Many think the only main advantage of Amazon Prime Canada is the free and fast shipping, but what they don’t know is how much the service has grown overtime. Now, there are a slew of other advantages that have been included – from shipping benefits, to Prime Video perks, to free photo storage, and more.
What is Amazon Prime?
To put it simply, it’s a subscription service or loyalty program for those who shop on Amazon. How much does it cost? For Canadians there is a $79 CAD annual fee, or you can choose to pay for a monthly subscription at $7.99 CAD per month (plus applicable taxes).
The program arrived in Canada in 2013, with minimum free-delivery amounts of $35 CAD and a limited collection of things to watch on Prime Video. Ever since, the membership has expanded significantly to house several different services – each designed to make your experience more streamlined. Now there’s over 100 million Prime members worldwide – 2 million of them being Canadians (and that number continues to grow).
Why Is It Worth It?
Since JPMorgan estimated that the Prime membership is actually worth $785 USD ($992 CAD) annually, it’s fair to say that nothing is lacking when it comes to value. When you think about the wealth of benefits being added to the program, it doesn’t feel as surprising that the membership is worth so much.
With the world of online shopping booming more than ever before, the convenience of Prime is definitely something to take a second glance at.
Online Shopping Made Easy
As many brick-and-mortar stores closed down in 2020, Canadians began turning to online services. Although online shopping is convenient in multiple ways, it can be a little tricky. Wrong sizes, expensive return fees, poor quality items, unreliable shipping – you get the idea. But that’s where Amazon Prime comes in, because it offers solutions to those problems people often experience while shopping online.
Amazon has proven itself to be reliable time and time again. Headache-free returns, same-day delivery, exclusive deals – it isn’t easy to find these kinds of perks just anywhere.
Heard Enough? – try it here
How Does Amazon Prime Canada Work? All the Benefits
Services included in the membership can be broken down into four categories: Shipping, Streaming, Shopping, and More (which is made up of Prime Reading and Amazon Photos).
To better understand how it all works, here’s a summary of what’s included in each category:
Prime Delivery is undoubtedly the largest enticement when it comes to the subscription service. So many of us are sick of waiting weeks, even more than a few days, to get our items shipped. In fact, 68% of people find shipping fees to be the biggest deterrent to online shopping, so it makes sense that this kind of shipping is the main incentive for perspective members. Prime Delivery offers several perks related to shipping, like:
- Free two-day delivery
- Free same-day delivery (which is available in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary)
- Free one-day shipping
- Release-date delivery – this is eligible on certain items that are available for pre-order. This perk lets you avoid any long lines
Prime Video has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Now, it ranks just behind Netflix and Disney+, capturing around 25% of the market share in Canada. This can be largely attributed to the fact that it’s a free bonus perk as part of the Prime subscription, so it’s convenient for those who want to explore options other than giants like Netflix and Disney+.
- As of June 2020, Prime Video offers 12,828 free movies and TV shows.
- You can watch the service not only on your TV, but also on your mobile phone or tablet.
- Streaming online is available, and you can even download to watch offline later.
- Access to Amazon Originals (like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Fleabag, The Man in the High Castle, and more).
Amazon Music has around 55 million subscribers globally as of January 2020 – a figure that continues to grow as more people are signing up to Prime. There’s also an Unlimited version, but the regular version offers:
- Offline listening with unlimited skips
- Hands-free listening with Alexa using voice controls
- Thousands of stations and playlists
Prime Gaming is also a thing, and is ideal for gamers who have a Twitch account. Not surprising considering they bought Twitch back in 2014 – the popular streaming platform now accounts for 1.8% of peak internet traffic (just behind Google, Apple and Netflix).
- Free in-game loot each month (like characters, boosts, vehicles, etc.)
- Complimentary Twitch Channel subscription every 30 days
- Exclusives and surprises
Okay now I’ve heard enough – try it here
Prime Member Exclusives (also known as Just for Prime) includes a series of select deals that are only available to those who are members. These can include anything on the site from clothes to electronics. With over 175 million items sold during their Prime Day event back in 2019, it’s clear that people are pleased with the deals available.
- Access to a perk called Lightning Deals which means you can view the deals 30 minutes before everyone else.
Amazon Family is a part of the membership that offers a plethora of special deals for families. According to their site, it’s designed for those who are “expecting, raising a toddler, or navigating the tween years.” With this subscription you get:
- 20% savings on diaper subscriptions
- A free gift when signing up to the Baby Registry and 15% discount
- Exclusive newsletter sent to your email sharing knowledge and tips based on your child’s age
- Information on top products that are popular with other parents
- Exclusive deals and coupons
Another part of the shopping section is the rewards you can earn with your membership. Using the Amazon Rewards Mastercard, you can receive 2.5% back at grocery stores like Whole Foods Market, as well as eligible restaurants. This is compared to non-members, who only earn 1.5% back.
- No annual credit card fees.
- Use your card instantly after being approved.
- Paperless billing.
Okay okay, I’m sold, send me there! – try it here
eBooks & Photos
Prime Reading is basically a private library that offers free books, as well as magazines – more than 1,000 of them to be exact.
- Access to hundreds of books from thrillers, to romance novels, to kid’s books.
- Audible narration available.
- Compatible with Kindle E-readers and the Kindle app.
Amazon Photos is one of the understated bonuses of the membership, as not many people know it’s included as one of the perks. It helps you keep all your photos and videos in one place, and you’re also able to share them with family and friends.
- Back up with unlimited photo storage.
- Access your photos and videos from your computer, phone or tablet.
- Secure storage that doesn’t reduce resolution or quality.
Should I Get Amazon Prime Canada?
Now you know all the benefits, it’s time to think about whether it’s right for you. Ultimately, it’s about thinking how convenient it would be to have everything in one place. If you think about how much you’re paying for separate services (like film and TV streaming services, music streaming, eBook subscriptions, etc.) – it all adds up.
Here are a few tips to help decide whether you should sign up:
- If you’re paying for other streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, etc., consider how much you could save by cutting down on a couple and use Prime Video instead. You’ll be getting tons of shows and films to watch, as well as all the other benefits.
- While shopping online, many of us find it frustrating paying that extra bit of shipping if we haven’t reached the minimum specified amount. If you often get hit with those shipping costs, you’ll save time and money in the long run with Prime free delivery services.
- Gaming and music services start to add up – especially if you’re paying for a few at a time. When you’ve got everything under one membership, you’re saving a lot on fees.
- If you love trying before you buy (particularly when making online purchases) this membership makes returns so much easier. Not only are they free, but they’re quick and hassle-free.
Still on the fence? Go for the free trial. It gives you a full 30 days to decide whether you want to stick with it or not, and gives you access to free two day shipping, Prime Video and Music, and to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. For those living in Quebec the free trial isn’t available, rather you’ll receive 30 days free once signed up for an annual or monthly subscription.
At the end of the day, the thing that stands out the most about Amazon Prime Canada is how much time you’ll save. And with such fast-paced lives we’re all living, this is music to the ears of a lot of people.
From same-day delivery on millions of items, to Lightning Deals giving you 30 minute access before other customers, there’s no doubt this service is a massive time-saver.
For us, the thing that makes Amazon Prime stand out from other subscription services is just how much stuff you’re getting packed into one single membership. It’s not just a streaming service. It’s not just an online store. You’re getting multiple things available at your fingertips – all under one simple account.
Having everything you need in one area is always going to be easier than trying to wade through countless different subscriptions. Another thing we love about it is how much it’s grown in a short amount of time. Seeing as so many benefits continuously get added overtime, it’s only normal that other perks will continue popping up. Quite frankly, that’s what we love about it, and that’s why we’ll continue using it for years to come.
If you’re still unsure whether you’ll love it as much as we do, simply try-before-you-buy and sign up for the free trial.