We're reader-supported and only partner with brands we trust. When you buy through links on our site we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date and time indicated and are subject to change.
Shoppers have been disappointed about Amazon increasing its membership fees and making changes to Prime benefits in recent years, and now there’s some more potentially bad news, specifically if you’re not a Prime member.
Up until now, non-Prime members could get free shipping on any Amazon order totaling $25 or more. But as of late August 2023, these shoppers now have to meet a $35 minimum in order to qualify for the free shipping.
“We’re currently testing a $35 minimum for non-Prime customers to qualify for free shipping,” an Amazon spokesperson told TechCrunch. No further explanation was given. But we have more details on this change below.
For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, text HACKS to 57299. Or download the Krazy Coupon Lady app.
Amazon’s free shipping minimum increased by $10 this month. But only shoppers in certain regions have been affected by this change.
According to Amazon, this change is being tested out randomly by zip code. Everyone in the same zip code will see the same free shipping minimum. Unfortunately, there is no confirmed list of all the affected regions. But I did some lurking myself.
I have two addresses listed on my Amazon shopping account: one for New Jersey and one for California.
My New Jersey zip code still honors the $25 minimum, whereas my California zip code reflects the $35 minimum. Granted, my California zip code is right around the Los Angeles area. So it makes sense that this region would see the higher minimum.
As a non-Prime member, I’d have to pay $6.99 for standard shipping if I don’t hit the free shipping minimum. And if I wanted something shipped overnight, the shipping fee goes up to $9.99
Current Prime members won’t be affected.
Luckily, the increased minimum for free shipping doesn’t affect current Prime members in any way. Prime members pay $139 a year for their membership, which comes with free shipping. Since this affects non-members more, this might be an attempt to pull more shoppers into the Prime membership. (It also reflects ongoing inflation, since higher prices have made it much easier to hit the previous $25 minimum.)
RELATED: Is Amazon Prime Membership Worth the $139 Fee?
This isn’t the first time Amazon played with their free shipping minimum.
Some of you might be confused. Didn’t Amazon already charge a $35 minimum for non-Prime members? Yes, they did — from 2013 to 2015. Then in 2016, the Amazon free shipping minimum jumped up to a dramatic $49, which is the highest it’s ever been.
See the above graphic for the complete timeline of changes within the last 10 years. It is interesting that the new Amazon free shipping minimum now matches Walmart’s current delivery minimum of $35.
RELATED: 20 Amazon Prime Benefits You Need to Know About
Amazon also made Amazon Fresh available to everyone this year, and Prime members weren’t happy.
The thing is, all Prime members used to get free delivery on Amazon Fresh orders over $35. Then, earlier this year, the big box retailer changed that shipping minimum to $150 — which is a crazy jump. Then in early August 2023, Amazon revised their policy again and made Amazon Fresh available to all members. And the price difference between a Prime member’s order and a non-member’s was generally about a $4 difference overall. Which, to Prime members, can feel like a bummer.
RELATED: Amazon Fresh vs. Whole Foods: How Their Fees, Perks & Stores Stack Up