Amazon Prime Australia: Should you subscribe?

Unlock a free trial with expedited delivery, video, music and more.

Amazon Prime offers savvy shoppers a range of benefits and exclusive offers for a flat fee. Plus, with a free trial available, you can sample the service before forking out on a subscription.

Launched in Australia just a few years back, the Amazon Prime subscription service tempts consumers with delivery perks and exclusive deals – including free, expedited shipping and access to Amazon affiliated products and services such as Prime Video and Prime Music.

Is Amazon Prime Australia worth it?

Many Australians decide to take up an Amazon Prime membership purely for the delivery perks. However, free, expedited shipping is just the beginning. As we'll share in this article, there’s a whole lot more to a Prime subscription, including access to video and music streaming services, ebooks and more.

amazon prime
Free, expedited shipping is just the beginning

Thinking about taking the plunge on Amazon Prime Australia? Read on to find out everything you need to know about this leading subscription service.

What is Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime is an enhanced subscription delivery service managed directly by Amazon Australia. It works like this: Customers pay a flat annual subscription fee for fast and free delivery on most purchases made through the Amazon online retail portal.

Amazon Prime Australia
Source: Amazon.com.au

A Prime membership also offers access to a range of Amazon streaming services plus exclusive access to Amazon deals and offers. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also an exclusive once-yearly sale (Amazon Prime Day) that’s arguably bigger and better than Black Friday, offering deals on every purchase you can think of, excluding travel deals.

When did Amazon Prime launch in Australia?

While Amazon Prime has been around in the US and various countries since 2016, Australians have been a little late to the party.

Amazon quietly entered the Australian market in 2017, with Prime available to local consumers from June 2018. This coincided with the limitations that were introduced onto Australians for buying from the Amazon US portal, due to Australian tax obligations changing.

The service is growing in popularity every day. In response to the evolving coronavirus situation, many Australian consumers have opted to sign up for a subscription, unlocking contactless delivery on their everyday purchases.

Amazon Prime Australia Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Free to trial. It's free, quick and easy to join and you can sample the service before paying.
  • Expedited shopping. Goods bought through the portal are expedited to your door as quick as 2 Business Days.
  • Multiple entertainment options. Enjoy access to Reading, Music, Video and Twitch.
  • Lightning deals. Enjoy access to Prime Deals and flash sales.

Cons

  • Entertainment options. Content is more limited than other streaming services.
  • Expedited delivery not available on 3rd Party Goods. Goods sold in the portal not directly under Amazon control are not eligible for Expedited Delivery.

What is included with Amazon Prime Australia?

For Australian consumers, an Amazon Prime membership unlocks a range of services. These include:

Prime Delivery

  • Domestic Delivery: Get free domestic delivery to 90% of the Australian population within 2 Business Days (excluding Sunday deliveries) with no minimum order threshold
  • International Delivery: Get free delivery on eligible orders over $49 from Amazon US when using https://www.amazon.com.au
  • Release-Date Delivery: Shop and buy items at least 2 days before their Release Date and then select Release-Date Delivery at checkout (including Saturday deliveries)
  • Discounted Priority Delivery: Obtain a $2 discount on all eligible Amazon AU items and a $10 discount on Priority International Delivery on eligible orders over $49 from Amazon US

Prime Video

  • Access a catalogue of Amazon Prime Original TV and movies, as well as licensed/distributed content.

Prime Music

  • Get streaming access to over 2 million songs on an ad-free basis

Prime Reading

  • Get reading with a catalogue of over 1000 titles is in play at any given time. Content is periodically rotated and includes short stories, novels, comics and much more

Twitch Prime

  • Access selected games and add-on packs (think Starcraft, World of Tanks and Call of Duty) for use with Xbox and Playstation.

Shopping deals

  • Enjoy exclusive access to “Prime eligible” lightning deals, Amazon Prime day sales and more

How do I join Amazon Prime Australia?

Joining Amazon is quick and easy. Plus, you can opt for a free 30 day Prime trial before committing to purchase. Simply click on the ‘Try Prime” service from the Amazon Australia homepage:

Amazon Prime Australia
Source: Amazon.com.au

To join Amazon Prime Australia, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Sign-in with your Amazon ID at the amazon.com.au website. If you don't yet have an Amazon ID, you can create one:

Amazon Prime Australia
Source: Amazon.com.au

Step 2: Select a membership subscription option to start your Amazon Prime free trial or commit to buy:

Amazon Prime Australia
Source: Amazon.com.au

Step 3: Once your payment has been processed, you're now an Amazon Prime customer:

Amazon Prime Australia
Source: Amazon.com.au

How much does Amazon Prime cost?

There are two membership plans for Amazon Prime Australia, a rolling monthly plan or an annual plan. Unsurprisingly the annual plan is cheaper at $59 AUD per year. This option is called “Prime Yearly”. The US service costs $119 USD per year.

The rolling plan costs $6.99 AUD per month with an ability to exit at any time. The US service is $12.99 USD per month but admittedly it includes a lot more features.

Can I get a free trial of Amazon Prime?

Yes, a free Amazon Prime is available, and it runs for 30 days. After the first month, Amazon Prime will start billing at the normal monthly rate. So, by option for a free trial, in effect you get 13 months for the price of 12 months.

From time to time, Amazon may offer alternative discounts and promotions which reduce the cost of a Prime membership. As an example, American Express recently offered customers bonus points to purchase an Amazon Prime subscription. You can check sites like OzBargain to discover the latest deals and offers.

Log on to your account at Amazon. Click on Accounts & Lists and click on cancel free Prime. They will then give you a 2-3 day window to notify you of your free trial being cancelled.

Amazon Prime Australia delivery

Access to free and expedited delivery is one of the key reasons consumers subscribe to Amazon Prime. In the midst of COVID-19, many Australians have started bypassing Coles and Woolworths online services, opting to purchase their everyday essentials through Amazon instead.

Does Amazon Prime have free delivery?

Yes, Amazon Prime subscribers qualify for free shipping on Prime eligible items. To qualify for Prime Delivery, items need to be labelled at the point of sale by Amazon as “Prime Eligible”.

Amazon Prime Australia
Source: Amazon.com.au

Which areas are available for fast shipping?

Amazon Prime Australia's appeal lies in a domestic expedited delivery offering on some goods and services across metro areas. Amazon states that over 90% of addresses in Australia can benefit from Expedited Delivery service.

Eligible areas include: Adelaide, Albury, Armidale, Ballarat, Bathurst, Bendigo, Bowral, Brisbane, Canberra, Coffs Harbour, Cooranbong, Drouin, Dubbo, Echuca-Moama, Forster, Geelong, Gold Coast, Goolwa, Goulburn, Grafton, Gympie, Hobart, Lismore, Maitland, Melbourne, Mildura, Mittagong, Mooroopna, Morisset, Morwell, Newcastle, Nowra-Bomaderry, Orange, Perth, Port Macquarie, Queanbeyan, Shepparton, St Georges Basin-Sanctuary Point, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Taree, Toowoomba, Tuncurry, Tweed Heads, Victor Harbor, Wagga Wagga, Wangaratta, Warragul, Warrnambool, Wentworth, Wodonga and Wollongong.

Addresses in Townsville, Cairns, Darwin, and other regional and remote areas are subject to longer delivery lead-times and higher costs, so it's important to check estimated delivery timelines directly on the Amazon Prime Australia website.

Other Amazon Prime Australia delivery considerations

It's important to note that “Prime Eligible” items are likely to come directly from Amazon or specifically marked Third Party products where the speed of the supply chain is guaranteed. The Prime Eligible selection is not massive right now, but Amazon states that the selection is ever-expanding.

Bear in mind that if some products in your order are Prime Eligible and some aren't you'll be charged delivery for the items that are not “Prime Eligible”.

Amazon Prime video

How do I watch Amazon Prime in Australia?

You can stream Prime Video Australia on a personal computer through a web browser. Alternatively, access Prime Video via Android and iOS apps on smartphones and tablets. The Prime Video app is also accessible from LG and Samsung smart TVs, Play Station and Xbox.

Is Amazon Prime better than Netflix?

Many consumers are attracted to Amazon Prime membership first and foremost for access to streaming movies and TV shows. Unfortunately, Amazon Prime does not unlock free Netflix access.

If you are considering taking the plunge on an Amazone Prime membership for streaming purposes, it pays to compare the services you could access with Netflix, Stan and other streaming services available in Australia.

Which shows can I watch on Prime video?

Prime Video is actively buying and building back catalogues and filling in particular consumer content, however for now, the catalogue of TV and Movies is much stronger on Netflix.

That said, Prime Video is stepping up its game with the development of original series inhouse. Like Netflix, Amazon Prime commissions content called “Amazon Original”. Titles currently include Good Omens, The Grand Tour, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, and American Gods. If you don't hold Prime membership, you can access some of these titles on Google Play.

Can I watch Prime Video from an app?

There are some particularly neat features within Prime Video including an app that can be downloaded to a number of smart TVs such as LG and Samsung. And you’ll have the ability to use a Prime Video app to download content and watch offline on your apple iPhone, iPad, Tablet, or Android device.

Users can use X-Ray within selected TV and Movies to access actor bios, background information, and more from the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) directly onscreen.

Finally, there is a Data Saver capability to limit downloads if you’re quota constrained.

So to summarize, while Amazon Prime Video includes a number of features, for variety, Netflix probably has the edge. However, if you are prepared to run parallel subscriptions, you could get the best of both services. The fact is, you can do so for no more than a few coffees a month!

Can Prime Video deliver 4K video?

Yes, but only on selected titles, with more being added all the time. Don't forget you'll need a good internet connection to really make the most of it.

Amazon Prime Music

Prime subscribers receive exclusive access to an ad-free music streaming service. Prime Music streaming allows up to 40 hours of listening each month. It's a fairly limited catalogue and by no means rivals the reach of other streaming services such as Spotify. The key features are:

  • Listening catalogue of over 2 million songs including latest hits
  • Access playlists curated by Prime Music experts.
  • Pair with Alexa and on echo devices. to enjoy hands free listening via the Amazon Music app
  • The ability to download music for offline listening on your mobile device

How does Amazon Prime compare between Australia and the US?

In Australia, unfortunately, the Prime membership offering is not as strong as what is on offer in the USA. However, the service does cost Australian members less – half of what the US pays, to be precise.

amazon prime australia

US-based Amazon Prime members enjoy free shipping on millions of items, same-day delivery (or even two-hour delivery in some cases). US based customers also get access to a more extensive catalogue of video when compared to Amazon Prime Video Australia. There's also more music, ebooks and audiobooks to stream via your phone or download to your Kindle.

Prime membership also delivers unlimited photo storage. However, to get all the goods and services Amazon promises in its Prime package American customers pay US$12.99 each month (US$119 a year).

In Australia, unfortunately, there are some caveats to what Prime members get, but it also costs us less to access the service – half of what the US pays, to be precise.

Amazon Prime Day sales

Each year, Amazon Prime Australia subscribers enjoy an exclusive shopping event that rivals Black Friday. Prime Day continues to grow in popularity, and it's a great opportunity to stock up on presents mid-year.

Deals are offered across Amazon Prime's catalogue of goods. Electronics is a very popular area of sales with 4k HDR TVs, headphones, wireless chargers, headphones, smartphones and of course Amazon’s own products being heavily reduced in the most recent sale. Beauty and clothing also see sharp discounts. The best deals are frequently posted on bargain sites such as OzBargain.

Whatever your shopping goals, make sure to subscribe in time to take advantage of Amazon Prime Day 2020. The deals on offer are frequently too good to miss!

Verdict: Is Amazon Prime any good in Australia?

For customers seeking access to convenient online shopping and streaming services, Amazon Prime Australia membership can be a cost-effective solution. The expedited delivery benefit is especially appealing, with Amazon Prime able to offer several services such as Residential Express Delivery and Priority Delivery (incl. Saturday delivery) to selected metropolitan areas.

Amazon Prime membership has been incredibly popular for Australian consumers who are reluctant to shop in-store during the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

Simply put, if you’re a regular online shopper and you can see yourself purchasing a lot of products, Amazon Prime should be a good fit. As a way to manage delivery costs, the product is sensational.

The fact is, you could easily pay more than $60 in shipping costs each year, so once you reach this threshold you’re likely to come out ahead. It all comes down to the choice on offer and value in each product segment.

However, if one of your key motivations for an Amazon Prime membership is for streaming services, you may wish to look elsewhere. The catalogue is fairly limited, and streaming services such as Netflix, Stan and Foxtel Go are likely to offer you more variety.

But with a trial period on offer, the reality is that you can afford to take a no-risk approach and make your own mind up.

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