If you are reading this Amazon Prime review then chances are you're tempted to buy a membership, or you're already a member but you aren't sure if you're making the most out of it. Over 200 million people globally have signed up so far, and it's no surprise when you consider just how much you get for your money.
Free, fast delivery of products from the Amazon marketplace is the main reason you would buy an Amazon Prime membership, you'll also get access to its video and music streaming services. That’s not all though, there are actually loads of lesser-known perks included in the package too.
Not only do Amazon Prime members get tonnes of year-round benefits, but they also get exclusive access to Amazon Prime Day. In 2021, Prime Day is on Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 June which is just a few days from now, so sign up before then to get access to early discounts on products and to be able to make the most of the two-day deal extravaganza.
Amazon Prime review: price and features
Amazon Prime costs $119 per year or $12.99 per month in the US, £79 per year or £7.99 a month in the UK and AU$59 per year or AU$6.99 per month in Australia. You’ll get a 30-day free trial to get you started wherever you are in the world.
If you’re a student then you might be eligible for the Amazon Prime Student Membership. It’s half the price of a regular membership ($6.49 / £3.99 / AU$6.99 a month) and you get a 6-month free trial before you start paying.
As well as fast free shipping from Amazon, you’ll get access to Prime Video, a library of thousands of TV shows and movies. You’ll also get Amazon Music, Prime Gaming, Prime Reading, Amazon Photos and free delivery on Amazon Fresh. Read on to find out more.
Amazon Prime review: Prime delivery
The most useful benefit of Amazon Prime is its fast shipping service. Amazon is a humongous retail marketplace where you can buy everything from smart speakers to face masks. With Prime, you can have it delivered to your home or a nearby locker within a day or two depending on where you live. In some areas like central London, you can actually get same-day delivery as well.
Shopping on Amazon as a Prime member also gives you access to some great deals outside of Amazon Prime Day. Prime Early Access gives members a 30-minute head start on Lightning Deals which offer a limited number of discounts on items for a short period of time. Once they’re gone, they’re gone - Prime Early Access gives you a leg up so you can try and get in there before anyone else.
If there are items you find yourself buying all the time, like Dishwasher tablets, for example, you can save up to 15% when receiving 5 or more different product subscriptions in a single delivery. Subscribe & Save is open to all Amazon customers and if you’re a Prime member, you can make savings of up to 20%.
I use Prime's delivery service more often than I care to admit, be it for last-minute holiday essentials or for quick coffee machine replenishments, you can literally get anything and everything you could need. Deliveries always arrive when they say they will, usually the next day in the UK. You get estimated arrival times and can even see how many stops away your parcel is, so you’ll know when you’re likely to hear the doorbell ring.
Amazon Prime review: Prime Video
Thousands of TV shows and movies are available on Prime Video, and that number is always growing. Depending on your set-up and the video you want to stream, you can stream in HD and 4K resolutions.
Prime Video can be accessed from a desktop browser, or through an app on your smartphone, tablet, Smart TV or games console, including the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X. It’ll be best used on an Amazon device like the Fire TV Stick 4K because it works seamlessly with the Amazon Alexa ecosystem. Plus, you’ll be able to use your Amazon Alexa smart devices to control the on-screen content.
Genres range from action, adventure and dramas to comedy and horror. Amazon Originals are a big draw to the service, they include popular shows like The Grand Tour, Little Fires Everywhere and Good Omens. All of which are made by Amazon so you can’t find them anywhere else. You can stream on two devices at once and create up to six user profiles, five of those can be set up as kids' profiles, limiting the content available to be suitable for ages 12 and under.
Like Netflix and Disney+ you can download shows to your devices to watch without internet access. It's worth knowing that currently there’s no Windows app so you can’t download anything to a computer, and not everything is available for download either. You’ll also only be able to download 25 pieces of content at once, which could be restricting if you’re preparing for a long trip away or if you often forget to delete the shows you’ve watched.
Although there are plenty of choices, you won’t find yourself with as long of a watchlist as you would on Netflix. And some of the listed TV shows and movies you’ll have to pay extra to rent or buy - if you are unlikely to spend any extra cash then you can filter the page to see only what’s included with Prime.
Bucket-loads of binge-worthy shows and films are great, but one thing that you won’t really get elsewhere is Prime Video's exclusive sports coverage like ATP tennis tournaments and some of UK Premier League football matches, as well as live Eurosports coverage.
Considering all of the other perks you get when you pay for a membership, Prime Video is most definitely the best streaming service when it comes to value for money.
Amazon Prime review: Amazon Music
Available for desktop, iOS and Android, the Amazon Music app features 2 million songs you can listen to ad-free with your Prime membership. It’s good for discovering new music and listening to curated playlists, however, don’t expect to find all of your favourite artists on there. Amazon Music is a nice added feature you get with Prime, yet that’s really all it is, I wouldn’t get rid of your Spotify account just yet.
Not only will you be able to stream songs through the app, but you can import your own music from your phone or computer as well. Combining the two gives you a personalised and extensive collection of music you can build on by uploading new music as you buy it. Another clever feature of Amazon Music is that tracks will automatically be added to your digital library when you buy a physical CD from Amazon.
If you like using Amazon Music and you want to have it as your go-to music streaming service, Amazon Music Unlimited is an extra $7.99 / £7.99 / AU$11.99 a month and ups the number of tracks available to around 70 million. Right now for Prime Day 2021, Prime members can try out Amazon Music Unlimited for 4 months at no extra cost.
Amazon Prime review: Prime Gaming
Prime Gaming is a relatively new branch of Prime membership. Once called Twitch Prime, Amazon bought and renamed it in 2020. So now with your subscription, you can also get in-game loot, free monthly games that are yours to keep and a free monthly Twitch subscription. The Twitch subscription is likely to be what raises a few brows here, it’s definitely worth claiming if you are a Prime member with an affinity for video games.
Amazon Prime review: Prime Reading
One for the bookworms, Prime Reading gives you access to thousands of ebooks, magazines and comics for free. You don’t need to have a Kindle to read them either as you’ll be able to find it on the Kindle app which is available on iOS and Android phones and tablets.
There aren’t the must-read books you’ve seen on recent bestsellers lists yet it’s still a large digital library of classic literature and recent releases. You can download up to 10 of them at a time, and when you’re done swap them out for new ones.
Prime Reading may not be the most convincing perk of Amazon Prime but for those who read a lot, it'll be a winner. It's likely that Kindle e-reader owners will be the ones to make the most of this though as reading a book on your phone just doesn't quite feel right.
For a more extensive library of books, you can subscribe to Kindle Unlimited for $9.99 / £7.99 / AU$13.99 a month, whether you have a Prime membership or not. It gives you access to over one million books, two thousand audiobooks, and loads of magazine subscriptions too.
Amazon Prime review: Amazon Photos
One aspect of Prime that not many people are aware of is Amazon Photos, a cloud-based photo storage service. Like other cloud-based services, you’ll just need to download the app on your smartphone or tablet to start uploading your shots. You get unlimited photo storage and 5GB of video storage with your Prime membership. Plus, it lets you invite up to five family members or friends to share your unlimited storage, and you can create joint albums in the Family Vault.
Amazon Photos works well and is very easy to use. Given that Google Photos is no longer free, it might be time to make the move over to Amazon Photos.
Amazon Prime review: Amazon Fresh
As the name suggests, Amazon Fresh is all about food. From meat and seafood to cereal and breakfast bars, you can do your full weekly grocery shop on Amazon.
If you are a Prime member in an area catered to by Amazon Fresh you can get free-same day grocery delivery for orders over $35 / £40. Some postcodes will even be able to get theirs delivered within two hours. It’s not available everywhere, though. You can check if your postcode is eligible on the Amazon Fresh webpage.
Amazon Prime review: verdict
If you want great value from a subscription service, then it doesn’t get much better than Amazon Prime. The small monthly fee is more than reasonable, it's actually cheaper than a year of Netflix and you get a whole lot more for your money.
Granted, Amazon Prime Video isn’t the best streaming service out there, but it still boasts a massive library with thousands of TV shows and movies, from the classics like Pretty Woman to brand new Amazon Originals like Hustlers.
Being a Prime member isn’t just having access to TV and movies though, it’s a whole lot more than that. You get benefits across loads of different entertainment and retail sectors, from books to games to fresh produce. I’ve had Prime for a few years now, and I use it all the time. It really is a no-brainer.
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