Amazon does not release the number of Amazon Prime members it has, but there is little doubt that it has grown by tens of millions.
A new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners puts Amazon Prime memberships in the U.S. at 54 million, having jumped 35 percent last year. Micheal Levin, a CIRP partner and co-founder, tells CNNMoney that a staggering 47 percent of U.S. household have at lease one Amazon Prime member. If accurate, that puts Amazon Prime membership in the same territory of Costco Wholesale’s cardholder pool of U.S. members.
In comparison, Costco Wholesale has 83 million cardholders among 45 million households that pay annual fees. It is estimated that about 58 million of Costco’s cardholders are in the U.S.
Amazon Prime memberships cost $99 a year and they are a prime tool for sales promotion by the e-commerce giant. Amazon Prime members spend an average of about $1,100 a year with Amazon. Non-members spend an average of $600 a year with Amazon, according to CIRP.
Prime memberships come with free two-day or overnight shipping on many items. Membership also provides access to Amazon streaming videos, such as the award-winning series Transparent.
CIRP data is based on a survey of 500 U.S. participants who bought items from Amazon between October and December.