Amazon Prime Price Increases For Monthly Subscribers

The Amazon Prime price for monthly subscribers is going up. The company announced on Friday that it’s bumping up the price for those who pay for it on a month-by-month basis by 18% from $10.99 to $12.99. The online retailer isn’t even giving subscribers any warning because the price increase goes into effect immediately.

Amazon Prime price

Amazon Prime price increased for some plans

The Amazon Prime price for students who pay on a monthly basis is also increasing, from $5.49 to $6.49 per month. However, subscribers who pay for Prime annually will continue to pay $99 per year. It’s been about four years since the last Amazon Prime price increase, when the company increased the annual price from $79 to $99.

Amazon originally set up its Prime subscription service on an annual plan. In 2016, the company started offering a monthly plan to attract those who wanted free two-day shipping but didn’t want to pay for a full year of the service at one time. At $11 per month, the monthly price amounted to $132 per year, but with the price increase, the price of the monthly plan grows significantly to $156—making it $57 more expensive than the annual plan.

The company released a statement on the Amazon Prime price increase and danced around the subject of a reason for the increase. Amazon simply said that its Prime service “provides an unparalleled combination of shipping, shopping and entertainment benefits, and we continue to invest in making Prime even more valuable for our members.” The online retailer also said that the number of items that are eligible for free Prime shipping has risen from 20 million to surpass 100 million items. It has also expanded the service to over 8,000 cities and towns.

So why is Amazon raising the price of Prime?

It seems like the Amazon Prime price increase may be aimed at getting more subscribers to switch to the annual plan from the monthly plan. The annual and monthly Prime plans include access to the online retailer’s Prime Video streaming service, making it seem like a better deal to subscribe annually than monthly–if you’re planning to keep it all year long. Netflix has raised the price of its streaming service multiple times in recent years, and Amazon could be angling to attract Netflix subscribers because it offers free shipping on top of the streaming service that’s included in its annual plan.

The company is leaving the $8.99 monthly fee for its standalone streaming service the same.