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Have you heard? The annual cost of Amazon Prime is going up 20% -- from $99 to $119. New subscribers started paying the higher price on May 11, and existing, renewing customers will be hit on June 16.
It's the first increase in the yearly fee since 2014. Amazon says it needs to raise the price because of rising shipping and other costs.
Is Prime worth getting at the higher cost? Let's take a look.
Still a lower price vs. competitors
The cost may seem relatively reasonable compared to other subscription services.
Netflix, for example, charges anywhere from $10 to 12 per month ($120 to $144 per year), and Spotify is $10 to 15 a month ($120 to $180 a year).
And, consider that each of those companies is known for just one thing: video streaming (Netflix) and digital music (Spotify).
Amazon Prime may still be a good deal given the variety of services that come with your subscription.
Big savings on shipping
Depending on how much you order from Amazon, you might make back the membership fee in shipping savings alone.
For Prime members, free two-day shipping is available on over 100 million items, Amazon chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky told analysts in a recent conference call.
Amazon even tops that by offering same-day shipping in some U.S. cities, and grocery and restaurant meals delivered within hours in select cities.
Video and music, too
A Prime membership includes Prime VIdeo, which offers an abundance of original content such as the award-winning series Transparent, Mozart In The Jungle, and The Man In The High Castle.
They'll eventually be joined by an original Lord of the Rings series that Amazon has spent over $250 million to acquire.
Music is another bonus. Prime members have access to over 2 million songs, plus audiobook streaming through Audible.
Other bundled-in services
With Amazon Prime, you also can borrow an e-book a month from the Kindle Lending Library.
Other highlights of membership include discounts on select products, and access to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature credit card, which offers significant cash-back options.
How to get Prime for less
Still not sure you want to cough up $119 for Amazon Prime? If you're not currently a subscriber, you might consider doing a 30-day free trial.
You can experience all the Prime perks: the free shipping, video, music and the rest. After 30 days, you'll automatically be charged for your fees, so make sure to decide before then.
You also should keep your eyes open for occasional promos on Prime. In November 2016, the cost of a membership was cut by $20 for just one day.
College students can get a six-month free trial followed by a discounted membership customized for them. The student rate is half the regular price: $59 after the price increase, up from $49.
If you already have Prime but aren't happy about the price hike, Business Insider has a tip on how you might get another year for $99 by buying yourself a gift subscription — though there's no guarantee that the trick will work.
Even if you can't figure out any way around the new $119 fee, you'll likely find Prime is still worth it — for most people.
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