Amazon launches free grocery deliveries for Prime members in some areas
Amazon's online grocery delivery service will now offer 'free' delivery on orders of £40+ to Prime members living in certain postcodes in London and the south east – but don't automatically assume it offers the best deal.
Amazon Fresh, the online delivery giant's food and grocery service, has up to now charged a £2.99 delivery fee, or a £3.99/month membership.
But it's now announced that those paying for Prime membership – which currently costs £7.99/mth – will be eligible for 'free' Amazon Fresh deliveries on orders costing £40 or more. It's also lowered the minimum spend from £40 to £15, though you'll be charged a £3.99 delivery fee on orders costing less than £40.
Amazon Fresh is currently only available in 300 postcodes across London and the south east, though Amazon says it will be rolling out across the UK "by the end of the year".
Amazon says delivery will usually be same-day if you place the order before 2pm, and you'll be given a two-hour window to expect your shopping to be delivered in.
In about 40 postcodes, you'll usually be able to get same-day delivery (by midnight) for orders placed before 9pm, and can request a shorter one-hour window. If you want this shorter delivery window, you'll be charged £3.99 for orders costing £40 and over, or £6.99 for orders under £40.
See our Supermarket Shopping Tips guide for more info on cutting the cost of your groceries.
How does Amazon's delivery offer compare?
Here's how Amazon Fresh's delivery cost stacks up compared to other major grocery retailers:
|Amazon||'Free' on £40+ orders with £7.99/mth Prime membership, min £3.99 on orders under £40||N/A||£15|
|Iceland||Free on £35+ orders, £2 on orders under £35||N/A||£25|
|Morrisons||£1.70-£6.90||From £65/yr (equiv £5.42/mth) for anytime delivery or from £35/yr (equiv £2.92/mth) for midweek delivery. Six-month and monthly passes also available||£40|
|Sainsbury's||50p-£7. Free for £100+ orders delivered Mon-Thu after 2pm||From £60/yr (equiv £5/mth) for anytime delivery or from £30/yr (equiv £2.50/mth) for midweek delivery, both on £40+ orders. Six-month and three-month passes also available||£25 (£7 delivery charge for orders under £40)|
|Tesco||£4.50 (£5.50 if your order comes from a fulfillment centre)||£7.99/mth for anytime delivery on £40+ orders||None, but £4 surcharge on orders under £40|
|Waitrose||Free on orders over £60||N/A||£60|
How does Amazon Fresh compare to supermarkets?
Amazon says its Amazon Fresh offer includes 10,000s of grocery items, including brands such as Booths and Whole Foods as well as "artisan" products.
Though if you're planning to use it for a full weekly shop, it's worth checking first whether you can get basic items cheaper from supermarkets rather than Amazon – particularly if you usually buy non-branded or budget products, which may not be currently available on Amazon Fresh.
For example, the cheapest wholemeal bread we could find listed on Amazon Fresh was a 400g Warburtons loaf costing 85p – but we found a larger 800g loaf of HW Nevill's wholemeal bread for just 36p from Tesco. And the cheapest bag of penne pasta listed on Amazon Fresh when we checked was a Morrisons brand 500g bag costing 55p – Tesco was selling a 500g bag of Hearty Food Co. penne for 29p.
Even on like-for-like branded items, don't automatically assume that Amazon will be cheaper than elsewhere (though it may be in some cases). For example, we found a six-pack of 7 Up cans and a 12-bag variety multipack of Walkers crisps, both priced at £2.50 on Amazon Fresh. Both were being sold for cheaper on Iceland's website, where they cost £2.25 and £2 respectively – while other similar items were being sold at the same price by both retailers.