Amazon has raised the prices of its monthly Prime and Prime Student memberships.
The price of Prime is up $2 a month, now costing $12.99 a month. That of Prime Student is up $1, costing $6.49 a month.
The price hikes took effect Jan. 19 for new members and will take effect after Feb. 18 for existing members.
Prime and Prime Student continue to be available for one annual payment rather than monthly payments, however. The annual costs remain $99 for Prime and $49 for Prime Student. That makes them an even better deal compared with monthly memberships.
What to do if you have or are interested in a Prime membership
If you already have a Prime membership, be sure to check your bank or credit card statements, or your Amazon account, to confirm that you are being billed for the membership annually. If not, switch to an annual membership.
At $99, an annual Prime membership works out to $8.25 per month. So, if you are being billed monthly for Prime, you will save $4.74 per month — $56.88 per year — by switching to an annual membership.
At $49, an annual Prime Student membership works out to about $4.08 per month. So, if you are being billed monthly for Prime Student, you will save about $2.41 per month — about $28.88 per year — by switching to an annual membership.
Rethinking your finances
If you chose a monthly membership because it’s easier for you to swing monthly payments rather than paying for the membership in full each year, take this news as an excuse to reconsider your membership — or your budgeting.
After all, paying an extra $56.88 per year for a $99 service amounts to paying about 57 percent more than necessary. You would never wittingly overpay for anything else by 57 percent, would you?
So, unless you’re OK with gouging yourself to that degree, perhaps it’s time to cancel your Prime membership altogether. While it can save you a boatload of money, it’s still a want, not a need.
Or if you have $8.25 a month to spend on Prime, perhaps you just need help budgeting so you can cover the $99 annual payment.
A program like You Need A Budget, aka YNAB, can do just that. It’s not free, but it tends to pay for itself. According to its website, new budgeters save an average of $600 by month two, and more than $6,000 the first year.
What’s your take on these increases? Sound off below or over on our Facebook page.