Is Amazon Prime Still Worth The Cost?

That’s the million dollar question being asked by many Amazon Prime subscribers, including myself, after Amazon announced a price increase to their Amazon Prime membership service.

This shouldn’t come as a shock to most as Amazon hasn’t raised the price on Amazon Prime since it was introduced nine years ago. Yet many people are shocked and frustrated with the price increase, from $79 a year to $99 a year, an increase of $20.

Amazon Prime Increase makes me frown

When Pam and I decided to cut the cable subscription just over a year ago, we decided we’d go with Amazon Prime because of their movie and TV show streaming. The cost was right and we were also given free 2 day shipping with any purchases fulfilled by Amazon. Great for those impulse purchases.

But now we’ve got to rethink whether or not we’ll continue Amazon Prime once our yearly membership is up.

In this post, I want to detail the value Amazon Prime adds, what Amazon Prime lacks, and where I stand on the issue.

What Does Amazon Prime Offer?

If you haven’t heard of Amazon Prime before, you might want to check it out. Amazon Prime offers a load of benefits to those who are members.

Free 2-day shipping on eligible items: This is great for those who buy and read a ton of books or for those who make many purchases from Amazon. Shipping through Prime is free and quick, sometimes arriving the next day.

Free Amazon Prime Instant Video Access: Right here is the reason we went with Amazon Prime. We cut our cable and wanted a source to stream movies to our TV. Amazon Prime offers a wide, but limited, range of movies and television series you can watch for free.

Kindle Owners’ Lending Library: A wonderful addition to the Prime offerings. For those that own a Kindle device, you can download one select book a month. Once again, there’s a wide variety of books that are eligible for the Kindle owners’ lending library program. I’ve checked out books by Chris Brogan, Seth Godin, and more with this feature.

Kindle First Picks: This feature allows Amazon Prime members the opportunity to download one of four editor’s picks one month before the official publication date. Great for those readers who want to get a jump start on reading the newest books.

What Does Amazon Prime Lack?

Good question. With all of it’s great features, there are still things that hold Amazon Prime back.

Limited instant video access: Amazon Prime’s instant video library is great. Yet it’s also lacking in the amount of new movies you can instantly stream to the device of your choice. You won’t typically find the latest blockbuster movie ready for you to view.

Amazon add-on items: There’s been a recent change to the Amazon Prime program and it’s one I don’t like. There are many low cost items that used to ship free with Amazon Prime. Now those items have been moved to a special category called Amazon add-on items. These low cost items will ship free, but only with an order of $25 or more.

So Is Amazon Prime Still Worth The Cost?

At first blush, the cost increase for Amazon Prime seems pretty steep. At $20, it’s an increase of 25%. Ouch.

But is it really all that bad? That’s my question.

And when I take a good look at the cost increase as a monthly rate, Amazon Prime sill looks like a great deal.

At $99 a year, Amazon Prime is only $8.25 a month. Compared to Netflix, for streaming video, it’s only $0.26 more a month. And you get free shipping on many items Amazon sells. Don’t forget to include the free Kindle eBooks you can read.

With those benefits, I think Amazon Prime is still fairly inexpensive and a great value to those looking to save money while shopping online.

Question: What do you think of the Amazon Prime increase? Are you sticking with them or telling them goodbye? Let me know in the comment section below.

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