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Amazon has become a one-stop-shop for many households around the world. When the Prime service debuted in 2005, the cost was $79 a year. However, over the years, Amazon has delivered steady membership fee increases that are making it harder for consumers to keep up.
- In 2014, the Prime membership fee increased to $99 per year — still an easy amount to swallow, especially given they included Amazon Prime Video in the price starting in 2011 followed by Amazon Music and Amazon Photos in 2014.
- In 2018, Amazon increased its Prime membership price to $119 per year. By then, however, a membership included Prime Reading, Prime Wardrobe, and Amazon Key.
- In 2022, Amazon announced an increase to $139 per year. That membership now includes Amazon Fresh and Amazon Gaming.
The latest price increase has many people asking themselves, “Should I cancel Amazon Prime?” We’re here to help you decide.
When Should You Cancel Amazon Prime?
If the recent price increase has put doubt into your mind on Amazon Prime’s value for you, here are some factors to consider if you’re deciding whether to call it quits with Prime.
1. You aren’t using most of the Prime services.
The first factor to consider is whether you use the benefits and services regularly enough to justify the cost.
Here are all the Amazon Prime benefits that come with your membership:
- Faster delivery (one-day, two-day, same-day shipping)
- Prime Video
- Amazon Fresh
- Whole Foods deals
- Amazon Music
- Prime Gaming
- Prime Try Before You Buy
- Prime Reading
- Amazon Photos storage
- Amazon Kids+
- Amazon Family
If you spend your days listening to the Amazon Music app, buy all your groceries using Amazon Fresh, stock up on supplies using free two-day shipping, and finish your days binge-watching Prime-exclusive shows, chances are you’re getting a lot of value out of your membership to justify keeping.
However, if you only use free two-day shipping a couple of times per month, barely watch content on Prime and don’t utilize Prime Reading, Amazon Music or any of the additional services they’ve added over the years, you’re likely not benefitting from the full value of your membership.
2. You don’t order enough packages every month.
Now is the time to calculate how much you’ve purchased using Amazon Prime in the last year. If you’ve spent hundreds over the past year on necessary products you would have purchased at your local department or grocery store and saved money on free two-day shipping plus the hassle of leaving your home, Amazon Prime is still worth keeping.
However, if you only utilize your membership to buy impulse purchases, holiday gifts, or a package of toilet paper when you’re running dangerously low, the price tag of an annual membership may not be worth it.
As a general guide, if you’re not ordering at least a couple of Prime-eligible items every month under $25, you aren’t taking full advantage of the membership’s perks.
3. You’re not using same-day, one-day or two-day shipping.
Two-day shipping feels like the norm to many people who have been benefiting from the Prime membership perk for years. But how often do you really need your item in two days? Sure, if you’re a new parent and you just realized you’re down to your last 10 diapers, free two-day shipping may be a blessing. But, stores like Target and Walmart are also offering free shipping options or free same-day, in-store pickup.
The reality is that free and fast shipping isn’t as rare as it used to be, and most of the time you can wait afford to wait an extra few days for the items you’re purchasing.
4. Your orders are always over $25, which is the free shipping minimum without Prime.
Even after the cost increase, a Prime membership costs less than $12 per month. In comparison to most memberships, that’s still very affordable for those who use the benefits and services regularly.
However, Amazon offers free shipping to non-Prime members on orders over $25. So, if you often find yourself buying items over $25, you likely don’t need a membership to get free shipping.
5. You price match products on Amazon regularly at other stores.
Many stores will price match Amazon’s pricing, which makes Amazon prices less competitive to consumers. If you find yourself buying regularly from Target or Best Buy and utilizing their price match policy for Amazon’s products, you don’t even need to pay for Prime anymore.
6. You already have other shopping memberships.
Many families today have multiple paid memberships. Take inventory of how many memberships you pay for every month or every year. If you have multiple competing memberships, it may be time to downsize because of the overlapping services you’re paying for.
For example, if you pay for Instacart, Shipt, Walmart Plus, and Amazon Prime, that may be a waste of money because many of those memberships provide the same service.
If you already have a Costco or Sam’s Club membership and pay for Amazon Prime, you may only need to keep one of those memberships.
Is Amazon’s pricing still competitive?
Yes, Amazon’s pricing is still competitive compared to most retailers. According to a 2020 study conducted by Digital Commerce 360, Amazon was still offering 2%-3% lower prices than the next lowest retailer. However, that does not mean that Amazon is the only shopping option for buyers looking to get the best deal. Many retailers are offering price matching to level the playing field with Amazon.
How You Can Still Find the Best Deals Without Amazon
1. Price Match
Did you know that certain big-box retailers offer Amazon price matches? Brick-and-mortar stores like Target, Best Buy, JCPenney, and Lowe’s all offer policies that can price match eligible items on Amazon.
Already purchased something then you realized it was cheaper on Amazon? Don’t worry. Some stores offer price matching adjustments within 14 or 30 days of purchase if you find it cheaper elsewhere. You keep the item and get paid the difference.
2. Shop Alternatives
There are many stores out there that offer prices comparable to Amazon without requiring membership fees. For household and personal care products, you can often find lower prices at Target. If you’re buying electronics, Best Buy will price match most products found on Amazon. There are numerous retailers out there that can make your regular shopping just as easy and even cheaper.
3. Set Up a Deal Alert
If you’re holding out for a sale on a specific item, you can always set up a Deal Alert to get updates when there is a deal on the item. The best part is that you can customize the Deal Alert down to the brand, product and even retailer.
How To Cancel Amazon Prime
If you’ve decided that you don’t want Amazon Prime anymore, you can cancel your membership by following these steps.
- Log into your Amazon account
- Select “Your Account”
- Click “Manage Prime Membership”
- Click on “Manage Membership”
- Select “End Membership”
You might be wondering, “If I cancel Amazon Prime, does it end immediately?” The answer is no. Once you cancel your membership, the renewal date now becomes the end date.
How To Shop Amazon Without Prime
Of course, you don’t need a Prime membership to shop on Amazon. Amazon is available to anyone interested in browsing its large catalog of products. The only difference between shopping as a member vs. a non-member is paying for shipping and potentially waiting more than two days for your package to arrive.
Even if you’re not a Prime member, you can still take advantage of shopping at Amazon a couple of ways:
1. Take Advantage of Amazon Prime Day
One way to reap the benefits of a Prime membership without paying the annual fee is to take advantage of Amazon Prime Day, which is available to all shoppers two days per year. You can enjoy the discounted pricing and free shipping on many items.
2. Sign up for One Free Month Per Year
If you miss your Prime membership come the holiday shopping season, you can register for a free one-month trial of Amazon Prime, complete all your holiday shopping, and cancel the membership before it charges you for the next month. Just remember, you’re only eligible for one free month trial every twelve months.
If that’s not enough time to complete your holiday shopping, you can always sign up for the free month and pay for an additional month ($12.99) before canceling.
Ready for life Without Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime membership has grown to more than 200 million people across 19 countries in its 17-year history, but that doesn’t mean everybody will benefit from all of its perks. Following the latest fee increase, you may be contemplating canceling your membership.
Before making your decision, make sure to consider the factors previously discussed.
- Do you use the benefits and services regularly?
- Do you buy enough to make the cost worth it every month?
- Do you benefit from two-day shipping?
- Are there other shopping options available with Amazon price match?
- What other shopping memberships do you have?
If you find that the cost does not outweigh the benefits, it may be time to cut ties with Amazon Prime. On the other hand, if you utilize many of the benefits and services the membership provides and can easily justify the cost, it may be a no-brainer to stick with your membership.