Amazon has completely changed the way the world shops, and yes, that includes how we buy groceries. The e-commerce juggernaut offers several food delivery services including Prime Now and Amazon Fresh, which recently became free for Prime members.
What Is Prime Now?
Cost: Free for Prime members
Delivery Fee: Free/included (some exceptions apply)
What they’ll deliver: Pretty much anything, depending on your location, from fresh produce to electronics; in some locations, this includes restaurant delivery and alcohol
Delivery window: Within one hour on select items (with an additional fee)
Pick-up option: In some locations
Prime Now is a service that is free for all Amazon Prime members. Prime Now offers free delivery within two hours for an array of groceries and household products, even toys, electronics, and pet supplies. And given their acquisition of Whole Foods, you can also get fresh produce, meat and dairy sent directly from those stores (Prime members get even more savings)—but depending on where you are, other grocery stores may also be part of the service.
For an additional fee, you can also have products like electronics or printer ink delivered to your door within an hour. As amazing as this service may sound, it’s only available in select locations; however, the list of areas that have access to this program is ever-changing. You can search for your zip code on their site to see whether or not you qualify.
What Is Amazon Fresh?
$14.99/month Now free/included with Prime subscription
Delivery Fee: Varies by location, but free if your order exceeds a certain amount (usually between $35-$50 depending on location)
What they’ll deliver: Grocery items, including pantry staples and home/cleaning supplies
Delivery window: Within one hour on select items
Pick-up option: Yes (within as little as 30 minutes; no extra charge)
While Amazon Fresh was originally an add-on service that cost an additional $14.99 a month, as of October 2019 it’s now included with a Prime membership (just like Prime Now). Amazon Fresh is exclusively focused on grocery delivery (in some areas, you can even have beer delivered along with your snacks, pantry and cleaning items, and fresh fruit and veggies).
The service allows you to schedule the delivery time that is most convenient to you—or, in some locations, you can opt for pickup if you prefer. The groceries are delivered (or held at the pickup location) in insulated packaging and reusable totes to help guarantee freshness. Unlike Prime Now, Amazon Fresh deliveries are not free, unless your order exceeds a certain amount.
Which One Is Best?
There have been persistent rumors that the two services might merge or become more interconnected, which still seems likely since there’s no longer an additional monthly fee for Amazon Fresh. So the real question is, is a Prime membership worth it? In addition to all the shipping perks, Amazon Prime members are also eligible for certain discounts at Whole Foods, including on Thanksgiving turkeys this month—so even if you’re still doing your grocery shopping the old-fashioned way, you can take advantage of Amazon’s price points if you have a Prime membership.
If you want to give it a whirl, sign up for a free 30-day Amazon Prime trial.
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