On Friday, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN)announced plans to increase the Amazon Prime monthly fee from $10.99 to $12.99 in the U.S., which marks a whopping $156 for an entire year. Students who are also using this service will experience an 18% increase from $5.49 to $6.49. About 2 years ago, the e-commerce giant introduced this monthly payment option to target new Prime members who couldn’t afford the annual membership of $99 or didn’t want to commit continuously use the service. Lower-income shoppers particularly in the $50,000 or less annually range were driven by the low cost of Prime.
Prime members spent more on Amazon than those that were not members, spending more and driving more sales to the commerce giant. Many benefits such as reduced shipping costs, variety of products, and entertainment platforms are offered as the company continues to invest more time in making the Prime service even more valuable. The number of products eligible for unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping has risen in recent years from 20 million to more than 100 million items. Other services such as Prime Free Same-Day and Prime Free One-Day delivery has expanded to more than 8,000 cities and towns. Members can also enjoy “Prime Originals” with offered benefits such as Prime Music, Prime Reading, and other exclusive products.