Amazon Prime Membership Fee Is Due to Rise
Four years ago, online retail powerhouse Amazon.com raised its annual membership from $99 to $119 in the United States. That move raised howls from about-to-renew members and would-be members, some of whom sought alternative services for free shipping. But that blowback wasn’t enough to slow Amazon’s membership growth, which now tops approximately 150 million in the U.S.
In case you didn’t notice, a lot has changed since May 2018, when the last increase went into effect. And Amazon has had plenty of cost challenges: supply-chain issues, worker shortages, wage increases for its staff, and the rapid adjustments it needed to make in the early stages of the pandemic to prioritize COVID-related customer needs.
Amazon is tight-lipped about a rate increase for its fiercely loyal members, who were initially drawn to Amazon Prime’s free shipping, before discovering the many other perks of Amazon Prime. But follothere is precedent for a four-year cycle. Before the 2018 increase, Amazon last raised the price of Amazon membership in April 2014.
That puts Spring 2022 right in the sweet spot for another possible Amazon Prime membership increase. But doing so isn’t without its hazards. When Amazon last raised its Prime membership cost, Walmart’s alternative, Walmart+, wasn’t around. It is now, offering free next-day or two-day delivery, prescriptions and gasoline discounts among its perks, all for $84 a year. Plus, given the general tension about inflation, an Amazon price increase would probably another round of consumer anger.
We reached out to Amazon inquiring about a possible Amazon Prime membership boost. We will update this story when we hear from them.