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Amazon Prime Day: Is Amazon Prime worth it?

Amazon Prime Day Event 2018
Guests pose during the Amazon Music Unboxing Prime Day event on July 11, 2018 in Brooklyn, New York. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Amazon

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Amazon Prime Day is happening on Monday, June 21 and Tuesday, June 22 this year. It is Amazon's biggest sales event of the year, with deep discounts expected on tech gear such as Apple AirPods Pro, kitchen appliances such as the Instant Pot and clothing items from popular brands. There's a big catch, though: To participate in Prime Day deals, you need to be an Amazon Prime member.

It's not an insignificant expense. Amazon Prime carries an $119 annual fee plus tax, or $12.99 per month plus tax. (Students can get a discount through the Amazon Prime Student program.) So is Amazon Prime worth it? To answer the question, you need to look beyond Amazon Prime Day to the other benefits of Amazon Prime. Answer these questions to find out whether an Amazon Prime subscription is worth it for you.

Do you shop on Amazon now?

If you're not a regular Amazon shopper (and don't plan to become one), chances are Amazon Prime won't be right for you -- the cost will probably outweigh the benefits.

If you're a frequent Amazon shopper who isn't a Prime Member, know that the shipping benefits of Prime are quite nice. While you do qualify for free standard shipping now on orders over $25, Prime members get unlimited free two-day shipping with no minimum spend. Plus, for some products and in some areas, Prime members get one-day and even same-day shipping at no added cost.

Are you interested in streaming "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and other Prime Video originals?

cbsnews-prime-marvelous-mrs-maisel.jpg
Rachel Brosnahan stars as "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" on Amazon Prime Video. Amazon

Another major source of Amazon Prime's value comes from its Prime Video streaming lineup. Amazon spends billions of dollars a year on unlimited streaming content for Prime members, including praise-worthy fare such as the Amazon original "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "Fleabag" and "Panic." There are a lot of popular TV and movie titles to stream too (good news for fans of "Step Brothers" and "The Hills"), making it a solid Netflix alternative.

You don't need to watch all the best TV shows on Amazon just to make a Prime membership worthwhile. But they definitely go a long way to justifying the price.

Do you have a Kindle or other e-reader?

Amazon Prime memberships work quite well with the company's flagship e-reader, the Kindle. The Prime Reading benefit offers access to 2,500 books and magazines. Think of it as a digital lending library: You can download up to 10 titles at a time.

Prime members also have access to First Reads. Each month, through the Prime benefit, Prime members get one free Kindle download of a yet-to-be-released title, chosen from a selection of editors' picks. And to celebrate Prime Day a bit early, Prime members get to download two titles in June 2021.

Do you shop at Whole Foods Market?

Grand Opening Of New Whole Foods Market Store As Customer Traffic Increases
A sign alerts Amazon.com Inc. Prime members of a special deal on bottled water at a Whole Foods Market Inc. location in Burbank, California, U.S. Bloomberg via Getty Images

An Amazon Prime membership is a good idea for regular shoppers of Whole Foods Market. It gets you discounts on sale products -- such as the bottled water, seen here -- across the store. Plus, those who live close enough to a Whole Foods Market can get free two-hour delivery of an online order.

Are you interested in shopping on Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon.com Inc. Fulfillment Center Prepares For Prime Day
An employee wearing a protective mask scans a package at an Amazon.com Inc. fulfillment center in Kegworth, U.K. in advance of Prime Day 2020. Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

You need to be an Amazon Prime member when Amazon Prime Day rolls around to participate in the sale. In many cases, you can get back the cost of a monthly Prime account with a single Amazon purchase of a good deal or two.

But before you sign up for Prime just for Amazon Prime Day alone, you should know that other retailers will be having sales on Prime Day that you won't need a Prime membership to shop. Walmart's Prime Day sale, called Deals for Days, will run June 20-23. Best Buy, Target, Home Depot and more will likely have big sales on Prime Day as well.

Have you already been an Amazon Prime member?

If you've never been an Amazon Prime member, the best way to answer the question of whether it's right for you is to sign up for a free 30-day free trial. It's actually a smart time to do so, since the free trial will last through Prime Day, allowing you to enjoy one of the more fun perks of the membership. You can check out Amazon Prime by clicking the button below.

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