The Surprising Reason It Pays to Join Amazon Prime Today

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  • The annual price of Amazon Prime recently rose to $139.
  • The average cost of a gallon of gas reached $4.17 on March 8.
  • Getting a Prime membership could help you spend less on gas to do your shopping.

There's one benefit of joining Amazon that especially holds true right now.

Many consumers have been loyal to Amazon for many years. But recently, Amazon raised the annual cost of its Prime membership to $139, representing a $20 increase.

If you've been on the fence about joining Amazon Prime, that bump in cost may be causing you to stay away. But there's one big reason it could pay to become a Prime member right now.

It's all about not having to drive

Amazon is known for its competitive price point across a wide range of products and goods. But you don't have to become a Prime member to enjoy that low pricing.

Still, it pays to consider getting a Prime membership these days for one big reason: Doing so could prevent you from having to leave the house to do your shopping. At a time when gas prices are soaring, there could be some pretty substantial savings involved.

On March 8, the average cost of a gallon of gas rose to $4.17 on a national level. That represented a $0.50 increase from the week before. Meanwhile, experts predict that gas could easily hit $4.50 a gallon come Memorial Day. That alone is reason to do your best to cut back on driving.

Enter Amazon Prime. The beauty of Prime is that its expedited shipping may be able to spare you numerous trips to the store each month. And if you live in a rural area where your nearest big-box store is a 30-mile journey roundtrip, in time, your Prime membership could end up paying for itself.

Remember, the less you use your vehicle, the less you might spend on maintenance and repairs. So there could be some peripheral savings there, too.

A convenient option all around

Rising gas prices aren't the only reason to consider getting yourself a Prime membership. In addition to free two-day shipping, Prime members can access a host of benefits, from free streaming content to the option to try on clothing and footwear before committing to buy it.

But given the way gas prices are trending, it's easy to see why a Prime membership might work to your benefit.

Imagine your Prime membership is able to replace 40 miles of driving per week. If your vehicle typically gets 20 miles to the gallon and gas costs $4.00 a gallon (which is cheap right now), that's $8 in weekly savings. Multiply that by 52 weeks a year, and you're looking at spending $416 less on gas on an annual basis. Compare that to the $139 a Prime membership will cost you, and it's clear you can reap some savings.

To be clear, joining Amazon Prime most likely won't spare you from having to drive places altogether, and you might still end up swiping your credit card at the pump pretty often. But a Prime membership could help you cut back on shopping trips. Between the cost savings and time savings, it's an option worth considering.

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