Amazon will increase the cost of its Prime membership from September in its first UK price rise since 2014. But there are ways around it.
A monthly subscription will increase by £1 from £7.99 to £8.99, while annual membership will increase by £16 from £79 to £95.
In an email to customers, Amazon justified the price rise by pointing to the increased number of products available with Prime shipping, and the larger catalogue of entertainment available via streaming service Prime Video.
If you are already a Prime member, you’ll be charged the new rate the next time your membership renews after 15 September.
Here, Which? looks at how the price change could affect you, and what you can do to avoid it.
From mid-September, you’ll need to fork out £8.99 a month or £95 a year for Amazon Prime.
Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that the discount for an annual membership is smaller under this new price model. Currently, buying annual membership saves you £16.88 vs paying monthly. That’s a discount of nearly a fifth (18%), and more than the cost of two months’ membership.
After the price increase, you’ll only save £12.88 with the annual plan. That’s closer to a tenth (12%) and less than the cost of two monthly payments.
If you want to keep Amazon Prime without paying the new price, you can delay the increase for another year if you act quickly.
The £79 annual Prime membership is still available until 15 September. So if you’re paying monthly, or if your annual membership will end before then, you can buy another year’s membership for £79 and avoid the increased prices for 12 months. You’ll be charged £95 for the next year when you renew after that.
Students get a six-month free trial of Prime and a 50% discount thereafter.
Currently, Prime for students costs £3.99 a month or £39.49 a year. From 15 September the price will be £4.49 a month or £47.49 a year.
Members will only be charged this new fee when their membership renews on or after 15 September 2022.
Using Amazon Household, you can share certain Prime benefits with people you live with. You just have to invite them via email on the ‘Share your Prime Benefits’ section of the website.
You might be streaming films and TV shows on Amazon Prime regularly, but rarely taking advantage of your membership's other features. In that case, you can cancel your full Prime membership and sign up for Amazon Prime Video as a standalone subscription for £5.99 a month.
If you just don’t think it’s worth it anymore, you can simply cancel your Prime membership with no exit fee. You’ll keep your benefits until the end of your current billing period.
Amazon isn’t the only subscription-based service increasing its prices during the cost of living crisis.
In May, Netflix increased the price of its standard plan (HD streaming on two devices) to £10.99 and its basic plan (standard definition streaming on one device) to £6.99. It lost nearly one million subscribers between April and July.
Amazon will soon find out whether it’ll face a similar exodus. But the two price hikes might not be comparable, since Prime offers more than just video streaming. Membership also includes free, often next-day, delivery, music streaming and exclusive discounts.