Amazon is considering a price hike for its wildly popular Prime memberships. Currently it costs $79 per year, as it has for several years. But soon it may cost between $20 and $40 more. 

Through Amazon Prime, members enjoy free, two-day shipping on many things. Perhaps more importantly, users also get unlimited access to the Amazon Instant Video service for streaming movies and TV shows, as well as access to more than 350,000 e-book titles in the Kindle lending library. With the Kindle lending library members can "check out" a new book each month for free, with no due dates. Both the media libraries are key reasons you might buy a Kindle Fire HDX tablet, although both can be accessed on iPads as well. [25 Best Kindle Fire HDX Apps]

It is unclear how the Prime price hike might affect the retailer, but as of this past holiday season the service broke records. On the company's quarterly earnings call Amazon said that membership is now in the "tens of  millions worldwide." Part of the company's plans for the current quarter is to increase capacity for Prime. However, we wonder if this price change might prove to be a boon for Netflix or Hulu Plus.

This change in price comes just a few months after the e-tail giant raised the threshold for non-Prime customers to get free shipping from $25 to $35. So, how much more would you pay for access to Prime before jumping ship?

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