Amazon Makes It Tougher to Get Free Shipping

For the second time in recent years, Amazon has hiked the minimum purchase necessary to qualify for free shipping. Find out what you need to do to avoid the fee.

Amazon Makes It Tougher to Get Free Shipping Photo (cc) by protohiro

Amazon has increased the minimum purchase necessary to qualify for free shipping from $35 to $49.

That means you’ll generally have to spend at least $49 at a time for your purchases to qualify for free shipping unless you have an Amazon Prime membership.

This is the online retail giant’s second such increase in recent years. In October 2013, the minimum increased to $35 after being $25 for more than a decade.

Books represent the lone exception to the new policy. As noted on the “About Free Shipping by Amazon” page, orders that include at least $25 of eligible books still qualify for free shipping.

NBC News reports that the latest increase is an effort to push Amazon Prime.

The benefits of an Amazon Prime membership include:

  • Free two-day shipping with no minimum
  • Free unlimited photo storage
  • Access to free e-books
  • Free streaming of TV shows, movies and music

Amazon Prime costs $99 per year, but a free 30-day trial is available. The student version, Amazon Student, costs 50 percent less, and a free six-month trial is available.

Amazon’s latest increase in the minimum purchase amount required for free shipping now means that several of its competitors have lower minimums. For example:

What do you think of Amazon’s decision? Sound off in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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