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Amazon renames discounted tier of Prime to Prime Access

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An Amazon Prime truck heads north on Interstate 5 in Washington. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Amazon has a new name for its discounted Prime membership tier: Prime Access.

The offering, first unveiled in 2017, is for qualifying government assistance recipients and costs $6.99/month, compared to the normal $14.99/month plan.

Prime Access membership grew more than 300% from 2019 to 2021.

Amazon made the announcement Monday as part of a new hub called Amazon Access, which highlights payment discount options for customers, such as how to pay with SNAP EBT.

The discounted Prime tier originally cost $5.99 per month when it debuted in 2017.

Amazon increased the annual cost of a traditional U.S. Prime membership by $20 to $139 earlier this year to help offset increased costs due to labor supply shortages, higher wages, supply chain issues, and additional shipping expense. 

Amazon in April 2021 said there were more than 200 million Prime members worldwide. The company hasn’t publicly updated the number since.

More recently, the company reported a surge in Prime memberships during the debut of Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video.

Last week Amazon confirmed that it will hold a new online shopping event Oct. 11-12, exclusive to Prime members — seeking to replicate the effect of its annual summertime Prime Day event to boost sales during another traditional lull in the retail calendar.

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