Info ~ travel musings for the masses

Recently, Amazon Prime increased in price from $79/year to $99/year, even for existing members. Of course, there was the usual gnashing of teeth and complaining that usually comes with these types of announcements, but I took it in stride.

Prime has a lot of value for me, most of which centers around the free 2-day shipping and the Amazon Prime Instant Video features. With the recent announcement that a number of HBO shows would be coming to Prime Instant Video, the service increased in value even more for me.

The 2-day shipping feature though is where I really see the value, even at $99/year. When I am on the road and think of something we need around the house or if I forgot something over the weekend, I can open up the Amazon app on my iPhone, order what I need, and when I get home it is waiting for me. Sure, this creates the challenge of having impulse buys but if you have a little self-control, this should pose no problem. It removes the headache of having to fight traffic for something you do not need right away and let’s you focus on other things.

There are a few downsides to using Prime though. For one, you are not always going to get the cheapest price. We were hoping to be able to buy dog food via Amazon Prime but the price is much higher than what we can get the food for in the store. I am sure there are other items out there that are very similar. Secondly, you do have to wait. Next day shipping still costs extra (as it should) so in the cases where you need something really fast, you may be better off picking it up directly from a store. My last qualm is that Amazon Prime Instant Video adds/removes available free content on somewhat of a whim. There are a few shows that I really want to watch (Mind of a Chef) that recently left Prime Instant Video and don’t look like they are going to return anytime soon. It would be nice if Amazon would make users aware of what content would be leaving the free video selection in the near future so that people could watch if they wanted to do so.

Anyway, there is still a lot of value in Amazon Prime for me, even at $20 more a year. Free 2-day shipping is huge, even if you only buy a few items a year, plus the streaming video service has allowed me to get rid of cable and still keep up with the shows that I want to watch, saving me money in the process.

If you are interested in giving Amazon Prime a try, they have 30-day free trials available. This is an affiliate link and I do receive a small reward if you sign up for a trial.



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  1. May 12, 2014

    I love Amazon Prime and think it is a great value.

    I think when the HBO shows start popping up, I am going to check out Eastbound & Down and Boardwalk Empire.

    I agree that Amazon (and Netflix, for that matter) could better display expiration information on content. When I say better, I guess what I really mean is “at all.” Where does one find this info? Instant Watcher used to have it, but Netflix cut that data off. Amazon used to display upcoming expiration dates on Your Watchlist if viewed in a web browser, but I think they might have stopped.

    I’m not even sure where to find this info on either service, outside of those occasional “what’s expiring on…” articles that various online outlets publish. It would certainly be helpful if they took your watchlist and then created a separate “Expiring Soon on Your Watchlist” column or something.

    Then again, I’ve also been wondering why they don’t let me select actors I’m interested in and then notify me when new movies with those actors are added. I’ve never used the feature on Netflix where they notify you if something is added to streaming, but I’d definitely create a list of actors.

    Disclosure: Amazon shareholder.

    • Stephan Segraves #
      May 12, 2014

      Yep, completely agree Patrick. There are definitely strides to be made when it comes to making the video service easier to use and more informative. But, like I said, still completely worth it.

  2. DaninSTL #
    May 13, 2014

    Still worth it to me for the video. There are also opportunities once in awhile to get a free shoprunner subscription free or on the cheap if you have prime and not to mention the free shipping on many items on Amazon of course.

    • May 13, 2014

      If you have an American Express card (any, including those without an annual fee), ShopRunner is a free benefit to you as a card member. You don’t even need to use your Amex on the purchases. It’s a pretty cool benefit.

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