This is an update to a post which originally appeared on June 13, 2013.
A few years ago, my husband and I decided to go ahead pay for an Amazon Prime membership. I had tried it in the past when I signed up for a free 30 day trial and had liked it, but for some reason I was reluctant to actually pay the $99 annual fee. I was hopeful that it would pay for itself and I was absolutely right!
There is more to your membership than you may realize. Your annual fee gets you a lot of great perks which many people forget to use!
Other ways to save money when shopping:
- 20+ Tricks to Save Money on Amazon
- 21 Kohl’s Money Saving Hacks
- 8 of my FAVORITE Online Shopping Hacks
THE BEST PERKS OF HAVING AN AMAZON PRIME ACCOUNT
FREE TWO DAY SHIPPING
This is the main reason people get a Prime membership. You can get free shipping on thousands of items, which would not ship for free otherwise. Shipping normally runs between $7 – $9 per order. If you place just 11 orders a year, then your membership pays for itself. Place 12 or more and you are ahead!
One instance I can recall where this really helped, was when my daughter needed a new mouthpiece for Karate. I could not find one in the stores (all they kept having in stock were adult sizes). Rather than having to drive all the way to a specialty store, I was able to log into my account and find one that I ordered and it shipped for free. If I’d not had Amazon Prime, I would have paid another $5 just for shipping.
We actually save MORE than $99 a year on shipping costs now. I was passing on so many really good deals because I did not want to pay shipping. Now, I can pick up the things we need and even those great deals without any worry that shipping was far too expensive.
One other thing I loved was using this during the holidays. We were able to order a items and have them sent directly to our family members — for free! That meant I did not have to shop at the store, but I also did not have to pay for shipping to them either! LOVED that!
If the $99 fee is a bit too much you might even consider the $10.99 month-to-month charge instead — especially during the holiday season.
INSTANT SAVINGS ON SUBSCRIBE & SAVE PRODUCTS
When it comes to household products, you know you are going to have to order more. You will always need laundry detergent, dish soap, toilet paper, etc. There are many times when you can find coupons which save you money. You also can instantly save 5% off of the list price when you sign up for Subscribe & Save. If you have not heard of that program, you can read more about Subscribe & Save.
If you happen to purchase 5 Subscribe & Save items in a single month, your savings will increase to an additional 20% off of your purchase! They will wait and ship all of your items at one time, which means you may need to plan ahead to get the things you need.
Make sure you read more about this program so you are aware of the price you will pay on all future shipments!
FREE KINDLE LENDING LIBRARY
If you have a Kindle, you can actually get FREE books! Many titles may cost others to purchase, but you can actually borrow them for free through the Kindle Lending library. When you are done, it goes back to Amazon and you paid nothing – just like you would at a traditional library.
There are also times when Prime members can download books for free (to own) when others would need to pay for them. This is such an easy way to increase your reading library at no additional cost to you. Or, if you would rather look at it this way, the $79 fee could pay for a LOT of books over the course of a year.
FREE INSTANT STREAMING OF MOVIES & TV SHOWS
You can download and watch many movies and or TV shows. Some of these include: Dora the Explorer, Under the Dome, Downton Abbey Season 3, American Restoration and more!
You can find a lot of older movies too (like Clue – which my daughter absolutely loved watching). However, you will also see newer movies coming up from time to time!
For an additional monthly fee, you can even stream prime movies from providers such as Starz, HBO and more!
If you have little ones (say in diapers for example), you can really save on your purchases if you belong to Amazon Family. When you sign up for Amazon Family and pay for Amazon Prime, you can additional savings including an additional 15% off of diapers and wipes — for a total discount of 20%!
As mentioned above, if you purchase 5 or more items using Subscribe & Save, your savings increases from 5% to 20%. What is great is that your diapers and wipes (which you would save 20% anyhow) will count towards this purchase!
And don’t forget about the amazing Amazon Baby Registry! When you join, you get additional discounts of up to 15% off of registry completion items. You also get up to 90 days of FREE returns! Learn more and create your own Baby Registry.
If you live in select cities, you can actually get PrimeNow. This service will get your order delivered to you within a couple of hours. If you are really in a hurry, you can pay $7.99 and get it at your doorstep in just an hour!
One feature we really love is Amazon Household. This feature allows us to add our children as users, and have restrictions so they can’t place purchases nor access anything they should not. It is also great because we can share services.
For instance, you could actually split the cost of the annual fee with a family member. The thing to know is that the main account has access to the majority of the perks, but if the other adult really only wants free shipping, they can have access to that feature through your account!
Amazon also offers Prime Music to all of it’s subscribers. You will have access to more than one million songs — all ad free! Stream them right to your favorite device and catch your favorite songs whenever you’d like.
Forget paying for Dropbox! Your Amazon Prime membership includes UNLIMITED photo storage. You can store all of your favorite images in your account. This will allow you to access them for anywhere you would like (without worry that your computer may crash and you’ll lose them all).
This is another really awesome way to make sure you don’t run out of the things you need. Prime Pantry is a way to shop for the things you need on-line and pay just one flat fee to get it all shipped to your front door.
If you opt for no-rush shipping, they will actually give you a credit of $5.99 in your account! It is like getting paid to shop!
PERK #11 – PRIME READING
There are now 11 perks on this list. Since I originally shared this, Amazon has added in Prime reading. This feature allows members to read books, magazines and more – completely free! Just click the Read for Free button on the item you want and you’ll be able to download it instantly to your device. It might help you save the cost of magazine subscriptions!!!
For us, it just made sense to pay this annual membership fee. It has paid for itself (and then some). We were able to justify the cost when we first purchased and have actually witnessed the savings first hand.
If you aren’t ready to drop $99, you can pay just $10.99 per month instead. You will pay more over the course of a year however, this is a great way to get this service over the holidays (for example). If you plan to make many Amazon purchases, the free shipping alone my pay for itself during this time of the year.
Best of all, you can try Amazon Prime for free for 30 days so you can see what you think before you opt in. Then, you can continue either annually or month-to-month. The choice is yours.
You might find like us that it was well worth the cost.
Find some great Amazon deals right now! Do you have Amazon Prime? What do you think?