'How much does Amazon Prime cost?': A breakdown of Amazon's membership plans, and whether they're worth it

Leon Neal/Getty ImagesThe cost of an Amazon Prime membership varies with each distinct plan that the company offers.
  • A standard annual Amazon Prime membership costs $US119 per year, and an annual Amazon Prime Student membership costs $US59 per year.
  • If you pay month-by-month, an Amazon Prime membership is $US12.99 per month, and a Prime Student membership is $US6.49 per month.
  • There are further discounts available for EBT and Medicaid holders, bringing the price of Amazon Prime down to $US5.99 per month.
  • You’ll have to consider your ordering habits, as well as the pros and cons of membership to determine whether an Amazon Prime membership is worth the cost.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Amazon Prime is Amazon’s membership program, which allows users to access things like free two-day (or even two-hour) shipping on eligible items. If you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon yet, there’s a lot to consider.

One major factor that will impact your decision is how much Amazon Prime costs.

The cost of Amazon Prime changes occasionally, so it’s good to keep updated on how much Amazon Prime is.

Here’s a breakdown of what it costs to get a Prime membership, what each membership covers, and other costs to consider before making your decision.

How much an Amazon Prime membership costs

It depends on who you are and how you choose to pay.

As of May 2018, most people will pay either $US119 per year for an annual Amazon Prime membership, or $US12.99 per month. Paying month-to-month will cost you about $US37 more than the annual option over a year.

Students can get a Prime membership for $US59 a year, or $US6.49 per month (about $US19 higher than the annual option).

There is also a discounted membership available to EBT and Medicaid cardholders. That costs $US5.99 a month, and it’s available to each user for up to four years. (That membership comes to about $US72 per year.)

You could also opt to subscribe solely to Prime Video for $US8.99 per month, which would limit your access to any memberships perks outside of the Prime Video library.

Amazon PrimeAmazon Prime/YouTubeAmazon Prime Video comes included with Amazon Prime, but you can also subscribe to it on its own.

What an Amazon Prime membership covers

If you opt to get Amazon Prime, here are just some of the benefits you’ll have access to through your account:

  • Free two-day delivery on Prime-eligible items (and yes, there are many of those – more than 100 million items, according to Amazon).
  • Free one-day shipping, same-day, and two-hour delivery on select items.
  • Amazon Day,” which lets you make orders and then specify the day everything you’ve ordered that week will be delivered.
  • Free release-date delivery on select items, like video games and music.
  • Discounted, expedited delivery
  • Amazon Prime Day” deals.
  • Free streaming of Prime-eligible (as well as Amazon original) movies, TV shows, and Audible Channels.

Additional costs that come with Prime

Prime may give you access to free, fast shipping on many items, but it doesn’t cover everything. That goes for other freebies, too. For example, you will likely run across items that do not have free shipping, or movies that aren’t included with your Prime account.

For those who are willing to make a few concessions, there are ways to maximise your savings. This might mean opting to buy only Prime products (you’ll see the Prime icon next to eligible items).

Amazon Prime BoxesJeramey Lende/ShutterstockAmazon Prime -eligible products are specially marked on the Amazon website.

How to tell if Prime is worth the cost

If you’re the type of person who frequently shops online, and can afford the annual membership, the Prime membership may be a good way to save money.

The convenience factor is also quite high, since delivery can be as quick as two-hours from ordering. And, assuming you take advantage of the various perks, it makes for a solid service. (But keep in mind that Amazon does offer free shipping without Prime, as long as your order is $US25 or more.)

If you aren’t planning to spend more than the membership cost on deliveries in the next year, however, it probably doesn’t make sense to spring for the annual membership. A monthly membership (or the free 30-day trial) might be a good option, if, for example, you knew you were going to be making a lot of orders in the next few weeks.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.