Amazon hikes annual Prime fees to $99

The email arrived in my inbox at 5:12 a.m.: Upcoming Changes To Your Prime Membership.

I didn’t need to read any further, I already knew what was coming. After hinting at a price hike during a January earnings call, Amazon announced on Thursday it would raise its Prime membership fees from $79 to $99.

The new fee takes effect immediately for customers with renewal dates on or after April 17. Lucky for me I get to hold onto my extra $20 until next February.

The voices in my Twitterverse did not greet the news with smile-arrows, with some comparing it to the time Netflix raised its prices, announced Qwikster, and nearly destroyed itself.

It’s a little different. Amazon Prime is more about free shipping than streaming flicks and shows, so although a Prime membership will now cost a few bucks more than a year of Netflix streaming, you’re getting more for your money.

If you’re a consumer like me who buys everything but fresh food and clothing on Amazon, it’s still worth it.

If you don’t buy that much or if you’re using Amazon Prime just for streaming content, you can probably drop it. Also, why would you be using Amazon Prime for content?

A couple of years ago, I might have considered getting rid of Netflix and keeping Prime. The latter allows me to rent and buy movies online, while the former has the advantage in content selection. That gap in content is thinning, with the exception of Netflix’s original programming. Now that I’m fully addicted to shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, I can’t drop Netflix.

Nor can I drop Prime, because I’m too dependent on free shipping. So basically I’m just going to keep paying for everything forever.

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