Your Amazon Prime Membership Just Got More Expensive. Should You Keep It?

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  • On Feb. 18, the price of Amazon Prime rose by $20 a year, to $139.
  • Consider the benefits and how much you use them to help you figure out if it's worth keeping your membership at the new price.

Is Amazon Prime still worth it at a higher price tag?

A lot of people rely on Amazon Prime. And the free two-day shipping it offers is unquestionably convenient. But Amazon just raised the price of an annual membership from $119 to $139.

So if you're a current subscriber, you need to figure out if it's worth that higher fee. Ask yourself these questions to determine the answer.

1. How often do I take advantage of free two-day shipping?

Free two-day shipping is a nice perk. But if you rarely use it, then the cost of an annual subscription probably isn't worth it. If you only need something shipped quickly once or twice a year, it's more economical to just pay up for expedited shipping than to maintain a Prime membership at the new $139 price.

If you're not sure how badly you need free two-day shipping, log into your Amazon account and review your orders from the past year. Consider how many you needed urgently.

Remember, Amazon doesn't charge for shipping when your purchases total more than $25. And while you may have to wait longer to get some items, that may not be a big problem for you.

2. How frequently do I use Amazon's peripheral services?

Amazon Prime isn't just about free shipping. A subscription gives you access to a host of benefits, from Prime Instant Video to Amazon Music Prime to Prime Try Before You Buy (which sends clothing orders you can try on for free before committing to buy).

If you use these services often, it could pay to keep Amazon Prime around. But if you don't really take advantage of any of those built-in perks, there may be a less expensive way to order goods online and get quick shipping. Your local big-box store, for example, may be competitive with Amazon on order delivery and price point.

3. Does the new price work for my budget?

If you're doing well financially and aren't struggling with bills, then you may swing Amazon's price increase without a problem. But if you're having a hard time managing expenses or you're barely able to pay off your credit cards, it may be time to trim costs -- and Amazon Prime could be a good place to start. This holds especially true if you find that a membership tends to lead you to overspend.

It's easy to argue that Amazon Prime is still worth paying for, even at a higher cost. But before you make that decision, think about how much you benefit from the program and whether you can comfortably afford it. If not, consider canceling your membership and exploring other options to have goods delivered to your home quickly and efficiently.

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