Chuck Bentley: Is Having an Amazon Prime Membership Worth It?

Dear Chuck,

My friends rave about their Amazon Prime membership. I’m not convinced. Do you have an opinion?

Not Ready for Prime 

Dear Not Ready,

Thanks for your question. It is one I had not carefully analyzed, so this may be helpful for members and non-members alike.

My wife, Ann, and I have been Amazon Prime members for years. From a financial standpoint, it’s been worth it for us. The fast, free shipping has been helpful when sending items to college students and gifts to family and friends. We watch occasional movies via Amazon and take advantage of discounts at Whole Foods. But it does merit a closer analysis since some users may not get their money’s worth.

The membership costs $119 per year or $59 for students. It grants access to movies, TV, music, photo storage, special discounts, and free two-day shipping on many items to 100 million subscribers. Plus, the benefits, with limitations, can be extended to in-home family members.

However, you don’t have to be a member to get free shipping. A $25 order of eligible items grants standard shipping. Wal-Mart and Target offer that as well.

A Prime membership is worth it if:

  • You order products from Amazon frequently (free two-day shipping)
  • You want a cheaper alternative to Netflix or Spotify
  • You need a place to store unlimited photos (Prime Photos)
  • You want discounts to Whole Foods
  • You will use Prime Reading for select books and magazines
  • You want Lightning Deals and early access to the summer sale called Amazon Prime Day
  • You want to Subscribe and Save
  • You’re not concerned about the size and influence of the company

It’s not worth it if:

  • You don’t order from Amazon frequently
  • Your orders are typically over $25
  • You don’t want streaming video or music
  • You prefer to support local businesses
  • You can’t control your spending
  • You’re concerned about privacy
  • You’re concerned about Amazon warehouse conditions

It is estimated that more than half of American households will be Prime members in 2019. For many, it saves valuable time with quick price comparisons, product reviews and fewer trips to the store. It is nice for busy people to be able to have items delivered to their home with just the click of a button.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, Chuck Bentley

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