Free two-day shipping for Prime members is getting a little more costly. Today, Amazon announced it has raised the monthly price of Prime almost 20 percent, from $10.99 per month to $12.99. The increase already appears on Amazon's "Manage Your Prime Membership" page.
For those who have previously debated a monthly versus an annual Prime membership, the monthly price hikes make the annual option much more appealing: It will remain, for now at least, at $99. If you were to pay for the service on a month-by-month basis under the new pricing, it would ring in at almost $156 a year. The last time Amazon upped its annual membership fee was in 2014, when the price tag went from $79 to $99.
Today's increase isn't an entirely unexpected move on the e-commerce giant's part. While Amazon hasn't revealed how many Prime members it has, 2017 analyst estimates suggested the service has between 65 and 80 million subscribers. In a statement about the price change, the company attributed it to the increasing number of products eligible for free two-day shipping and the expansion of free same-day and on-day delivery to more cities. Simply put, if Amazon is going to accommodate the number of people taking advantage of these extra services, it's going to come at a price to those using it.
Although two-day shipping was the Prime component that made the service so appealing and unique when it launched in February 2005, added perks — including unlimited Prime video streaming and Amazon Music — have helped to program stay competitive. Netflix, one of Amazon's biggest streaming challengers, also increased its price in recent months.