Amazon is increasing the price of Prime to $139 per year

The reason? "Short-term challenges" and "the continued expansion of Prime member benefits."

Amazon has announced its first price increase for Prime in four years. In an effort to combat rising costs throughout the corporation’s various sectors of business, Prime members will experience a price increase to $139 per year, up $20 from $119 a year. The previous rate went into effect back in 2018 in response to similar cost-related issues, and today’s $139/year price tag is $60 more than the $79/year Prime launched at back in 2005.

Yesterday, Amazon reported its quarterly earnings for Q4 2021 which revealed a $3.4 billion loss in revenue year-over-year, dropping from $6.9 billion to $3.5 billion. “As expected over the holidays, we saw higher costs driven by labor supply shortages and inflationary pressures,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon, “and these issues persisted into the first quarter due to Omicron. Despite these short-term challenges, we continue to feel optimistic and excited about the business as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Although Amazon sees the issues it’s currently facing as “short-term challenges,” it doesn’t seem like the Prime price hike will be temporary at all. Along with current economic issues, Amazon justifies the increase in price with “the continued expansion of Prime member benefits,” which includes things like free same-day delivery in over 90 metropolitan areas, prescriptions, more exclusive content on Prime Video, and premium Twitch experiences.

For those who pay monthly, Amazon says the price will go up from $12.99 to $14.99. Currently, there’s no word on whether those with EBT benefits who take advantage of Amazon’s discounted Prime rate plan will see a price increase. The company says new subscribers will see the price change beginning February 18, while current Prime members will feel the effects beginning March 25th.