Is Amazon Fresh Worth It?

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  • Amazon Fresh offers free grocery delivery for Prime members.
  • Prices and food quality are comparable to what's offered in grocery stores.
  • If it's available in your area and you're a Prime member, try it out. 

If you live in its service area, Amazon Fresh is a convenient way to get your groceries delivered.

Grocery delivery services can save you a lot of time and trips to the store. Amazon Fresh is Amazon's grocery service, offering a wide selection of products and same-day delivery. The best part is that Amazon Prime members get free access.

For those who are new to Amazon Fresh, there are lots of common questions that come to mind. How's the food quality? Is it more expensive than other grocery stores? Are there lots of extra fees tacked on? I've been using Amazon Fresh for several months and have compared it to the competition. Here's everything you need to know to decide if you should try it.

How Amazon Fresh works

Amazon Fresh is an online and physical grocery store. Although it's most recognized for grocery deliveries, there are physical store locations in select states. Since most shoppers use it for grocery deliveries, we'll focus on that option.

Here's a quick rundown of the important details:

  • Amazon Fresh offers food and other products from various brands, including Whole Foods.
  • It's a benefit included with an Amazon Prime membership, whether you're a paying member or on a free trial month of Amazon Prime.
  • It's available in select major cities.
  • Orders have free delivery if the amount is over a set threshold, which is based on your location. Eligible areas offer free delivery on orders over $35, and all other regions offer free delivery on orders over $50.
  • You select a two-hour delivery window when placing the order. One-hour delivery windows are also available for a fee.

Shopping on Amazon Fresh is just like shopping on Amazon. You can access it either on a computer or through the Amazon app. Then, you can search for items and add them to your cart.

When you check out, you choose a delivery window. You can also add a note with delivery instructions. Amazon Fresh offers doorstep delivery if you're unavailable to receive it, unless your order has age-restricted products.

There's a tip box on the final page before you confirm your order. Amazon Fresh enters a default tip amount based on your order total, but you can also edit it if you want to tip more or less.

Once your order is sent out, tracking is provided with a map showing your order's current location and how many other stops the driver has first. Amazon also sends notifications when your order is about to arrive and after it's delivered.

Comparing prices

Prices on Amazon Fresh are in line with what other grocery stores charge. Certain items may be a bit more or less expensive, with milk being the one outlier that costs much more. But overall, Amazon Fresh offers competitive pricing that can help you save on groceries.

To check this, I looked at prices on several popular items on Amazon Fresh and Ralphs, one of the more affordable grocery stores. Here's how they compared:

Item Amazon Fresh Ralphs
Large eggs, 1 dozen $4.49 $4.19
Whole milk, 1 gallon $5.49 $3.99
Whole wheat bread (Orowheat) $5.29 $5.49
Chicken breasts (value pack) $4.40/lb. $3.99/lb.
Old-fashioned whole oats (42 oz.) $4.99 (Whole Foods 365 brand) $4.49 (Kroger brand)
Coca-Cola, 12 pack $8.29 $7.99
Cheerios, 8.9 oz. $5.49 $4.99
Doritos (nacho cheese), 14.5 oz. $6.29 $6.59
Data source: Amazon Fresh, Ralphs

It's also worth mentioning that with Amazon Fresh, free delivery actually means free delivery. There aren't any extra service fees, which is my biggest pet peeve with Instacart. Even with an Instacart+ membership, you still pay service fees.

Amazon Fresh doesn't tack on more charges outside of the order itself and any applicable taxes. The only other charge is an optional tip.

Food quality

Food products on Amazon Fresh are the same quality as what's available in stores. They're also packed well, with chilled and frozen products arriving in insulated, recyclable packaging.

Personally, I've never had any issues with products from Amazon Fresh arriving spoiled. I have had a couple of damaged eggs from time to time.

I've also found that the company's freshness guarantee isn't always accurate. There have been times when chicken I ordered went bad within the freshness guarantee period. For that reason, I normally freeze any meat I'm not going to use by the next day.

Pros and cons

Amazon Fresh has several benefits that make it a quality delivery option:

  • It offers quality food products and fresh perishables.
  • It's affordable, especially since Prime members get it for free.
  • It has a massive number of products (reportedly over 500,000).
  • It's reliable, as orders are packed well and almost always arrive within the delivery window.

It's also worth mentioning that if you have the Prime Visa, it earns 5% cash back on Amazon Fresh orders. On the other hand, you won't get anything extra from credit cards that offer bonus rewards on groceries. That's because orders are considered Amazon purchases, which don't fall under the grocery category.

There are a few drawbacks to Amazon Fresh, as well:

  • It's currently only available in large cities, so many people can't use it yet.
  • Items go out of stock from time to time.
  • It requires an Amazon Prime membership.

The bottom line

If you're a Prime member and Amazon Fresh is available in your area, it's worth checking out. It's fast, convenient, and has an impressive selection of quality products. It's also great if you're looking for a budget-friendly delivery option, because prices are reasonable and it's one of many included perks of an Amazon Prime membership.

I've used several delivery apps to get groceries, including Instacart, DoorDash, Postmates, and Gopuff. Amazon Fresh is my favorite, and it's normally the one I use for large orders.

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