Is Amazon Prime worth it for gamers?

Last time I checked, Amazon Prime had 100 million active subscribers worldwide. Due to its immense popularity, it received flak for raising its annual price from $99 to $119 back in May. The plan also jumped from $49 to $59 for students. But even at the new price, it could still hold tremendous value if you’re a gamer who loves to shop online. We highlight some of the best aspects of Amazon Prime for gamers.

Prime Day deals

Amazon is kicking off its massive Prime Day sale again today, on July 16. True to its name, the Prime Day sale is exclusive to Amazon Prime subscribers. Lasting only 36 hours, you’ll find some rare and steep discounts on popular PC hardware and peripherals. The potential savings can easily offset the cost of an annual subscription. If you’re already an active Prime member, check out our list of the best 2018 Amazon Prime Day deals for PC gaming deals.

Twitch Prime and free games

Ever since Amazon acquired Twitch, it has been actively tying in its ecommerce business with the ultra-popular streaming platform. Hence, it should be no surprise that subscribing to Amazon Prime instantly qualifies you for Twitch Prime. Among its bevy of premium features, one of Twitch Prime’s most lucrative benefits is the oodles of free in-game loot drops. Members can score free loot boxes for Overwatch, Warframe, Call of Duty: WWII, and many more popular titles. 

What’s even more impressive is that Amazon also hands out free full games like candy. Amazon rolled out its Free Games with Prime program in March 2018 through Twitch, granting all Prime members with free games every month. This year, Twitch is celebrating Prime day by offering a free game daily until July 18. Add in the three titles included in the monthly bundle, that’s 21 free games in the month of July alone.

In addition to bonus digital content, Twitch Prime also unlocks ad-free streaming, exclusive emoticons, extra chat color options, and a free channel subscription every month.

(Image: © Flickr via Amazon Prime)

Speedy shipping

Amazon Prime is best known for its free express shipping. All Prime subscriptions include a multi-tier expedited shipping service free of charge. When you subscribe, you’re automatically eligible for free two-day shipping on eligible products. Amazon now offers same-day delivery, and even Prime Now 2-hour delivery in many cities. If you regularly purchase groceries, snacks, and household items from Amazon, the expedited shipping can easily recuperates the cost of the subscription and save you time.

Prime Video and Prime Music

Amazon provides video and music streaming for relaxing during your downtime, both of which are included in its Prime membership.

Similar to Netflix, Amazon Video is an on-demand streaming service for movies and TV shows.  But unlike Netflix, Amazon Prime Video also gives the viewer the option to purchase or rent the media. Despite touting “unlimited streaming” as a selling point, if you want to watch the newest movies or series, you’ll likely have to pay an additional “rental” fee to unlock them. 

That concept also applies to Amazon Prime Music. While the service is included in the Prime membership, music selection is limited to two million songs. To unlock the “tens of millions” of songs of which Amazon boasts so proudly, Prime members would have to pay an additional $7.99 per month for Amazon Music Unlimited. With that said, the cost of the membership is still lower than a Spotify Premium subscription. If you’re a student, the subscription cost is only $4.99.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card

Those with solid budgeting skills can take advantage of Amazon’s Visa Signature card. This exclusive Visa card (managed by Chase) grants the cardholder 5% cash back on all purchases made at Amazon.com and Whole Food Market. The points earned can be used on Amazon purchases or redeemed as cash. Upon approval, you also instantly get a $70 Amazon gift card.

The verdict

While I think that Prime is definitely worth it, it all comes down to whether or not you value the convenience enough to make up for the subscription cost. It’s important to consider how often and how much you buy from Amazon, and whether Twitch Prime and its free digital content appeal to you. If you frequently use more than one of the services mentioned above, then the savings in money and time could easily outweigh the annual fee. The Amazon Visa Signature card and its 5% cash back policy can further extend savings—provided you manage your debt responsibly.

Those who want to take advantage of the Prime Day deals without having to commit can start a free 1-month trial. Students get an even better deal with a 6-month trial period.

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