Amazon Prime is a great subscription service that many shoppers are already a part of. For $99/year you get free unlimited two-day shipping, and cheap overnight shipping, as well as a slew of other benefits. Although, Amazon is raising the cost of Prime, but only for those that are paying for it per month. It's important to note that the cost will be $12.99/month (up from $10.99/month) and that comes out to $156 per year, versus the $99 per year that you can pay in one swing for Prime. Basically, Amazon would rather you pay for the entire year at once, instead of each month.
Now, Amazon only announced a monthly plan for Prime about a year ago, and at $10.99, it was more expensive than paying the $99 upfront for the entire year. But it did give users more flexibility. But now with it going up to $12.99, it is about 50% more expensive than the yearly Prime price. Amazon has not mentioned why exactly it is increasing the price on the monthly options for Prime, but it sounds like Amazon is looking to lock everyone in for an entire year. This also marks the first increase for Amazon Prime since it went up $20 in 2014 - which is also when Amazon began adding a slew of new features and services to Prime.
If you're a student and using Amazon Prime, it'll also be getting an increase from $5.49 to $6.49 per month, but the yearly price is still $49. The prices are going into effect today, so if you sign up for a new Prime account today, and want to pay monthly, it'll either be $12.99 or $6.49 depending on your account. If you already have an account, you won't see the increase until February 18th or later. So Amazon is giving existing users about a month before they get charged a bit more. Remember, Amazon Prime does also offer up exclusive sale prices on a number of products, including Amazon Prime Exclusive smartphones, as well as early access to a number of lightning deals, there's also Twitch Prime, Amazon Music and much more. If you haven't used Amazon Prime and want to take it for a spin, Amazon does offer a free 30-day trial - and it's 6-months for students.