Amazon just increased the price of its Amazon Prime membership to $119 per year so you may be wondering is it worth keeping your Amazon Prime membership once it’s up for renewal. That’s a good question. Everyone knows that Amazon Prime comes with free 2-day shipping, but did you know there are a ton of other benefits and perks that come with a Prime membership? Of course, depending on how much you order from Amazon, free 2-day shipping may be enough of a perk to keep you onboard. But just in case you’re wondering, Prime membership actually offers a lot of other perks too–and if you use them all, you’re definitely getting a deal even at the new price point of $119 per year.
Here are five different categories of Amazon Prime perks that you may not know about.
Super Speedy Shipping
Free 2-Day Shipping
As I just mentioned, there is free 2-day shipping, which is probably the best-known Amazon Prime perk. Right now, members get free 2-day shipping whenever they buy eligible items (typically those sold directly by Amazon). However, some inexpensive “add-on” items only ship with orders of $25 or more. Both products eligible for Prime shipping and add-on items are marked on the site.
Free Same-Day Delivery
How about this perk though: Amazon also offers same-day delivery (and 1-day shipping) to Prime members in more than 8,000 locations. Look for items marked as such, spend at least $35, order before noon, and you can get your shipment delivered for free by 9 pm the same day. How cool is that? I’ve taken advantage of this perk a lot.
Alternatively, if you need your items even faster, you can get free 2-hour delivery with Prime Now. The service only offers a limited selection of items — which vary depending on your location — but covers the gamut of what you’d find in a typical big-box store. The highlight of Prime Now is perishables. These speedy deliveries mean you can order items like milk and eggs.
Prime Now is only available in 32 metropolitan areas in the U.S. Two-hour delivery is free (for Prime members) with orders totaling $35 or more. Smaller orders cost $4.99, and delivery within one hour is available for $7.99.
Credits for No-Rush Shipping
Here’s a perk that I’ve never taken advantage of myself, but I could see it being nice for people less anxious than myself. If you don’t need your new purchases quickly, opt for no-rush shipping in exchange for a coupon. Amazon shuffles these coupons around, but frequently offers them for digital items (like eBooks) or discounts on Prime Pantry. They’re nice freebies to pick up if you’ll use them — and don’t need your purchases immediately. Expect no-rush shipping to take up to six business days.
Prime members can also get free release-date delivery on select pre-order items, like movies and video games. Release-date delivery items will arrive on your doorstep the day they’re released, all without the hassle of going to a store to pick them up. If an item is eligible for release-date delivery, you’ll have a special release-day shipping option when you go to check out.
All of these delivery times are guaranteed by Amazon, and if Amazon misses a delivery window, you could get a free month of Prime added to your account–all you have to do is just ask for it.
So Much Content
Want to stream audiobooks, games, TV shows, music, or movies? Amazon Prime has a large selection of all of these. Prime Video offers thousands of streaming titles, including original shows like Emmy-winner Transparent and Golden Globe-winner The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Plus, you can get even more shows and movies by subscribing to premium channels such as Showtime and Starz through Amazon, sometimes at a discount from stand-alone subscription prices.
Prime Music and Audible Channels
I’m a huge music lover and while I personally prefer Apple Music for tunes, Prime Music is a great deal for Prime members. It offers more than a million songs and albums to stream or download. Prime members also get a selection of audiobooks and original audio programming — think podcasts — through Audible Channels. It’s all ad-free, with no limit to how much subscribers can stream.
Oh and we can’t forget that Amazon originally started as an online bookstore so naturally some of Prime’s perks are for those who love to read. Amazon First Reads gives readers a free or reduced-price eBook every month, pulled from a selection of new releases chosen by Amazon’s editors. The Prime Reading program offers an all-you-can-read eBook library that includes books, magazines, and comics. The available selection is limited, not rivaling Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited eBook subscription service ($9.99 per month), but it’s still a solid perk.
Additionally, if you’re a Prime member and an owner of a Kindle or Fire device, you can also borrow books through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Like with the rest of these reading perks, a limited selection of books is available. Unlike the rest, you can only read Lending Library books with an actual Kindle or Fire device — not through the multi-platform Kindle app.
Here’s a nice perk for gamers, since Amazon acquired Twitch, the company offers something called Twitch Prime, which offers ad-free access to Twitch’s game streaming service and lets fans keep up with esports and other game-related programming. Twitch Prime members also get a free channel subscription every month and access to exclusive game content, though what’s available will vary.
If you take a ton of photos on your smartphone, you’ll also really appreciate this Prime perk called Prime Photos that gives you a place to store and organize your photos. Since you can access it on the web or via an app for iOS and Android — and share it with five people — it’s an easy and convenient solution for sharing photos with family and friends.
Food Delivery Right to Your Door
Prime Pantry can be useful for ordering bulky items — which Amazon usually won’t offer or won’t ship for free. This means you can have bottled water and soda delivered right to your doorstep instead of having to lug it there yourself (which is great if you live in a city like me and don’t have a car). And since you can get free or discounted Prime Pantry shipping by opting for no-rush shipping at checkout, or by adding enough qualifying items to your Pantry box, the convenience may not even cost you. That being said, if you don’t hit the number of qualifying items for a free or discounted delivery free it’ll cost you $5.99 per delivery.
AmazonFresh is a straight-up grocery delivery service that’s available to Prime members. Fresh will bring your entire shopping list to your door (same day if you order in the morning, next day otherwise), leaving it in insulated containers on your doorstep if you’re out. That’s definitely a dream for anyone who doesn’t like trekking to the grocery store, but the convenience comes with a hefty price tag: $14.99 per month, with free delivery for orders over $50. For that price, you may decide a trip to the store isn’t a big deal or look to other alternatives such as FreshDirect.
Don’t feel like cooking? Depending on where you live, you may also be able to use Amazon’s restaurant delivery service, available only to Prime members. The food typically arrives within an hour, but you must spend at least $10 (not a difficulty with most restaurants). I’ve used this perk many times and I’m quite pleased with it. The ordering process is easy, the tracking system is very good, and the food has always arrived in the provided time range. The only thing I’d like to see is a wider selection of restaurants in my area.
Access to Even More Deals
Even with Amazon’s already-competitive pricing, Prime members get an edge. Members have access to Amazon’s Prime Day sales, early access to Lightning Deals, 20% off preordered video games, and family discounts (like up to 20% off diapers). As you may expect though, you don’t know what you’re going to get with a lot of these deals — Prime Day and Lightning Deals aren’t always Amazon’s best bargains or top line products — but this discount combo usually offer something for everyone.
If you’re unsure of the value of a Prime membership, consider splitting the cost with someone else. You can share your membership with one adult living in the same household, so it can be a bargain for roommates.
Are the current Amazon Prime perks enough to renew your Prime subscription? Let us know in the comments below!