Amazon Prime monthly subscription increasing to $12.99

Amazon unveiled the hike Friday, raising the price by 18 percent from $10.99 to $12.99 a month.

The special monthly student price for Amazon Prime is also going up from $5.49 to $6.49. That means that if you stick with the service for a year at the montly rate, you will pay $24 more than before, for a total price of about $156.

The online retailer says its annual membership fee of $99 will not change.

Amazon said the price increase does not affect the annual membership option, which will remain at $99. Amazon has been investing heavily in Prime, bringing it to new markets and creating additional benefits and original content. Amazon said current monthly Prime and Prime Student customers will start paying the new price for renewals after February 18. Annual Prime Student members continue to pay $49. But if you pay monthly instead of yearly, you are going to start paying a bit extra each month for those benefits. Amazon is keeping their special rate for those on government assistance unchanged at $5.99/month, which is nice of them.

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A study released past year by researcher Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) estimates that there are 90 million US -based Amazon Prime subscribers. Though Amazon Prime does come with a free-shipping program, we're most interested in how this impacts Prime Video, if at all, and how it all compares to rival Netflix.

Remember, the service is poised to roll out a Lord of the Rings TV series in the near future, which could end up being the most expensive show ever made.

Amazon Prime Video monthly fees remain the same at $8.99.

Amazon Prime, with its free, two-day delivery service on almost everything that Amazon sells, as well as unlimited streaming of TV shows and movies via Prime Video, has been one of Amazon's most-successful e-commerce options in the company's history. Prime customers also spend more.

  • Rita Burton