Amazon Prime offers access to TV shows, movies, music and free next-day delivery on many of its products. But with a membership costing £8.99 a month, are you getting value for money?
If you’re planning to do your festive shopping online this year, you may well end up on Amazon. With a vast selection of items and speedy delivery on offer, it’s a very popular option. The online retailer entices customers by selling a monthly membership, which includes a range of added benefits for a fee.
This article answers:
*This article includes affiliate links which may earn us revenue
What is Amazon Prime?
Amazon is an e-commerce site which delivers millions of packages across the UK each year. This makes it one of the largest companies in its sector, with a delivery network extending across major cities and rural areas alike.
Maintaining such a network costs money, and this usually comes in the form of delivery charges. But Amazon customers can shake many of these one-off fees aside with a Prime membership*, which comes at a cost and includes other perks.
These include a video and music streaming service, same-day or one-day delivery on millions of items, and exclusive discounts off certain products through Amazon.
How much is Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime comes at £8.99 a month*, which works out at almost £108 a year.
If you’re willing to pay for an annual subscription upfront you’ll pay just £95, saving almost £13.
Read more: How to budget: a simple guide
What can I watch on Amazon Prime?
According to Barb, which collects data on television ratings in the UK, Amazon Prime Video was used by 13 million homes in the UK between July and October. In comparison, this was more than the 7.6 million homes using Disney plus but less than the near 17 million which subscribed to Netflix.
As one of the larger streaming services in the country, Amazon Video offers a range of TV shows and movies. This includes:
|Jack Ryan||John Wick Chapter 4|
|The Man in the High Castle||Air|
|Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power||Your Christmas or mine?|
Does Amazon Prime include advertisements?
Currently, the video-streaming service doesn’t show ads, but this will change from next year.
“To continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time, starting in 2024, Prime Video shows and movies will include limited advertisements in the UK,” Amazon said in a statement.
Unfortunately, this won’t make your subscription any cheaper. Instead, the e-commerce giant said it would release a separate subscription service at a later date, with details around the price yet to be released.
Read more: Netflix price changes: how it affects you
Be wary of additional subscriptions and charges!
Not all movies and TV shows listed on Amazon Prime are exclusively available to Prime members.
Some content is only available through an additional subscription purchased through Amazon. An example is Top Gun Maverick, the 2022 remake of the same name starring Tom Cruise. Although it is listed on Amazon Prime you can only watch this by signing up to Paramount Plus at an added £6.99 a month or buying the movie outright through Amazon.
However, you can plan around this. Many of these added subscriptions include free trials, so as long as you remember to cancel your subscription after watching your movie it won’t cost a thing.
Can I watch live sport on Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime* doesn’t just include access to television shows and movies; it also shows live sport, including football, tennis, and rugby.
Notably for football fans, Amazon Prime has been a Premier League broadcaster since the 2019/20 season. This season, Amazon will stream a total of 20 matches, including Manchester United vs Chelsea on 6th December and a selection of key Boxing Day fixtures.
While it’s a nice bonus if you’re a Prime member, given that there are a total of 760 matches in a Premier League season, it’s not a full-time solution for football fans. If you’re looking for weekly football action, it’s best to consider other providers, like BT or Sky.
Is Amazon Music free with Prime?
Prime subscribers also get free access to Amazon Prime Music, a streaming service offering 100 million songs and a range of podcasts ad-free.
This means its collection fares reasonably well against some of its main competitors. Spotify, for example, allows its Premium members to listen to around 80 million songs, while Apple Music’s library is also 100 million tunes strong.
However, there is a catch. Amazon Prime Music doesn’t allow its users to play music “on-demand”, which means you can’t immediately play a song of your choice. Instead, you’ll have to put on a playlist or an album, which is “shuffled”, or played in a random order, and wait for the song you want to play.
Amazon’s Prime Music subscription also limits the amount of songs you can skip and store in offline mode.
If you do want these features, you’ll need to subscribe to Amazon’s premium music package, Amazon Music Unlimited. This also includes songs in high definition and comes at a fee of £9.99 a month. Prime members, however, are entitled to a monthly £1 discount on this subscription through their membership.
With Spotify’s subscription clocking in at £10.99 per month, if you’re a Prime member, you can save money by opting for the latter for your music streaming needs.
Is Amazon’s Prime day any good?
Prime members can also make use of a range of discounts throughout the year*, with some of the best sales reserved for Prime Day – a 48 hour period each year where Amazon slashes prices on thousands items across its categories.
In the UK, Prime Day last happened on 15 July 2023, and there currently aren’t any announcements for when we might expect Prime Day in 2024.
Below are some of the discounts shoppers were able to take advantage of in July’s sale.
|Item||Regular price||Prime day price|
|Ninja Air Fryer||£269.99||£169.99|
|Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 5G Smartphone||£899.99||£599.99|
|Fire TV Stick 4K Max||£64.99||£37.99|
|Baby Jogger Pushchair||£489||£341.99|
Read more: Ten money-saving tricks
What additional benefits can Amazon Prime members get?
Besides these headline benefits, there are additional perks with a Prime membership that you may be unaware of. This includes:
- Free Deliveroo plus for 12 months. The delivery app’s plus membership costs just shy of £42 a year. It includes free delivery on orders above £25 and exclusive discounts off other restaurants. With Amazon Prime, this membership comes free for a year.
- Prime Gaming. Gamers may be interested in Prime gaming, a membership which comes with in-game perks on certain video games, free video games, and a Twitch channel subscription. However, don’t expect to get new releases for free.
- Amazon Photos. Prime members can access unlimited photo storage and up to 5GB of video storage with their subscription. If you have an iPhone and you don’t want to pay for iCloud, it can be a handy alternative.
- Amazon First Reads. If you’re a Kindle user, you may be interested in Amazon First Reads. With this subscription, you get one e-book selected by Amazon’s Editors for free each month.
Read more: The best budgeting apps
Is Amazon Prime worth it?
It can be easy to get caught up in the number of benefits on offer with a Prime subscription. Access to a £100 discount off a coffee machine with a Prime membership may seem like a great bargain, but if you never needed the item in the first place, are you really saving money?
The value you’ll get from a Prime membership also depends on how many of its benefits you wish to use. For example, if you’re happy to cancel a £10.99 Spotify subscription for an Amazon Prime Music subscription and will frequently make use of your free shipping then it represents great value for money.
If you’re not interested in any of its benefits, and you just intend to use the free delivery feature, we’ve crunched the numbers below.
Remember, Amazon provides free standard delivery for eligible items over £25 and eligible books over £10. This can take up to three to five business days after all your items become available.
Eligible items include products sold by Amazon, not items sent from third parties, such as small businesses.
|Delivery||How long does it take?||Cost for non-Prime members per delivery||Number of monthly orders to surpass Prime membership cost|
|One-day or premium delivery||One day after dispatch||£3.95 – £4.99||Two to three orders|
|One day or premium delivery to pick-up location||One day after dispatch||£2.99||Three orders|
|Priority delivery||Two days after dispatch||£0.99||10 orders|
|Same-day & Overnight delivery (on orders of £20 or more)||By 1pm the next eligible day||£5.99||Two orders|
How do I cancel Amazon Prime?
If you find that Amazon Prime isn’t worth it and you wish to cancel your membership you’ll need to log into your account and navigate to the “Manage your Prime Membership” section. On your desktop this should be in the top right drop-down menu.
From here select “End Membership” and follow the prompts. After successfully cancelling your membership you’ll still be able to use Prime until your membership expires.
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