Key takeaways

  • Amazon Prime costs $139 per year or $14.99 per month, though you'll end up paying more over time with the monthly payment option.
  • Discounts are available for students and those with qualifying government assistance.
  • With Amazon Prime, you can enjoy various discounts and benefits related to streaming, gaming, books and more.
  • With Amazon Prime Big Deal Days happening on Oct. 10-11 this year, Prime members can score even greater discounts on their Amazon purchases.

Amazon Prime may be one of the costlier subscriptions currently on the market, but it comes with a long list of benefits besides the free two-day shipping it’s known for — including access to Amazon Prime Big Deal Days, falling on Oct. 10 and 11 this year.

To determine whether the price is worth it for you, it’s important to consider the perks of membership and potential savings. Here’s a full breakdown of the costs and benefits of Amazon Prime to help you understand how much value you can get out of the service.

How much does Amazon Prime cost?

Amazon Prime costs $139 per year or $14.99 per month. While the latter option may seem like a good way to avoid a steep $139 charge, it brings up the annual cost to $179.88, so $40 more than the annual membership costs.

There are a couple of discounts available: Students can purchase a Prime membership for just $7.49 per month, and those with qualifying government assistance (such as Medicaid and SNAP) are eligible to receive Prime benefits via Prime Access at $6.99 per month.

What benefits are included with Prime?

Amazon Prime membership offers a wide range of benefits — from free, quick delivery to video and music streaming to exclusive savings.

Save on delivery

If you’re an avid online shopper, you probably want your purchases delivered fast and for free. Amazon Prime offers just that, with many options for free and quick delivery. There are millions of items eligible for free two-day or one-day delivery with Prime, and some orders in select cities can even qualify for free same-day delivery.

If you shop for groceries online, you can also take advantage of free two-hour delivery with Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods Market when you meet the local free delivery threshold.

Amazon Prime also offers free “Release-Date Delivery” on eligible new video games, books, music, movies and more when two-day shipping is selected.

Without Prime, you need to spend at least $25 to qualify for free delivery and, even then, it can take up to eight days. If you spend less or want your purchase to ship faster, you can expect to pay $5 to $10 for delivery. Such fees can add up quickly, and Amazon Prime helps you avoid them.

Explore shopping deals

Besides saving on delivery fees, Prime members can save on purchases as well:

  • Save at Whole Foods Market. Prime members can enjoy weekly deals at Whole Foods for up to 50 percent off and get an extra 10 percent on storewide sales.
  • Enjoy Prime Day deals. Prime members get exclusive access to Amazon’s annual Prime Day events that offer big savings on a wide range of products, including Amazon’s own devices like Fire tablets and TVs, Kindle e-readers, Echo speakers and displays and more.
  • Shop with Alexa. As a Prime member, you can receive an additional discount on select deals when shopping with Alexa.
  • Check deals on Amazon Family. Prime members can get up to 15 percent off diapers.
  • Shop for clothes. Getting to the mall might not be necessary anymore. Prime Wardrobe allows members to try on clothes, shoes and accessories from the comfort of their home and only pay for what they want to keep.

Enjoy streaming and gaming

Amazon Prime offers plenty of entertainment benefits, too. The most popular one is arguably Prime Video, which lets users stream thousands of movies and TV shows. You can rent or buy titles individually, but a membership is included for free with a Prime membership. You can also sign up for Prime Video Channels, including Max, Paramount+ and Showtime, for $4.99 and up per month.

Prime Music, a music streaming service by Amazon, is included with Prime membership, too. You can also upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited, which offers access to tens of millions of songs, ad-free and with unlimited skips. Prime members can get this service for $9.99 per month (instead of $10.99 per month for those without a membership). Right now, though, new Prime subscribers can get four months free of Amazon Music Unlimited (terms apply).

Families with children might be interested in yet another Amazon streaming service: Amazon Kids+. Available to Prime members, this subscription gives kids access to kid-friendly books, movies, games and other content on compatible devices for $4.99 per month (and $7.99 for non-Prime members).

For gamers, Prime Gaming is included in Amazon Prime membership and comes with free monthly games, game content and a subscription to a Twitch channel of their choice.

On top of it all, Prime members also get free unlimited photo storage and a free 5GB of video storage with Amazon Photos.

Buy books for less

If reading is your hobby, you know how quickly it can become expensive. Fortunately, Amazon Prime can help you save on books as well.

With Prime Reading, you can get access to eBooks, comics, audiobooks and more for free. Furthermore, Amazon First Reads allows Prime members to download one free book for Kindle each month (two books in October 2023) before they’re released from a selection of editors’ picks.

Amazon Prime also has its own book subscription box for members that offers hand-picked children’s books every one, two or three months. Each box costs $19.99.

Maximizing rewards and value from your Amazon purchase

To make the most out of your Prime membership, be sure you’re aware of all the benefits it offers. Some of them may be easy to overlook, leaving savings on the table. You can also take additional steps to maximize the value of your membership and each purchase you make by using one of the best credit cards for shopping on Amazon.

For instance, the Amazon Prime Store Card* and more premium Prime Visa were designed specifically with Amazon shoppers in mind. The Prime Visa offers 5 percent cash back on, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market and Chase Travel purchases with an eligible Prime membership, but it can also be used outside of Amazon and earns you additional cash back. Cardholders can get 2 percent cash back at restaurants, gas stations and on local transit and commuting, plus 1 percent back on all other purchases. The Amazon Prime Store Card offers Prime members 5 percent cash back on all purchases.

You can also currently get a $100 Amazon gift card upon approval for the Prime Visa and up to a $80 Amazon gift card upon approval for the Amazon Prime Store Card.

The bottom line: Is Amazon Prime worth it?

Amazon Prime may be worth it for you if you shop on Amazon often enough for the potential savings to justify the high membership fee. Take the benefits into account and consider how much additional value they offer. A Prime membership isn’t cheap and might not make sense for everyone, but it can be an excellent deal for the right kind of shopper.

*All information about the Amazon Prime Store Card has been collected independently by and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.