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On February 18th, Amazon already raised the price for new members to Prime who will now have to pay $139 to join (a price jump of $20 more than the past $119 annual membership). And if you are one of 200 million current Prime members and your annual Prime membership renews after March 19, you will also pay $139 per year if you renew your membership.
Save $40 on With Amazon Prime Annual Membership
However, since Amazon is also raising the price for its month-month membership which will increase by $2 per month to $14.99 per month, (up from the current $12.99 per month price), the new higher monthly rate works out to $179.88 per year. But you can save $40.88 if you sign up for an annual member and pay the new annual rate of $139 per year all at once.
Pay Zero for Prime and Still Get Amazon Free Shipping
While it is sad news for deal hunters that Amazon is raising the price of Prime again, at least there is some opportunity to save for dedicated Prime users. And for deal hunters that have more self-control and can save up their purchases until they qualify for the $25 Amazon Prime Shipping minimum, you can avoid the annual fee altogether, making your annual Prime cost zero.
As per the Amazon website: “Shipping is free if your order includes at least $25 of eligible items. Any item with ‘FREE Shipping’ on the product detail page that is fulfilled and shipped by Amazon is eligible and contributes to your free shipping order minimum.”
You also get unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping on eligible items with Amazon Prime, with no minimum spend.
To place an order with free shipping:
Add at least $25 of eligible items to your Shopping Cart.
Proceed to checkout.
Enter a U.S.-eligible delivery address. Note that some items shipped to Alaska or Hawaii may not be eligible for FREE shipping.
Select FREE Shipping.
New Costs and Prime Plan Rates After March 2022:
Amazon Users Will Stay Prime Members Even With a Price Hike
The past rumor of a 2022 price increase for Prime members came directly from a New York Times article that reported on the financial analysts tasked with following Amazon. According to these experts, 2022 will be the year customers in the United States see a new price for Prime with specifics of an exact date and new higher annual fee are currently unknown at the time. But, today we know the increase is confirmed and will start as soon as February 18 for people joining Prime for the first time.
Amazon Prime is one of the few services that doesn’t see membership numbers plummet when membership fees go up. In fact, the analysts mention that many Americans can’t see themselves without Prime regardless of its price tag. Even stranger is the notion that some people increase their use of Amazon as yearly fees increase, likely as a way to justify its higher cost.
There’s also the question of viable alternative services. Amazon has seen tremendous growth over the past decade, and few competitors can match the scale, availability and shipping speed offered by Prime. While Amazon has decided to go ahead with another bump up its pricing again for 2022, there are still comparable platforms that offer the same (or similar) perks such as Target and Walmart to name a few that can offer similar services for those looking to finally opt-out of Amazon due to the new higher rate.
Expert Deal Hunters Say $150 Is Max They’ll Pay for Prime
Amazon Prime has become an integral part of most consumers’ shopping habits, and minor price adjustments haven’t seemed to impact subscription numbers. However, it does seem that some folks have a tipping point.
A recent active discussion started on our own Slickdeals Twitter account where we asked “At what price would you cancel your Prime Membership?” The ask elicited almost 200 comments and it seems $150 for Prime is the magic number at which people will quit their Prime service for good.
Others in the chat mentioned they had already unsubscribed after the price increase of 2018, noting the service no longer provided enough value for them to justify its cost.
On the other end of the spectrum are the avid Prime users, who won’t cancel their subscription unless it topped $200/year. The convenience and speed of shopping with Amazon Prime are more than worth the annual subscription fee to these members. And if you’re JPMorgan (whose professional financial analysts calculated the value of all Prime services and tallied them up), people wouldn’t stop paying until the annual fee topped $785.
Amazon’s New Price Hike Starts on February 18, 2022 and You’ll Pay $139
Price increases are nothing new in the world of subscriptions, and Amazon itself has often found reason to hike its rates. Those reasons often tend to arrive every four years –and in 2022, according to analysts who follow and track Amazon’s business, there is not a single reason standout for the price hike, and higher costs from on everything from shipping and labor to construction are behind the Spring 2022 price hike for Prime.
Here’s a quick look back at most recent Amazon Prime price increases, how much and when they happened:
February 2022: Prime membership jumps another $20 to $139/year.
June 2018: Rates jumped another $20 to its current $119/year cost.
March 2014: Membership jumped $20 from $79/year to $99/year.
February 2005: Amazon Prime debuts and announced for $79/year.
Looking at all of these prices increases, this means joining Prime is now $60 more expensive that is debut at $79 in 2005.
Old Costs and Prime Plan Rates (Before March 2022):
Price increases in the past were accompanied by an announcement that rises in costs such as higher rates for shipping and fuel as the main culprit for the new fees. Amazon had also been adding new perks to Prime subscriptions including an enhanced selection of digital content when it launched Amazon Studios (in 2010) which justified their past increases as well.
You Get Way More Than Just Free Shipping and Great Streaming
It’s also worth calling out Amazon Prime now offers more than just free and fast 2-day shipping. Prime may have started as a simple e-commerce service, but today it offers these current services and access under Prime:
Free same-day shipping, when available
Free access to Prime Video catalog
Monthly perks for today’s hottest video games
Amazon Photos online storage
Prime Reading catalog
Exclusive deals at Whole Foods Market
Access to Prime Day savings
Early access to Lightning Deals
“Try Before You Buy” option that lets you try out items and only pay for what you keep
Free access to streaming music catalog
Alexa-enabled easy shopping and delivery notifications
This is not even every perk. To many, Amazon Prime isn’t just for shopping – it’s also a primary source of entertainment, allowing them to forgo other monthly fees such as Spotify or Netflix. When you factor in those perks, it’s easy to see why some members are willing to put up with any annual price changes.
Expect to Pay $139 in 2022 to Still Access All Amazon Prime Perks
Technically and legally, anyone can get free shipping from Amazon with a minimum purchase of $25. While it may take a little more time and effort to coordinate your purchases and wait until you have enough to make the $25 minimum, it will give you the benefits of free shipping without the $119 annual cost.
Walking away from Amazon Prime can also help people save by helping them avoid all those impulse purchases (of $24 or less) that can arrive as soon as just a few hours, the same or the next day (and without ever leaving home). While this means fewer dopamine hits from instant gratification (it’s Christmas all year) from placing and receiving an order so seamlessly, there could be the benefit of saving hundreds as a result.
However, with Amazon Studios currently acting as a true and successful studio in the original programming and movie industry, the success of the studio and the popularity of its offering could be another reason for Amazon to justify its next price hike –and keep people hooked.
If you have binged on any of these popular and acclaimed titles below (just a sampling of what came out of Amazon Studios), then any extra hike in prices is probably worth it to major media fans and cord-cutters:
Popular Shows from Amazon Studios
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The Wheel of Time
Considering we’re now four years out from the last price hike, it seems another one is just around the bend. And if past trends are anything to go by, we can expect to see an annual fee of $139 announced during spring.
How To See Exactly How Much You Spent on Amazon Last Year
Amazon Prime might seem like an incredible deal at $119/year, but are you really getting your money’s worth? And at what price would it stop being beneficial to your wallet? While the above perks make it a bit subjective, there’s an easy way to see how much you’re spending (and saving) with Amazon Prime every year.
While not the easiest to find on your dashboard, you can use the button and links below to navigate to a page that will allow you run (and export) a very detailed view of what you ordered, how much was each order value and what time and day you ordered.
How to run a report for everything you bought on Amazon:
Click on the button above or this link.
Log in to your account on Amazon.
Select the time frame you want to see.
Name your report.
Select “Request Report”
You can also download and export your report to a spreadsheet to analyze your spending in detail.
This process will download a spreadsheet with all your purchases for the selected timeframe. While this will give you an exact number for how much you’re spending, determining how much you’re saving in shipping with Amazon Prime is a bit more nebulous.
How to see if you’re actually saving on shipping costs:
To do this, you’ll need to find all orders under $25.00, as even non-Prime members can qualify for free shipping on most purchases over this threshold. Next, you’ll need to multiple this number by the approximate cost of shipping.
Costs of shipping can vary wildly from product to product, with the average cost when ordering from third-party sellers being higher on average than Prime-eligible items. Prime eligible products are closer to $5 in shipping for non-members. So, if you’ve placed 10 Prime-eligible orders under $25.00 within the past year, you’ve may have saved around $50 in shipping fees.
Now subtract the yearly Prime fee ($119, using the current rate), and your cost to have a Prime membership that gives you access to all Amazon perks outside of free shipping comes out to $69 per year (an average of $5.75 per month).
It’s not a perfect methodology, but Amazon doesn’t give you an easy way to track shipping fees on your orders. If you’re looking for a more accurate number, consider tracking all your would-be shipping fees throughout 2022. If that number ends up larger than your yearly fee, then Prime is a solid investment.
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