Millions of Prime members will be in for a shock next month as Amazon confirmed plans to hike fees by a whopping 17 percent. The increase is hitting new and existing users across the United States, where the Prime membership scheme first launched, and will see monthly prices rise from $12.99 to $14.99 per month, while annual subscriptions jump from $119 to $139.
The increase will impact new users later this month, while those who already hold Prime subscription are set to hit from March 25 onwards. It’s a pretty hefty increase for those across the pond, but what does it mean for Prime members in the UK?
Right now, Amazon says it has nothing to announce about other countries “at this time” …but that doesn’t mean a hike to Prime membership isn’t coming to countries across the globe.
If Amazon UK decided to crank-up prices by the same amount as those in the USA (a 17 percent rise) customers in the UK would see their monthly fees going up from £7.99 to roughly £9.35 a month, while yearly subscriptions would rocket to over £92. Ouch.
In the United States, the retailer hasn’t added any new benefits to its membership scheme to compensate for the rising costs. However, Amazon is on a spending spree at the moment to shore-up its Prime Video streaming service against rivals like Disney+ and Netflix.
Later this year, Prime Video will launch the most expensive television series ever conceived – a new adaptation of the Lord Of The Rings, which will take place thousands of years before the events of the trilogy of films. For the first of five planned seasons, Amazon has splashed a staggering $465 million. For comparison, Peter Jackson spent a total of $280 million to produce the three films in the Academy Award-winning Lord of the Rings film series.
There’s no official word on when – or if – Amazon will start increasing its Prime membership prices in countries outside of the United States, one delivery firm is pretty confident that a price hike is on its way. ParcelHero, which offers an easy way to send packages via a number of the UK’s courier companies, believes a rise could be coming soon.
“Although not imminent, we’d be surprised if Amazon didn’t follow suit here in the UK, given the current increase in fuel and energy costs,” said David Jinks M.I.L.T ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research.
“A similar 17% rise in its UK membership fee would take it from £79 to £92. That’s quite a jump, but probably not enough to result in mass cancellations.”
Aside from multi-million television boxsets, Prime members also benefit from next-day delivery on thousands of items sold by Amazon (and one-day delivery in some areas), unlimited photo and video backup to the cloud, free music streaming from a limited catalogue via Amazon Music, and more. Subscribers can pay in monthly instalments or annually.
We’ll have to wait and see if the firm does announce any changes in the UK but, if your current deal has ended or you are paying per month it could be worth taking out a year of Prime now before any hikes are enforced.
Right now you can get this free delivery and streaming service for £79 a year and, once paid, Amazon won’t ask for any more money even if they do decide to raise UK prices this year.
Confirming the price hike, Amazon said in a message posted online: “Amazon will increase the price of a Prime membership in the U.S., with the monthly fee going from $12.99 to $14.99, and the annual membership from $119 to $139.
“This is the first time Amazon has raised the price of Prime since 2018. For new Prime members, the price change will go into effect on February 18, 2022, and for current Prime members, the new price will apply after March 25, 2022, on the date of their next renewal.”