Amazon announced this morning that its Amazon Prime membership cost will be raised by $20 to $99 per year, up from $79 per year previously. For those who want to jump on the Amazon Prime wagon before the price increases, you have a week to sign up before you’ll have to pay $99 per year.
If you’re a college student, you can sign up for Amazon Prime Student for half of what a regular membership costs, but you’ll only get the free two-day shipping option.
Amazon Prime offers free two-day shipping for customers and one-day shipping for just a few dollars, depending on what you’re ordering. Prime also comes with access to Amazon’s library of movies and TV shows that you can stream to your computer or mobile device, as well as access to the Kindle lending library where you can rent ebooks for free.
Amazon was rumored earlier this year to be possibly raising the price of Prime by as much as $40 per year, but luckily it’s only $20. For current Prime members, the price hike will go into effect on April 17, so if your membership renews on that date or later, you’ll be charged $99 per year, but if your membership renews before that date, you’ll still be charged $79 per year until it needs renewed again.
The big question is whether or not Amazon Prime is still worth it. Many folks will most likely scold at the price hike, but not so fast. $99 per year comes down to $8.25 per month, which is about the same price has Netflix. That alone would be about the cost for Amazon’s Prime Instant Video streaming service. Slap on free two-day shipping and Kindle’s lending library and you have yourself quite a deal.
Even if you only use Amazon Prime for the shipping benefits, it still comes out to a good deal, especially when you use Amazon religiously to buy everything. Two-day shipping costs for other retailers can be at least $10 (give or take). After only 10 shipments, you’ve already paid for the cost of Amazon Prime. Not a bad deal, really.
Amazon is also rumored to be coming out with its own music streaming service. Whether or not this is true is up in the air, but it would most likely be included with an Amazon Prime membership, giving folks another reason to opt for the yearly membership.