Monday, 25 May 2020

Amazon Prime Review: Is it worth $119?

Amazon Prime Review: Is it worth $119?
18 Aug
2:29

Hey I'm Adam Jusko from ProudMoneycom and in this video we are going to review Amazon Prime — is it worth the $119 annual price? But before we do that I would ask you to please subscribe to our YouTube channel if you have not already

If you have already I thank you So I as I am making this video Amazon has recently raised the price of Prime from $99 to 119 and there also has been sort of a little more of a shakeout in terms of what some of the features are — in particular, as we're talking about this some of the Whole Foods features that are for Amazon Prime customers have rolled out or at least been made known, so this gives us an opportunity to sort of look at where we are from where we have come from when it was a $99 annual fee to a $119 annual fee and see if we believe that it is worth the price So if you are an Amazon Prime customer or maybe if you're not an Amazon Prime customer what you should know is that it is essentially a bundle of services that you are paying this annual fee to get Now some of these services are discounts, some of these services are access to entertainment, they are a lot of different things And Amazon just keeps trying to put more and more into this bundle to make it feel more and more worth it

So what we're going to do is try and unbundle it a little bit and see if it really does feel worth it Sort of the big piece of Amazon Prime, maybe the first piece of Amazon Prime, was the free shipping You get free two-day shipping on your Amazon orders, they don't have to be a certain amount, you're going to get that free two-day shipping In many cases you can get your orders even faster, sometimes overnight, in some cases you can even get them on the same day For a lot of people that's an attractive thing to be able to get your packages quickly, especially around holidays if you are doing gift-giving, so it makes sense that not only are you getting the ability to not have to pay for your shipping — although you're paying for it in a way because you're paying for the overall Prime service — you're also getting the ability to get your packages faster and in particular at times where maybe you really do need them faster

So that was really sort of the foundation of Amazon Prime and many other things have come after that Now the second piece that I think is important is if you have the Amazon Prime credit card — and you probably should if you are an Amazon Prime customer One of the rewards is that you get 5% in rewards when you use that card at Amazon Now Amazon does offer a regular Rewards Visa, but it only gives you 3% in rewards on your Amazon purchases So if you're somebody that purchases often from Amazon, that means you're going to get 2% more if you have the Amazon Prime credit card and you use it on your Amazon purchases

So that right there if you're really a heavy Amazon user, if that's where you do the majority of your shopping, gift-giving, that sort of thing, that extra 2% could sort of pay for that $119 annual price right there By the way I should also mention that there are other pricing options — you can pay $12

99 a month for Amazon Prime and then there are some other options depending on age and other things as well, but the $119 is really the main one that most people are looking at when they're talking about Amazon Prime So anyway, if you have that Amazon Prime credit card that is something between that and the free shipping you might feel like you've already made up your $119 and that may already feel worth it

But Amazon Prime does offer a host of other features to talk about as well I should say with that 5% on Amazon that's also 5% at Whole Foods, so if you are a Whole Foods shopper that is also included in there when you use the Amazon Prime credit card So, looking at the other perks, these are things that are "nice to haves" but depending on who you are these are things that maybe you could get elsewhere or they're just a sort of a different spin on something that you could get without having to pay the money for it So these are sort of things that are bundled together that I am sort of wishy-washy in terms of what their actual worth is So let's talk about what those are

Number One is Prime Video, which is sort of like a Netflix or Hulu or that sort of thing — you're getting some free television content, you're getting some free movies, you're getting some free TV series, and Amazon, like many other of these companies now, is doing a lot more original content We actually in my house have been watching recently Marvelous Mrs Maisel I think it is called which has been entertaining But the thing about having this — and Netflix and any other ones really this is true of as well — you have a limited amount of entertainment that you are getting every month So there are some free things and if you're content to just get what's there and consume it as part of your entertainment budget, great

But if you're someone that is hoping that you're gonna be able to get access to certain movies and certain more recent content, oftentimes you're not going to be able to Amazon does let you pay more and sort of work on a pay-per-view basis to buy many more current movies and that sort of thing, but those aren't included within Prime Those are things that you would have to pay more for So obviously that it's a convenience, but it doesn't play into the amount that you're paying here Prime Music, another thing sort of like a Spotify type service but you don't have any ads it gives you access to about 2 million songs that you can listen to anytime you want to and those are nice We recently got an Amazon Echo and so we can sort of tell it to play certain genres of music or certain artists and that sort of thing But there are limitations as well, because it's only a certain number of free songs that you're getting A lot of times if you want something that's newer or it's maybe the better songs of a certain artist, you are going to be sort of given the sell job on Amazon Music Unlimited, which will then charge you an extra $4 a month if you are a Prime member So it's easy to see how, again

there's a little you're getting something free but you're also kind of getting a little bit of an upsell there as well So if you're fine with what it is and you're fine with the freebies and you're not ever gonna go for the upsell, great But you also could find yourself in a place where you're tempted to do that upsell when the service isn't exactly what you want or isn't giving you quite as much as you want Now, as we're making this video, I said some new things are shaking out Whole Foods has just announced some of their new things that they're going to do as part of their loyalty program that are now intertwined with Prime

One of those being that there are going to be many items that are 10% off specifically for Prime members If you're a Whole Foods shopper, obviously that sounds pretty good If you're not Whole Foods shopper, you don't care But also if you're a Whole Foods shopper and they're not necessarily giving you 10% off the things that you normally buy, you have to weigh how much impact that's going to have for you And that's still sort of to be determined in many ways and obviously it's different for every person as well

Another feature: Amazon Prime Day comes every July, it's a day that offers deep discounts on many many different items in many different categories on Amazon — it's actually their biggest selling day of the year — which is nice if you're a Prime member, you can get some deep discounts on some stuff But again, did you want to buy those things beforehand or are you sort of taken in by the Amazon Prime Day in the excitement of getting a deep discount to buy something that maybe you wouldn't have otherwise So you have to ask yourself "is being a Prime member to get access to that really a feature that it's that great" or you end up buying something that you don't necessarily even need right? There are some other things here" Prime Reading which gives you some access to some books and magazines, but of course doesn't give you access to everything that you might want to read So again this is a thing where if you enjoy getting some of those freebies, great, and if you're you know content with that, but at the same time there may be upsell on the other side If you want to read other stuff or see other stuff, well then you may have to pay more to get those Obviously Amazon sells books so they'd be happy to sell you some other books, right? The Audible channels

Audible is a service of Amazon, Amazon owns Audible Audible channels is just another way for you to get some audio content but again it's not all the content on Audible It's not giving you sort of the full features that you could get from Audible

So again you might use it, try it out, and then if you find out you like it, then you're sort of tempted to spend more money to get the bigger experience with Audible Which of course Amazon would love you to do, right? But, again, you're thinking of all this within that frame of that $119 you're spending per year What am I actually getting and what is an upsell that will then make me pay even more on top of that? Amazon also gives free photo storage, something you can get in a lot of places Now if you have this whole bundle and you're constantly using it, constantly buying from Amazon and using all these other services, maybe that free photo storage is a nice feature, too, but it's certainly not something that you couldn't find in other places on the Internet So, looking at all these things together, sort of what's our verdict? I think for the heavy Amazon user, this is sort of a Costco model in a way, right? In Costco you pay a membership fee and then you get these discounts and the more you use Costco, the more you make it part of your life, the more it feels worth it

The more discounts you're getting and the more you feel like it paid for itself And that's sort of the same thing here Getting the free shipping if you buy from Amazon often, obviously free shipping means more to you It means that you are gonna save more money than you would if you only buy a few things every year Now a lot of these things with Amazon are, again, sort of conveniences

You have a bundle of services here, but if you are heavy into Amazon, then you're willing to sort of pay for these conveniences and especially once you're in, you don't necessarily want to give them up And Amazon keeps putting more and more stuff in there to try and keep you in their service So the more you like Amazon, the more you use it, the more you're gonna feel that it's worth it Now I think if you're coming from outside, you don't use Amazon very much, you maybe don't know a lot about it — I don't know how you couldn't, but just say that you didn't know much about it — you might look at these services and say "they're OK, but if I put all these things together, couldn't I just get a lot of these services and end up paying less than $119?" If I paid for shipping and I only buy things here and there, I might pay less than that If I don't use the Amazon Prime credit card because I've put all my spending on something else and I don't buy that much on Amazon, well then that might not feel like that big of a deal, either

So it all depends on who you are, what you like to spend your time on and spend your money on, and if Amazon is sort of an integral part of your life For me, Amazon is big in our life We do use Amazon a lot and we do use a lot of these services, and I am a Prime member, and I'm not looking forward to paying the $119 versus $99, but we will stick with it So that's our choice But everybody's got to make that choice based on their own spending and how much they want to be tied into sort of the Amazon ecosystem

So that is it Thanks for watching Please go to ProudMoneycom, where we do other personal finance reviews and news and all sorts of other fun stuff Thanks for watching

Bye

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