Why Do I Have to Pay Shipping for Amazon Prime?

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Amazon Prime is known for its free shipping benefits, among many other perks. However, there are instances where Prime members might find themselves paying shipping fees. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore why this happens and how you can avoid it.


Amazon Prime members might have to pay shipping fees if the items they are purchasing are not marked as Prime-eligible, are fulfilled by Amazon Marketplace sellers, are magazine subscriptions, personalized gift cards, or are being shipped to certain addresses in the US territories, possessions, protectorates, or international destinations. To avoid shipping fees, ensure the items you’re purchasing are eligible for Prime shipping.

Amazon Prime Shipping Benefits

Amazon Prime offers various shipping benefits to its members, including:

  • Free One-Day Shipping: Enjoy free one-day shipping on eligible items with no minimum spend.
  • Free Two-Day Shipping: Get your eligible items shipped for free within two days.
  • Free Same-Day Delivery: On qualifying orders with a minimum threshold of eligible items, you can receive free same-day delivery.
  • Amazon Day Delivery: Choose a specific day for all your orders to be delivered together, free of charge.
  • Free No-Rush Shipping: Opt for No-Rush Shipping and earn rewards for future purchases.
  • Free Standard Shipping (4-5 business days): Even standard shipping is free for Prime members.
  • Free Release-Date Delivery: For qualifying items, get your orders on the release day with no additional shipping fees.

Despite these benefits, there are certain situations where Prime members may find themselves paying for shipping.

Exceptions to Free Shipping Policy

Amazon Prime offers free shipping on eligible items with no minimum spend. However, there are several exceptions to this rule:

  1. Items fulfilled by Amazon Marketplace sellers that aren’t marked as Prime-eligible.
  2. Magazine subscriptions.
  3. Personalized gift cards.
  4. Any item that doesn’t have a message indicating that it’s eligible for Prime on its product page.
  5. Addresses in the US territories, possessions, and protectorates (other than Puerto Rico).
  6. International destinations.
  7. Items with Scheduled Delivery.

If only some items in your purchase are eligible for Amazon Prime, you’ll be charged applicable shipping fees for the ineligible items. Some special product, order, handling fees, and/or taxes may still apply to eligible purchases. Note that some items shipped to Alaska or Hawaii may not be eligible for free shipping.

How to Avoid Paying Shipping Fees

To make the most of your Prime membership and avoid paying shipping fees, ensure that the items you’re purchasing are eligible for Prime shipping. Products eligible for Amazon Prime will be designated on the product page and at checkout. If an item’s Prime eligibility changes during checkout, you’ll still receive free shipping on the item.

Comparing Amazon Prime’s Shipping Policy with Other Subscription Services

Compared to other subscription services like Cratejoy, which primarily relies on major carriers such as USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL for shipping, Amazon Prime stands out due to its wide range of free shipping options and fast delivery times. Other subscription services may not offer the same level of shipping benefits and may rely on third-party carriers, which could result in varying costs and delivery times for customers.

Other Subscription Services Offering Free Shipping

There are several other subscription services that offer free shipping, including Walmart+, Target RedCard, Zappos, Lululemon, Tatcha, Spanx, Nordstrom, Revolve, and Charlotte Tilbury. However, some of these services may have specific terms and conditions or may be available only in certain regions.

In conclusion, while Amazon Prime offers numerous benefits, including free shipping, there may be instances where you are required to pay for shipping. However, by understanding when these fees apply and how to avoid them, you can make the most of your Amazon Prime membership.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Amazon Day Delivery?

Amazon Day Delivery is a free and convenient delivery benefit exclusively for Prime members. With Amazon Day, Prime members can choose a weekly delivery day for all of their orders to arrive together. This feature helps reduce the number of delivery trips, thus minimizing the carbon footprint.

Are there any additional benefits for choosing No-Rush Shipping?

Yes, when Prime members choose No-Rush Shipping, they can earn rewards that can be used on future purchases. The rewards are automatically applied to qualifying orders.

What is Scheduled Delivery and why isn’t it eligible for free shipping?

Scheduled Delivery is a service where customers can select a specific day and time window for their order to be delivered. This service is not eligible for free shipping as it requires special handling and coordination, thus incurring additional costs.

How can I tell if an item is Prime-eligible?

You can identify whether an item is Prime-eligible by looking for the Prime logo next to the price on the product detail page. You can also use the “Prime” filter while searching to only display Prime-eligible items.

How does Amazon Prime’s shipping policy compare to Walmart+’s?

Similar to Amazon Prime, Walmart+ also offers free shipping with no minimum order size. However, the range of products eligible for free shipping might be narrower compared to Amazon Prime. It’s always recommended to read the shipping policies of each service to fully understand what is included.

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