It’s been more than 10 years now since I first looked into a membership service called “Amazon Prime.” Being the frugalista that I am, of course, I dismissed it out of hand for one simple reason—currently the $119 annual membership fee. For what, I asked? Nothing tangible, that’s for sure.
I wish I’d researched Amazon Prime more thoroughly back then. I had no idea what I was turning down. By not joining until two years later in 2009, I spent far more in shipping costs alone than I would have paid for the annual membership.
Honestly, I am in love with Amazon Prime and my love only grows as the years go by. My life is busy and I am such a disaster-waiting-to-happen in a shopping mall environment. I rely heavily on Amazon for household needs, personal items, and business supplies and equipment, too.
Free shipping alone saves me hundreds of dollars in shipping fees every year, not to mention time, gasoline, frustration, and impulsive disasters.
Since I first posted about Amazon Prime, the benefits have increased tremendously!
How do I love Amazon Prime? Oh, let me count the ways:
Free two-day shipping
Amazon calls it free, but technically Amazon Prime offers flat-rate-prepaid-shipping. While there are some exceptions (Prime is not available on items sold through the Amazon Marketplace, for example), I don’t recall the last time I paid for shipping per delivery.
I’m talking about flat-rate, pre-paid, two-day shipping, no matter the weight with no minimum purchase amount or any other qualifying requirement at all. And there is no limit on the number of deliveries or the accumulated weight of packages delivered for that one flat-rate over a full year.
It makes my head spin how fast things arrive with Prime shipping. Anything I need is delivered to my doorstep in two short days (often one-day!) no matter how much it weighs. And if I absolutely need it tomorrow, with Prime I can upgrade to next day delivery for a flat rate of $3.99.
Free shipping saves me and my business hundreds of dollars in shipping fees every year.
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I can share my Prime
And I do. Amazon Prime members can share the benefits of Amazon Prime by creating an Amazon Household. A Household allows you to connect and share Amazon benefits with the whole family. Two adults and up to four teens and four child profiles may link in a Household.
Instant streaming movies, TV
You can use your Amazon Prime membership to stream Amazon Instant Video, movies and TV episodes on any compatible device that’s signed into an Amazon account. You can stream hit movies and all kinds of recent TV episodes.
Students get a big break
Prime Student membership is free for 6 months, then once you join it’s 50 percent off the regular Prime rate—$59 a year. Student members get free 2-day shipping during the free 6-month trial period and then unlock access to unlimited instant streaming of 40,000 movies and TV episodes after their free trial.
With Prime membership, you and your Amazon Household get access to two million songs, ad-free—an exclusive library of songs from Amazon Music.
Kindle owner’s lending library
If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can borrow books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and read them on your Kindle device.
30-day free trial
Had I known about this option back in 2007, I would have definitely gone for a free month of Prime membership first. That’s what I suggest that you do—try it out before you commit. If you are not convinced or find you just will not use Amazon effectively, no problem. You can cancel with no penalty, no problem and even better—no hassle.
During your free month, you will get all of the benefits of Amazon Prime including free two-day shipping, borrowing books from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library for free, unlimited instant streaming of movies and TV shows, music, and unlimited books and magazines on any device.
And if you are a student, for sure you want to consider a 6-month free trial! What a great way to see if Amazon Prime is right for you before you commit to a $59 annual membership fee.
There is no doubt about it—I am crazy about Amazon Prime. Crazy like a fox, that is.
First published: 8-26-13; Revised & Updated 5-02-19
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