Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of retail memberships before you join

Consumer Reports
Amazon Teaching Kids to Code_1541086755887

FILE- This Oct. 23, 2018, file photo shows an Amazon logo atop the Amazon Treasure Truck The Park DTLA office complex in downtown Los Angeles. Amazon launched a program Thursday, Nov. 1, that aims to teach more than 10 million students a year how to code. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

Amazon Prime. People say it so often, it’s become a verb: “Just Prime it and you’ll have it in two days!”

Now, more and more retailers are offering membership plans, betting that you’ll pay a fee for the privilege of shopping with them. In exchange, they offer perks like free shipping, discounts, and even interior design consultations. But before you join, Consumer Reports says, be sure to weigh the pros and the cons. 

Clearly, Amazon is onto something. More than 100 million Prime members make it their first stop when they shop.

Consumer Reports says that plenty of other retailers are starting to see the benefits of membership programs.  

REI Co-op, AMC Theaters, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Restoration Hardware are just a few of the companies now offering members perks, including priority services.   

The benefits sound great, but you have to make sure that the numbers add up. For example, Restoration Hardware charges $100 a year for membership, which entitles you to discounts and design consultations. That’s great if you have a lot of furniture in your future. 

Just be careful that a membership doesn’t lead you to spend more. Amazon Prime members typically spend an average of $800 a year more than nonmembers. So be smart when you join –– and when you shop.

And last, be sure that any membership is simple to cancel. You might not want to get stuck with one that renews automatically and is nonrefundable. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

6 arrested in Tampa Bay racketeering bust

Thumbnail for the video titled "6 arrested in Tampa Bay racketeering bust"

Puppies train to be superheroes at Southeastern Guide Dogs

Thumbnail for the video titled "Puppies train to be superheroes at Southeastern Guide Dogs"

Tampa Bay man runs Gasparilla race in memory of his late wife

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tampa Bay man runs Gasparilla race in memory of his late wife"

Cyber Safety Day

Thumbnail for the video titled "Cyber Safety Day"

Coast Guard remembers deadly Blackthorn crash 40 years later

Thumbnail for the video titled "Coast Guard remembers deadly Blackthorn crash 40 years later"

Hundreds expected at Polk Co. School Board meeting

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hundreds expected at Polk Co. School Board meeting"

Tampa police need help identifying suspect in machete attack

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tampa police need help identifying suspect in machete attack"

Tuesday Midday Weather Update

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tuesday Midday Weather Update"

Murder trial underway for Florida woman killed on vacation

Thumbnail for the video titled "Murder trial underway for Florida woman killed on vacation"

12-year-old child among 5 injured in head-on collision in Pasco Co.

Thumbnail for the video titled "12-year-old child among 5 injured in head-on collision in Pasco Co."

Search underway for mother missing for over a week

Thumbnail for the video titled "Search underway for mother missing for over a week"

Rep. Bell says she "articulated wrong" when she called for a school board member to be removed

Thumbnail for the video titled "Rep. Bell says she "articulated wrong" when she called for a school board member to be removed"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss