Amazon is going to start charging delivery fees for Fresh grocery orders that are under $150, the company said in an email to Prime members. Prior to this change, Amazon offered Prime members free grocery deliveries on orders above $35. The company says the move will keep prices low on its services.
With this new policy, Amazon will charge a $3.95 delivery fee for orders between $100-$150, a $6.95 fee for orders between $50-$100 and $9.95 for orders under $50. The new fees, which will be charged on top of the $140 annual Prime membership, will go into effect starting February 28.
“This service fee will help keep prices low in our online and physical grocery stores as we better cover grocery delivery costs and continue to enable offering a consistent, fast, and high-quality delivery experience,” Amazon said in the email to Prime members.
The company says it will continue to offer two-hour delivery windows for all orders, and that customers in some areas will be able to select a longer, six-hour delivery window for a reduced fee. Amazon also plans on testing and adding more delivery options as it continues evolving its grocery service.
People have taken to social media to point out how significant the price jump is when qualifying for free delivery. Given the current economic outlook, not everyone will be able to afford the new $150 minimum. In addition, some people have also noted that Amazon Fresh became their only option for grocery shopping using SNAP/EBT during the pandemic, and that the new fees will be an issue for them, especially since they will be unable to use their EBT cards to cover the delivery fee.
Amazon operates dozens of Fresh grocery stores across the United States and expanded its push into the grocery space by acquiring Whole Foods in 2017. In 2021, the company added a $10 service fee for Whole Foods delivery orders, which were previously offered at no extra charge.
The decision to introduce new fees comes as Amazon has been reining in costs amid a worsening economic outlook. In the past few months, Amazon has frozen hiring in its corporate workforce, axed some parts of its business and has said it will lay off 18,000 workers.