Amazon Prime Cost Breakdown: Why Prime is Worth $19.97 Per Month

Updated October 17, 2022 by Kyle

Let’s not bury the lead. The Amazon Prime cost currently sits at $99 a year which equates to $8.25 per month. I did the math and determined that before you do any shopping at all, Prime is worth $19.97 per month. Keep reading to determine how I broke down each Prime perk so you can figure out if the cost of an annual Amazon Prime membership is a smart buy for you.

Amazon Prime Cost Breakdown: Why Prime is Worth $19.97 Per Month

Breakdown of Amazon Prime Cost:

Again, Amazon Prime currently costs $99 a year.

Here’s a handy breakdown of what all the Prime benefits are worth so you can determine if the cost of Prime makes sense for you…

Prime Music

Value: $5.99/mo.

Spotify Premium comes in at $9.99 a month after your free 30 day trial.

Prime Music is definitely not Spotify, so I’ll give it a value of $5.99 a month.

While Prime Music gives you access to over 2 million songs (Spotify gives you 30+ million), new songs and albums are sometimes only available to Prime Music Unlimited customers.

For example, while a couple of his popular singles are available, Ed Sheeran’s entire new album is only available to Music Unlimited subscribers.

You’ll also have trouble finding some obscure songs and artists that Spotify will have.

The good news is that songs on Prime Music are ad-free, you can easily sync it with your Echo, and you can create playlists similar to Spotify.

If you’re an average music listener you’ll love Prime Music and easily get $6 of enjoyment out of it each month.

Prime Video

Value: $4.99/mo.

The selection of movies and TV shows available on Prime Video is definitely less than Netflix.

The standard Netflix monthly plans comes in at $10.99, so I’d conservatively estimate Prime Video being worth $4.99/month.

If you’re not a heavy “show binger” Prime Video will be just fine for you.

I’ve actually been quite impressed with the quality of Prime movies available recently, especially for kids and family viewing.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why Amazon Prime Is a Terrible Buy

Unlimited Prime Photo

Value: $.99/mo.

It’s hard to put a large value on Prime Photo when Google also has a free option.

The one thing that Prime Photo has that Google is missing is Amazon lets you store unlimited RAW file formats for free, which Google doesn’t.

Amazon Audible Channels

Value: $3/mo.

Before Amazon included Audible Channels with your Prime membership they were charging $5/month for the service.

Just download the free app and start listening to “original audio series, plus playlists handcrafted for every interest.”

Twitch Prime

Value: $1/mo.

Twitch Prime is the world’s leading community for gamers and the video game culture.

I give Twitch a value of $1/month as they give away a bunch of freebies along with discounts on pre-order box games.

Prime Reading

Value: $4/mo.

Amazon’s Prime Reading gives you free access to thousands of books, comics, magazines, and Kindle Singles.

If you can cancel a magazine subscription, or avoid buying a book each month, the service is easily worth $4 per month.

Free 2-Day Shipping

Value: Depends on usage.

So far, the above Prime perks are worth $19.97 per month. Doing some quick math, those perks are worth about $239 annually.

So theoretically if you NEVER shopped on Amazon OR took advantage of free 2-day shipping, the Amazon Prime cost of $99 a year would be a smart purchase.

But if you take advantage of free 2-day shipping at least twice per month, Prime really makes a lot of sense.

Although, keep in mind that Walmart now offers free 2-day shipping on $35 or more (no membership required). This definitely takes a little bit of the shine away from Amazon’s Prime shipping guarantee.

Ask the Reader: Did this article sway you one way or another on getting Amazon Prime? Or is the cost of Prime just too rich for your blood?

By Kyle James


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I am a PRIME member, but wasn’t even aware of all the benefits! Question – do you know if a member through a household is also eligible for these same perks?


I have amazon prime and don’t actually use any of the other service lines because I’m simply not a fan of their offerings and prefer to access those things in other ways (Spotify, Netflix, etc). You’re right that amazon music and video are not for average users.
However, I have found multiple items cheaper through amazon prime than our local Costco and multiple items cheaper than our local store. (Laundry detergent, Clorox wipes, paper towels, trash bags, etc.) A lot of items will list their per unit cost in the description, helping with cost transparency.