CNN Business has learned that Amazon will be raising the price of its annual and monthly membership fees, with the changes expected to go into effect in the coming weeks.
The online retail giant made the announcement Thursday, along with its earnings report, indicating that the annual fee will go up by $119 to $139, and the monthly amount will get bumped up from $12.99 to $14.99. Amazon Prime Vice President Jamil Ghani said the reason for the price hike is “continued expansion of Prime member benefits as well as the rise in wages and transportation costs.”
The price bump will hit new members on Feb. 18, while existing members will be impacted after March 25.
This marks the third time that Amazon Prime has increased its membership fee since it launched. The previous instances happened in 2014 and 2018 where each time the price was bumped up by $20. Aside from becoming a seemingly four-year occurrence, Neil Saunders, managing director of the research firm GlobalData, told USA TODAY that the announcement was “long overdue.”
“Amazon is facing much higher costs and is still investing heavily in Prime, so there is a real justification for hiking fees,” Saunders explained.
Amazon decided to raise its membership fees at a time where the company reported $14.3 billion in profit in Q4, per Yahoo! Finance. That figure, which nearly doubles the $7.2 billion earned during that same span in 2020, was likely tied to Amazon backing the electric vehicle company Rivian Automotive.