Amazon has introduced a fee for same-day Prime delivery: how much will this cost you?

I’ve trawled through my Amazon data to find out how much this might cost me

Amazon has announced a new extra fee for same-day delivery for Prime members. 

Here’s what you need to know, and how much more it could actually cost you.

What has Amazon announced?

Amazon sent an email to customers in mid-August to announce that from 18 September if you opt for same-day delivery for an order under £20, you’ll have to pay £1.99 for delivery as an Amazon Prime member.  Previously this was free as part of Prime.

It stated that the reason why it’s doing this is because it’s aiming to improve its same-day delivery service. This might mean we see more eligible postcodes or more items where this is available, though this is just an educated guess. 

How will Amazon’s fee change impact you?

Amazon Prime members

If you have Amazon Prime and choose same-day delivery for an order under £20, you’ll have to pay a £1.99 delivery fee. If the order is £20 or over, you won’t have to pay any more. It’s still free to get next-day delivery.

How much is Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime currently costs £95 for a year, or you can opt for a monthly fee of £8.99, which comes to £107.88 per year. If you’re a student, you can get the first 6 months for free then 50% off.

Other Amazon customers

If you’re not a Prime member, you’ll pay £5.99 for same-day delivery – there’s no change here

How much is Amazon delivery in the UK?

How much you’ll pay for delivery from Amazon depends on a number of factors – what you’re ordering, how much you order, when you want it delivered and whether you pick up the order from a locker. Here are some of the costs of delivery from Amazon in the UK for both Prime and non-prime customers. 

Some items might be listed on Amazon but aren’t shipped or sold by Amazon. In these cases, the fees will likely be different, so watch out for these items. 

Non-Prime usersPrime users
Books under £10From £3.99 Free
Books over £10FreeFree
Orders over £25FreeFree
Orders under £25This varies, depending on the itemFree
Same-day delivery£5.99£1.99 from 18 September 2023, free until then
One-day delivery£3.95 to £4.99 per deliveryFree
PickupFree, or £2.99 for Premium deliveryFree
Priority delivery£0.99Free

How much would I have spent on same-day delivery?

I spend a lot of money at Amazon – we’re talking £15k in the 9 years I’ve had a Prime Account. I’d be wise to take a leaf out of Andy’s book and see if I can ditch Amazon for a year. 

While £1.99 doesn’t sound like a lot, it piqued my interest in how often I actually use this as a service, how much this would have cost me in recent years, and how much I really needed it. 

First up, it’s important to acknowledge I paid for all my deliveries in a way as I’m paying for Prime (I paid £79 for the year, though it’s now £95). So they’re never really “free”. I do tend to ensure I make orders through Amazon that don’t incur additional costs, usually by not ordering from third parties. I’m a sucker for that “Prime only” toggle that shows me the free delivery options.

With my Prime membership, I made 181 Amazon orders in 2022. This is an order every two days! To be frank, this was quite a surprise and might lead to a major change in my habits.

Of those, 22 orders would have been delivered for free even if I didn’t have Prime, as they came to £25 or more. 

For the remaining 159, assuming I only use Prime for the delivery savings, that’s about 50p for delivery per order — luckily for me, I’m quite fond of Prime Video too.

For the orders I chose same-day delivery for, which was 40 in total, I’d have spent an extra £79.60 over the year in fees if the announced fees were in place then. That’s about £6.63 per month, nearly as much as my Prime subscription.

If I didn’t have Prime at all and the announced fees were in place, I’d be looking at £240 for those items.

That would suggest having Prime would save me a lot of money – but that higher cost assumes I’d have still chosen same-day delivery. That’s incredibly unlikely, as I talk about below.

Could I have avoided all delivery charges?

I could easily have got the same-day delivery costs down to nil (assuming I still paid for Prime), or just over a tenner or the year (without Prime) by changing my habits a little and not going for same-day delivery. 

I looked through all the things I chose “same day” delivery for and could only really justify two of them — a replacement laptop charger when my puppy chewed through mine (money-saving tip, don’t get a puppy!) and a glasses repair kit when a screw fell out of my glasses — an essential purchase, as I couldn’t drive to my opticians to get them fixed. So that means as a Prime user I’d have paid £3.98 extra for those two items.

In most cases, I’d choose same-day delivery because I could. In a few cases, I chose no rush delivery because I was offered Kindle credit.

In fact, even with the two items I needed, I would probably have had other items waiting in my basket to order together, getting me over the new £20 threshold, meaning no extra cost at all!

And I potentially could have wiped out the need for Prime too. I could easily have chosen a delivery option that took longer – most of them were toys, leads and harnesses for the aforementioned puppy. So free standard delivery for orders over £25 would have saved me the £95 annual fee too.

I’d still have to have shelled out two lots of £5.99 for the same-day delivery, but overall I’d have paid a lot less.

How to analyse your own Amazon order history 

You can get your Amazon data straight from the source. You just need to request it here. It takes a few days to come through. 

Within a few days, I had downloaded a collection of spreadsheets with all of my Amazon order history, spanning 9 years and totalling £15,000. Amazon lists the delivery option you chose at checkout and the cost, so I just looked at the transactions I selected same-day delivery for. 

How to save money on Amazon delivery

You don’t need to spend a fortune on delivery fees at Amazon, and honestly, probably don’t even need Amazon Prime. Here are some tips to save money on your Amazon purchases.

Don’t buy as much 

This seems obvious but looking through my data has been very eye-opening. There are loads of instances where I’d make impulse purchases after scrolling through Amazon like it’s Instagram. I’ve definitely gotten better at this since the new year, but essentially, only buy things you’re specifically looking for.

Shop around 

Having Amazon Prime sometimes makes you feel like you “may as well” buy an item on Amazon because you’ll get it tomorrow and you’re paying for it anyway. This shouldn’t stop you from shopping around to find a better deal elsewhere, even if it arrives a few days later. Of course, if Amazon still works out cheapest, go for it, but don’t assume it will be.

Secondhand books are a good example here — you often pay £2.80 for delivery on a secondhand book that your local charity shop probably has on its shelves, or you could pick up at your library.

Put things in your basket to order together

This is where you can save on same-day delivery as a Prime customer and the best way to avoid having to have Prime at all. 

As you can see from the table above, if your order is over £25, you’ll get free delivery with Amazon without needing Prime. 

If you have Prime and want same-day delivery, you won’t have to pay for same-day delivery if your order is over £20, so it can be handy to have things ready to go in your basket if you need it.

Don’t opt for same-day

To save on Amazon’s delivery fees, don’t go for same-day or next-day delivery unless you need to. Look out for the rewards you can get for no-rush delivery or money off for picking up from an Amazon locker. 

Order to collect

You can collect from an Amazon Pickup point for free, no matter how large the delivery. These are located all over the place, and Amazon lets you choose one that’s located near you. This is the case for both Prime members and non-Prime members. 

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Do you even need Amazon Prime?

To save yourself up to £95 per year, you could reconsider whether you actually need Amazon Prime at all. If you don’t tend to use any of the additional features, such as Prime Video or Amazon Photos, take a look at your own history to see if you’re really getting your money’s worth. 

Amazon does actually lay out this information for you – according to my stats, I’ve made 78 orders in the last 12 months at no extra cost — working out at about £1.20 per order — and watched 158 movies and TV shows on Prime Video. Our full review of Amazon Prime can help you determine if you really need to pay for Prime. 


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