Is Amazon Prime's Free 30-Day Trial Worth It?

Updated on May 4, 2020
Beth Eaglescliffe profile image

I write about employment issues, ways to earn money and how to get best value when spending it.

Prime membership gives access to priority sales bargains.
Prime membership gives access to priority sales bargains. | Source

What is Amazon Prime?

Amazon is a major player in online shopping. It has a reputation for speedy shipping, low prices and good customer service. It offers free shipping if you spend a relatively small amount. However, this service is a loss-leader. Amazon Prime is a way for the company to cross-subsidize its free delivery offer.

Prime members spend more than twice as much per head compared to non-subscribing customers. So in order to encourage sign-ups, Amazon offers a free 30-day trial membership of its Prime service.

Is the 30-Day Trial Really Free?

When you sign up for a 30-day Amazon Prime trial, you also agree to pay a subscription if you continue the service beyond that 30-day period. So you must make sure you cancel the payment authorisation asap.

You can tick a box to receive a reminder when your free period is about to end. However, I recommend you don't wait for this reminder before cancelling. You may not receive the email or may simply forget to act on it. My technique is to cancel the pending subscription as soon as I have activated the free trial period. That way I get the benefit of Amazon's Prime trial offer, without having to pay anything for it.

If you should change your mind later and decide that after all you do want the service, then it's simple to restart the subscription with one click on your account page.

Amazon Prime claims to simplify life.
Amazon Prime claims to simplify life. | Source

Is Amazon Prime Worth It?

The value you place on the Amazon Prime service will depend on your individual circumstances. I signed up for a free 30-Day Prime Trial in the UK.

I had been a regular shopper with Amazon for many years prior to taking out a trial subscription. I had seen Prime membership advertised, but thought it too expensive. I always opt for free delivery and have no problem reaching the minimum spend needed to get that service. However, recently the previously reliable delivery service has deteriorated. My deliveries never used to take longer than 3 days. Now they take 7 to 10 days to reach me.

I dithered over subscribing to the free trial. Then I saw adverts for the Annual 30-hour Prime Bargain Day. Once a year selected goods are offered at 20% discount to Prime members. To my surprise the items on offer included things I was about to order anyway. By taking the month’s trial, I could immediately make a 20% saving on my shopping. So, I signed up.

Amazon Prime Day Bargains

The Lure of the Amazon Prime Day Sale

The selection of goods included in the sale is huge, but you have to be a Prime member to get the discount. If you've never been a member before you are offered a 30-day free trial of the service.

I read the small print carefully to make sure I was not committing myself to longer than 30-days. The website asks for your credit or debit card details before you complete the sign-up. This is because Amazon hope you'll forget to cancel the payment mandate after the trial. If you don't cancel, the free offer automatically converts into a paid membership.

Being a savvy shopper, after registering with the service, I immediately went to the “cancel your trial Prime membership” option in my account. By cancelling straight away, I retained the free period, but would not be billed when it ended. I figured if I liked the service I could always rejoin. The monthly fee was the same whether I took out continuous membership now or came back later of my own volition.

I ordered several sales items and got 20% off the bill as well as upgraded delivery. Membership of Amazon Prime means free next day delivery with no minimum spend. All good so far. Well not quite.

Speedy Next Day Delivery

Before I had Amazon Prime, my orders were delivered by amazon’s own delivery fleet. I could track the location of each item online. As I always opted for the (slow) free delivery, they would inch their way from depot to depot. They would eventually arrive at my home; unhurried but well packed.

Amazon promises “fast delivery and more” for their Prime service. I got the fast delivery but the “and more” was not quite what Amazon intended. The 30-hour sale had obviously proved very popular and the packers seemed to have been overwhelmed. They had skimped on the job. An Amazon order normally arrives packed in a sturdy cardboard box. Inside plenty of bubble wrap is used to ensure nothing gets damaged on route. This time the item had not been put into any protective outer wrapping at all. The retail shelf pack had simply had an address label slapped on and it was sent just like that. It stood little chance of arriving undamaged, but there’s more.

In order to ensure next day delivery, Amazon had subcontracted the consignment to another courier company. When I was handed the package, I could see that the end of the box was torn and broken. An unsuccessful attempt had been made to reseal it. I complained to the driver, but he would not allow me to reject the delivery.

To cut a long story short, I phoned Amazon. They apologized, and sent me a replacement the following day using a different courier. I know from experience they would have also done this if I had been a non-Prime customer.

Unless you need quick deliveries, I don't think next day delivery on its own makes the fee for Amazon Prime good value. If this is the only Prime service you intend to use, don't sign up.

Amazon Pantry Versus Local Store

Amazon Pantry and Amazon Fresh

I use online ordering and home delivery of food for convenience. Amazon offers two food related services; Amazon Pantry for dry goods and Amazon Fresh (as yet only offered in large cities) for chilled and frozen items. Both of these are for Prime members only.

I wanted to make as much use of my free trial as possible so I put together a Pantry order. There is delivery charge for each box, but I took advantage of an offer where providing I choose four everyday items, the delivery charge was waived.

I checked the prices of each item against those of my usual online food store. Some items were cheaper at Amazon and some were cheaper at their rival. If you do use this service it is worth the effort of checking. On the day I shopped, some of the differences were large. For example, on branded dried herbs and spices, Amazon Pantry was 30% cheaper, but on branded canned fruit they were 20% dearer. The video below shows a US customer who noticed the same thing about pricing.

My order arrived in a really strong box and each glass jar had an individual polystyrene sleeve around it to prevent breakage. I was very happy with this delivery.

I recommend the Amazon Pantry service especially if you order heavy or bulky items. Cross-check prices before ordering to ensure you get good value for money.

Pros and Cons of Prime Subscription Service


  • Free one-day shipping
  • No minimum spend for free shipping
  • Access to special deals
  • Can get bulky and heavy grocery items delivered
  • Free unlimited downloads


  • Rushed service leads to mistakes
  • You get free shipping anyway if you spend at least $35/ £20
  • Encourages you to spend more than planned
  • Not all items are cheaper online than your local store
  • Shopping and spending online distracts you from other tasks

Unlimited cloud storage for your photos is part of the deal.
Unlimited cloud storage for your photos is part of the deal. | Source

Other Prime Services

I have listed below the range of services included in the monthly Prime fee. The deal covers unlimited free downloads of audio, video and game content. This could be appealing if you have kids or have tech related hobbies. For me, they are less useful and it would be cheaper for me to pay for the few downloads that I want.

Unlimited cloud storage is another plus that sounds good. But you would lose your content if you decided to stop your subscription at some point in the future.

On balance, I won't be signing up for Amazon Prime as I wouldn't make enough use of the “extras”. However, if I wanted to make a lot of purchases at a busy time of year like Black Friday or Christmas, joining Amazon Prime for a short time could be worthwhile to get quicker deliveries.

Signing up for a free trial 30-day trial is worth doing. It gives you the chance to see whether paying a monthly fee would benefit you.

What Does Amazon Prime Offer?

The cost in 2020 for Amazon Prime membership is $12.99 per month in US and £7.99 per month in UK. Or you can pay an annual fee of $119 or £79. The subscription service includes the following:-

Free next-day delivery

Digital credits for choosing free-no-rush shipping option

Unlimited deliveries with no minimum order size

'Try before you buy' fashion service with Prime Wardrobe

Instant access to video streaming with Prime Video

On-demand, ad-free music streaming with Prime Music

Unlimited reading on any device with Prime Reading

Unlimited listening to original audio series from Audible

Free game content every month, exclusive discounts with Twitch

Free unlimited photo storage through Prime Photos

30-minute early access to select Amazon Lightning Deals

Groceries though Amazon Pantry and Amazon Fresh

Amazon Prime Now is a benefit of Amazon Prime where members can place orders for fast same-day delivery in select zip codes.
Amazon Prime Now is a benefit of Amazon Prime where members can place orders for fast same-day delivery in select zip codes. | Source

What Happens If You Forget to Cancel Your 30-Day Prime Trial?

It's a good idea to note the end of your 30-day Prime trial on a calendar. You'll receive a reminder from Amazon when payments are about to be taken, so you should make sure you cancel the subscription when prompted. There is no good reason why you would not cancel the service in good time.

However, it's possible that Amazon's reminder gets delivered to your spam folder and you are charged for a Prime service you do not want. Do not panic. You can cancel at any time, so do so as soon as you realize the mistake.

If you've forgotten to cancel, a month's subscription payment will be taken from your credit or debit card as per Amazon's terms and conditions of service. You can ask for it back, but if you complain in an agressive manner, you are unlikely to get a refund. However if you are polite and courteous, Amazon staff will often be willing to return any payments already taken.

In 2019 Amazon’s Prime membership program has 103 million members in the US, up from 58 million in 2016.

Amazon has 45% market share of US e-commerce sector.

Prime members spend an average of $1,400 per year, compared with $600 for non-Prime members.

— Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) survey March 2019.

Prime Wardrobe Try-Before-You-Buy Service

Amazon continues to add to its portfolio of products. The latest addition is a try-before-you-buy service for clothing and fashion. It is currently offered in three countries; US, UK, and Japan.

Named Prime Wardrobe, the service allows you to order between 3 and 8 clothing items with no upfront payment. You then have 7 days to decide whether to keep or return them. The more items you keep, the bigger the discount you are given on their purchase price. You can access Prime Wardrobe with a 30-day free trial subscription of Amazon Prime.

How Easy is it to Cancel the Free Trial?

It's very easy to cancel your free subscription. But remember to do so before the 30-day period is up or you will be charged for the following month. Go to your Amazon account page and find the menu tab marked "Prime". There you will be able to cancel the trial with literally just a click of a button.

Amazon Deliveries and Coronavirus Covid-19

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic some Prime and non-Prime items are taking longer to ship. This is due to the huge increase in the number of people choosing to shop online. Amazon have had to change their logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes.

They are now prioritizing stocking and delivering items that are a high priority, such as food and health items. As a result, some delivery promises are now longer than usual; membership of Amazon Prime no longer offers next day shipping, but it still gives a premium service compared to non-Prime customers.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)