amazon primeThe price of Amazon Prime membership is going up.

In a notice posted on Amazon, the company announced Prime membership will jump from $79 to $99 per year.

The price increase for new members takes effect on March 20th.

Before then, shoppers can still sign up for Amazon Prime for $79.

After the increase, Amazon Students will pay $49 for Prime membership. Prime Fresh membership is fixed at $299.

This will be the first price hike since Amazon first offered Prime nine years ago. Members scheduled to renew before April 17, 2014 will still pay the current $79 fee. Members renewing after April 17 will pay the new rate.

Prime and Student members will receive an email detailing changes that will occur when they renew membership.

The long time lure of Prime Membership is free two-day shipping. Time will tell if the the price spike will push shoppers to rely on the non-member free shipping for orders over $35.

Other Prime benefits include unlimited access to stream movies and television shows through Prime Instant Video. We will have to wait and see if competitors Netflix and Hulu benefit from the Amazon Prime price hike.

Amazon customers can find more information on Amazon’s Help and Customer Service page.

Will the $20 increase reduce renewal rates, or will shoppers accept the inevitable?

What backlash do you anticipate?