When Amazon released its earnings results this past January, company CFO Tom Szkuatak alluded to the fact that Amazon may very well have to increase the cost of its popular Amazon Prime service to offset increased costs.
Today, that became a reality with Amazon announcing an increaes in the annual cost of its Prime service from $79 per year to $99 per year. An Amazon Prime membership lets users enjoy free two-day shipping on millions of items, stream videos from Amazon's video on-demand service, and last but not least, freely borrow select Kindle titles. On a monthly basis, that's just an increase of $1.66, but it'll be interesting to see if the $99 pricetag still serves as an attractive pricepoint for new users.
As for current Prime members, they should expect an email from Amazon with information regarding their specific renewal dates. The change goes into effect for members scheduled to renew their membership after April 17.
As to the specifics behind the price increase, Amazon pointed to increase fuel and shipping costs. Also keep in mind that the price of Amazon Prime has remained the same for the last nine years. In other words, you might want to look at the price increase as Amazon just keeping up with good-ole' inflation rather than them trying to extract even more money from users for no reason.