If Amazon Prime seemed like a deal that was too good to be true, you were right. Amazon is raising the Prime membership fee from $79 to $99, effective semi-immediately. Prime members get unlimited free 2-day shipping on most of their Amazon purchases, plus unlimited streaming and downloading access to the Prime Instant Video library, now featuring more than 40,000 movies and TV episodes. Prime members also get to borrow from a selection of over 500,000 books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. It’s the first ever price increase for Prime since Amazon introduced the program in 2005.
Here’s how the price spike will work: If you currently have a Prime subscription, you’ll see the rate increase when you renew your membership. Customers who renew their memberships before April 17 will pay $79 for the year, and $99 if it’s after April 17. New customers that begin a free trial between now and March 20 will lock in the $79 rate for the first year.
By all accounts, the 2013 holiday season seemed to be a turning point of sorts for Amazon Prime, as the online retailer said it added a million new members in the week before Christmas.
Amazon notified its Prime members of the price hike today by email. Here’s the letter that went out:
We are writing to provide you advance notice that the price of your Prime membership will be increasing. The annual rate will be $99 when your membership renews on January 22, 2015.
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.
The Amazon Prime Team