Is Amazon Prime Worth It? Heck Yes!

Amazon Prime: All the reasons why it's worth every cent

When I was preparing to write this post, I asked Johnny, “When did we become Amazon Prime members?” His response: “I don’t know. . . [thinking] . . . I really don’t.” And I don’t either. It’s changed our lives so much that we can’t remember a time without it. Or maybe our brains have tried to block out those horrible pre-Prime memories. But, luckily, our Prime account knew how long… and it’s been over three years. Life as we knew it changed when we became Amazon Prime members. Okay, that sounds dramatic. But it’s true.

The time and convenience (and money) we’ve saved from Amazon Prime over the years is almost ridiculous. It’s especially saved our sanity when we’ve lived in big cities and during the throes of new parenthood when ordering online is 1000x more doable than going out in public. Even still, because Johnny and I are who we are, we’ve asked ourselves on a few occasions if it’s still worth it to have an Amazon Prime membership. At $99 per year (and $49 per year for students), it’s a significant expense to consider. But after thinking about it for about 2 seconds, our answer is always a resounding YES.

So today I wanted to share why we love Amazon Prime so much and why it’s found a permanent spot in our budget.

Our Favorite Features

Free Two-Day Shipping

From cat food to diapers to deodorant to last-minute gifts for loved ones, it all arrives on our doorstep just two days after we order it. And, oddly enough, since living in NYC, oftentimes items arrive within one day. It’s kind of freaky.

Prime Instant Video

Amazon offers free streaming on thousands of popular movies and TV shows. At first the selection was mediocre, but now its library rivals Netflix. I even have TV shows I watch on Prime that Netflix doesn’t offer. The only downside is that it’s not quite as user-friendly as Netflix. As soon as they improve the user experience, we might have to say goodbye to Netflix for good.

Prime Photos

Another one of our favorite features? Free, unlimited photo storage on Amazon Cloud Drive. We take a ton of photos on our phone and with our DSLR. And over time, those photos take up a significant amount of space on our computers, to the point that our computers start running out of space themselves. Welp, not anymore! Now we store all of our photos in one place on Amazon. It’s pretty darn great.

Amazon Now

This perk only applies if you live in Manhattan. But it’s nuts. With Amazon Now, we have access to thousands of items with a 2-hour delivery. In other words, we order it, and it arrives on our doorstep in less than 2 hours. And it’s all at Amazon Prime prices. We mostly use this feature for emergencies, like when one of us is sick, since part of the delivery is tipping.

Amazon Mom

As a Prime member, I’m part of Amazon Mom, which, as a professional diaper-changer, has been a game changer. I get 20% off all our diapers by using the Subscribe and Save feature. I also have access to all their other coupons and deals on baby supplies. (You can try Amazon Mom for free here.)

Add-on Items

For smaller items, Amazon has an add-on feature. In order to get these items, you have to spend $25 in other items sold by Amazon. The thing about these add-on items is that their prices are always fantastic. So if I’m placing a large order on cat food, I make sure to add a few add-on items we’ve been needing as well.

Amazon Reviews

One of my favorite aspects of Amazon, which isn’t exclusive to Prime members, is having access to all their user reviews. Even if I’m buying an item at a brick-and-mortar store, I almost always look it up on Amazon to see what reviewers thought of it. And I don’t make a single Amazon purchase without scouring the reviews first. It really helps eliminate the need to ever return an item since I know in advance exactly what to expect.

Customer Service

As a customer, I’m quick to complain if something isn’t right with an order. And let me tell you, Amazon’s got my back every single time. They’re apologetic and quick to fix the problem. It’s so refreshing to know that if a problem comes up, I can always depend on them to take care of it immediately.

Other Cool Features

Prime Music

I haven’t used this feature (yet), but Prime Music offers access to over a million songs for free. And you can create your own playlists and listen on the go. Better yet, it’s all ad-free. I’m planning to give this feature a try when I start back running after the baby’s born.

Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

If you own a Kindle device, this is a pretty awesome feature. You can choose from a library of over 800,000 books and borrow one each month for free.

Kindle First

Each month, Amazon editors choose a few books that will be released the following month, and Prime members can choose one to download for free… a month before they’re released to the public! I just learned about this feature, actually, and I’m planning to give it a try ASAP.

How’s that for a boatload of perks for only $99 per year? Netflix alone costs more than that, and Amazon Prime offers that same service as just one of its many features. I really don’t know how they’re making any money. Suffice it to say, we plan to be Prime members for many moons to come. Any fellow Prime members out there? Any perks I missed? And if you want to try out a free 30-day trial, you can do that here. I can’t wait for the day when they start delivering our stuff with their creepy little drones.

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  • Reply Madeline @ CBC Blog March 16, 2015 at 7:32 am

    I had not heard of Kindle First! Totally checking that out! I love the add on items- I just recently learned that as long as you hit the $25 threshold, you still get your free shipping!. So even if your order is full of add on only items, you don’t have to purchase anything else as long as you hit the limit!

    • Reply Joanna March 21, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      I just learned about Kindle First as well! Pretty cool! And thanks for mentioning that about the add-on items. That’s something I’ve been wondering about!

  • Reply Jordann March 16, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Dang you got me so excited for a second! I’m a prime member in Canada, but we don’t get instant video here. Womp womp. I love Amazon Prime for the 2-day shipping – simply amazing.

    • Reply Joanna March 21, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      What? No instant video? Well, we barely use that feature and it’s definitely still worth it to us!

  • Reply TT March 16, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Amazon Prime is amazingly convenient. The question I’ve been asking myself lately is if it is too convenient. Does it induce us to spend more than we normally would–almost certainly yes. Would we end up saving on our budget if we didn’t have it–likely. The savings I’m thinking of are not from avoiding the annual fee, but just spending less overall. Remember, you can still get Prime shipping as a non-member on orders that are $25 or more. Part of me wants to try and go back to pre-membership days, and only make purchases once that price threshold has been met. I get being in Manhattan is kinds of its own scenario.

    We haven’t cancelled yet, and I kind of doubt we will, but it has definitely been on my mind. Then again I wasn’t aware of the photo backup service. We’ll definitely be taking a look at that.

    • Reply Joanna March 21, 2015 at 9:26 pm

      Ha, that is a good questions to ask! I say as long as that spending is done within the confines of your outlined budget, no harm done. I like that I don’t have to spend at least $25 to get free shipping… all of my grocery/delivery services in NYC have those order amount requirements, and that definitely makes me order more than I normally would.

  • Reply Valerie March 16, 2015 at 9:50 am

    I love prime music! Prime music bonus feature–a large number of songs also have x-ray lyrics, turning any music listening sesh into an instant karaoke party. I’m a BIG fan–my partner however, is not quite as enthusiastic about my access to every lyric and constant karaoke-ing. 😉

    • Reply Joanna March 21, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      No way! Haha, yet another perk I had no idea about! Time for some karaoke-ing in the OFB household.

  • Reply Hilary March 16, 2015 at 10:08 am

    I agree with TT. I deliberately have not gotten AP because I do not want MORE access to tv shows/ movies than we have with cable. I don’t need the kiddos on the tablets any more than they already are. PLus, it does make me think twice before ordering things on a whim. That’s great if it works for you but I am still choosing not to use it .

    • Reply Joanna March 21, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      Oh man, totally get it. Sally’s only two, and I’m already having to hide our remote and iPad from her to keep her from watching too much stuff! My bias toward Amazon Prime has also got to do with us living in NYC… in this big, inconvenient city, it’s the only way to get many of our necessities!

  • Reply Sarah March 16, 2015 at 10:28 am

    I LOVE amazon prime. I wish I had 2-hour shipping. I’m obsessed with 2 day shipping and I can only imagine how crazy I’d go with 2 hour shipping.

    Midwest Darling

    • Reply Joanna March 21, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      It’s very dangerous. And their selection of items you can get in 2 hours is really impressive! You just wait… I think one day in our near future, Amazon Now will be available all over the place.

  • Reply Melanie March 16, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Joanna, what has your experience been when getting photos printed from Amazon Cloud Drive? Can you order prints directly from there or are you still uploading to a separate place to order prints?

    • Reply Joanna March 21, 2015 at 9:36 pm

      I could be wrong, but I think it’s just a way to store photos. So in order to get prints, we still use a separate site. Hope that helps!

  • Reply Racheal March 16, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    I LOVE Amazon Prime! There is nothing more exciting than getting toilet paper delivered to your house. Ha!

    Thanks for letting me know about the photo storing feature – I didn’t know about that and my Mac keeps telling me that my start up disc is full. Now all we need is video storage and we are set! 🙂

    Have a good week!

    • Reply Joanna March 21, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      Well, Racheal, I’m happy to tell you that it has photo AND video storage! So we are set! It has saved two of our computers already from becoming unworkable!

  • Reply Karen Nazzy March 16, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    I’ve been a member for 2 years and don’t think I can do without it in the future. One awesome perk I have now, that as a grad student, you can get the whole package of Amazon Prime (with a few extra perks, even) for HALF- price with a student email address and a copy of your course registration to renew at the end of the year. Plus, I also added Amazon Mom to it with subscribe and save and we stream constantly (not too many RedBox purchases as of late). I live in the Midwest so we don’t have any Amazon Now access but it sounds dreamy. I feel like a salesperson now!

    • Reply Joanna March 21, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      Nice! Such a great perk for anyone who’s a student. They keep adding all these features, luring us in until we simply can’t live without it!

  • Reply Kelsey March 16, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    I’m seriously making this happen when it seems appropriate in my life. I’ve known about some of the bonuses here and there…but never have seen them organized like this! Plus, hearing it firsthand from real people (not Amazon) makes it sound even better!

    • Reply Joanna March 21, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      It’s pretty great. Hold off as long as you can because once you make the plunge, you’ll be hooked forever!

  • Reply Maddie March 16, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    I had not idea about the unlimited photo storage!!! I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do to back up our photos and now I have a free (well part of a service I already pay for) answer! Thanks!

    • Reply Joanna March 21, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      It has definitely been a game changer for us! Once you have a kid, the number of photos and videos you take multiplies exponentially. And I’ve become way more paranoid about ever losing said photos and videos. Such a nice feature!

  • Reply Nicole March 16, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Agreed. Amazon Prime is so worth $99 a year. I need to utilize the photo storage… It’s on my to-do list. And I did not know about Kindle First… Exciting!

    • Reply Joanna March 21, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      They just keep adding more and more features, I swear. Even before all that stuff, I was hooked. Now, I’m downright dependent on it!

  • Reply Dianna March 17, 2015 at 12:39 am

    I LOVE our Amazon Prime! I had an amazon prime account for a year before going back to graduate school and getting the discounted rate of $49! I rent or buy all my textbooks from Amazon and the price is ALWAYS less expensive then other sources. We also recently cut the cable cord and rely exclusively on movies and TV shows found through Amazon Prime and regular antennae TV. I use the kindle borrowers library and of course we use the 2-day shipping regularly.

    • Reply Joanna March 21, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      I’ve heard from others that it’s a good place to buy textbooks. That’s awesome! So many great features to take advantage of!

  • Reply KatyBird March 17, 2015 at 8:37 am

    My family loves AmazonPrime! I have been continually impressed with the music collection available–a great addition to Pandora for my free music listening habits! I will say–I was disappointed with the Amazon Pantry feature, there weren’t enough product we use to seem worth it. I wish living in Philly we would have access to Amazon Now–it sounds awesome!

    • Reply Joanna March 21, 2015 at 11:53 pm

      I haven’t used Amazon Pantry, but it seemed weird to me that it has and extra fee attached to it. I bet Amazon Now will be coming your way soon!

  • Reply KatyBird March 17, 2015 at 8:39 am

    My family loves amazon prime! I have been continually impressed with all the free music available–it is a great addition to Pandora to satisfy my music needs. It sounds like AmazonNow is great–I wonder if it will be making its way South to Philly anytime soon?

  • Reply Brian March 17, 2015 at 10:57 am

    My father in law gets us Prime every year for Christmas. We didn’t use to use the instant video much, but since we moved and ditched cable, we have been using it a lot more. I personally haven’t had a problem with the user interface.

    The two day shipping is great, but also drives me nuts since I am within 20 minutes of a very large distribution center and wish I could just go pick the items up myself sometimes.

    • Reply Joanna March 21, 2015 at 11:57 pm

      That’s a great Christmas gift. And I know what you mean with the two-day shipping. Now, though, I’m just happy we have it as an option since some items would be almost impossible to get otherwise!

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