Amazon has increased the monthly rate of an Amazon Prime membership by $2 to $12.99, which brings the total cost to about $156 per year.

The increased rate widens the difference between the cost of a monthly membership and an annual one, which remains at $99. Is this the right time for Amazon Prime members who are paying monthly to shift to yearly payments?

Amazon Prime Membership Fee Up To $12.99 Per Month

The increased monthly membership fee of $12.99 for an Amazon Prime subscription is posted on Amazon's support page. The annual membership fee and the monthly Prime Video-only subscription, meanwhile, remain at $99 and $8.99, respectively.

Meanwhile, students with a valid .edu address will also see an increase in monthly membership fees, from $5.49 to $6.49 as that rate is based on half the full price.

The increased prices become effective on Jan. 19 for new subscribers, while existing subscribers will experience the higher rates starting February.

Amazon Prime members enjoy free two-day shipping on purchases from the online retailer; unlimited access to Prime Video, Prime Reading, and Prime Music; and unlimited storage on Prime Photos, among other perks and discounts.

The 2017 statistics for Amazon Prime revealed that more than 5 billion items were shipped to members, with the most purchased items being the Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, the Amazon Echo Dot, and AmazonBasics Cables.

Time To Move To Annual Membership For Amazon Prime?

The price increase for a monthly Amazon Prime subscription may motivate customers to instead choose an annual membership, as the total difference in the cost of the two plans has widened from $33 to $57.

Amazon launched the monthly option a couple of years ago to attract customers who could not afford a one-time payment of $99, or those who knew that they would not be able to take advantage of an Amazon Prime membership for all the months of the year.

An annual membership now makes much more sense financially compared to a monthly membership. Amazon may be hoping that customers who switch from monthly to annual payments will also have increased purchasing activity to make the most out of the year-round membership.

Amazon HQ2: Where Will It Be?

Amazon recently released a shortlist of 20 possible locations for the company's second headquarters, culled from 238 cities that applied. Most of the locations are on the East Coast, Midwest, and South, with Los Angeles being the only city on the West Coast still in the running.

Toronto, meanwhile, is the only Canadian city that is still being considered by Amazon as the location for HQ2.

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