It’s something to think about at a time when almost anything goes.
- Amazon has substantially increased the cost of a Prime membership in 2022.
- That doesn’t mean members won’t see another increase come down.
- Evaluate your use of Prime to decide if the cost is worth it to you.
Many people rely on Amazon Prime for everything from gifts to school supplies to household essentials. But a Prime membership, while valuable in its own right, doesn’t come cheap these days.
In 2022, Amazon increased the cost of an annual Prime membership from $119 to $139. And that blow was enough for some members to jump ship.
If you stick with Amazon during their most recent rate hike, you may have the most you’re willing to pay for a Prime membership. But how soon will you face another rate hike again? Will Amazon look to raise its prices in 2023?
A possibility to prepare
Many retailers have seen their margins tighten as a result of inflation. And there’s no reason to think Amazon is an exception. So it’s conceivable that the online retail giant might try to raise the cost of a Prime membership despite having recently gone that same route.
That said, a rate hike two years in a row likely won’t sit well with Prime members. And Amazon is well aware that its Prime program isn’t the only service consumers can sign up for that includes perks like free shipping.
Walmart+, for example, offers the same benefit and a lower price than a current Prime membership. So it’s in Amazon’s best interest to try to retain Prime members, rather than drive them away with rate hikes.
Expect the cost of Prime to increase eventually
Amazon may not raise the cost of a Prime membership in 2023 because it did in 2022. But that doesn’t mean the cost of Prime won’t go up at some point. If it doesn’t happen this year, for example, it could increase in 2024. That’s why it’s a good idea to continually evaluate your Prime membership and make sure you’re really getting great value out of it.
If you use Amazon Prime several times a week to order discounted products, it’s probably worth keeping a Prime membership even if it costs you $10, $15, or $20 more than it does today. But if you only order Prime occasionally, it might not be worth keeping your membership, especially if it becomes a more expensive prospect.
In fact, you shouldn’t wait for an Amazon Prime rate hike to evaluate your membership. Instead, ask yourself every few months if paying for Prime is worth it. If not, cancel and use that money for something else, whether it’s paying for groceries or topping up your savings account.
There are many benefits that Amazon Prime members can enjoy, from the option to try on clothes at no cost to a lot of digital content. But if you find that you have no use for them, then there is no point in spending money on something that only gives you mediocre value.
Amazon could keep the cost of an annual Prime membership at $139 for quite some time. But that doesn’t automatically make it a good deal for you.
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