Amazon Prime Canada Review – Is It Worth it?

Man, was I excited when Amazon Prime Canada popped a few weeks ago when I was surfing through my favorite internet stomping grounds.  You see, I’m a confessed Amazon addict.  Growing up I always thought I hated shopping.  It turns out I just hate stores, malls, bad service, terrible comparison capability, and other people, NOT shopping itself.  I love scanning through the deals on Amazon, seeing what “it” recommends to me, and the ease with which the whole process is facilitated.  The only downside is waiting a week or two for my products to arrive since I always opt for the “Free Super-Saver Shipping” because I am way too cheap to pay a bunch of money extra for the quicker shipping speeds.  Consequently I have been jealous of my American friends who for $79 a year got access to free two-day shipping from Amazon, in addition to a library of free eBooks AND free streaming of a wide selection of TV and movies.

Two-Day Shipping… Sort Of

Because I am so jealous of this feature, I almost signed up for the new Amazon Prime Canada without even thinking about it.  I order between 10-20 packages a year from the company, so the two-day shipping was a sweet deal, not to mention everything else.  Then I realized… oh wait, there is no “everything else” and the two-day shipping isn’t really two-day shipping for me…  See, it turns out that Amazon can’t guarantee that ultra-fast shipping time to many of Canada’s rural post codes.  I understand why that it is – Canada’s low-density rural areas just don’t have the infrastructure that virtually all of the USA enjoys – it still just takes some of the shine off of the apple for me.  To Amazon’s credit, instead of the two-day shipping guarantee, they state they will give free standard shipping instead to those rural areas.  However, for most items the difference between standard shipping and the free “Super-Saver” shipping is only a few days, and being that pretty much all of my purchases already qualify for that free shipping, it’s not a huge advantage.

The online conglomerate also mentions that extremely discounted 1-day shipping for “as low as $3.99” is also available through the new offer.  It should also be noted that when I clicked through to the one month trial offer and tried to order a video game, it responded by saying that the item was not eligible for Amazon Prime.  I have no idea which items qualify and which don’t, but it’s obviously something to take into consideration.

Live Streaming and eBooks?

On the subject of content in addition to the shipping benefits, Amazon trails its American brethren miserably.  Nowhere that I could find is it mentioned that free eBooks or live streaming of anything is in the works.  This was a huge let down.  The free books and access to the Amazon library alone made the $79 worth it to many Americans that I know.  Since we’re paying the same price here in Canada, I think it is logical to assume we should get access to the same online resources.  Oh well, little brother just isn’t as big and stronger as older brother is!

***Note from Justin*** – While we don’t promote this, there is a way to get this feature in Canada by changing your IP address to make them think you’re in the US. Also works with Netflix.  I’ve tried it with Netflix and I don’t think its worth the hassle – Although, I haven’t tested it out for a good length of time.

$79 Worth of Prime?

To answer the original question of, “Is Amazon Prime Canada Worth It?” I’d have to think that for most people the answer is “no”.  If you order more than twenty packages a year and place a premium worth more than $79 on that increased speed, and you live in an urban centre. Then you are probably in the minority that Amazon Prime Canada works out well for.  For the rest of us, until the corporate giant sweetens the pot a little bit, I recommend continuing to be a cheapskate and spending the $79 on some cheap reading material.


30 Responses to Amazon Prime Canada Review – Is It Worth it?

  1. What a shame that they don’t provide the same services to Canadians – there really ought to be some difference in the price if the service is so much less. The problem with being a smaller market – it crops up again and again. Annoying if understandable.

    • Ya, I don’t want to trash Amazon too much since I am addicted and love the accountability they have at that place. It’s just not quite as good a deal as in the States.

  2. When I read the title I was so excited! I order from amazon sporadically But the streaming content is what I want. Disappointing that it’s not available in Canada.

  3. I love Amazon (I live in Spain so I have access to all of Amazon Europe and prices vary enough to justify the effort. But I do order from once on a while and what I don’t understand why CDN products carry a 100% or more premium on the same thing ordered from the US. if you plan it carefully I would order everything to your Hotel when your in the states

    • There are actually some businesses all along the border in Canada that will allow you to ship to them and then pick up your package for a small fee per-item Rob. I myself have family close to the border, so that isn’t a big deal, but I know a lot of people that make liberal use of these businesses.

  4. I order over $5k a year on (probably closer to $10k this year with baby on the way) and even shipping to the US, price is not worth it.
    1- do you REALLY need 2 day shipping?
    2- MANY items are not “prime” so you don’t get the fast shipping anyway… I order everything online from furniture to dog toys…
    3- Prime in the US could be worth it if you watch their movies, rent their books, etc.. but for me, as being part time US (every weekend), I can’t enjoy their streaming in Canada.. so it’s not really useful.

    So if Prime is not even that useful in the US, I don’t see it being useful in Canada for now.

    • This is pretty much what I came to as well BB. IF you want to pay for the luxury of 2-day shipping it’s fine, but just realize it’s not really a frugal decision in terms of value. Ten Thou a year on Amazon eh? Do you use their specific credit card then?

      • Yes I have a US Amazon rewards card.. 3x point son amazon purchases and a nice $3k limit. Plus it’s a true US credit card.

        • The card is issued by Chase bank and does not charge a fee for foreign exchange. Further, you get a $20 amazon credit for every $1000 spent at (not sure if it applies to all amazon globally). That is a 1% discount on amazon purchases. I use the card everywhere outside of Canada and in any country to avoid exchange rate fees. Just be careful if paypal is involved because they nail you for 2.9% exchange fee even with the card. FYI

          • Hey Siram, we’re big fans of the card, but you’re slightly off on the $20 per $1,000. It’s actually 2% discount on all Amazon purchases. Cheers.

  5. Another disadvantage for Canadian Amazon customers is the narrow selection of merchandise offered in Canada. For instance, if I resided in the states, I’d be regularly ordering many small food items that qualify for free Prime shipping. (Think Grocery Gateway with free delivery.) But as a Canadian, I only order about once a month from Canuck Amazon. $79 a year for NO streamed movies and NO e-books is a rip-off.

  6. There is a bonus to Prime – the 30 day free trial. I just ordered two books to give as Christmas gifts. If I didn’t sign up for the Prime free trial, I would have been subject to a $7 shipping cost and the items would arrive by Dec 23. Now the shipping is free and they will arrive on Dec 19. If I see anything else I want to order, I’ll do so before my trial is up. Then I can cancel without any further obligation.

    Should Amazon beef up the Prime service for Canada later on, I will take a closer look at the benefits.

  7. I signed up for the free trial because the promotional said I would get free two-day shipping on a purchase but when I paid, Amazon told me “this item doesn’t qualify for prime shipping”. Way to turn me off as a customer.

    I cancelled immediately because I also learned they would automatically take nearly $80 off my credit card unless I advised them I didn’t want to continue. The company should ask customers if they want to enroll past the free trial, not auto-enroll them.

    In conclusion, I cancelled when I learned a) Amazon arbitrarily excludes items and there’s no indication of what qualifies and b) Amazon’s fee for this “service” which appears to be arbitrary is nearly $80 a year. It has scam written all over it. Just a way Amazon can make a load of free cash for little effort.

    • Many items that aren’t Amazon original or books don’t qualify Mackenna, especially in Canada. The fee is arbitrary in the same way all fees are arbitrarily set at whatever the market will bear… Also it’s only $40 for the student one, so that’s a pretty decent deal. For me, it has saved that much on shipping charges already.

  8. I’m an Amazon Prime member and I’ve noticed that all my items started arriving 1-5 days late since 2 months ago. What’s puzzling is that, when I use the 1-day $3.99, the items arrive on time! Once I ordered two different items, one using the 2-day free delivery since I’m a Prime member and the other one I paid and additional $3.99 for since I really needed it badly. The 1-day delivery item arrived on time but the 2-day delivery item was late for 2 days and Amazon was citing “courier problem” as the cause… if there is a carrier problem, then why did the other item arrive on time? Could this be a scam to make us pay more?

    • Could be Jovy. It could also just have something to do with the different levels of shipping urgency. I know that I get my stuff pretty quick considering the rural area I live in.

  9. I order frequently from and love the 2 day delivery service not to mention 3.99 to get it your order in 1 day.
    Prime Rocks!

  10. I was not aware of prime until I notice an email from them advising me I was enrolled, free for a month, & if I did not decline the offer in tho month. Amazon was going to start deducting $ 79/year from my credit card. What if I was away, in hospital, etc ?
    I suppose in the fine print they have written in the right to invade my credit card at their will and whim.
    This is no way to do proper business in my mind. My former trust has been betrayed. I retracted their right to access to my credit card and refuse to participate with a business with those kinds of ethics.
    Very disappointing, as it was going o well until they showed their colors.

    • Al, when you sign up it pretty clearly states you will automatically be dinged for the cost when the free trial is over. Are you saying you didn’t sign up for Prime at all? Because if that’s the case I have to believe it was an unintentional hiccup. They would take a lot of flack for just blatantly charging people without any consent right?

  11. If had half the products carried by, Prime might make sense. Further, the prices for many products on are so completely out of line that it makes more sense to just order through (micro-fiber towel: $4 on, $14 on

    • This has been frustrating for me as well CJ. Fortunately I have family in the Northern USA, so when we go see them in the summers I always have a big Amazon order shipped there!

  12. “Free two day shipping” via UPS has now become 3 or 4 day shipping via Canada Post. Unless goes back to using UPS, and actually giving their Prime customers 2 day shipping, I will not be renewing my membership when it comes due. As Canadians, we don’t get ad free music streaming. We don’t get free kindle ebook rentals, and we don’t get unlimited instant videos. American customers get all these things and more. Now it appears they are cheaping out on shipping too. If I do cancel my Prime membership, I will start looking locally for merchants. I’m getting a bit tired of being screwed by Amazon because I’m a Canadian!!! If you really want to get angry, have a look at the prices on for the same product they sell on Sometimes the same item is almost double the price on the Canadian website!

    • I’ve noticed this as well Noj. Because I live in a rural area if often takes 4 days to get to me. I think Amazon is starting to come to grips with the fact it has never actually turned a profit… Not good for us as consumers that have been enjoying the ride so far!

  13. On Prime Day, I signed up for Amazon Prime and couldn’t believe how little there really is in the way of benefits for $79. The Subscribe and Save 20% is pretty cool, but there’s not a lot of stuff my family needs on a regular basis since we cloth diaper and stock up whenever items are on sale.

    I live in Niagara Falls, so it’s not a rural area, and generally items arrive within two to three days of me ordering so Prime isn’t really worthwhile.

  14. Am I missing something? I don’t see a date anywhere on this post? Was this 2015? I see the copyright for the site at the bottom of the page, but that doesn’t mean this post was then? Has Prime changed for Canada since this post?

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