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Amazon Is Increasing the Cost of Prime Membership to $119 a Year
Amazon announced they are raising the price for their Prime Membership on their earnings call today. The cost of the annual membership has not changed since March of 2014 when it went from $79 to $99, but starting May 11 it will increase to $119 per year for new memberships. Prime Student memberships will also increase in cost to $59 a year, up from $49. Membership renewals will kick in at the new rate beginning on June 16.
With all the additional benefits Prime members have gained access to over the last few years, this isn't a surprise. Amazon recently confirmed they have 100 million subscribers globally and the cost of providing free shipping, unlimited photo storage and streaming video content (to name a few perks) has a added up. Charging all U.S. members an additional $20 a year should alleviate that.
The reaction from consumers will probably be split evenly. Many will not care too much about an additional $20 a year, especially those who use more than just the free shipping perk. Others will choose not to renew and opt to spend their money at competitors like Walmart.
If you're on the fence about whether you want to renew at the new rate or not, checking how much you spend on Amazon annually might help make the decision easier. Non-members still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more, so your average order value could also be worth calculating to see if you usually hit that threshold. Here's a quick video showing how you look up this information.
Related Reading: What Is Amazon Prime and What Do You Get With It?
How Do I Get Around the Price Increase?
There's no way to avoid the price increase if your renewal date is on or after June 16, 2018. If you're lucky, you have a renewal date of June 15, which would lock you in at $99 for another year. As of June 16, all membership renewals will be $119.
Can I Gift Myself Prime Membership at the Current Rate?
You used to be able to do this, but we just tried and it seems like Amazon is now essentially having you gift the current value of a Prime membership as a gift card instead of a pre-paid membership for existing Prime members. So if you try to redeem your gifted Prime membership after the price hike, it's unclear whether you will have to pay the additional $20 or if you will have a year of Prime. You can gift a Prime membership here.
Can I Cancel My Membership and Sign Up Again?
You can, but if you've used any of your Prime membership benefits you can no longer get a prorated refund for the remaining months of your membership term. Instead, you'll only see the option to not auto-renew your membership. Depending on your renewal date, canceling and renewing before May 11 will probably not make sense. If your renewal date is before May 11 you would be in luck and it would make sense to cancel and renew before the cost increase takes effect.
Where Can I Find My Renewal Date?
Log in to your amazon account and go to Your Prime Membership page.
What the Slickdeals Community Is Saying
Even with the price increase it's still worth -- RyanR23
Nope, pricing me out. Alibaba and eBay will be seeing more of my custom. -- contraium
They should start offering different tiers of Prime: some need only shipping, some shipping and prime movies, music, some all etc. -- svinokot
I wish they would create a tiered subscription plan where Video and Music is excluded because I don't use those, plus I pay the same price as everyone else who gets services that I don't, like Prime Now and 1-day delivery. Over the past year they have transitioned most of my orders to the post office so I deal with late shipments more than ever. Broken down into months it doesn't seem bad but to increase the price so soon after the last one has me seriously rethinking the renewal. -- savingmom
Amazon has grown quite a bit over the years......but they are far from the only place to find items/deals. -- DogyHouse
Free 2 day shipping and online streaming access, it's worth more than $119/year. LOTR series will replace GOT a couple years from now. -- slickdeezee
h/t to benenavi for posting the news first.
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