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The price of Amazon Prime is increasing $20 to $139 a year: How to figure out if it's worth the extra cost

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Key Points
  • Starting February 18, an Amazon Prime annual membership will cost $139 a year. That's a $20 increase.
  • Prime customers on a monthly membership plan will see prices increase by $2 to $14.99.
  • "There seems to be a pattern: It's an increase of $20 every three years," says Josh Lowitz, a partner and co-founder of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

The cost of Amazon Prime is set to rise in just a few days. The online retail giant is increasing its Prime delivery and media service to $139 a year from $119 a year. Customers who pay for Prime monthly will see their membership price increase by $2 to $14.99 a month, which equates to $180 annually, Amazon announced Thursday, February 3.

The price hike will take effect February 18 for new Amazon Prime accounts. For existing accounts, the price increase will kick in on the first renewal payment after March 25.

If the price increase is making you rethink your Prime subscription, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to figure out whether or not the annual fee is worth it, says Kristin McGrath, shopping expert and editor at RetailMeNot.

"It's hard to put a price tag on convenience," McGrath says. "At the end of the day it's $2 more a month, or $20 a year, but I think it's always worth looking at your subscriptions and seeing if you're getting the full benefit out of them."

Here's how to figure out if paying for Prime is still worth it.

Review past Amazon orders to figure out if you'll still save money

McGrath suggests reviewing your Amazon orders over the past year and asking yourself, "How much did I order on Amazon over the past year? How much did I rely on that fast shipping?"

"If you take into account that you'd normally pay $5.99 for Amazon shipping otherwise, how many times were you saved that shipping fee, and is it more than $20 a year or $2 a month?" she asks.

It's worth looking at whether or not you're paying more for items just to get them quickly, she says. "Chances are if you walk into your local big box store, you're going to pay less for the item," than you would ordering on Amazon.

At the end of the day, "you really are paying for convenience," McGrath says.

What an Amazon Prime membership includes

An Amazon Prime membership includes free two-hour grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh, as well as the ability to shop online at Whole Foods for a delivery fee of $9.95.

Members have access to free movies, TV shows, and workouts on Prime Video, as well as free music with Amazon Music Prime.

There's free eBook access with Prime reading, too.

Why Amazon is raising prices

Last time Amazon raised their prices was in 2018. "There seems to be a pattern: It's an increase of $20 every three years," says Josh Lowitz, a partner and co-founder of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

When Amazon announced the price hike, the company cited the "continued expansion of Prime-member benefits," as well as higher costs for wages and transportation. One of the ways Amazon says it's expanding its Prime benefits is by adding more original content to Prime Video, McGrath says.

"What Amazon does is pretty complex, if you think about what they're doing and how fast they're getting things to people. Labor has certainly gotten more expensive, so this increase is not a surprise," she says.

If you're taking advantage of fast shipping and free grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh, "then I think it's not that hard to justify that extra charge," McGrath says.

"But you know, if you've expanded and are now ordering off of Walmart and Target, and are getting free shipping from them or using their in-store pick-up, and you're not relying on Amazon as much, maybe it's time to reconsider."

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