Mike Timmermann, Clark.com
After Amazon announced that it’s increasing the price of an annual Prime membership by $20 from $99 to $119, many Americans are wondering if they should renew or cancel.
In fact, some of money expert Clark Howard’s Facebook fans tell us they’re now reevaluating the importance of Prime.
Is Amazon Prime really worth it? Here are some things to consider…
When we asked our Facebook audience if they would renew Prime after the increase, 42% said “Yes,” 42% responded “No” and the rest said they don’t have Prime.
So, is an Amazon Prime membership really worth it? That’s a difficult question to answer because the online retail giant offers far more than just free two-day shipping on millions of items.
For example, Prime Video is essential for some households, but Amazon Music may be a must-have for others.
And there are other perks that are still in the works. Amazon says it has big plans to offer Prime members special savings at Whole Foods Market, with free two-hour grocery delivery already underway in select cities.
Amazon has tried to make Prime indispensable, so that members don’t think twice about a $20 per year price hike.
Earlier this year, I shared with you a 12-question quiz that I created for myself when I was debating whether to renew Prime at the current $99 rate.
Here are some of the questions from the quiz:
- How often do you take advantage of Prime’s free two-day shipping?
- Can you name three Prime-exclusive items you’ve purchased from Amazon in the past six months?
- Are any of your favorite shows on Amazon Video?
- Have you used the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, Prime Reading or Amazon First Reads?
- Have you received any one-time discounts or free extensions of your Prime benefits within the past year?
After I reviewed the answers from my quiz, I decided to give up Prime for a bit. I still shop on Amazon.com, but I sometimes have to wait a few more days for my packages to arrive.
Still on the fence about paying $119 a year for Prime? Perhaps you should take a look at some of the arguments from people who have strong opinions on both sides of the issue.
Here are 12 factors to consider before renewing Prime, according to Clark’s Facebook and Twitter followers:
1. How much is your time worth?
Carol Bentley Burnside: So, $20 isn’t going to fill your gas tank for one trip to your favorite shopping mall (if there are any with going to anymore) and if you’re an extremely busy parent, workaholic, or lazy, Amazon is still the way to go.
2. Can Amazon Video replace a Netflix subscription?
Patricia Burns Irvin: I order a lot of things from Amazon, so the shipping alone is worth it to me. Oh yeah — and then there’s the prime movies. I don’t have to pay a Netflix membership. Win / Win
3. Are you really getting two-day shipping?
Melissa White: They’re rarely on time with 2 day shipping, which is already a higher price for being Prime eligible.
4. Have you reviewed your order history lately?
Ben Williams: My family placed 174 Amazon orders last year totaling over $2600. The $110 Prime membership is definitely worth it. That works to a $0.64 average shipping cost for each of my 2017 orders, and many of those are multi-item orders. I think it depends how much you use it but we utilize the recurring orders for non-perishable items so frequently that it’s worth it for us.
5. Are you taking advantage of all the entertainment perks?
Toni Mendive: Free shipping…convenience…videos/movies/tv programs, music, books…for $119/year? Not quite $10/month…it’s a steal!!
6. Does $2/month really change anything?
Erin McBrayer: Amazon has so much to offer. If you’re crying over a couple dollars a month then you have bigger things to worry about.
7. Have you tried free shipping with other retailers like Walmart?
Heidi Hoffer Jones: There are other companies that you don’t pay annual fees for that offer free shipping I can wait a few extra days to save.
RELATED: Walmart vs. Amazon price comparison
8. Do you use Amazon for photo storage?
Penny Orchard: The unlimited photo storage alone is worth that. It is their business to make money. They do that while providing a great service. Who cares how much profit they earn? Good for them!!!
9. Would you be better off joining for one month around the holidays?
Craig D. Parks: We stopped when it went to $99. We just pay for one month around the Christmas holidays.
10. Do you have a membership to Costco, BJ’s or Sam’s Club?
Rick Simmons: I also have Sams Club and they are now offering much of Amazon is offering so there’s really not a reason to keep that Amazon membership when it expires.
11. How much is two-day shipping really worth?
DiGeorgioJ: I’ve been buying from Amazon since 1998 and never had prime. I probably spend a few thousand dollars a year so I do order a fair amount. Paying to get free 2 day shipping makes no sense to me. The shipping is free if you buy 25 bucks worth and it only takes a few days more…
12. Can you share your Prime benefits with someone else and split the cost?
Jen Francisco: I’m renewing, but combining the account with someone else. I’ve found that the 2-day delivery is sometimes untrue. I’ve also noticed that oftentimes the Prime product is a few dollars more than the non-Prime ones, which adds up quickly.
Amazon Prime price hike: More details
Amazon said the $119 rate takes effect for new Prime members on May 11, but the new price will apply to renewals starting on June 16.
The last time Amazon increased the price for an annual Prime subscription was back in March 2014.
However, the Washington Post reports that a student membership will increase by $10 to $59 per year.