What is included with Amazon Prime?

When Amazon first offered Prime, it was a simple delivery service that promised free, unlimited one-day delivery on eligible orders but has since added the above features, including Prime Music, a music streaming service to rival the likes of Spotify.

How much does Amazon Prime cost?

You can pay for the whole package each year at a cost of 79.

However, Amazon are now letting some customers pay monthly instead. It costs 7.99 a month, which comes to 95.88 each year. Paying annually is still cheaper overall at 79, but monthly payments are more affordable in the short term and offer more flexibility.

Amazon will make paying monthly available to all customers later this year.

It does offer a 30 day free trial for new customers, so you can at least try it out beforehand, but you will be charged the full 79 if you do not cancel before this comes to an end.

Is Amazon Prime worth the price?

In February 2014, Amazon Prime went from 49 to 79 per year. Whether it is worth its new price tag depends upon how often you are going to use it and working out whether it gives you value for money.

If you only want to use Amazon Prime delivery

To make the 79 cost worthwhile you need to place the equivalent of:

  • 20 or more orders of clothes (3.95 for one day delivery)

  • 13 or 14 orders of media (5.99 one day delivery)

  • 10 orders of anything else (7.99 one day delivery).

If you can wait longer for your order, some of the other delivery options available include:

  • Free delivery is available with a 20 minimum spend on eligible items (products sold and/or fulfilled by Amazon) and Items will be delivered three to five days after dispatch.

  • Standard delivery is calculated on weight if items are not eligible for free delivery; they are usually delivered within one to two business days after dispatch. Prices start from 1.99 for media weighing up to 0.5kg and 2.99 on orders weighing more than 0.5kg. Books cost 2.99 per delivery and all other product types start at 3.99.

  • Express delivery orders placed before the deadline will arrive by 1pm the following day. It costs 8.99 without amazon prime and 4.49 with prime.

  • Same day evening delivery (for selected UK postcodes). These eligible items are delivered between 6pm and 10pm. This is a free service with Amazon Prime but for those without it the service costs 9.99 per delivery.

Being an Amazon Prime customer gets you delivery upgrades. If you need to expedite your delivery, find out more here.

If you rarely order from Amazon

If you are not interested in streaming music and TV, you are probably best off saving 79 and sticking with free super saver delivery on orders of 20 or more as long as you don't mind waiting three to five days for orders to arrive.

If you order rarely but are interested in instant streaming, you could try the free trial and see whether you make full use of the service before deciding to take the plunge.

Try all the free trials Netflix, Now TV and Wuaki too, to see which one you like the best.

Is Amazon Prime Instant Video better than the competition?

How good is Amazon Prime's Instant Video content?

Currently you take your pick of more than 15,000 TV programmes and films.

Amazon has also said it is "investing heavily in exclusive content", which has so far included original shows like Transparent, Extant and the new project from Top Gear's former presenters.
Amazon also allows you to download videos to your tablet or mobile so you can watch your favourite videos on the go.

At 79 annually, Prime works out at 6.58 a month, which is similar to other streaming video services:

  • Netflix plans start at 5.99 a month

  • Now TV starts at 6.99 per month

However, with Amazon Prime you get the delivery service, music streaming and Kindle library too. If Amazon Prime Instant Video has got your favourite films and shows and you are going to use it for hours on end, you might find it worth the price.

Amazon Prime is available to stream on all Kindle Fire tablets, along with more than 600 other devices, including most computers, consoles, smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.

What does Prime Music offer?

Prime Music is Amazon's new music streaming service, offering access to around two million songs without the interruption of adverts.

These songs can be accessed and played using a computer or device through Amazon's website. Alternatively, you can use the Amazon Music application, which is available for tablets and smartphones, including Android devices and Apple products.

It was added to Prime's features in July 2015 and also allows you to download songs and create playlists, meaning you can play them through the Amazon Music app even when you are offline.

Prime Stations has also been added to the Prime Music service, ad-free personalised music streaming stations where you can like and dislike the songs that are played and skip as many as you like.

How does Prime Music compare to other streaming services?

Unlike other streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Apple Music and Google Play, Prime Music is not available as a standalone subscription; it can only be accessed by Amazon Prime members as part of the full package.

It works out much cheaper than other streaming sites, which charge around 10 per month. Amazon Prime membership is effectively 6.58 per month and also includes its one day free delivery service, video streaming, photo storage and eBook library.

However, the choice of music is more limited, with a little over one million tracks currently available to UK members. This compares unfavourably to Spotify and Apple Music, which each offer more than 30 million songs.

What is Prime Music Unlimited?

It is an extended streaming service that offers a music library of around 40 million songs.

It costs 9.99 per month, but Prime members can get either of these discounts:

  • Paying 7.99 a month (2 cheaper)

  • Paying 79 upfront for a whole year (6.58 per month)

The Amazon Prime Kindle eBook library

Avid readers will love Amazon Prime's Kindle Owners' Lending Library which lets you borrow one book per month , which you must return before taking out another one.

While one book is slightly restricting, this is mitigated by the fact that there are half a million books to choose from - which should keep even the fastest reader going for some time.

There are no due dates or deadlines for returning books, and they can be shared between your Kindle devices and Kindle apps (but not across multiple user accounts).

The verdict on Amazon Prime

Whether Amazon Prime is worth it for you will depend entirely on how much use you are going to get from it.

  • If you regularly order from Amazon, pay for a music or TV and movie streaming service and read a lot, Amazon Prime may be worth it

  • If you do not really order enough to justify the 79 price, stream video and music content from another provider and do not have a Kindle, it is unlikely you will find much use for Amazon Prime

How to cancel Amazon Prime

If you decide to end your Prime membership, head to the login page on amazon.co.uk and sign into your account, go to Manage Your Prime Membership, and select the End membership option (if you have paid) or Do not continue (if you are in the trial period).

Once you have opted out of automatic renewal, you will not get charged after your free trial or current year's membership is up. Of course, if you change your mind and want to carry on, you can sign up again or alter your membership preferences later.

How to pay for Amazon Prime

You can pay for Prime using the payment method linked to your Amazon account, usually a credit card or debit card.

Your card will be charged either annually or monthly, depending on how you choose to pay. Paying annually is cheaper if you can afford it with money in your bank account or savings.

Alternatively, you could spread the cost of annual membership with a 0% purchases credit card. You can then pay it back over several months without paying interest.