Prime

How much does Amazon Prime cost for students?

College students can register for a free six-month Prime Student plan trial membership. Initially, you’re supposed to register using a “.edu” email address so Amazon can confirm your student status (the email can be changed later). Once verified, students can enjoy the same Prime perks as annual members, as well as get access to Prime Gaming (which includes free gaming content and ad-free viewing on Twitch).

Student members also get first dibs on daily deals on everything from skincare products to school supplies. Once the free trial is over, you can sign up for a discounted annual Prime membership ($69) that’s good for four years or until you graduate, whichever comes first. Or, you could continue to buy in monthly to the Prime student membership for $7.49.

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If you’re not a big online shopper but you want access to Amazon’s shows and movies, you could save a few bucks each month by going for the standalone Prime Video plan. For just $8.99 a month, you can stream blockbuster movies, award-winning Prime Original series and movies, and even live sports, without any of the other benefits of a full Amazon Prime membership.

How much is Amazon Prime monthly?

The monthly Prime membership fee is $14.99, for a total of about $180 a year. It’s a good option for shoppers who might want to cancel their Amazon Prime membership, or for bargain hunters who only want to sign up so they can get access to sale events like Prime Big Deal Days.

If you’re looking to save the most money possible, the annual Amazon Prime membership fee is $139, saving you $40 a year compared to the monthly option. You’re charged upfront, and the annual membership auto-renews every 12 months. Perks include free one and two-day shipping, access to Prime Video, unlimited music streaming and photo storage, as well as access to Prime Reading (aka Kindle book and magazine downloads) and Whole Foods discounts and delivery options.

If you’ve not tried the service before, there’s a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime membership. So if you’re not ready to commit to an annual membership you can test the waters for free for one month before you buy in.

Amazon has also introduced Prime Access, a discounted membership available to qualifying recipients of government assistance programs like SNAP EBT, TANF and Medicaid (among others). Prime Access costs just $6.99 a month but comes with all the benefits of a regular Prime membership, at less than half the cost of the normal fee. For the full list of eligible programs, head to the About Amazon page on Prime Access.

Amazon Prime

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