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What Does Amazon Prime Offer in Canada?

What Does Amazon Prime Offer in Canada?

By Simon Hung

The value of Amazon Prime in Canada has been debated at length since its launch in 2013. It’s a no-brainer for some, while others are still on the fence over the $79.00 annual fee.

Current Prime Benefits
• Unlimited two-day or sooner free shipping with no minimum
• Weekend delivery available in select regions
• 20% off diapers with Subscribe and Save
• Unlimited photo storage
• Early access to Lightning deals
• Access to Prime Video streaming
• Access to Prime Day shopping event
• Access to Twitch Prime with free digital games and loot
• Access to some high-demand items like the Nintendo Switch
• Access to Prime Music streaming
$7.99 per month (free 30-day trial available)
$79.00 per year (free 30-day trial available)
$39.00 per year for students (free six-month trial available)

To help you evaluate the value of Amazon Prime, we've created a timeline of events that have affected the service since its launch, so you can get a better idea of its progression and what it may offer in the future.

Benefit Changes
News and Notes
January 8, 2013Amazon Prime launches• $79.00 per year
• Unlimited free two-day shipping with no minimum
October 31, 2013• adds groceries and automotive categories
June 25, 2014Amazon Family launches• Prime members get 20% off diaper subscriptions
July 15, 2014Amazon Student launches• Students get an extended six-month free trial
• Discounted price of $39.00 per year thereafter
August 25, 2014• Amazon acquires Twitch for $970 million USD
• Precursor to Twitch Prime launch two years later
December 12, 2014• Amazon introduces free delivery to Canada Post Pickup Points
January 20, 2015Unlimited photo storage added• Prime members get unlimited photo storage via Amazon Cloud Drive
June 11, 2015• adds clothing and footwear categories
July 15, 2015First Prime Day is held• Exclusive shopping event for Prime members
• Huggies Diapers were the best-selling product
April 28, 2016• Amazon brings their shipping service to Canada
• Builds infrastructure for faster deliveries
July 12, 2016Second Prime Day is held• Exclusive shopping event for Prime members
• Sennheiser HD 598 headphones were the best-selling product
September 22, 2016• Amazon raises free shipping threshold to $35.00 for non-Prime members
September 27, 2016Same-day delivery launches in Toronto and Vancouver• Prime members in Toronto and Vancouver can get free same-day shipping on select orders
• Available seven days a week, including weekends
September 30, 2016Twitch Prime launches• Prime members get exclusive gaming deals
• 20% off video game pre-orders
• Premium Twitch experience and freebies
October 24, 2016AmazonBasics discount starts• Prime members get an extra 20% off AmazonBasics products
December 14, 2016Prime Video launches• Prime members get access to Prime Video streaming service
• Exclusive titles including The Grand Tour, The Man in the High Castle, The Tick and more
February 28, 2017One-day delivery launches in Montreal• Prime members in Montreal can get free one-day shipping on select orders
• Available seven days a week, including weekends
April 26, 2017One-day delivery launches in Calgary and Edmonton• Prime members in Calgary and Edmonton can get free one-day shipping on select orders
• Available seven days a week, including weekends
June 7, 2017AmazonBasics discount ends• Prime members no longer get a discount on AmazonBasics products
June 16, 2017• Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion USD
• Precursor to Whole Foods lower prices and Prime integration
July 11, 2017Third Prime Day is held• Exclusive shopping event for Prime members
• Instant Pot was the best-selling product
July 25, 2017One-day delivery launches in Ottawa-Gatineau• Prime members in the Ottawa-Gatineau region can get free one-day shipping on select orders
• Available seven days a week, including weekends
August 15, 2017Video game discount reduced• Amazon quietly cuts Prime video game pre-order discount to 10%
August 28, 2017• Amazon cuts prices at Whole Foods
• adds some Whole Foods private-label products
• Reveals plans for future Prime-exclusive benefits
August 31, 2017• WSJ report indicates Prime Now coming to Canada starting late-2017
• Prime members will be able to get groceries delivered in two hours or less
November 15, 2017Alexa, Echo and Prime Music are launched in Canada• Prime Music streaming subscription now included with Prime membership
• Launch opens the door for potential Alexa-exclusive deals in the future
March 15, 2018Free games added to Twitch Prime
• Prime members can now get five free PC games each month via Twitch Prime
July 16, 2018Fourth Prime Day is held• Exclusive shopping event for Prime members
• Biggest Prime Day to-date
• Instant Pot was the best-selling product for second straight year
August 20, 2018Video game discount removed• Amazon removes Prime video game pre-order discount entirely after two years
August 28, 2018Monthly Prime subscription added• Prime subscriptions now available on a monthly basis for $7.99 per month

Convenience continues to be Amazon Prime’s biggest selling point, as you get ultra-fast shipping and it eliminates the need to meet the non-member free shipping threshold of $35.00. Despite this, the Canadian Amazon Prime still pales in comparison to its American counterpart, which also boasts services like Amazon Fresh, unlimited Kindle reading and a more expansive product catalogue.

Ultimately, the answer to whether Prime is worth $79.00 per year largely depends on your shopping habits and if you'll use any other perks regularly. Amazon has added more than they’ve removed, but for many shoppers, that answer is still no -- for now, anyway. The reported rollout of Prime Now may sway some (eventually) and if subscription numbers keep rising, it's not unreasonable to expect more for your money in the future.

Revisions: this article was last updated August 28, 2018 to include recent changes to Prime memberships.


    • Actually, Amazon includes both their music streaming service, Amazon Music, and their version of Netflix, Prime Video, with the yearly fee.

      For me, those two alone make it worthwhile. Coupled with the speed and convenience of delivery was a no-brainer for me to subscribe.
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    • I'm teetering on the edge as to whether prime is worth it. My wife is an educator. I wish they would include educators in the prime student discount...
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