It sounds dire to say Amazon has raised its monthly Prime membership by almost 20 percent. If you've budgeted very, very tightly, the switch from $10.99 to $12.99 is absolutely unpleasant. But there's still a way to save big on quick shipping from the world's largest online retailer.
The 18 percent increase ups the annual price of a monthly Prime subscription to about $156. Despite its ubiquity, Amazon operates on an incredibly tight margin, rarely actually making a profit. The new price point perhaps represents a concession that the mega-company needs more breathing room to deliver its range of services, from super-fast shipping to original high-end video content.
That said, other tiers of Prime membership won't see the same kind of hikes. College students will see a $1 increase in their rate to $6.49, but a Prime Video membership, without the shipping benefits, will remain $8.99. Subscribers who are also on government assistance (specifically, those with an Electronic Benefits Transfer card) won't be affected either, as their rate stays at $5.99.
If you're still balking at the increased price for month-to-month Prime, there is one more solution. Monthly Prime subscriptions became available for customers who didn't want to pay the upfront annual fee of $99, but the original Prime price is still on offer. If you rely on Amazon, especially for quick, recurring shipments, it may be worth looking into the yearly package. You also have some time to think it over — these price changes don't go into effect for existing customers until Feb. 18.