Amazon Increases Prime Membership Fees

amazon-prime-dec13_tcgI 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.

Amazon makes it possible for iOS users to have full access to its Prime eligible ebooks through the Kindle app and media streaming through the Amazon Instant Video app.

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.

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik

  • Dead-eye Jedi

    I too have no problems paying the extra… Amazon rules

    • Lory Gil

      I know what you mean. The increase is worth it. I probably save about $25 per month, just in shipping costs. Not to mention the free books and streaming media.

  • Carol

    AFAIK, the Kindle Lending Library has never been available to users of the iOS Kindle app. Since I do not own a Kindle, and rarely find anything to stream off Amazon Prime, I would prefer to keep the Prime price at $79 for free 2-day shipping only. Perhaps Amazon should have offered a second cheaper plan for those of us who are only interested in 2-day shipping.

    • Lory Gil

      I never said the Lending Library was available on iOS. However, there are thousands of ebooks available to “purchase” for free through Prime that can be downloaded onto iOS. Your suggestion that Amazon offer a tiered plan may still be an option in the future. How much would you pay to only have the 2-day shipping feature?

      • Carol

        I never use the free Prime eBooks feature either, although I will take another look at it (and the streaming) now. Tiered plans will probably depend on how many Prime users they lose (or fail to gain in the future). They won’t lose me. Until there’s a better option (tiered plans, a viable Amazon competitor), I’ll just pay more for the convenience of 2-day shipping.