Update (3/13 8:30 am): Amazon is now boldly owning the increases with an announcement on its homepage (above).
Effective April 17th, Amazon Prime annual membership rates will increase for the first time ever. Regular accounts will jump from $79 to $99 and Student accounts will go from $39 to $49.
The announcement quietly trickled out as an email to some members and can be found tucked away in a Prime help document. Rumors of a potential rate increase have been swirling since Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak broached on the subject during an earnings call in January. If you’re a current member and up for renewal be sure to re-up before the rates increase on 4/17! New members can start a 30-day free trial within the next 7 days to secure the lower rate. (smart move). Prime members receive free 2-day shipping on millions of items offered by Amazon direct, and deeply discounted 1-day shipping options. Shipping savings alone (especially during the holidays) can justify the price of a Prime membership, but members can also enjoy unlimited streaming of 41,000 movies and TV shows, and over 350,000 Kindle books for free.