Amazon increased the fee for its monthly plan to $12.99 from $10.99, while maintaining the annual fee at $99. While it's just a small increase on a monthly basis, it adds up to $24 more each year (for a grand total of about $156).
Amazon's monthly plan for Prime was introduced less than two years ago. Students can get a discount on an annual Prime membership by paying $49 a year.
Amazon also pointed out that the number of items eligible for two-day shipping recently jumped from 20 million to 100 million, and it called attention to original viewing content on Prime Video such as "the Golden Globe-winning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and The Grand Tour.
Amazon has managed to make its services vital, or at least lent them the appearance of vitality, which means any Prime price increase puts customers in a tough spot. Students are also seeing a hike, from $5.50 a month to $6.50 a month.
It was the first increase of Prime fees in nearly four years and comes at the end of another bullish year and holiday season for Amazon's dominant online shopping platform. The online retailer said more than four million people started their free trials or paid memberships in one week alone during the holiday shopping season.
Amazon is notifying affected Prime subscribers about this change via email.
Moody's Lead Retail Analyst Charlie O'Shea said in a statement that Amazon's monthly deal "still affords members a more budget-friendly option, with the ability to "flex" the membership as they see fit".
The cost builds come as Morgan Stanley sees signs that Amazon Prime's development is beginning to moderate. But most people will agree that, even with the new pricing, Prime offers customers an excellent value.
The hike is an 18 percent increase and the last subscription increase came in 2014 when the yearly membership went from $79 to $99. The study estimates that Amazon Prime subscribers spend $1,300 per year.