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Amazon Prime Cost Jumping to $99

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 16 comments
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The price for an annual subscription to Amazon Prime is jumping from $79 to $99. That is, unless you sign up in the next 7 days.

Beginning April 17, existing Prime members will pay the new fee on renewals. New users can sign up now for a 30-day free trial followed by $79 for your first year, and you can gift a Prime membership for the old price of $79, for now.

MORE: Best Shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and Yahoo for March 2014

In a statement, Amazon told us inflation and fuel costs are to blame for the increase. "If you consider things like inflation and fuel costs, a Prime membership valued at $79 in 2005 would be worth more than $100 today."

Prime is a key selling point for Amazon's media and tablet business. Not only do members enjoy free two-day shipping on 20 million items, but users also get unlimited access to 40,000 movies and TV shows and to a 500,000 strong lending library of e-books. Amazon's Instant Video service includes Amazon exclusive shows such as "Alpha House," and will feature four new shows that just graduated from pilots to production this week.

A price change to Prime membership was rumored at the end of January and now has come into focus. When we polled sister site Laptop Mag readers as to how this would affect their continued membership, the overwhelming consensus was that people would cancel their membership. This will be the first time since Prime was released that Amazon has raised the cost of membership.

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  • 0 Hide
    hajila , March 13, 2014 6:55 AM
    It'd be nice to see Prime broken up into multiple categories. Charge me half for just the shipping, and a full $99 for all the bells and whistles. Of course if they itemized I imagine I wouldn't be the only one unwilling to pay for their streaming content.
  • 1 Hide
    mgilbert , March 13, 2014 6:57 AM
    Amazon desperately needs some serious competition...
  • 0 Hide
    bustapr , March 13, 2014 7:06 AM
    im not gonna hate since this is due to gas prices rising, but this definitely cements that I wont be renewing my membership in november. Im in Puerto Rico and the Amazon Prime perks for me(as well as Alaska and Hawaii) are not as pretty as advertised. We dont get free 2 day shipping, that costs us around $12/lb. We get 4-7 day USPS priority shipping, but even that is shady since 3 of my last 5 orders have gone through parcel pool which often takes a week or more. its just not worth it anymore. $99 is just too much for something I already consider too expensive at $80.
  • 0 Hide
    hotroderx , March 13, 2014 7:13 AM
    Sadly I will not be renewing either most likely will stop shopping at amazon all together. I know that sounds harsh but typically Amazon is a little more pricey on prime eligible items. Hopefully they decided this was a really poor idea before I renew. I have a feeling there going to lose a LOT of customers way more then that 20 extra dollars a month offsets.
  • 0 Hide
    stevenmi89 , March 13, 2014 7:34 AM
    Quote:
    Sadly I will not be renewing either most likely will stop shopping at amazon all together. I know that sounds harsh but typically Amazon is a little more pricey on prime eligible items. Hopefully they decided this was a really poor idea before I renew. I have a feeling there going to lose a LOT of customers way more then that 20 extra dollars a month offsets.
    I still think it's worth it. Its not an extra 20 a month, its 20 a year. If you do alot of shopping on Amazon that free 2-day shipping makes up for the 100 bucks fast. Also, the streaming options are getting better.
  • 0 Hide
    edogawa , March 13, 2014 10:09 AM
    It's still very much worth it, and I can't blame Amazon, they have low profit margin for being so huge. Shipping is most likely getting more expensive too. If your ordering dozens to hundreds of packages a year this is still an incredibly good deal.
  • 1 Hide
    vpoko , March 13, 2014 10:30 AM
    I'll pay the $99. It's a no-brainer for people who buy a lot through Amazon. I've never even used the streaming, it's just the free shipping that's important to me.
  • 0 Hide
    Bondfc11 , March 13, 2014 10:40 AM
    I purchase almost exclusively through Amazon, when I can, since pricing is great, 2 day shipping rocks (heck $3.99 OVERNIGHT - seriously?), and the prime streaming stuff makes me not have to pay for something like Netflix. Granted I don't watch a ton of streaming stuff, but when I do content is available.People complaining of $1.67 a month definitely do not use the service enough or just need to not super size their meal a couple of times during the year - that'll cover the increase.
  • 0 Hide
    ddpruitt , March 13, 2014 10:47 AM
    Christmas$99 to avoid that is a bargain
  • 1 Hide
    spdragoo , March 13, 2014 10:57 AM
    Quote:
    I purchase almost exclusively through Amazon, when I can, since pricing is great, 2 day shipping rocks (heck $3.99 OVERNIGHT - seriously?), and the prime streaming stuff makes me not have to pay for something like Netflix. Granted I don't watch a ton of streaming stuff, but when I do content is available.People complaining of $1.67 a month definitely do not use the service enough or just need to not super size their meal a couple of times during the year - that'll cover the increase.
    The price makes it cost about the same as Netflix. They also have about 60-75% of the same content as Netflix, & neither one provides the current season of on-air shows as part of Prime (Amazon makes them available, but you have to pay the usual $1-3/episode or $20-30/full season).Now, if you really can't afford more than the $8/month that each service costs, it comes down to which TV shows or movies you want to have access to...& which ones you're willing to pick & trade for. Personally, though, at roughly $16/month for both Netflix & Amazon Prime, I not only get the best of both worlds, but can still rent about 10 movies each month from Redbox & still save money over any cable/satellite company's "introductory" offers. That covers about 95-99% of the content we want to watch... with Hulu (the free version) or the various network websites covering the remainder.
  • 0 Hide
    spdragoo , March 13, 2014 10:57 AM
    Quote:
    I purchase almost exclusively through Amazon, when I can, since pricing is great, 2 day shipping rocks (heck $3.99 OVERNIGHT - seriously?), and the prime streaming stuff makes me not have to pay for something like Netflix. Granted I don't watch a ton of streaming stuff, but when I do content is available.People complaining of $1.67 a month definitely do not use the service enough or just need to not super size their meal a couple of times during the year - that'll cover the increase.
    The price makes it cost about the same as Netflix. They also have about 60-75% of the same content as Netflix, & neither one provides the current season of on-air shows as part of Prime (Amazon makes them available, but you have to pay the usual $1-3/episode or $20-30/full season).Now, if you really can't afford more than the $8/month that each service costs, it comes down to which TV shows or movies you want to have access to...& which ones you're willing to pick & trade for. Personally, though, at roughly $16/month for both Netflix & Amazon Prime, I not only get the best of both worlds, but can still rent about 10 movies each month from Redbox & still save money over any cable/satellite company's "introductory" offers. That covers about 95-99% of the content we want to watch... with Hulu (the free version) or the various network websites covering the remainder.
  • -1 Hide
    capt_taco , March 13, 2014 11:19 AM
    I may be in the minority, but I think Amazon Prime is a big hoax. You get "free 2-day shipping," but just like the "free shipping" on orders over $25, they simply build the shipping costs into the item price. The movie service is basically just a portal to a paid rental service unless you want to watch stuff that's really really old. I don't see the value in it whether it's $99, $79, or $20.
  • 0 Hide
    groundhogdaze , March 13, 2014 12:10 PM
    I'm gonna keep my membership. I buy a ton of stuff from Amazon but usually only if the stuff is on sale and I have family in Hawaii which I send junk to and the Prime shipping is great for that. I've only used their video streaming once or twice since I'm used to Netflix. Wondering if I should cancel Netflix and find out what Amazon video has to offer. How good is their video offering for kids?
  • 0 Hide
    68vistacruiser , March 13, 2014 6:55 PM
    I rarely buy from Amazon simply because you can't trust anyone on it. Even it's reviews are subject to suspicion.
  • 0 Hide
    68vistacruiser , March 13, 2014 6:56 PM
    I even find a lot of these comments to be suspicious.
  • 0 Hide
    Bondfc11 , March 13, 2014 7:20 PM
    @spdragoo - I can afford a Netflix account, I just don't stream a lot of content so there is little value in it for me. @capt_taco - no hoax I have seen and prices are usually lower or right on other places for the items I tend to purchase (tech gear). I have been using Prime for years now and in the beginning I would agree that price inflation was rampant on Prime items, but I have not seen that in quite a while (just my experience of course). @vista - what don't you trust? Reviews or the products? I don't read a single review on Amazon - I do independent research on any product I buy then usually get it from Amazon (possibly Newegg since they have a warehouse in SoCal) so I can get free shipping. Again, overnight pricing cannot be beat. For me, if the item is not available via Prime I do not buy it on Amazon. It is Prime or bust as far as I am concerned (then I have to go off somewhere else to buy the item of course.)
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