In the beginning, Amazon was an industry leading online bookstore. Over the past decade, the company has flexed its muscles and become one of the most powerful online retailers in the world.
In conjunction with this massive growth, Amazon instituted its Amazon Prime membership account.
Amazon Prime provides a basket of benefits for members willing to pay a recurring annual fee.
How Much is Amazon Prime Membership Fee?
The Amazon Prime fee currently stands at $99 per year with a variety of free trials available for special groups.
For new members, their Amazon Prime membership begins with a free 30-day trial period. In order to signup for an account, new members are required to provide their credit card information.
When the 30-day trial period has expired, their card will automatically be charged the annual fee. Individuals who choose not to accept the membership need to sign-in and cancel their membership or be charged.
“Amazon Student” offers students a six month free trial membership with a $39 annual membership following the trial period.
“Amazon Mom” offers a free three month trial period. The subsequent membership fee is still $99 per year, but with an assortment of special discounts on diapers and household goods.
The Amazon Mom promotion is essentially available to anyone not previously signed up as a student.
What Are the Benefits of Membership?
The Amazon Prime membership offers three primary benefits:
- 2-Day Free Shipping – This benefit is applicable to any order with no minimum purchase requirement. This benefit can be shared with up to four other people
- Instant Streaming – Amazon has a library of over 40,000 movies and television episodes. Members are permitted unlimited streaming of all available titles
- E-Book Library – Amazon has over 500,000 book titles available for loan. Members have access to one book a month with no due date
Is Amazon Prime Worth the Annual Fee?
Before a prospective member worries about the question, how much is Amazon Prime?, they need to consider all the opportunities they will have to recoup the annual fee.
Based on the three primary benefits, here is an objective analysis of the potential financial benefits of membership.
2-Day Free Shipping
Amazon’s standard shipping policy offers free shipping on purchases over $25.
However, the deliveries might take 5-10 days to arrive. If this were the only benefit targeted by a prospective member, they would have to consider two things.
First, they would need to determine just how critical it is to receive orders over $25 in less than 5-10 days. If it is really important, then the membership is most likely beneficial if they make frequent purchases.
Secondly, they would have to compare the membership costs to the annual costs they anticipate incurring for shipping fees under the standard shipping guidelines.
If the average shipping costs related to orders under $25 are the minimum $3.99, they would have to make 26 such purchases in order to offset the annual membership fee.
If they anticipate doing that, the membership fee is worth the price.
The most popular streaming service is Netflix, which charges a monthly fee of $8 per month for a standard membership.
If the $99 Amazon Prime membership fee is compared to Netflix’s $96 a year fee, it represents a push from a cost standpoint.
However, Netflix’s library is significantly better than Amazon’s. Therefore, Amazon Prime would not be worth the price if streaming was the only targeted benefit.
Kindle E-Books have an average cost of $12-$15. A person would have to purchase nine books a year at full price in order to render Amazon Prime cost as the more attractive option from strictly a cost standpoint.
However, a bookworm who powers through a book a month will most likely benefit from the Amazon Prime membership if the desired titles are usually available.
After all is said and done, anyone who is anticipating using all three benefits is sure to experience a significant cost savings as long as they visit Amazon on a recurring basis.
Therefore, it would appear that Amazon Prime is a good value under most circumstances.