Amazon has increased its Prime membership fee, citing an increase in fuel and transportation costs. However, the new price structure is applicable to those whose term expires after April 17, 2014. Those whose membership expires before that date will still have the chance to renew their membership for $79. Those who need to renew after April 17 will pay the new annual rate of $99. Those who wish to enroll for the Amazon Prime service have until April 17 to save $20 in the annual subscription fee. Amazon Student Prime fees has also been increased from $10 to $49 a year.
“We are working to expand selection even further, as we develop additional fulfillment and transportation capacity to make the Prime program even more valuable to our members. Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the price of Prime has remained the same. If you consider things like inflation and fuel costs, a Prime membership valued at $79 in 2005 would be worth more than $100 today,” revealed Amazon.
The increase in Prime subscription cost does not come as a surprise, as Amazon had already warned of the move back in January, stating then that rates could be raised by as much as $40; thankfully, the actual increase was half that amount. This is the first time that Amazon has resorted to a fee hike since the Prime service was launched nine years ago. Over the years, the service has become immensely popular and proved to be one of the biggest revenue sources for the online retail giant. Amazon revealed a record 1 million+ Prime customer registrations in the third week of December last year, its biggest increase so far.
Prime services continue to be the same, which includes free two day shipping, access to 40,000 videos online, while also enabling members to borrow from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library that offers over half a million titles.