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I was already canceling Amazon Prime — this just guaranteed it

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For several years now, my daughter has enjoyed her Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids tablet. It's served her well, whether staving off boredom during road trips or giving her a way to game and chat with friends. I'd even go so far as to say that it's helped her manage screen time and even learn a little bit about responsible behavior online (though with the teen years ahead, I figure even more lessons await on that front).

But despite all that, her time with the Fire HD 10 may be nearing the end. Her elementary school years have ended and that means the toys she associates with that time in her life seem to be getting cycled out. These days, she'd much rather spend that precious screen time with her Nintendo Switch or with a hand-me-down MacBook so that she can stream music. The joys of Toca Life, Shopkins Run, Robbery Bob and whatever other games she's sampled on her Fire tablet are proving ever more fleeting.

Of course, Amazon may have just given our family the final push it needs to say farewell to its tablet. Over the weekend, we got an email from the retail giant, informing us that the cost of our subscription to Amazon Kids Plus is about to go up. Which makes this as good a time as any to bid farewell to both the subscription service and the tablet it supports.

Don't confuse Amazon Kids Plus with Amazon Prime, though Amazon hiked up the price of that service earlier this year, too.

Don't confuse Amazon Kids Plus with Amazon Prime, though Amazon hiked up the price of that service earlier this year, too. Amazon Kids Plus is a separate service that gives kids access to books, programs, educational apps and games on assorted Fire, Android, iOS and Kindle devices. The content is split up into different age groups, and built-in parental controls come as part of the package. I'd say it's a good add-on to pay for if you're thinking of getting a Fire HD tablet for your young'un.

Kids Plus may be separate from Prime, but Prime subscribers do pay a lower rate for the service. Of course, that doesn't mean Prime members are being spared from Amazon's Kids Plus price hike. Our service is jumping to $4.99 a month, up from $2.99. Non-Prime customers see their Kids Plus subscription go to $7.99 from $6.99. The prices go into effect after July 14 the next time you're billed for Amazon Kids Plus.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids review

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Yes, an extra $2 isn't that much — right up until everyone starts asking for an extra $2.

Amazon would point out that this is the first time Kids Plus prices have gone up since Kids Plus launched a decade ago. And Amazon isn't just raising prices on a whim — the retail giant says the collection of content under the Kids Plus umbrella has grown dramatically, with reputable providers like Disney, Nickelodeon and PBS Kids. To Amazon's way of thinking, it's merely bringing the price of Kids Plus in line with the product you're getting for your subscription.

You could also argue that a $1 to $2 monthly price hike isn't that much in the greater scheme of things, especially if it's a product enjoyed by its intended audience. What's an extra $12 to $24 per year amongst friends, after all?

The problem with that line of thinking is that a lot of companies are making that argument these days. Yes, an extra $2 isn't that much — right up until everyone starts asking for an extra $2. And with prices rising all around us, we're being forced to make choices on which price hikes we can afford to absorb and which ones are an increase too much. You can probably guess which way we're leaning with Amazon Kids Plus.

Amazon Prime van

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It doesn't help that Amazon is becoming a repeat offender on the rising subscription cost front. Earlier this year, Amazon announced that the cost of a Prime membership was going up by $20 — again, the only price increase since 2018, Amazon helpfully pointed out. But if you stick with both Prime and Kids Plus, that's $44 you're paying to Amazon that you weren't previously.

At the time of the Prime price hike, I noted that my family and I wouldn't be renewing our membership. Indeed, that's the plan, as our Prime membership doesn't flip over to the new rate until later in the year. The Kids Plus price hike is just going to strengthen our resolve — "I'm twice as quit now," as Deckard from Blade Runner once observed. We'll be breaking the news to my daughter that the Kids Plus membership is ending sooner than anticipated, too.

There's a lesson here, even if you're not a subscriber to Amazon Kids Plus or if you're a Prime member who's made their peace with the higher rate Amazon introduced. Anytime the price goes up on something — and believe me, in this day and age, it probably will — ask yourself whether the service is worth keeping or if that same service is being offered somewhere else for less. You may even ask yourself whether the thing you had been paying for is something you can do without altogether. You may be surprised by the answers you come up with.

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.

  • ebelfam5
    This is so interesting since I received an email that the price was decreasing! We have two children using the Amazon Kids account - maybe that is why. It looks like the price will now be the same for everyone no matter the number of kids using it. Here’s what I received:


    Dear Amazon Kids+ Subscriber,
    Thank you for being a valued Amazon Kids+ subscriber. We want to let you know about an upcoming change to your subscription - your monthly payments will decrease.

    As of June 8, 2022, we have simplified our pricing options to a single monthly plan. This means the monthly price for Prime will decrease from $6.99 to $4.99 and Non-Prime will decrease from $9.99 to $7.99. The new price, plus applicable taxes, will apply after July 14, 2022 on the date of your next billing cycle.
    Reply
  • Rosevillecpa2022
    Honestly? You sound very whiney-what I read is your kid out grew this service, thus you are choosing to spend your money elsewhere 🤷🏻‍♀️There is nothing wrong with Amazon-as for me and my household there is no beating the easiness and affordability of the 1000s of products we can buy and ship with a click for FREE (have you been paying attn/factor in what you’ll now pay for freight 🤦🏻‍♀️) to our family and friends across the country. As for the kid pricing-compared to streaming services that’s Pennies on the dollar or buying books at $12-$20/piece.
    Reply
  • Matt2323
    Complaining about $2 more a month, after over a DECADE with no price increase?

    *

    Tom's used to be a great resource. Now it's just clickbait. Blocking your site from all my newsfeeds.
    Reply
  • nmharleyrider
    I have had Amazon Prime member since the day they announced it. I have never had an issue and the membership fee I pay is always less than the savings I get when I shop at Amazon. In addition, the free movies. documentaries and TV shows are an amazing catalogue of items.
    Reply
  • Mark Spoonauer
    Matt2323 said:
    Complaining about $2 more a month, after over a DECADE with no price increase?

    *

    Tom's used to be a great resource. Now it's just clickbait. Blocking your site from all my newsfeeds.

    I personally edited this story. As the author notes, these days every dollar counts so what might not mean much to you means something to others. That's why it's called an opinion.
    Reply