Amazon's Prime subscription service is the bread and butter for the company as millions of frequent Amazon shoppers have used the service to gain free 2-day shipping on most orders as well as free video streaming and Kindle book borrowing benefits. The Prime service made its U.S. debut back in 2005 and along with it came the $79.99 per year subscription fee.

For the first time, Amazon has announced their plans to increase this yearly subscription cost, something that has been rumored to happen for the past few months. Initial reports stated that the e-commerce giant would increase the yearly Prime subscription by up to $40 per year, but the final decision came down to a $20 price increase.

This brings the new pricing for a 1 year Amazon Prime membership to $99.99 per year while keeping all the same benefits as the old pricing without bringin anything new to the table. The Amazon Student membership is a discounted Prime subscription exclusively for college students and will also see a $10 increase thus bringing final yearly Amazon Student cost to $49.99 (up from $39.99).

To defend their new pricing structure, Amazon emailed current Prime subscribers and stated the following:

“Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the price of Prime has remained the same for nine years. Since 2005, the number of items eligible for unlimited free Two-Day Shipping has grown from one million to over 20 million. We also added unlimited access to over 40,000 movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video and a selection of over 500,000 books to borrow from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. “

Only time will tell how this decision plays out for the company, but I know I'm must more hesitant to renew my Prime membership at a $100 per year subscription cost. Anyone who is looking to join Prime can sign up for a free trial within the next 7 days which will lock in the old $79.99 pricing for the first year.

Photo Credit: Brian J. Matis