Amazon Prime Membership Price Up To $139 Per Year: Is The Cost Worth It?
The cost of Amazon Prime is expected to increase in a few days. The online retail giant is increasing its Prime delivery and media service to $139 per year from $119 per year. Customers who pay Prime monthly will see their subscription price increase by $2 to $14.99 per month, which equals $180 per year, Amazon announced on Thursday February 3.
The price hike will take effect on February 18 for new Amazon Prime accounts. For existing accounts, the price increase will take effect on the first renewal payment after March 25.
If the price increase has you rethinking your Prime subscription, you can ask yourself a few questions to determine if the annual fee is worth it, says Kristin McGrath, shopping expert and writer at RetailMeNot.
“It’s hard to put a price tag on convenience,” says McGrath. “At the end of the day, it’s $2 more per month, or $20 per year, but I think it’s still worth looking at your subscriptions and seeing if you’re taking full advantage of them.”
Here’s how to know if paying for Prime is still worth it.
Review past orders from Amazon to determine if you’ll still save money
McGrath suggests looking at your Amazon orders over the past year and asking yourself, “How much have I ordered from Amazon over the past year? How much have I relied on that quick expedition?”
“If you factor in that you would normally pay $5.99 for Amazon shipping, how many times have you saved that shipping, and is it over $20 a year or $2 a month? ” she asks.
It’s worth checking whether or not you’re paying more for the items just to get them quickly, she says. “Chances are that if you walk into your local big box store you will pay less for the item,” than if you ordered from Amazon.
Ultimately, “you’re really paying for the convenience,” McGrath says.
A Amazon Prime membership includes free two-hour grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh, plus the ability to shop online at Whole Foods for a $9.95 delivery fee.
Members get access to free movies, TV shows, and workouts on Prime Video, plus free music with Amazon Music Prime.
There’s also free access to e-books with Prime Reading.
Why Amazon is raising its prices
The last time Amazon raised prices was in 2018. “There seems to be a pattern: it’s a $20 increase every three years,” says Josh Lowitz, partner and co-founder of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.
When Amazon announced the price hike, the company cited “the continued expansion of Benefits for Prime Members“, as well as higher costs for wages and transportation. One of the ways Amazon says it’s expanding its Prime benefits is by adding more original content to Prime Video, McGrath says.
“What Amazon does is quite complex, if you think about what they do and how quickly they deliver things to people. Labor has certainly become more expensive, so this increase is not a surprise,” she said.
If you’re taking advantage of Amazon Fresh’s fast delivery and free grocery delivery, “then I think it’s not that hard to justify that extra cost,” McGrath says.
“But you know, if you’ve expanded and you’re now ordering from Walmart and Target, and you’re getting free shipping from them or using their in-store pickup, and you’re not relying on that much Amazon, maybe it’s time to reconsider.”
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