I should have seen it coming. I think, secretly, I knew it was. Amazon just sent out emails to Prime members letting them know that the subscription to the service has increased to $99. Members whose renewal date starts after April 17 will be charged the new fee. Student Prime subscribers will see their rate increase to $49.
According to the friendly email, Amazon has been charging the same price for Prime for the past nine years. The company now considers this to be the time to increase the cost to have unlimited two-day shipping, free streaming media, and thousands of ebooks that can be borrowed without charge.
The email reads:
“We are writing to provide you advance notice that the price of your Prime membership will be increasing. The annual rate will be $99 [$49] when your membership renews. Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the price of Prime has remained the same for nine years. Since 2005, the number of items eligible for unlimited free Two-Day Shipping has grown from one million to over 20 million. We also added unlimited access to over 40,000 movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video and a selection of over 500,000 books to borrow from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. For more information about your Prime membership, visit our Prime membership page.”
I constantly use Amazon Prime for my online purchases. If there is something I want on the Internet and it is not Prime eligible, I won’t buy it. I stream movies and television shows that I can’t get from Netflix or Hulu Plus. I borrow books on a regular basis. I use my Prime membership to its fullest.
Not long ago, rumors were swirling that Amazon was considering dividing out its Prime membership to have separate fees for shipping and media streaming. While a $20 increase is a bit steep to push on us all at once, it is still a better option than parceling out the services a la carte. I’m willing to pay the increase if it means keeping everything together.