3 Ways My Amazon Prime Membership Is Costing Me Money

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Amazon Prime has costs beyond membership fees.


Key points

  • I have been a member of Amazon Prime for years, but there is an additional charge.
  • The membership fees, ease of purchase, and convenience of free shipping add up over time.

Amazon Prime recently increased its fees. This made me wonder if I wanted to keep my Prime membership active or not.

I finally decided that keeping my membership was the right choice. But taking the time to assess whether or not it was worth it made me realize that there are three big ways being a Prime member drains my bank account.

Here is what they are.

1. Membership fees

The main cost associated with being a Prime member is the membership fee I have to pay to be part of the program. On February 18, the cost increased by $20 and reached $139 per year.

I use Amazon to buy a lot of stuff and to save on shipping costs, and I also use their streaming and music services. This price does not seem unreasonable to me. But if you’re not a frequent buyer and prefer to use other streaming or music providers, the membership fee of nearly $12 per month may not be worth it to you. .

There are also indirect costs associated with Amazon Prime membership. And, for me, one of the big ones is that I tend to buy almost everything from Amazon rather than shopping at different local and online stores to make sure I get the best deal.

When I shop with Amazon, I can get the items I’ve purchased with a click and they appear at my house within a day or two. I don’t have to enter my payment information, try to get my order up to a certain dollar amount to avoid shipping charges, or wait for my items to arrive.

The convenience of one-click ordering and fast delivery almost made me stop shopping for prices altogether. The problem is, the few times I checked prices elsewhere, I was often able to find items that were a bit cheaper. It’s unclear exactly how much I overspend due to my loyalty to Amazon, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was over $100 a year.

Now I could keep my membership and choose to make the choice to shop. But when you lead a busy life, it’s really tempting not to.

3. I buy more thanks to free shipping

Finally, the last way Amazon is costing me money is that I tend to buy more because I get free shipping. Since I know I don’t have to pay extra to have something sent to me, it’s easy to go to Amazon and make dozens of small purchases a month for everything from a Blues Clues notebook for my toddler with new socks.

These are items that I might not even buy if I had to pay shipping for them, or even had to wait until I had amassed an order of a certain size to buy them. But since they’re cheap and have no shipping, it’s easy to get into the habit of just click and spend.

Amazon wants encourage small impulse purchases and loyalty to the company through its Prime program. So I don’t think these extra costs are accidents. But if you’re trying to decide if Prime membership is worth the cost, it’s worth considering whether you’re also incurring those extra expenses as a result of your membership.

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