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Amazon is raising the price of Amazon Prime in the U.S. This means that Amazon Prime subscribers who pay annually will see the price rise from $99/year to $119/year. Suffice to say this news hasn’t gone down too well with Amazon Prime subscribers.
Amazon Prime is Amazon’s ace in the hole. Prime lumps a load of benefits in together for one price. And the number of Amazon Prime benefits is growing all the time. The problem is as Amazon adds more benefits to Prime its profit margins decrease.
Mo’ Benefits, Mo’ Money
During Amazon’s latest earnings call, which saw the company announce an increase in net income for the first three months of 2018, its CFO Brian Olsavsky announced that the price of an annual Amazon Prime subscription was rising from $99 to $119.
According to Amazon, new Prime subscribers will start paying more on May 11, 2018. Existing subscribers will pay the new price when they renew their Prime subscription after June 16. Subscribers who pay monthly started paying more in January 2018.
Amazon earnings more than double and the price of Prime goes up. pic.twitter.com/olvCeuRmXQ
— Andrew Reiner (@Andrew_Reiner) April 26, 2018
To be fair, it’s been four years since Amazon last raised the price of an annual Prime subscription. That was when, in 2014, the price jumped from $79/year to $99/year. And in the four years since, Amazon has added a host of new benefits to Prime.
While this explains the price rise, it’s unlikely to satisfy those Amazon Prime subscribers who don’t make use of all the benefits that come with a Prime subscription. If you only have Prime for the free shipping then this price hike is going to hurt.
Is It Time for Prime Packages?
Amazon should consider introducing different levels of Prime subscriptions. The basic package would only include free shipping, the standard package would add Prime Video and Prime Music, while the gold package would add Twitch Prime and the like.
Unless and until that happens, you have a binary choice between accepting the price rise or cancelling your subscription. Because while Amazon Prime is great, it isn’t the be-all and end-all. Especially if you use the tips included in our Amazon shopping guide.