Amazon said this week it would raise prices on its premium subscription membership product, Prime, from $99 to $119 per year on May 11.
But while the price hike seems steep, the program has a lot of goodies added since the last price increase in March 2014.
A big one is Amazon’s Prime Day discount day, a mid-summer sale that offers deals every 10 minutes and draws tens of millions of shoppers each year.
Over 100 million items were eligible for Prime two-day shipping in the U.S. by the end of last year.
- Free two-day shipping on some items to addresses in the contiguous U.S., with no minimum purchase. Also includes free no-rush shipping (which sometimes offers rewards) and standard shipping. In Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, standard shipping (three to seven business days) is free.
- Free same-day delivery by 9 p.m. on orders over $35, which usually must be ordered before noon and be headed for a residential address. This perk is offered on over a million items, but you might run into issues over the holidays or if you want a large volume of a single item, and your local Amazon doesn’t have enough. Sometimes one-day shipping is also available, but it all depends on your zip code — you can check eligibility on Amazon’s U.S. website. As of the end of last year, free one-day or same-day delivery was available in more than 8,000 U.S. cities. There are at least a million items eligible.
- Free 2-hour delivery (Prime Now): Tens of thousands of items are included. As of last year’s Prime Day shopping holiday in July, this service was available in 30 cities. You can also get restaurant delivery in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Seattle, Dallas, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Los Angeles and Orange County, Chicago, San Diego, Austin, Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Tampa, Orlando, Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Columbus, Las Vegas and Portland, Oregon. And local stores are listed for deliveries in Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Diego, Chicago, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Dallas/Fort Worth, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Austin, Sacramento, Denver, Atlanta and Phoenix.
- Free release-date delivery: This service lets you pre-order items for delivery by 7 p.m. to a residential address on the day the items hit shelves (and if you don’t get it in time, you might get a refund). It’s not available in Alaska or Hawaii. Almost all the products in this category, at least near CNBC’s headquarters, are books, music, video games, music, software and office products.
- Whole Foods delivery: Some zip codes can also get 2-hour delivery from Whole Foods through Amazon Prime.
- Deliveries to your car: Millions of items can also be delivered to 2015 model year or newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Volvo models through Amazon Key. It’s available in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Kansas, Los Angeles and Orange County, Louisville, Kentucky, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Nashville, Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Oregon, Richmond, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco Bay area, Sarasota, Seattle and Eastside, St. Louis, Tampa, and Washington, DC metro area.
- Large, heavy, or delicate items also sometimes get free delivery under Prime.