Amazon Prime will deliver last-minute gifts and stream original shows like Good Omens. But it comes at a cost -- one that is set to increase in mid-September in the UK and Europe.
On Tuesday, Prime customers awoke to an email from Amazon telling them that their Prime membership will increase by up to 43% on Sept. 15, depending on which country they live in. The company cited "increased inflation and operating costs" as the reasons behind the hike.
"This is the first time we have changed the price of Prime in the UK since 2014," said Amazon in its email to UK customers. "During this time, we have significantly increased the number of products available with unlimited, fast Prime delivery; added and expanded ultra-fast fresh grocery delivery; and added more high-quality digital entertainment, including TV, movies, music, games, and books."
In the UK, a monthly subscription will rise 12.5% from £8 ($9.60) per month to £9 ($10.80) per month. If you pay annually in the UK, the cost will increase 20% from £79 ($95) to £95 ($114). Customers in Spain, France and Italy are facing price hikes of up to 43%.
Amazon's decision to raise the cost of Prime subscriptions comes at a tough time for many people who are already feeling the squeeze due to inflation. It also follows a price increase for UK customers of Netflix back in March -- the second in 18 months.
Earlier this year, Prime members in the US faced a 17% increase, with annual membership shifting from $119 to $139.
Consumer advocate Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, is recommending in a TikTok that monthly Prime customers in the UK and Europe switch to an annual payment before the Sept. 15 deadline to lock in the lower price for the next year, forestalling the rise. He also recommended that annual customers whose memberships would automatically renew shortly after Sept. 15 could cancel their membership now and start a new membership before the date when prices are set to increase, again pushing off the pricier payment for a year.