Many Amazon Shoppers become Prime members to take advantage of Prime-exclusive deals and savings events, and free shipping. But it costs $14.99 per month or $139 annually to join.
Until recently, non-Prime shoppers could score free shipping when spending at least $25 on eligible purchases. But that’s changed for some Amazon users. The online retailer recently increased the minimum free shipping from $25 to $35 for some non-Prime shoppers.
You may need to spend more to score free shipping
Unless you’re an Amazon Prime member, you may need to spend more money to get free shipping. The popular retailer is testing out a higher minimum spend requirement in some markets, impacting some users who aren’t Prime members.
Amazon has increased the minimum spend for free shipping for many non-Prime shoppers. Instead of spending at least $25 on eligible purchases, some users must now spend at least $35. Otherwise, they can expect to pay shipping costs at checkout.
While this isn’t a significant difference, the change could impact your checking account balance. Every extra charge, including shipping costs, affects your finances. It’s worth noting that some users may still see a minimum spend threshold of $25. But for others, it will now be higher.
If this change impacts you, you’ll need to decide if it’s worthwhile to join Prime to get free shipping on eligible purchases. If you prefer not to pay the hefty monthly or yearly membership costs, you can still get free shipping by being strategic when you shop.
If you plan your shopping trips accordingly and ensure you always have at least $35 worth of eligible items in your cart, you won’t have to worry about being charged shipping fees. If you keep an ongoing shopping list or add items to your cart for later, reaching this new, higher threshold may be easier to achieve.
But this new change could be frustrating news for shoppers who prefer to shop at Amazon frequently. It could be challenging to hit the minimum spend requirement if you tend to place frequent, less costly orders. If you’re not a Prime member, you’ll need to consider how this change will impact your wallet and shopping habits.
Is Amazon Prime worth the cost?
The new higher minimum spend requirement for free shipping may have you wondering whether it’s time to become an Amazon Prime member and whether the membership fee is worth it. As a member, you’ll get quite a few valuable perks.
Here’s a breakdown of a few benefits that Prime members enjoy:
- Free two-day shipping on eligible purchases
- Free same-day shipping on eligible ZIP codes
- Unlimited TV and video streaming through Prime Video
- Access to 100 million ad-free songs through Amazon Music
- Download a new Kindle book for free each month through Amazon First Reads
- Prime-exclusive pricing at Whole Foods
This list is just a sampling of benefits available to Amazon Prime members. Before paying the annual membership fee, be sure to review your budget.
You should also consider how often you shop online and whether the deals found on Amazon Prime can help you keep more money in your pocket. A membership may not be worth it if you’re not a big shopper or if you don’t buy many items sold on Amazon.
But you may want to consider joining if you can afford the membership fee and will get good use out of the perks offered. For additional financial tips, check out our personal finance resources.
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