OK, wait. Read the article before you comment to tell me that I’m a Prime-hater. Pinky promise?
You seriously just shouldn’t PAY for a Prime Membership unless. . .
1. …You spend less than $25 on every Amazon order.
Because, when most of us think of Prime, we think — free two-day shipping.
Sure, you can get free shipping without paying for a Prime membership. But you have to spend $25 on every order to get it, which means either waiting until your list is long enough to place an order, or spending more money on Amazon to hit the free shipping threshold.
Think of it another way: shipping costs are at least $5 on non-Prime orders under $25. It’d take just 20 shipments per year to pay for your Prime membership. This includes your Christmas shopping.
2. …Your family watches at least two shows on Amazon Prime Video per month.
If we assume a movie rental on Amazon is $2.99-$5.99, it’d take 17-33 rentals every year to pay for your annual Prime Membership.
At $1.99 per episode, it would take 50 episodes of TV shows to pay for your Prime Membership.
Most of us would probably admit our kids watch more TV than we want them to. But hey, instead of letting Mommy Guilt take over right now, sign up for Prime and start socking the savings away for their college (or therapy. But probably college).
3. …You want a free Amazon credit when your packages are delivered late.
Guys, Paribus. Remember when Paribus first started out and they took 25% of the difference they saved you if your purchase later went on sale? Well, those days are gone. Now, you keep 100% of the difference.
Plus you can get a free Amazon credit when your Prime shipments aren’t delivered within the promised two days. And until I started allowing Paribus to monitor my Prime shipments, I didn’t realize that my Prime packages arrive late fairly often!
Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.
4. …You want to earn free money when you choose no-rush shipping.
Stay with me here. Yes, when you’re a Prime member you get guaranteed two-day shipping. And yes, you can use Paribus to monitor your shipments and reward you when they’re late. But also? You can choose “no-rush shipping” and get your package in five days, plus earn earn $1-$5 toward eligible ebooks, movie rentals and Prime Pantry items.
To earn even more, create separate orders for each of your items, and you’ll earn separate credits every time you choose “no-rush shipping.”
You’d need to choose “no-rush shipping” on 20-40 shipments in a year to earn enough money to cover the cost of your Amazon Prime membership.
5. …You like free on-demand music without commercials.
Every Prime member gets on-demand access to Prime Music, which boasts over two million songs, ad free.
Your annual Prime membership would be paid for at the cost of about 10 months of a Spotify subscription.
6. …You like having free access to ebooks — even before they’re released.
Every month, Prime members can download one free ebook to a Kindle, iPhone or Android device for free. Otherwise, you get anytime access to thousands of well-known titles like Harry Potter or 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Assuming an average cost of $8.99 per ebook, you’d need to buy 11 ebooks for your family in one year to cover the cost of your Prime membership.
7. …You want groceries and take-out delivered to your door for free (in two hours!).
Amazon Prime Now is available in 32 major cities. (Check to see if your city is on the list.) This means you can get groceries — including fresh produce and dairy — delivered to your door in under two hours. Restaurant orders show up in about an hour.
Since you can’t get this perk unless you’re a Prime member, a comparable service is Instacart, which has a $5.99 delivery fee. You’d need to place 17 Instacart orders in one year to cover the cost of an Amazon Prime membership.
8. …You’d use free audiobooks on those days when you’re the family taxi.
Amazon Prime members can access Audible and choose from a list of 50 audiobooks for free; titles change frequently.
Audible is pretty spendy by itself. You get just one audiobook per month, and it costs $14.95. If you did this, it would take seven months of Audible to justify a Prime membership every year.
9. …You want 5% back on every Amazon purchase you make.
Prime members get access to the Amazon Visa Signature credit card, which offers 5% cash back on all Amazon purchases and 1% back on other purchases. Only Prime members are eligible for this higher-percentage of savings.
If you spent $1,980 on Amazon in one year, you’d get your membership fee ($99) back in the form of cash-back savings.
But nobody really spends that much on Amazon, right?! <ahem>