Amazon Prime says it's not adding wireless benefits to Prime [Update]

an image of an iPhone with Amazon Prime on it
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It turns out you're not going to be able to get your wireless phone service at a discounted rate through Amazon Prime any time soon. Amazon is smacking down reports that it was in talks to add that benefit for its Prime subscribers.

Last week, Bloomberg reported that Amazon had been exploring the possibility of adding a new perk to Prime membership that would offer subscribers wireless plans for as little as $10 a month — or even for free. Even better, these plans would have apparently included unlimited data, which would be an incredible value given the low — or even non-existent — cost.

The best unlimited data plans at the major wireless carriers start at $60 a month for a single line of data. Smaller wireless providers like Mint Mobile and Visible, which piggyback on the networks of the best phone carriers, cut that price to $30 per month. So $10 or less through Amazon Prime would have been a substantial savings.

Alas, it's not going to happen. "We are always exploring adding even more benefits for Prime members, but don’t have plans to add wireless at this time," said Bradley Mattinger, an Amazon spokesperson in a statement provided to Tom's Guide.

Boosting interest in Prime

In its report, Bloomberg claimed that Prime memberships are stagnating, citing Consumer Intelligence Research Partners figures that the 167 million Prime members in March 2023 was unchanged from the year ago figure.

Reportedly, a price hike for Prime memberships is to blame. In 2022, Amazon raised the price of Prime to $139/year from $119, and that may have turned off some customers. (I'm certainly one of them — after the Prime price hike, my household let its membership expire rather than pay the higher cost.)

However, Amazon also says reports of stagnating membership are incorrect. “Prime membership continues to grow year-over-year as the value members receive continues to increase,” Mattinger added.

Current Amazon Prime benefits include access to Prime Video, which is among the best streaming services. Other perks involve expedited shipping, exclusive access to sales, discounted prices on some goods and access to other services like Prime Music streaming and Prime Photos storage.

Amazon has been experimenting with other Prime perks. In May, for example, the retailer trotted out Amazon Gaming Week, which featured discounts on gaming laptops, headsets, storage and consoles over the course of a week-long event.

Amazon Prime phone plan outlook

Bloomberg's report had claimed that Amazon had been talking to T-Mobile, Verizon and Dish — the latter of which is trying to get a fledgling wireless service off the ground and might benefit from the extra customers Amazon Prime would throw its way. AT&T has also apparently been involved in talks with Amazon at some point, as these discussions have reportedly been going on the past six to eight weeks.

After this article was published, T-Mobile contacted Tom's Guide to throw cold water on the initial report. "Amazon is a great partner to T-Mobile in many areas, and we are always interested in working more closely with our cross-town neighbors in new ways," a T-Mobile spokesperson said. "However, we are not in discussions about inclusion of our wireless in Prime service, and Amazon has told us they have no plans to add wireless service."

Denials from at least two of the rumored participants makes us think that we're not going to see discounted wireless service join the ranks of Prime perks any time soon. For now, the best cell phone plans remain unchanged.  

Editors' Note: This article was originally posted on June 2; we've updated it to reflect comments from Amazon denying that wireless phone plan perks will be added to Amazon Prime.

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Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.