Is Amazon Prime still worth it?

Albert Liang
Tech Sketches
Published in
3 min readMay 7, 2018

Amazon’s raising the cost of Prime by 20%… am I even getting $120 worth of value from it? (TL;DR — No, I’m not, but I’m keeping Prime anyway.)

With the recent news that Amazon is upping their Prime membership fee from $99 to $119, several tech articles have come out discussing whether Prime is still worth it.

I decided to take analyze my own personal purchases to help me decide.

In the year 2017, I made 32 Amazon purchases. I categorized them into “standard”, “fluffy” (excessively voluptuous), and “heavy” (excessively overweight) shipments and calculated how much shipping would have cost if I didn’t use Prime:

Using a non-Prime account, I checked the shipping prices if I didn’t hit the $25 minimum:

Of the 32 orders I made in 2017, only 6 of them were under $25 and I would have been forced to pay for shipping. Luckily, all of them were “standard” orders. At the very minimum, I would’ve paid $40.45 in shipping. If I wanted them at the same speed as my current Prime orders, I would’ve paid $74.04.

Neither of these numbers came close to the $99 Prime membership fee I was originally paying, which makes the new $20 price hike an even worse deal.

Compounding on top of all of that, having an Amazon Prime membership double the amount of purchases you make, meaning I would’ve only paid for half that much in shipping on average.

But, ultimately, I will be keeping my Amazon Prime membership. Here’s a laundry list of secondary benefits I enjoy through my Prime membership:

  • full-resolution photo backups to Amazon Prime Photos
  • the occasional show or movie that I watch on Amazon Prime Video
  • the extra 2% cashback I get on my Amazon Rewards Visa credit card
  • and, a free Gund stuffed bear every year via their Christmas “buy an Amazon gift card” promo

Finally, because I share my Prime membership with multiple people (I was grandfathered in when they used to let you share with up to 5 people), the net benefit from everyone on the account probably exceeds the $99 (or $119) that I pay each year.

Extra bonus: Did you know there are Prime-exclusive items on Amazon? I did not know this until I was trying to find shipping costs for non-Prime members…



Albert Liang
Tech Sketches

Tech junkie, entrepreneur dreamer, practical engineer