The cost of joining Amazon Prime is rising. Before signing up, consider if you'll take advantage of the services it offers
Amazon announced today that it will raise the annual price of its Prime membership from $99 to $119. The new price takes effect on May 11 for new members and on June 16 for those renewing. The company says it will send an email to existing members with renewal details in May.
Amazon made the announcement during its earnings call, explaining that the new price is justified and pointing out that the last increase in its membership fee was in 2014. Recently, the company has expanded Prime Free Same-Day and Prime Free One-Day delivery to more than 8,000 cities and towns and plans to keep expanding. It has also increased the number of items eligible for free two-day shipping in recent years from 20 million to more than 100 million items.
Brian Olsavsky, the company's chief financial officer, said that the cost of Prime is high for the company, especially with the shipping options and digital benefits that it offers. The price hike comes a few months after Amazon increased the monthly membership cost by 18 percent, from $10.99 per month to $12.99 per month.
Earlier in the week, Amazon announced a new service—packages can get delivered to customers' cars—as long as they have a Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, or Volvo made in 2015 or later. The cars also need to have an active OnStar or Volvo On Call account.
The new service is available to Prime customers in 37 cities and was created to help prevent package theft.