Amazon Prime

How Much Does Amazon Prime Cost for a Membership 2022?

With the price of Amazon Prime rising 17% in 2022, the question remains: Is it worth it? We’ll run you through what you get (and ways you might pay less).

Shock-inducing price increases at supermarkets and gas stations have become the norm in the early going of 2022. So it comes as no surprise Amazon has increased the cost of Amazon Prime this year (and another membership-driven retailer, Costco, is due to raise its subscription price in 2022). For Amazon Prime, it’s the first subscription increase since 2018, when Prime rose from $99 a year to $119.

Seemingly no matter the price, for shoppers who are too busy to visit multiple brick-and-mortar stores to pick up everything on their shopping lists, from groceries and gadgets to books and apparel, the Amazon Prime subscription-based service has made buying these items online a whole lot easier.

Free two-day shipping is one of the most popular benefits of Amazon Prime, along with significant free music and video streaming options. That and other perks have combined to lure more than 100 million shoppers worldwide into ponying up for an annual or monthly Prime membership. Roughly 51% of Amazon Prime shoppers spend between $600 and $1,200 a year on Amazon, according to a market data portal Statista. Expedited shipping alone can quickly make the membership fee worthwhile depending on how often you order.

If you haven't joined Amazon Prime yet, but are considering it, read on to learn more about the various plans offered, the costs and key perks.

How Much Is Amazon Prime? Choosing the Right Membership Plan

The annual Amazon Prime plan membership fee in 2022 has jumped to $139 from $119 for new and returning members. You're charged upfront, and the annual membership auto-renews every 12 months. Perks include free two-day shipping, access to same-day, one-day or even two-hour delivery on some orders, unlimited music streaming and photo storage, as well as access to Prime Reading (book and magazine downloads) and Whole Foods discounts and delivery.

If you aren't ready to commit to an annual membership, test out the monthly Prime plan. The monthly Prime membership fee has increased to $14.99 (from $12.99), for a total of about $180 a year (as opposed to the $139 year-long deal). You're privy to the same perks as annual members. It's a good option for shoppers who fear they might get cold feet and want to cancel their Prime membership midway through the annual subscription.

College students can register for a free six-month Prime Student plan trial membership. Initially, you're supposed to register using a ".edu" e-mail address so Amazon can confirm your student status but (the email can be changed later). Once verified, students can enjoy the same Prime perks as annual members, as well as get access to Prime Gaming (which includes free gaming content and ad-free viewing on Twitch.tv). Student members also get first dibs on daily deals on everything from skincare products to school supplies. Once the free trial is over, you can sign up for a discounted annual Prime membership ($70) that's good for four years or until you graduate, whichever comes first. Or, you could continue to buy in monthly to the Prime student membership for $7.49.

Attention film buffs: Even if you're not a big online shopper, and you prefer your music on CDs and your books on paper, there still might be an Amazon membership for you. The Prime Video plan allows you to stream movies and television shows on a variety of platforms for $8.99 a month (Prime Video is included for free in your $139 annual membership).

The Benefits of Amazon Prime

If you order from Amazon on a weekly basis, then Prime's free two-day (often one-day, sometimes same-day) shipping is probably enticing enough. However, that's not the only noteworthy perk members with annual, monthly or student plans can take advantage of free of charge:

Free same-day or one-day delivery is available in select metro areas (check your ZIP code here). You must spend at least $35 on eligible products to qualify for expedited delivery. For same-day shipping, orders must be placed before noon to receive them by 9 p.m. the same day. For one-day shipping, orders placed in the afternoon will arrive by 9 p.m. the next day. You can enter your shipping zip code on Amazon.com to find out if either shipping option is available near you. There's also the Prime Now option, which provides a two-hour delivery window on select items in certain areas.

Prime members can also register for Amazon's Key by Amazon in-home delivery service (check your ZIP code to see if it's available in your town). It provides keyless, in-home delivery of your orders when you're away. Key by Amazon gives the delivery person access to your home to drop off packages just inside your front door or in your garage instead of leaving them outside. You'll need a smart lock on your front door, and your garage door opener has to have the ability to interact with the MyQ app (Amazon will walk you through this). You'll need to download the Amazon Key app so you can lock and unlock your front door remotely, as well as watch your package being delivered (an option if you have a compatible camera installed).

You also get free release date shipping on eligible pre-order items. You'll need to order the item in advance and it will be delivered on the release date. For example, "Trust," the latest novel from Hernan Diaz, which is currently available for pre-order but not available in stores until May 3, is eligible for this shipping option. Prime members who don't need their order in a hurry can choose the no-rush shipping option to receive a discount on their active order or a promotional reward that's good toward a future purchase.

Prime Video offers unlimited streaming of a wide variety of movies and television shows. And don't worry, it's stuff you might actually want to watch such as the Oscar-nominated film "Being the Ricardos" or season four of the Emmy Award-winning Amazon Original TV series "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." You can also subscribe to Amazon channels to watch shows from cable networks including Showtime and Starz for an additional monthly fee of up to $15 (don’t look for HBO; Amazon recently dropped that pay service).

Prime Music may be worthwhile for those who regularly use music streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify. Prime members get ad-free access to curated playlists, personalized radio stations, and more than a million songs and albums. It's available on a variety of platforms including PC and Mac computers, Android smartphones and tablets, and iOS and Sonos devices. Note that Amazon Music Unlimited is a separate subscription service offering access to tens of millions of songs for $7.99 a month (or the discounted $79 for a yearly sub) for Prime members.

For would-be Prime members with families or busy lifestyles, grocery shopping on Amazon Prime is a no-brainer. Members get to shop for individual-sized grocery and household items, such as a box of cereal or a pack of diapers. These same items are oftentimes only available in bulk (and at a higher cost) to regular Amazon users. Prime members also get to shop the site's AmazonFresh section, which offers free grocery delivery and pick-up services in select large cities. There may be a minimum order to trigger free delivery, depending on the city you live in.

Alternatives to Amazon Prime

If the now $139 rate yearly subscription fee has you thinking about canceling Amazon Prime altogether, there are a range of alternatives, who are likely to turn up the heat on Amazon with some competitive offers.

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