Amazon Hikes Prime's Annual Subscription Fee 20%
Amazon is raising the price of its Prime program’s annual membership by $20 starting next month, the ecommerce giant announced on its most recent earnings call.
The price of an annual subscription to Prime will become $119, compared to the current $99, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said in a call yesterday to discuss the Seattle-based ecommerce giant’s quarter-one earnings for fiscal 2018. It will be effective for new members starting May 11, and apply to renewals starting June 16.
The price hike is due to continued rises in costs, though he suggested that the value of the plan’s growing number of amenities offsets the rising subscription fee.
“We continue to increase the value of Prime, including speed selection and digital entertainment options,” Olsavsky told call attendees. “We've been expanding free same-day shipping and one-day options. And our two-day shipping: It's now available on over 100 million items, up from 20 million as recently as 2014. And we continue to add digital benefits like Prime Video.”
Olsavsky reminded the audience that until now, Amazon has not hiked Prime’s annual membership fee since 2014, when it rose from $79 to $99. The most recent update to Amazon’s monthly Prime subscription fee was $2 at the beginning of this year – from $10.99 to $12.99 per month, nearly a 20 percent increase.
Amazon is further integrating its Prime program into its grocery operations and plans. When it closed its acquisition of Whole Foods Market, the ecommerce giant said it would bring both new pricing initiatives and Prime membership to the Austin, Texas-based natural grocer's operations. Other grocery-focused offerings exclusively for Prime members include:
- The addition of Amazon lockers to Whole Foods stores, which reportedly have driven short visits
- Whole Foods’ private label products for delivery through Prime delivery services
- Free grocery delivery via Whole Foods stores in select markets
- Deeper price cuts on certain bestsellers and staples
- A potential Prime-based rewards program, suggested when Whole Foods' previous rewards program was recently retired
Beyond grocery-focused amenities, Prime members also enjoy:
- Unlimited, free two-day shipping on all orders (more than 100 million items to choose from)
- Unlimited, free same- and one-day delivery for orders of $35 or more (more than 1 million items to choose from)
- Unlimited, free two-hour delivery in select markets (Tens of thousands of items to choose from)
- Unlimited streaming and download of thousands of movies and TV shows, millions of songs and more, including exclusive content
- Access to Prime-exclusive brands and deals, including private label groceries
- Unlimited, free photo storage
- Unlimited access to 1,000-plus books
- Six months of free access to content on The Washington Post’s website
- Voice shopping via Alexa-enabled devices