Amazon Prime Price Increase 2022: New Subscription Goes Up $20 to $139 - Rolling Stone
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Amazon Raises Price of Prime by $20, Promises ‘Expansion’ of Benefits

An annual subscription to Amazon Prime will now cost $139, while a monthly membership to the site will start at $14.99

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Associated Press

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Amazon is raising the price of its Prime membership by $20 a year, citing “increased costs and inflation,” though execs say customers can expect to see new perks along with the price increase.

The new Amazon Prime pricing kicks in on Feb. 18 for new subscribers, with an annual subscription now costing $139 a year, up from $119 previously. A monthly Prime subscription will now cost $14.99 a month, up from $12.99.

Buy: Amazon Prime Membership at $139

Current Prime members will see the price increase reflected after their current subscription cycle ends, with the new price applied to renewals that take place after March 25. Savvy consumers are already finding a workaround to the price increase by signing up for Amazon Prime right now, to lock in the $119 annual fee. That essentially lets you avoid paying the new price until 12 months from now, or roughly February 2023.

This is the first price increase for a Prime membership since 2018, when Amazon raised the price of an annual subscription from $99 to $119. Company CFO Brian Olsavsky says the new price increase is necessary, to help offset rising labor and logistics costs as Amazon continues to expand its offerings in the entertainment space, while also increasing delivery options to its more than 200 million Prime members worldwide.

On a company earnings call Thursday, Olsavsky cited “The continued expansion of Prime member benefits, and the increased use we have seen, along with increased costs and inflation,” as factors for the pricing jump.

Still, Olsavsky says he believes an Amazon Prime membership offers the best value for consumers, with free two-day shipping, the expansion of free same-day delivery, and a host of streaming options, from Amazon Music and Audible, to Amazon Prime Video.

Related: What to Watch on Amazon Prime Right Now

The company recently rolled out its Game of Thrones-competitor, The Wheel of Time, online, and just announced a new Lord of the Rings series, set to premiere this fall. Amazon is also making a play for the sporting crowd, with rights to stream Thursday Night Football games online.

There are also a number of hidden Amazon Prime benefits, like free Twitch streaming, free photo storage and even discounts on groceries at Whole Foods.

And then there’s Amazon Prime Day, which took place over two days last year, and boasted more than two million deals online available exclusively for Amazon Prime members.

“Since 2018 in the U.S., availability of Free Same-Day Delivery has expanded from 48 metropolitan areas to more than 90, items available for Prime free shipping have increased over 50%, and members have saved billions of dollars shopping Prime Day,” Amazon says, in a release. “This is all on top of new program benefits like prescription savings and fast, free delivery from Amazon Pharmacy and the continually growing Amazon Music for Prime members, Prime Reading, and Prime Gaming.”

The release offers some insight into new Amazon Prime benefits in 2022, including the ability to pay with Venmo, the opening of physical “Amazon Style” retail stores, and the expansion of same-day delivery, with customers able to receive their orders in as little as five hours.

Though some consumers may be upset by the price increase, an Amazon Prime membership is still cheaper than Netflix, which costs $19.99 a month or $240 a year for its premium tier. On the other end of things, an annual plan for the Disney+ Bundle is just $79.99, which gets you access to Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for an entire year.

Buy: 30-Day Free Trial at Amazon Prime

The price increase is the only marked change in a Prime membership. Amazon is still offering its popular 30-day free trial to Amazon Prime, for customers who want to test out the service before signing up.

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