Amazon Prime may be one of the costlier subscriptions currently in 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 Day. And, this year, Amazon has added a second event: the Prime Early Access Sale on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12, 2022.

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.

There are a couple of discounts available: Prime Student members are only charged $7.49 per month, and EBT and Medicaid card holders are eligible to receive Prime benefits at $6.99 per month for up to four years.

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.

One of the most recent delivery options allows you to nab a free, year-long Grubhub+ membership trial. As of October 2022, Prime members in the U.S. can sign up for Grubhub+ for free and access unlimited $0 delivery fees from hundreds of thousands of restaurants on Grubhub for one year.

In addition to restaurant delivery, there are millions of items eligible for free two-day or one-day delivery with Prime. Some orders over $35 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. If you shop with Amazon Pantry, which offers low-priced grocery and household essentials, delivery is free for orders over $35.

Additionally, Amazon Prime offers “Free Release-Date” delivery on eligible new video games, books, music, movies and more.

Without Prime, you need to spend at least $25 to qualify for free delivery, which 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 and Prime Early Access deals. Prime members get exclusive access to Amazon’s annual Prime Day event that offers 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. This year, the Early Access Sale runs from October 11 through 12.
  • 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 20 percent off diapers and 15 percent off eligible products from their baby registry.
  • 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.
  • Earn 2 percent back on your debit card. Prime members can earn 2 percent back when reloading their Amazon gift card balance with an eligible debit card.

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. The subscription is $8.99 a month, but it’s included with a Prime membership for free. You can also sign up for Prime Video Channels, including HBO, Starz and Showtime, for $4.99 to $14.99 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 $8.99 per month (instead of $9.99 per month for those without a membership).

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 with Amazon Photos, a service that allows users to store, print and share their photographs.

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 each month before it’s released from a selection of six editors’ picks.

Additionally, Prime members can get select four-month magazine subscriptions for $0.99.

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, which, according to Amazon, saves Prime members up to 40 percent off list price.

Maximizing rewards and value from your Amazon purchase

To make the most out of your 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 Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card were designed specifically with Amazon shoppers in mind.

The Amazon Prime Store Card offers Prime members 5 percent cash back on all purchases. If you’re not a Prime member, you’ll receive a version of the card that doesn’t feature rewards for your spending.

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is another option created exclusively for customers with a Prime membership. It offers 5 percent cash back on as well as at Whole Foods Market, 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 drugstores and 1 percent back on all other purchases. Other Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card benefits include no annual fee, travel and roadside protections and Visa Signature perks.

Other credit cards can also offer enhanced rewards on Amazon purchases. For instance, the Discover it® Cash Back, which offers 5 percent back on up to $1,500 spent on activated rotating category purchases each quarter (then 1 percent), has as one of its 2023 cash back categories for October through December. Another example is Citi cards — with an eligible card, you may have an option to use Citi Flex Pay to finance large purchases on Amazon with an equal monthly payment plan.

The bottom line: Is Amazon Prime worth it?

Amazon Prime may be worth it for you if you shop on Amazon often enough for 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.