Fact Check

Did Amazon Prime Increase Its Membership Prices?

An online advertisement displayed in January 2021 said that Amazon Prime increased its prices for memberships to the online shopping service.

Published Jan 4, 2021

Amazon fulfilment center in Sosnowiec, Poland on 13 May, 2019. The fifth Amazon fulfilment center in Poland is built in the Upper Silesia region. The property totalling 135,000 sqm is built on a 21-hectare site near Panattoni Park Sosnowiec. Amazons  fulfilment centre in Sosnowiec is adapted to the high-bay storage system and dedicated to the distribution of shoes and clothes in Western Europe.  (Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images) (Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Image Via Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Amazon Prime increased its membership prices.

On Jan. 4, 2021, an online advertisement displayed the words: "Amazon Prime Increased Its Prices. Now What?" It appeared to refer to a purported recent price increase. The ad showed Amazon Prime boxes at a doorstep.

amazon prime increased its prices monthly annual membership

However, this was somewhat misleading. As of Jan. 4, 2021, the prices for Amazon Prime's monthly and annual memberships had not increased since early 2018.

Readers who clicked the advertisement were led to an advertorial-style page for the Capital One Shopping browser extension, which used to be known as Wikibuy. The source code for the page revealed that it was originally published almost three years earlier. The original publish date in the page's code was Jan. 30, 2018.

The page included information about the browser extension that purports to "help you save money" while shopping online:

Amazon’s price hike for monthly Prime memberships has a lot of people wondering: Is Prime really worth it? Sure, 2-day shipping is great. But after Prime factors delivery into its prices, it can often be a more expensive option anyway.

Ask yourself: do you really need 2-day shipping on everything you buy? For waiting a few more days, you could find a better priced option.

But you probably don’t want to spend your time searching for those prices either. That’s where Capital One Shopping comes in. While you shop online, this five-star Chrome extension helps you save money — automatically.

It was true that in January 2018, an announcement was made that the monthly price for Amazon Prime would be increased from $10.99 to $12.99. BBC reported at the time that the annual membership price wasn't yet being changed:

Amazon has raised the price of monthly Prime memberships in the US by $2 to $12.99 (£9.40), in a bid to push more people to an annual plan.

The annual cost of Prime, which includes two-day shipping and video streaming, was unchanged at $99.

Amazon said the change does not affect the UK or other countries.

Amazon has focused on boosting Prime subscribers, which its chief financial officer has called its "most important customer base."

However, three months later in April 2018, The Seattle Times also reported that, in addition to its monthly rate hike, the Amazon Prime annual membership price would also be increasing from $99 to $119.

The tech giant's Amazon Prime membership includes a wealth of shopping and entertainment benefits. As of January 2021, the monthly price for Amazon Prime in the U.S. was still $12.99, while the annual membership remained at $119.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.