Amazon to raise the price of Prime service by $20

If you're a fan of Amazon's Prime service, be prepared to pay more when your membership renews this year. Amazon sent out a letter to Prime members to let them know that it'll cost $99 from here on out, up from $79.

In an email sent to Amazon Prime subscribers, the company explained the change:

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.

Amazon Prime provides free two-day shipping on eligible purchases made from Amazon.com, unlimited streaming of Prime Instant Video — 40,000 movies and TV shows — and the ability to borrow over 500,000 Kindle e-books from the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

If you want Prime for $79, you still have a bit of time to act — the new prices don't go into effect until mid-April. Current members won't have to pay until their membership renews. Amazon noted that its Amazon Student members will pay $49, a stiff $39 price rise. The company's grocery delivery service, Prime Fresh, remains the same at $299.

Some Amazon customers are bound to find the new price not worth it. In fairness, it's not as bad as what Amazon first suggested — earlier this year the company said it was considering raising the annual Prime membership by $40, to $119 per year.

Are you an Amazon Prime subscriber? Is it still worth it to you at $99 a year? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Peter Cohen

Managing Editor of iMore, Mac and gaming specialist and all-around technologist. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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There are 23 comments. Add yours.

phreddyl says:

Yeah I saw that email- I don't love it- 25% increase is a bit steep. I will probably still renew- I use amazon all the time and hate to wait long for packages...

haveacoke says:

I only use the two-day shipping, and no other service. I cancelled as soon as I heard about the price increase. ShoppRunner will be a good alternative.

benjitek says:

ShopRunner is a very limited alternative by comparison. If only they included Amazon ;-) I'm on the fence about renewing when my Prime expires -- 75% of all my purchasing goes through Amazon -- really like the expedited delivery, but don't use the video viewing. Would be nice if they made the hike less if you opted out of the video service. They should've given existing members the option of extending one more year at the current price.

richard_rsp says:

I think its worth it as long as Amazon doesn't continue to degrade their service. When I first got it a couple of years ago, ANYTHING that was prime would be shipped 2-day for free or overnight for $3.99. These days, I see $7.99 charges for Saturday delivery and conveniently on large/heavy (expensive to ship) items they have "missed" their overnight shipping deadlines a few times and sent it 2-day instead, refunding my $3.99 or $7.99 with an apology. I mean, I understand them not wanting to overnight some stuff because its not worth it (from a financial standpoint), but if you say you are going to do it, then do it. Overall, I feel like their quality has gone down, but hopefully this price increase will allow them to get their service back to where it needs to be.

SockRolid says:

Not worth it for me. I just started a trial Amazon Prime membership, but it's just not worth $99/year. I can wait a few extra days for the few Blu-Ray discs I still order instead of buying on iTunes. Amazon's free shipping is fine.

And not every purchase on Amazon qualifies for Prime anyway. I think it's mostly for small, light items that can be warehoused in many locations. That makes it easier and cheaper for them to do 2-day delivery.

Ziltoid says:

Lol I usually get my stuff in 2 days or less than a week without prime. I don't need it that bad

Peter Cohen says:

I do a lot of business through Amazon, buying everything from electronics to drygoods to books and more. Barely a week goes by that we don't get a package delivered from Amazon. I've had a Prime membership for about five years now and I plan to stick with it.

I've only recently started watching Amazon Prime Videos. I wish there was a native Apple TV app, but I'm content to stream it through AirPlay using my iPhone or iPad for now.

Jayne Mansfield says:

Amazon owns Zappos. I get free next day shipping from Zappos. I don't think it's worth even the $80 for Prime.

purwater says:

I just had a free month trial of prime and the first couple of things I ordered arrived quickly, but the last item I bought took 6 days to arrive. All of the items were bought directly from Amazon. I've seen others say that shipment wasn't always 2 day as expected. I usually buy enough to get the free shipping anyway, and it usually gets to me in 2 or 3 days so not worth it for prime at the old or new price for me.

Agent-P says:

For me it's still worthwhile. I've done a rough estimate of how much I'd spend per month on shipping without Amazon Prime and I'm still coming out ahead using Amazon Prime with the price increase.

woody88 says:

when was amazon prime student $10? you may want to check with your "sources" there.

and if there is still membership for student for $10, please let us know. I'd love to sign up for such wonderful savings.

ForcaLeoes says:

Amazon Prime Student is going from $39 to $49, not from $10 to $49 as the article suggests.

geekynerd00 says:

Still worth the student prime membership at $49. I order from amazon at least once a week.

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GreenDize12 says:

As a student, still will be using it. I just ordered a 50" for my Mother a few weeks ago, and not only was it much cheaper than Brick and Mortar stores, I got the free 2-day shipping option as well. Unlike some other company that claimed they are the BEST place to BUY our electronic goods, were the TV was 30% more expensive and $50 for 2-day shipping, I think the price increase is okay for a once a year charge.

joshrocker says:

Since Amazon started the "add on" program, prime has lost a lot of it's value. We originally signed up so we could avoid the whole minimum purchase game for free shipping. Now a lot of the smaller items are add on's and I'm back to waiting until I have enough in my cart to ship. More accurately I'm just picking these smaller items up at my local store.

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Dev from tipb says:

No one is ever happy having to pay more, but yes, Prime is still worth it for me.

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tlo07 says:

I just watched a CNET YouTube video that claims you can "gift" a Prime membership to yourself and schedule it to start when your old membership expires ( don't forget to turn off auto-renew on the old one). I haven't tried it yet but it would be a way to squeak out one more year at the old price.

tlo07 says:

Yep. Just gifted myself another year of Prime for $79 set to be delivered the day my old membership would need to be renewed.

Ross Mathis says:

I have to say that I have become quite spoiled with the Amazon Prime service. To lessen the burden, my friends and I typically just split the cost and use a shared Amazon account; so it just means a dollar or two more for me. Amazon Prime is just too good of a service to pass on. #takemymoney

m waller says:

When I got my Kindle Prime came free with purchase. I use Amazon a lot. From groceries, clothes, my aryuveda meds and supplements. Amazon's "Deals of the Day" can, at times, really be a deal. I do a lot of "waiting" in my job and sometimes I can get thru an entire movie. If a store doesn't offer free shipping 9 times out of 10 I'll pass it up. I thought $79 was cheap. I'll renews

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m waller says:

Renew

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YourMobileGuru says:

I have 11 months to decide but yes i will likely renew. Amazon instant video was what finally made made me break down and get an iPad. I'd been on the fence for about a year but finally jumped at a Best Buy deal because I got tired of watching on a computer or the tiny screen on my iPhone

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williamsbh76 says:

I bought prime for the first time this year primarily for steaming so the decision to renew will be tough. I shop online a lot but many times I find better deals on eBay except at Christmas. We'll see come December.

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