Your annual Prime membership just became a lot more valuable

Your annual Prime membership just became a lot more valuable

The pessimist says, “The glass is half empty.” The optimist says, “I have a glass? Cool!” 😉

I know, I know…my headline is one of the very few positive things you’ll see about Amazon raising the month to month

Amazon Prime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

price from $10.99 to $12.99 in the USA. If you pay that way for 12 months, it goes from $131.88 to $155.88, an annual increase of $24.

However, they are not raising the annual subscription cost. That stays at $99…meaning that you are now saving $24 more per year.

Interestingly, you can gift three months of Prime for $39…which is actually more expensive than buying it month by month for three months, which would be $38.97.

The discounted student price also goes up a dollar a month (half as much, but about the same percentage) from $5.49 to $6.49.

The month to month Prime video cost, $8.99, is not going up.

The monthly Prime option has only been around for a couple of years, but sure, this will affect some people.

I do want to make sure to say that this

Recode article by Jason Del Rey

is being credited for first noticing it.

My guess on what this means?

I think more people will switch to annual memberships than drop Prime completely, which would make it a net positive for Amazon. No question, they’ll lose some, but the “stickiness” improvement of annual memberships will be worth it.

I don’t think it suggests any systemic problem with Prime, or a likely increase in the annual fee in the near future.

Perhaps they found that people with month to month plans don’t change their buying habits as much in comparison to non-members (and annual plans) as they anticipated.

If I was Amazon, I’d consider “surge” pricing for month to month. In December, you could probably charge $25. In October, discount it under $10…it’s a big advantage to a company like Amazon if people buy holiday gifts early.

Big purchase (and video watching) months, charge more. Slow months, charge less.

At the same time, keep the annual fee to $99, even though some expenses are likely to go up.

I don’t like the student price going up, just sort of philosophically, but it looks like the discount for those on government assistance is staying the same.

What about you? What do you think? Does this affect your perception of Prime? Why do you think Amazon did it, and how do you think it will affect them? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Oh, and my guess is that more of my readers are annual subscribers, but I don’t want to make that assumption with no data, so here’s a poll:

Interesting! When I was creating options for the poll, I looked for what used to be called “Amazon Mom”, but that doesn’t appear to exist any more. There is “Amazon Family”, which gives you extra discounts on things like diaper, but it didn’t look like a lower monthly or annual payment.


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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

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