Due to higher operating costs, Amazon Prime will now cost $139 a year in the United States. It’s a major leap from the $119 yearly fee that Amazon instated four years ago, and frankly, it makes us wonder if Prime is even worth the money.
New members will begin to see the new price on February 18th, while existing subscribers won’t have to face the music until March 25th. If you’re a monthly subscriber, Amazon will now charge you $15 a month instead of $13. (In other words, monthly subscribers will end up paying $180 for Prime after twelve months. That’s a steep upcharge!)
Amazon announced the Prime price hike during its fourth quarter earnings call, where it reported a 30% decrease in operating cash flow. Additionally, the company’s operating income slumped to $3.5 billion, nearly half of the $6.9 billion figure it reported this time last year.
But funny enough, Amazon’s net sales increased 22% throughout 2021. It also pulled an extra $33.4 billion in net income. The company isn’t in financial trouble, but says a Prime price hike is necessary due to new benefits for Amazon Prime customers and increased shipping costs.
These excuses feel silly, especially since the average Prime user is only in it for free shipping and Prime Video. Speaking of free shipping, did you know that Amazon deliveries are free when you spend $25 or more? Or that recurring Subscribe and Save orders come with free shipping?
Huh, maybe Prime isn’t worth $140 a year. Or maybe it’s time for Amazon to offer Prime services à la carte. That way, customers can choose the benefits they want and avoid whatever benefits Amazon thinks are worth so much money.