Amazon Prime price hiked by $20 for first rise in four years TODAY

THE COST of Amazon Prime just went up by $20 – here's what you need to know.

Starting Friday, the price of Prime membership increased from an annual cost of $119 to $139 for new subscribers.

If you opt to pay on a monthly basis, the new price will set you back $14.99 instead of $12.99.

The cost of the Prime Students membership plan also saw an increase of $1, rising from $6.49 to $7.49 per month.

For current subscribers, the price hike will not take effect until after March 25, 2022, on the date of the next renewal.

Amazon's CFO Brian Olsavsky said the price hike was necessary, citing “increased costs and inflation” as the main reasons.

However, he also noted that along with the price hike, the company is hoping to roll out new perks for Prime users.

Friday's price increase is the first time the company has raised its Prime membership fees since 2018.

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Despite the price hike, Olsavsky said the deal is still a steal for the membership, which includes free and expedited shipping, video streaming, gaming, and reading.

Other hidden benefits include access to Amazon Music and Audible, free Twitch streaming, free photo storage, and discounts on groceries at stores like Whole Foods.

And of course, members also get access to Amazon Prime Day, which is an annual two-day shopping event that sees prices slashed for items like TVs, laptops, and accessories.

“Since 2018 in the U.S., availability of Free Same-Day Delivery has expanded from 48 metropolitan areas to more than 90, items available for Prime free shipping have increased over 50%, and members have saved billions of dollars shopping Prime Day,” Amazon said, in a release earlier this month.

“This is all on top of new program benefits like prescription savings and fast, free delivery from Amazon Pharmacy and the continually growing Amazon Music for Prime members, Prime Reading, and Prime Gaming,” they added.

Amazon Prime's video streaming service is also releasing one of the year's most anticipated new shows: Lord of the Rings.

The series' first season reportedly had the highest budget in television history at $465 million.

In other news, a four-tonne chunk of a SpaceX rocket is on a collision course with the Moon, according to online space junk trackers.

Boeing has sunk $450million into a flying taxi startup that hopes to whisk passengers across cities by the end of the decade.

Personalized smart guns, which can be fired only by verified users, may finally become available to U.S. consumers this year.

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