Recent research has established that individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) have impaired prospective memory (PM); however, findings regarding differential deficits on time-based versus event-based PM have been less clear. Furthermore, the diagnostic utility of PM measures has received scant attention. Healthy older adults (n = 84) and individuals with aMCI (n = 84) were compared on the Cambridge Prospective Memory Test (CAMPROMPT) and two single-trial event-based PM tasks. The aMCI participants showed global impairment on all PM measures. Measures of retrospective memory and complex attention predicted both time and event PM performance for the aMCI group. Each of the PM measures was useful for discriminating aMCI from healthy older adults and the time- and event-based scales of the CAMPROMPT were equivalent in their discriminative ability. Surprisingly, the brief PM tasks were as good as more comprehensive measures of PM (CAMPROMPT) at predicting aMCI. Results indicate that single-trial PM measures, easily integrated into clinical practice, may be useful screening tools for identifying aMCI. As PM requires retrospective memory skills along with complex attention and executive skills, the interaction between these skills may explain the global PM deficits in aMCI and the good discriminative ability of PM for diagnosing aMCI.