Amazon Prime will now cost you a bit more

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Last week, all Amazon Prime members were notified that the price of their membership is going up. The cost had been $79 a year, but when their membership renews they will be charged $99. This is a $20/year increase. (But in all fairness, this is the first raise in price in 9 years.)

$99 a year translates to $8.25 a month. Your $8.25 a month gets you: 1) free shipping for prime-eligible merchandise 2) a large library of videos to stream to your devices, and 3) a library of ebooks to borrow for free and read on your Kindle.

I’ve been a member of Amazon’s Prime for several years, now. And with the raise in price? I’m staying.

My experience has been generally good. When I first started using Prime, the free shipping was the major draw for me. It was delightful not to have to “save up” my purchases to top the $25 total to qualify for free shipping. Suddenly I could order anything, have it appear at my door in days, and I never had to consider postage costs. However, I have noticed that over time many smaller items have been moved to a new category of “add ons”. This has been a disappointment and I hope this is not a trend that continues. But all in all, the free shipping is still very important to me. When buying a product I always sort through the choices to view only the prime-elible options.

The video streaming is delightful. The library is large, and there is a wide variety of content. While (in my opinion) Netflix is still better, Amazon Prime is getting better all the time.

The Kindle library is the third perk of Amazon Prime. This (to me) is the weakest prong of the three benefits of prime membership. While I have borrowed several books from the Kindle library (and it was VERY easy to do), I haven’t found many of the books that are on my to-read list. That said, the library boasts 500,000 titles, so it certainly isn’t the size that’s my complaint. Just not a lot of current best-seller types. I don’t mean to sound too negative, however. The last book that I read was from this library and it was excellent. I guess I’m saying that it can’t be your ONLY source of books.

So, in spite of the rate rise, I’m staying.

FYI: Amazon Student will raise from $39 to $49 a year.

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17 thoughts on “Amazon Prime will now cost you a bit more

  1. Al says:

    How does the “borrow a book” work? Do you only have it available for a certain length of time, or is it once you delete it, you can’t get it back. I haven’t deleted any of the books from my kindle.

    I am on free prime at the moment and considering paying the yearly fee as it is worth it. Here in the UK, it is free next day delivery. I think ours has gone up from £59 to £79 which is still worth it considering what I buy from Amazon.,

    • “Borrow a Book” is really simple. You do it directly from your Kindle (you can only borrow books on Kindle devices, not apps). Not all books are borrow-able, but if a book is in the library, you will see a button to select to allow you to borrow the book. It magically appears on your Kindle just as the bought books do. You can borrow ONE book per month. However … there is no ‘due date’. It can stay on your Kindle as long as you wish. Keep it for 3 months for example. However, you must return it before you can borrow another. I recently read “The Scavenger’s Daughters”, borrowed on my Kindle. I downloaded it to THREE of my Kindles (all on the same account) ….. my own, my husband’s and my mother’s. (I wasn’t sure if it would be limited to only one Kindle, but it was not. A good thing.) I do not know if this works the same way in the UK, but it probably is similar. And I agree with you … if you are a prolific Amazon buyer, it makes a lot of sense to take advantage of the free postage.

      Interesting that you don’t delete books from your Kindle. I only keep the books I am reading, or refer to, or “am going to read” on my Kindle. Once I am done with a book, I put it back in the cloud. It’s nice to have the options! You can keep your borrowed book on your Kindle as long as you would like. But if you want to borrow another, you’ll have to return it (but you’ll have to wait a month.) 🙂

      • Al says:

        Thank you for that information 🙂 I should remove my finished books to clear space as I have something like 15 pages now. I am a hoarder though. I recently traded in my XBOX 360 for a XBOX One and I had over £450 ($750) in games alone. Some of which had never been played and others which had been completed years ago. Admittedly, it meant that I could get £750 (£1240) worth of XBOX One things for £8.01 ($13.23)

        I have been told of a book that I want to read, so I will see if I can borrow it 🙂

        • Just remember….. even though you clear the books from your Kindle, they are still in your cloud, and you can put them back on your Kindle whenever you want. I’m a hoarder too….. I just keep them in my cloud instead of the device or I’d confuse myself (more than I already am! 🙂 )

  2. I’ve been considering Amazon Prime several times now and always decided against it. The free two-day shipping is a “nice to have” but it really doesn’t matter to me. In over 90% of my orders I qualify for free shipping anyway when I’m okay with the 5-7 days shipping. Being thrifty I don’t have a problem to wait a few more days and let items I want to buy accumulate (if it’s not an item that qualify per se for free shipping). We are using Netflix and HBO Go and this combination gives us better choices than Amazon, especially since Amazon is not supported by Chromecast (or vice versa). The biggest negative for me is the book borrowing. With reading an average of 10 books or more a month, ONE book per month really doesn’t cut it. I rather buy one book of my choice, but most of the time I stick to the free Kindle books. When I started doing this over three years ago, I was really surprised what good books you can get for free.

    • Absolutely Amazon Prime is not for everyone, and I agree that Netflix (even without HBO) is more than wonderful enough! And the library, while an “ok” perk, is certainly not a reason to join. And you are SO right…. it is AMAZING how many books you can get for free! (or really really cheap). 🙂

  3. I am an Amazon Prime gal and it has been wonderful to have! Like you, I don’t even mind that it is going up $20 because I think it is such a bargain. I buy only Prime, I borrow library books to my Kindle and I enjoy watching free movies and tv shows. I love to send a gift that arrives in 2 days as well! I can’t say enough about the investment. I do shop around, but when Christmas comes, I go to Amazon for most of my gift giving and I never have to think about shipping because it’s already paid for which I adore! Thanks for your great blog!

    • When Christmas was over, I thought back through my purchases and realized that I had done almost everything online. I really have shifted my habits. And you make a great point…. it’s wonderful for sending gifts, too! And with family scattered all around the country, the free shipping is a great deal. (“Enjoying Prime” = Another thing we have in common!! 🙂 )

  4. I think their digital streaming film library sucks big time in comparison to Netflix. After you go though the 10 or so decent titles they have it’s all TV movies from the 80s and Korean crap that is basically unwatchable. I did pay to watch The Great Beauty for 4 bucks, which was worth it no question, and I even reviewed it on my blog. But overall, Hollywood will not stream on a bundled basis, and the constant upselling by Amazon gets really tiresome and annoying: ie, you have to pay for most of the stuff you want to see anyway, on top of the 79 dollars, now 99. thumbs I am a former professional film reviewer.

    • I admit most of my streaming-viewing is through Netflix, not Amazon. However, recently we have been watching a series that is only available on Amazon, and not on Netflix, so that has drawn me to their streaming service (The Americans). I must not be very picky, because I have not paid to watch anything (yet). Another problem I have with Amazon is buffering. It doesn’t happen to me with Netflix, but it happens in the middle of every single episode we watch on Amazon. Don’t know if that’s me or them. Time will tell if Amazon can develop a really good library. Good to hear from you!! 🙂

  5. I always look to Amazon first before shopping around for almost everything, therefore Prime membership and the $20 extra dollars will be absorbed. Between Amazon and, I haven’t had to carry paper towels, toilet paper, Kleenex, multiple cleaning supplies, and on and on into the house for a very long time. My first love is always shopping for books, but the amazing part is how much I save shopping on line for everything else and never have to leave home.

    • My shopping habits have also changed. I do most of my shopping on Amazon. I am constantly amazed at how much time and effort this saves. Like you, I’ll absorb the $20 and keep on ordering! 🙂

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