If You Use Amazon Fresh for Groceries, Prepare to Pay More, Starting Feb. 28
They've more than quadrupled the threshold for free delivery.
Ordering groceries online has serious perks. Avoiding the crowded aisles is an obvious plus, and who doesn't love having everything you need dropped right at your doorstep? There are several services you can use, but one of the biggest names in grocery delivery is Amazon Fresh. Sweetening the deal, if you're an Amazon Prime member, you can avoid those pesky (and often pricey) delivery fees. But now, Amazon has announced that you'll need to order quite a bit more to qualify for that comped fee, which could mean you'll be paying more in the near future. Read on to find out how Amazon Fresh is changing its delivery fees, starting Feb. 28.
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You'll have to spend more than four times as much to get free delivery.
Anyone can shop at Amazon Fresh stores, with or without a Prime membership. However, if you do have a Prime membership, you're probably accustomed to the service's free, same-day delivery. The previous threshold was just $35 nationwide (and $50 in New York City), making it easy to reach, per Winsight Grocery Business. Now, however, that number is spiking.
As of Feb. 28, only orders over $150 will be eligible for free delivery, an Amazon spokesperson told Best Life.
Prime members were informed of the change via email last week, with the company explaining it will apply to orders from both brick-and-mortar Amazon Fresh stores and orders from its online grocery store.
New service fees are also imminent.
While orders over $150 will still be delivered for free, orders that don't meet that number will incur a service fee. According to the Amazon spokesperson, starting Feb. 28, orders between $100 and $150 will have a $3.95 service fee; orders between $50 and $100 will have a $6.95 fee; and those under $50 will have a $9.95 fee.
These fees apply to grocery orders within the two-hour delivery window. Customers with "delivery time flexibility of up to six hours" will get a reduced rate, although it's not clear what that discount will look like.
According to Amazon's website, which also outlines the new service fees, Prime members can still pickup their groceries for free at Amazon Fresh stores. There are over 40 of these locations in six states and Washington, D.C., per the website.
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Budgets are already stretched thin.
Unfortunately, your grocery bill is probably higher already, so it may not take too much effort to reach that $150 threshold—depending on how many people are in your household. For its part, Amazon said the new pricing structure is actually an attempt to keep food prices lower.
"We're introducing a service fee on some Amazon Fresh delivery orders to 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," the Amazon spokesperson said. "We will continue to offer convenient two-hour delivery windows for all orders, and customers in some areas will be able to select a longer delivery window for a reduced fee."
Some shoppers say they will get grocery delivery elsewhere.
While the email to Prime members touted other benefits of the membership, many Amazon devotees are voicing their frustration with the changes on social media—and plans to take their business elsewhere.
"I've bought >90% of my groceries via @amazonfresh since 2020," a Jan. 27 tweet reads. "I'll simply switch to one of many competitors that will now be a better deal." Other users said they'd try Walmart+ and joked that they'll shop at their local bodega instead.
"I pay for prime [every] year for the benefits and now you're going to increase prices on us!" another Twitter user wrote. "I never buy over 150 in one order, usually under 50 or up to 100 a couple times a week #amazonfresh."
Others simply stated their disbelief. "Welp. So much for having affordable groceries delivered," a member tweeted. "Raising the free delivery threshold from $35 to $150 is insane. Bye, Amazon Fresh."