The writing was on the wall the entire time. It began with rumors of a price increase, which quickly came to fruition in Europe. Then, with the blink of an eye, many of us awoke to a message from Amazon in our inbox notifying us of the new $99 per year price of Prime. (Students will pay $49 per year.)
Don't freak out just yet! This new rate won't go into effect until April 17, which means there's still time to subscribe at the current rate and enjoy it for a full year before this hike affects you. But, there isn't much time. Because of the mandatory 1-month free trial before billing, today is your last chance to subscribe and lock in the $79 rate. Current subscribers will not need to pay $99 until their membership is up for renewal, although as a user points out in the comments below, you can buy a gift subscription at the current rate and use it once your current membership is up.
Is it Still Worth Renewing or Subscribing to Prime?
While 65% of our readers said they'd drop Prime in the event of a price hike, there might still be good reason to renew, especially in light of the competition. For those of us invested in the Amazon ecosystem, Amazon Prime is still a tremendous value. Kindle Fire owners get streaming access to 40,000 commercial-free movies and TV shows — number that's bound to grow as Amazon secures more partnership deals, rolls out 4K streaming, and pumps out more of its own exclusive content.
Beyond movies and TV shows, which some people might already get via Netflix or Hulu subscriptions, Amazon tablet owners also get access to the Kindle's Lending Library, which lets you borrow books from Amazon's 500,000+ eBook library. Many of those titles are New York Times bestsellers, which you can check out sans due date. Moreover, we've occasionally noticed special product discounts for Prime subscribers. And lastly, Prime also buys you 2-day shipping and discounts on 1-day shipping (with Sunday delivery in some locations). It's true that they won't always have the best price, but Amazon's exhaustive catalog of products is impressive and unparalleled by any competitor.
But if the thought of paying $2 more per month for Amazon Prime still makes your blood boil, remember this: Amazon has always been keen to right their wrongs over the slightest delivery delay, which has yielded free subscription extensions on many occasions. Compared to some of the newer alternatives we've seen, Prime is still a solid value even at it's new price.
Readers, what do you think of this new price hike? Is $99 acceptable or will you walk once your subscription is up for renewal?
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