Amazon raises the price of prime

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 Amazon on Thursday, March 13, 2014 said it is raising the price of its popular Prime membership to $99 per year, an increase of $20. (AP Photo)
Amazon, on Thursday, March 13, 2014, said it is raising the price of its popular Prime membership to $99 per year, an increase of $20. (AP Photo)

Amazon announced Thursday that the price of Prime membership would increase from $79 to $99.

According to CNN Money, the announced price is $20 less than anticipated, as Amazon announced in February it was considering raising the price to $119. The student membership cost will be $49.

The company said the increased price was due to higher fuel and shipping costs. Amazon also pointed out to CNN Money that the price of Prime hasn’t changed since it started nine years ago.

This makes the monthly cost for Amazon Prime $8.25, which is barely more than Netflix’s cost of $7.99.

Prime is more than just a two-day shipping program. Bloomberg Businessweek talks about how it is a loyalty program that provides members with digital book rental, free shipping on a variety of merchandise and instant streaming. According to Business Insider, reports also say Prime members might soon have access to a Spotify-like music streaming service.

The change was announced quietly on Amazon’s home page. Forbes mentioned that Amazon also emailed Prime customers informing them of when their subscriptions lapse. The new price won’t effect some until next year, depending on when they renewed their subscription.

Businessweek talked to Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, who said Amazon has always worked hard to keep prices low. The new increased price won’t go into effect until next week, so newcomers can still sign up for the $79 price until then.

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