Amazon increases the price of Prime membership to $139

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Amazon is raising the price of Prime membership to $139 per year and $14.99 per month.

The increase was announced by the company in the U.S. at $119 per year and $12.99 per month on Thursday. It cited “the continued expansion in Prime member benefits as well the rise in wages, transportation costs and wages.”

New members will notice a price increase on February 18, and existing members will be charged more when their subscription expires after March 25, for both.

Amazon reported last April that Prime subscribers exceeded 200 million worldwide. The United States is home to the majority of Prime members.

Amazon’s most popular program is still the subscription service. Prime members have been known to be loyal and shop online most often on Amazon. Morgan Stanley recently found that Prime members spend twice as much on Amazon than those without it.

Amazon raised the price of membership for the first time four years ago. In 2018, the annual fee was $119 from $99, and the monthly fee was $12.99 from $10.99. Company executives stated that the price hike was caused by rising shipping costs.

Before that, the price increase was in 2014.

Amazon Prime’s main attraction has always been its fast shipping and no additional costs. Amazon Prime subscribers can also get free shipping if they spend more than $25. Other Prime perks include video streaming and music streaming, Whole Foods Deals and cloud storage.

Walmart has been developing its Amazon Prime competitor, Walmart+, since 2020. This membership program offers free 2-day shipping, grocery delivery, and other perks for $98 per year or $12.95 per month. Rival Target offers two-day free shipping on orders above $35.

Editor’s Note: Amazon is one of NPR’s most recent financial supporters.