Amazon is increasing the annual price for an Amazon Prime membership in the US for the first time since 2014, when the company raised the annual fee from $79 to $99.

This time the price is rising to $119.

The new pricing takes effect May 11th for new members and June 16th for existing customers… although you won’t be charged until it’s time for your membership to be renewed. So new subscribers got about two weeks to sign up at the old price and get sort of grandfathered in at the $99 price… for the first year.

Last time Amazon hiked prices, commenters on this website weren’t convinced the service was worth $99. So how about now that it’s $20 more?

Amazon.com

Amazon Prime started as a service that offered free 2-day shipping on some products. That’s all you got for $79.

Since then, Amazon has turned Prime into a service that also offers ad-free movie, TV show and music streaming, Kindle eBook loans, and much more.

It also covers 1-day or same-day shipping on many items, and even free 2-hour delivery in some areas. Heck, these days you can even let Amazon deliver items to the inside of your home or car.

Members can sign up for a Prime Rewards Visa card that offers 5% cash back on items purchased from Amazon or Whole Foods.

And the company offers early access to deals, discounts on Amazon Music Unlimited subscriptions, and free and discounted games through a Twitch Prime membership which is free for all Amazon Prime members.

That’s really just the tip of the iceberg.

Of course, none of that matters if you don’t use all of the services.

I’ll probably renew my Prime membership at the new price because I’m a regular user of Amazon Prime Video, an occasional user of Amazon Prime Music, and a pretty frequent user of Amazon Prime free shipping. Even at $119, my household gets access to all of that for less money than we spend on Netflix.

If you sign up for that Prime Rewards Visa card, you might even be able to earn enough cash back to pay for your annual membership fee (depending on how much shopping you do).

What about you? Do you still think Amazon Prime is worth the asking price?

 

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23 replies on “Amazon Prime gets a price hike: Is it worth $119 per year?”

  1. Most of Amazon’s other “included” services aside from free shipping are sub-par compared to competitors. Amazon is just not competitive outside of online retail. So, to me, subsidizing these other services that not a whole lot of people use isn’t worth it for how often I buy from Amazon.

    Prime Video sounded nice but it’s far from successful with its lack of quality content and cumbersome interface. Their retail shop interface/layout has long been pretty bad so I guess this isn’t too much of a surprise. The rest of the services are just not compelling.

  2. I’ve had my 5% Prime card for a year now, and in that time, it’s barely paid for Prime at $99. I don’t particularly plan on increasing my Amazon purchasing, so the $20 increase will probably be coming out of pocket. Is it still worth it? From all the other deals I get, I think so. The occasional free ebooks, Prime Samples, and countless other programs I’m (ab)using on top of quick shipping make it worthwhile. I can’t say I use video or music streaming that much, but I did watch and really enjoy Comrade Detective. Still, if I could, I would probably agree to cut a lot of these side benefits for a discount.

  3. The amount of stuff that I get shipped in a day or 2 for free is ridiculous. Some weeks I have 2 or 3 things showing up every day. I almost never shop anywhere else except for groceries and clothes. I think it’s worth it. Prime video is a nice bonus but I almost never use it.

  4. Why Pay? Really, just try free services like TubiTV. There are even more, but the real best kept secret is VUDU, Its a FREE movie service by Walmart, but it is ad based, well Amazon blitzes me with ads all the time , and I now have to pay $119, NOT. REALLY EVERYONE SHOULD SEEK THESE FREE SERVICES, THEY ARE GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME.

    1. Why? Amazon Prime isn’t just the video service, unfortunately. If you were considering $120 for just a year of Prime Video, I would say it wasn’t worth it, but with the shipping, ebooks, and everything else, it’s a reasonable offer, IMO.

    2. People are voting with their feet. Services that interrupt your viewing every 10 minutes to show ads are just not that popular anymore. It’s gotten to the point where the broadcast networks are having to cut back on their ad loads to keep people watching.

      I’m happy to see some competition, but I’d much rather pay $12/month or $119/year for the ad-free experience, and I think subscription based services will win out in the end.

  5. I had Amazon Prime, and didn’t really like it. If you have a Fire TV its even worse. Amazon pushes too much ads on the interface. For me, Its just not with it.

    1. Yeah, the ads on the Fire TV stick are a pain, but you can disable the video playback/animations for those ads, and really, once you get used to pressing the down button a couple of times automatically to get to your apps, it’s really not that big a deal.

      It’s still a very nice device for its price, and like the ads on the lock screen on their Fire Tablets I suspect most non-Amazon ecosystem users barely even notice them after a while.

  6. I joined Amazon Prime with a student discount, and milked it for four years. It was a sweet deal and couldn’t be beat. The shock from the price increase is killing me. This isn’t worth it, it only encourages you to buy things and I’m in debt enough as it is.

  7. When you consider Google Play Music and/or YouTube Red/Remix already costs $10 a month, this should come as no surprise. It’s like getting totally free shipping!

  8. I didn’t renew my Amazon Prime account for $99. It’s too much for me for just the Prime shipping. I’m interested in the video streaming service but the content is very lacking.

    Although, like with the $99 price hike, I’m guessing most existing Prime members will stay and Amazon will probably end up reporting a net increase in members.

  9. I may wait a bit to see if their movie/TV show offerings improve. As it is now, I NEVER find anything I want to watch on Amazon. I spend my streaming time on Netflix. $119 is too much just for the prime shipping. I don’t use any other prime services.

    1. I was thinking the price hike will allow them to improve the content although $2pcm won’t buy that much.

    2. I used to think that way (better content on Netflix), but more and more I’m having a hard time finding anything worthwhile on Netflix. Seems like they’ve concentrated all their efforts on standup comedy.

      1. Yeah, I’m surprised people even have Netflix subscriptions on a long term basis. When I had Netflix, it was a pretty bursty experience with long periods of non-use.

  10. I only use their Prime shipping. If only Amazon had membership fees depending on what the customer uses.

  11. The same day and next day free shipping is totally worth it. Their customer service and return policy is excellent too. Never had any issue and did 10+ returns this past year. They would have to charge another $50 on top of the new price before I would consider leaving. For a family, buying Prime is still a good deal.

  12. Actually we had Prime Video and other services back in the $79 days. I’m not a fan of these price jumps, but it is still a bargain compared to what little you get from overpriced Netflix.

    1. The idea that Netflix is overpriced is insane. They invented tv streaming. Compare Netflix to the cost of how most people got to before Netflix…DVDs, canle, or 30% of TV time on ads.

      1. Yes, things are different now but expectations are different now as well.

  13. Well, they have to pay for the quarter billion dollars they paid for the rights to The Lord of the Rings franchise, as well as the cost of making the shows themselves, somehow…

    $20 sounds a lot, but as you say, it still comes in at under the monthly cost of Hulu and Netflix, as well as offering all those other services you mention. I suspect Amazon knows that the $20 bump in the yearly cost isn’t going to deter all that many subscribers.

    As for asking who will continue to pay the higher fee? Perhaps a more pertinent question is who of those who said they weren’t going to pay $99/year, ended up paying for it anyway? I’m betting a majority of them did, eventually.

    Me? I just signed up a month ago (lucky me!). So I’ll wait and see until next year.

  14. I was still on the fence at $99, so…
    Can’t you get that 5% at Whole Foods now too with their card? That could make a big difference if you shop there a lot. I don’t though. Also I think can get the card without having Prime. Not sure.
    You have a good point about it compared to Netflix. But for me the Netflix app is better. Also no confusion for anyone in the house about what is free and what is not. It’s on Netflix, it’s ‘free’.

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