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Amazon Prime Cost Jumping to $99

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.

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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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