* Amazon Prime annual fee increased to $119 for new members
* New pricing takes effect May 11 for new sign-ups and June 16 for current renewals
* Amazon says it’s added more features to make Prime membership worth it
The price of an Amazon Prime membership may have gone up — but it’s still one of the best values online today.
This week, Amazon announced that effective May 11, the price of an annual membership would go up to $119 from $99. For current Prime subscribers, the new pricing will begin on June 16.
We all know that Amazon Prime means free two-day shipping on millions of items – for most of us that alone means the annual fee gets paid back very quickly. But there are so many other benefits to being an Amazon Prime member, from free streaming video and music to reading unlimited books and magazines, enjoying Twitch for video game lovers and more. New this year is the addition of grocery discounts, thanks to Amazon’s new partnership with Whole Foods.
Amazon says they have also expanded Prime Free Same-Day and Prime Free One-Day delivery to more than 8,000 cities and towns, with more to come. The number of items eligible for free two-day shipping has also increased in recent years from 20 million to more than 100 million items.
Want to know if the $20 price increase for Amazon Prime is worth it? Here are some of the other benefits Prime Members can expect. Spoiler alert: despite competitors like Walmart now offering free two-day shipping (with no membership fee), we think Amazon Prime is still the best deal in town. Here are just a few reasons why…
FREE SAME-DAY DELIVERY
Many products on Amazon Prime are now eligible for free same-day delivery. When shipping to select metro areas, Prime members also get free 2-hour delivery with Prime Now on daily essentials and groceries. As with regular free shipping, you get unlimited deliveries with no minimum order size.
FREE PRIME VIDEO
Prime gives you free access to thousands of streaming movies, TV series and Amazon original programming. Fans have had a say from the get-go in what programs get made for Amazon – and today, Amazon is winning accolades and awards for series including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (a Golden Globe winner), Transparent, Goliath, Mozart in the Jungle, Man in the High Castle, One Mississippi, The Last Tycoon (below) and more. Plus: Prime Video has plenty of must-see TV like Downton Abbey, original and exclusive movies, and programming for the whole family.
Add-On Streaming Deals: HBO and Showtime
FREE PRIME MUSIC
Are you tired of paying monthly fees for streaming music? Your Prime membership includes Prime Music, which has two million and counting songs, plus NO ads and is always available on demand for you. It has all of the features you love from streaming video sources, including thousands of curated playlists and personalized stations, plus extra benefits such as unlimited skips and offline playback. Plus you can tell Alexa to stream your music for you on Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap.
FREE PRIME READING
Get over a thousand books, magazines, comics and more, plus unlimited listening to original audio series and podcasts on Audible. You don’t need a Kindle or Amazon device, either. Download the content to your phone, computer, tablet or other personal device and get a world of fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, short works, etc. to fulfill all your bibliophile desires.
Twitch, the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers, video game culture and creative arts, has nearly ten million visitors to watch and play video games and more than two million streams. Prime Membership has its Twitch benefits: ad-free viewing, Prime exclusive chat badge, expanded emotes and color, free monthly Twitch channel subscription, plus discounts on new releases, including pre-orders and collectors editions. And gamers can take advantage of day-of delivery for new releases, too.
PRIME-EXCLUSIVE CLOTHING BRANDS
Why wear the same thing as everyone else when you can shop from Prime-exclusive apparel, accessories and footwear brands These exclusive private label fashion lines include collections for men, women and children’s apparel and accessories. The in-house brands launched on Amazon in late 2016, and the retailer has continued to debut new labels throughout the year. It’s a great way to build your wardrobe with refined basics and fashion-forward pieces you won’t find anywhere else. Like everything else on Prime, these items ship with free two-day shipping.
WHAT KIND OF PRIME MEMBERSHIP IS RIGHT FOR ME?
For the most part, Prime Memberships cost $119 a year with all the benefits mentioned above. But, there are ways to save on your Prime subscription.
[caption id="attachment_67204" align="aligncenter" width="679"] Image courtesy of Amazon[/caption]
1. Prime Student – A Prime membership program created for students. As a Prime Student member, you receive a six-month trial that includes free two-day shipping, unlimited streaming of Prime movies and TV shows, unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos, 20% off pre-order and new release video games, exclusive deals and savings, and more. After your six-month trial ends, your student status gets you 50% off Amazon Prime, and includes access to all Prime benefits.
2. Prime Family – Prime members save up to 20% on diaper subscriptions plus receive additional family-centric discounts and recommendations, when you sign up for Amazon Family. Amazon Family is free for all Prime members.
Prime members with a Baby Registry get additional discounts and rewards including a 15% Baby Registry completion discount and access to limited time offers such as a free Welcome Box, compliments of Amazon Family.
3. Gift Membership – Not only is Amazon Prime a great investment for you, but it’s also a fabulous present for special occasions and holidays. Give the gift of Amazon Prime, and while you’re at it, make sure you tell the recipient about all these fantastic benefits that they might not know about. You can choose from a three-month gift subscription ($33) or the full year membership ($99).
Amazon Prime Membership benefits keep growing all the time, giving you thousands of dollars in free perks and special access that’s impossible to put a dollar value on. It’s a great gift for the holidays, too.