Amazon Prime- actually worth it?
Amazon are the company many people love to hate- with some still boycotting the online retail giant over corporate tax avoidance. But with small, but significant changes to delivery policies, and now the news that Amazon Instant Video has snagged Jeremy Clarkson and his buddies for a new Top Gear-esque show, is Amazon Prime actually turning out to be a non-brainer?
Well. First things first, Amazon Prime costs £79 a year (or £39 if you are a student), which is the equivalent of just over £6.50 per month. But included with your Prime membership is unlimited one-day delivery, Kindle lending library, and access to Amazon Instant Video, and free cloud storage as well as the newly launched (to little fanfare) Amazon Music streaming service which allows Prime subscribers to listen to hundreds of albums free of charge, ad-free. So what are the savings?
Well, Amazon's delivery always used to be a major perk, as anything would be delivered under its 'Super Saver' delivery within 5 days. However, they changed their policy to mean that now, only orders including £10 or more of books qualify for Super Saver Delivery., with orders of non-books needing to be over £20 in order to qualify. If you were to pay for delivery, you'd pay £5.99 for one-day delivery, £2.75 for first-class post (which takes up to two business days), £8.99 for express delivery (you will receive the item by midday the following day) or £14.99 for delivery on the evening you purchase the item. So guaranteed one-day delivery seems to be quite cheap really, especially if you've left things to the last minute, or you're having a late December Christmas present meltdown. Some suggest that, if you buy things from Amazon 13 times in a year, you will have 'recovered' the cost of your Prime membership.
However, what is also a Thing with Amazon Prime is the cashback you get if you don't need your item the next day. If you have normal delivery instead of next-day, Amazon will give you a digital content credit of between £1 and £3 per delivery (so if you have a few things to buy that you aren't desperate for, you can do quite well here) that can be spent on things like Kindle books and MP3 music. Even more savings in the jar.
And talking of Kindle books, if you have a Kindle (unfortunately just having the Kindle app on a tablet or laptop doesn't count) you can 'borrow' one book per month from the Kindle lending library. Of course, Amazon also has “Kindle Unlimited” at £7.99 a month where you can borrow as many novels as you wish, but if you are happy borrowing only one book a month, this perk could save you up to £84 a year, by not subscribing to a rival e-reader subscription service.
But Amazon Instant Video is the big one, Clarkson notwithstanding, as, if you're into that sort of thing, this will immediately save you £72 a year (against your £79 Prime cost) as this alone costs £5.99 per month. It also compares favourably with other streaming services like NowTV (which recently received a massive boost thanks to Game of Thrones) at £6.99 per month or Netflix, which starts at £5.99 per month, but whose 'standard' subscription which includes viewing on two screens (like Amazon Instant Video) is actually £7.49 per month.
So what do you think? Are you a happy Amazon Primer or are you still brandishing your figurative bargepole? You can't get Better Call Saul on Amazon either...