Amazon is to raise the price of a Prime subscription for the first time since 2018. In the US the monthly fee will increase from $12.99 to $14.99 and the annual fee from $119 to $139. Amazon hasn’t yet confirmed a price rise for the UK.
It justified the price rise by saying it was the first rise in four years and that it continues to invest heavily in the service which has seen in the US, the availability of free same-day delivery expand from 48 metropolitan areas to more than 90 since 2018, as well as the number of items available for Prime free shipping increasing more 50%.
With the continued expansion of Prime member benefits as well as the rise in wages and transportation costs, it said fees had to go up.
For new Prime members, the price change will come into effect on February 18, 2022, and for current Prime members, the new price will apply after March 25, 2022, on the date of their next renewal.
During 2021, Prime members in the US received more than 6 billion free deliveries, and over 200 million Prime members worldwide streamed shows and movies.
Amazon says that it continues to invest in same-day delivery options, including Free Same-Day Delivery, where Prime members can receive their order the same day they ordered it, and Faster Same-Day Delivery, where Prime members can receive their order in as fast as five hours.
Free Same-Day Delivery is now available in more than 90 metro areas in the US with the addition of Fort Collins, Colorado, and Provo, Utah; in 58 metro areas in Europe; and in Tokyo, Japan. Faster Same-Day Delivery is now available in 24 metro areas in the US, with new launches in the past quarter in Austin, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and San Diego.
In the UK Amazon offers same-day delivery on goods ordered before noon in select residential postcodes throughout Greater London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and more, with goods delivered between 6pm and 10pm.
Amazon also revealed that it has now delivered more than 20 million meals to vulnerable families disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 in more than 25 US cities as well as communities in Australia, Japan, Singapore, Spain, and the UK. Since March 2020, Amazon has volunteered its delivery network to support food banks and community organisations by delivering groceries and pre-packaged meals to hard-hit areas.