Amazon is raising the price of the monthly Prime membership plan from $10.99 to $12.99 effective January 19, 2018 as it continues to invest in the program. The annual cost of Prime membership remains at $99. The price of the discounted Prime Student monthly plan is increasing from $5.49 to $6.49.
The new Prime monthly fee of $12.99 works out to an increase of $24 over the course of 12 months ($155.88 versus $131.88), which is also $56.88 higher than the $99 annual plan.
Amazon launched Prime in 2005 and the cost held steady at $79 until 2014 when it raised the cost by $20. Last year, Amazon shipped over 5 billion items with Prime worldwide, when more new paid members joined Prime worldwide than any previous year.
While shipping is perceived as the primary benefit of Prime, it includes other services including digital music, video, books, and photos. Amazon has stated that Prime members spend more than non-members, though it has not broken down any differences between members who pay on a monthly versus yearly basis.
An Amazon spokesperson provided EcommerceBytes with the following statement:
“Prime provides an unparalleled combination of shipping, shopping and entertainment benefits, and we continue to invest in making Prime even more valuable for our members. The number of items eligible for unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping increased in recent years from 20 million to more than 100 million items. We have expanded Prime Free Same-Day and Prime Free One-Day delivery to more than 8,000 cities and towns.
“We also continue to introduce new, popular and award-winning Prime Originals, like The Grand Tour, Sneaky Pete, and the Golden Globe-winning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – all included with Prime Video. Members also enjoy a growing list of unique benefits like Prime Music, Prime Reading, exclusive products and much more. We will keep introducing new ways to make members’ lives even better. Visit Amazon.com/prime or your Manage Amazon Prime Membership page for more information about your membership and benefits.”
For existing monthly members, the new price will apply to their first renewal payment after February 18 – read more about the price change on this page of the company’s website.