Amazon is raising the price of its Prime membership, citing rising costs and a continued expansion of membership benefits.
The rate is going up from $119 a year and $12.99 a month to $139 a year and 14.99 a month. New subscribers will pay the higher rate starting February 18, while existing members will pay the higher charges after March 25.
Amazon announced the price hike late Thursday when it reported its quarterly earnings. The company told investors and analysts that it continues to invest heavily in Prime.
For example, the company says it has added more products that are available with free unlimited Prime shipping in the last few years. Amazon said Prime members also have access to more digital content because it has tripled the number of Amazon Originals and is rolling out new series and movies like The Boys, The Wheel of Time, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Underground Railroad, Sound of Metal, Coming 2 America, The Tomorrow War, and Being the Ricardos.
It has also written a pretty large check to the NFL so that Prime will become the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football this fall as part of a historic 11-year agreement.
How will consumers respond?
While some consumers may absorb the higher cost others might not. Colleen, of Everett, Wash., tells us she has been a Prime member for years but lately has been less satisfied.
“Obviously prime membership fees have gone up over the years, but unfortunately the service has declined,” Colleen wrote in a ConsumerAffairs review. “The drivers don't leave packages where the instructions state. Heck, I've come home to find out they left them 4 or 5 houses down.”
But Renee, of Las Vegas, might be okay paying the higher fee because she says the company is easy to work with.
“Always satisfied, they refund if there is a problem,” Renee told ConsumerAffairs. “You can now drop at UPS or Kohls and just have them scan code on your phone and don't have to pack.
In recent months, Amazon has put more money into lessening the time between ordering and delivery. Prime membership began with free two-day delivery.
Since 2018, the company has expanded the markets where Prime members can get same-day delivery to more than 90. It also said the number of items eligible for Prime shipping has increased by 50% during that time.