Is Prime worth having? Are there ways to cut the cost? Let's take a look.

Still a lower price vs. competitors

Watching series with a cup of tea. Just one more episode.
Nicolas Maderna / Shutterstock
Amazon Prime may seem like a better deal than competitors Spotify and Netflix.

The cost may seem relatively reasonable compared to other subscription services.

Netflix, for example, charges anywhere from around $9 to about $16 per month (roughly $108 to $192 per year), and Spotify is $10 to $15 a month ($120 to $180 a year).

And, consider that each of those companies is known for just one thing: video streaming (Netflix) and digital music (Spotify).

Amazon Prime may still be a good deal given the variety of services that come with your subscription.

Big savings on shipping

PARIS, FRANCE - JAN 28, 2016: Amazon Prime logotype printed on cardboard box security scotch tape.
Hadrian / Shutterstock
Amazon Prime offers free shipping on more than 100 million items.

Depending on how much you order from Amazon, you might make back the membership fee in shipping savings alone.

For Prime members, free two-day shipping is available across the U.S. on over 100 million items.

Amazon tops that by offering one-day delivery for more than 10 million products, and even same-day shipping of over 3 million items in certain cities.

Video and music, too

Paris, France - June 05, 2017 : Amazon Prime Video HomePage
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Your Prime membership includes video and music,

A Prime membership includes Prime Video, which offers an abundance of original content such as the award-winning series Mozart In The Jungle, The Man In The High Castle and Fleabag.

They'll eventually be joined by an original Lord of the Rings series that Amazon has spent over $250 million to acquire.

Music is another bonus. Prime members have access to over 2 million songs, plus audiobook streaming through Audible.

Other bundled-in services

New York NY/USA-January 28, 2017 Shopper in the produce department in the new Whole Foods Market opposite Bryant Park in New York
rblfmr / Shutterstock
Prime members enjoy special discounts at Whole Foods.

With Amazon Prime, you also can borrow an e-book a month from the Kindle Lending Library.

Other highlights of membership include discounts on select products, and access to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature credit card, which offers significant cash-back options.

Prime members also get special deals at Whole Foods Market, which is owned by Amazon. Just scan the Whole Foods app at the register and enjoy an extra 10% off that week's sale items.

How to get Prime for less

Man with smiling box over his head
frankie's / Shutterstock

Still not sure you want to cough up $12.99/month for Amazon Prime? If you're not currently a subscriber, you might consider doing a 30-day free trial.

You can experience all the Prime perks: the free shipping, video, music and the rest. Not to mention Prime Day. After 30 days, you'll automatically be charged your membership fee, so you must cancel by then if that's what you decide to do.

You also should keep your eyes open for occasional promos on Prime.

College students can get a six-month free trial followed by a discounted membership customized for them. The student rate is about half the regular price: $59.50 or $6.49 per month.

Even if you can't figure out any way around the $119 fee, you may very well find that a Prime membership is good to have — if you can get your money's worth out of the many potential benefits.

About the Author

Doug Whiteman

Doug Whiteman


Doug Whiteman is the editor-in-chief of MoneyWise. He has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and and has been interviewed on Fox Business, CBS Radio and the syndicated TV show "First Business."

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