Amazon Raises Prime Pricing To $99 A Year, Is It Worth It?

Spoiler alert: Yes, Amazon Prime is still totally worth it for $99 a year, if you actually take advantage of what the service offers. The company announced today that it’s jacking up the annual cost of Amazon Prime from $79 to $99 (and up to $49 for students).

Amazon cites rising fuel and transportation costs as the need to bump up the price, and noted that Amazon Prime has been $79 for the last nine years.

Just to recap, an Amazon Prime membership affords you free two-day shipping on pretty much everything in the world, access to the whole large (and growing) catalog of movies and TV shows in the Prime Video library, and a multitude of free Kindle titles.

Amazon Prime

If you don’t order very many items, don’t read very much, and rely on Netflix, Hulu, pay TV, et al for your entertainment, then $99 a year probably isn’t worth it. However, if you for example send out birthday and holiday gifts to even a relatively small number of people each year and purchase a handful of items for yourself, you’ve pretty much paid for your Prime subscription.

Or, looked at another way, a Netflix streaming subscription is $7.99 per month, or $95.88 per year. In that light, it’s clear that Prime is priced accordingly, even if you’re only paying for Prime Video.

We’ve all gotten used to the idea that everything should be free--Google, Facebook, Twitter, music (via the like of Pandora and Spotify), and more don’t cost a penny--but there are costs associated with everything. Paying an extra 20 bucks a year for a three-headed beast of great value probably isn’t something we need to complain about.