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Amazon Is Increasing the Cost of Prime Membership to $119 a Year

Will this make you cancel your membership?
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Amazon Prime membership cost increase

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.

https://www.facebook.com/slickdeals/videos/10155122195041935/

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

Prime too high and taxes on top? Goodbye Prime! -- 

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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About the Author

Johan Mengesha is the Editorial Director at Slickdeals in Los Angeles, Calif. Mengesha has written for print and online media outlets since 2003 and has a journalism degree from Cal State Northridge. Published work has appeared in the "Los Angeles Daily News," the "Daily Sundial" and eHow.com.

157 Comments

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Our community has rated this post as helpful. If you agree, why not rep Hoolagain?
#2
Whenever I lose my student discount I'm definitely not renewing at this new price. This is especially because half the items I order any more no longer guarantee 2-day delivery
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Last edited by Hoolagain April 26, 2018 at 04:19 PM.
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Joined Nov 2005
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#3
Could we just gift ourselves 5 or so years now at $99 per year?
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#4
I agree with whoever said prime membership needs to be tiered. I only use prime for the shipping option , definitely not worth $120 for me. I never prime video , music , photo or storage of any kind. I would be willing to pay $60 just for the shipping perks , but for $120 its bye bye prime time.
Most of my walmart and target orders get delivered within 2-3 days anyway and there is no membership fee there + free returns. The only edge amazon has is prime customer service but its not worth $120 per year for me.
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#5
Quote from defbrizzo
:
Could we just gift ourselves 5 or so years now at $99 per year?
The best answer I can give you is maybe. We tried gifting ourselves a membership, but it's showing as a gift card balance. That might be because the membership is still active, though. I guess we'll find out when the renewal date is up. We'll either have a gift card balance or a $99 membership.
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HIDDEN
04-26-2018 at 05:08 PM
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#7
Quote from JohanM1228
:
The best answer I can give you is maybe. We tried gifting ourselves a membership, but it's showing as a gift card balance. That might be because the membership is still active, though. I guess we'll find out when the renewal date is up. We'll either have a gift card balance or a $99 membership.
You have to cancel your current membership before it expires and then apply the gifted membership to your account
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#8
Torn myself. Since they've started charging tax in my state, I use them less and less, easier to go to ebay/aliexpress. The 20% off games is getting less and less useful as games tend to go on sales pretty quickly these days. The prime music I don't care about, the video streaming has been weak sauce for a while now. I am curious about the photo storage, but will need to actually look into it to see whether they F with the photos to save themselves space or if the interface is a PITA.

If you ask me, between ebay shenanigans and amazon, they're driving a lot of money/traffic to the china stores, i.e. skipping themselves as the middle men who do nothing but take cuts of profits.
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#9
Quote from lazyshah
:
You have to cancel your current membership before it expires and then apply the gifted membership to your account
That doesn't seem to work for us because canceling now just stops your account from auto renewing, it doesn't cancel it effective immediately. We're still only seeing the option to use it as a gift card.
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#10
"but starting May 11 it will increase to $119 per year for new memberships...." what about existing ones?
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Our community has rated this post as helpful. If you agree, why not rep phillip9?
#11
Never Forget ...

Amazon still has not fixed all the fake reviews & fake ratings on MANY of their products.

google amazon fake reviews

You have to use 3rd party websites to check the amazon reviews for a semblance of accuracy.
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#12
send a MESSAGE.

everyone go into your PRIME and cancel it today.

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HIDDEN
04-26-2018 at 06:17 PM
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#14
There are a lot of comments elsewhere about buying a gift membership, letting yours expire and then using the lower priced gift. Be aware that you will lose any grandfathered perks if you do that. I can share my Prime with 3 other people free - as long as my membership is in force. If I play the gift membership deal, 3 family members will have to buy their own membership, whereas now they don't. That's a rather substantial perk that we'll lose if I ever let my membership expire.
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#15
Quote from krazyfiend
:
Just did that, won't renew when Dec 22nd rolls around. I'll just do a month's worth during the December's to follow for gift shopping and sending season.

Agree, tiered system...shipping only sans the streaming, video, storage would be welcome-- but I doubt we see it.

Sidenote: I work as a dev on AWS based software for a living, our product utilizing it is making a healthy profit over our traditional premise-based stuff. So I will tip my hat to AMZN for providing the thriving ecosystem and marketable skillset on for my CV.
Streaming, video, storage costs them next to nothing as its all controlled by them in their own massive data centers. Nobody is bringing you the streamed content physically. But a UPS worker and/or a USPS worker, both from a different organization is bringing you packages using their infrastructure and not Amazon's. And THAT is what is costing them - Amazon definitely loses a lot of money with their 2 day shipping which is offered to make up for those losses by increased volumes of business, hoping you order higher margin items. But the more smaller orders you make, the more they lose in getting them to you which is why the perks at checkout of other discounts if you choose slower shipping. They can give you streaming content - music and video for a buck a month but its really actual shipping charges that costs them. If not for AWS raking in the moolah, it would have been curtains a long time ago - their retail operations still don't make a considerable profit for an org of that scale. $20 a year ain't that big a deal in the larger scale of things, heck that's just two lunches in your work week that you probably pack for two days in the year you have Prime subscription. So lets not lose sleep over this every time there's a justified incremental hit to your wallet - we earn far more than being unable to afford an additional $20 on a super efficiently handled retail operation. Try shipping something from a UPS or Fedex store and you'll know the impact, given bulk pricing discounts Amazon gets
Reply Helpful Comment? 12 10
Last edited by laidbacklarkin April 26, 2018 at 06:44 PM.
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