Are you like the gazillions of Americans that have this service?  Of course you are, you are cool and like movies.   Well, movie rental giant Netflix (and someone normally near and dear to our hearts) is preparing to up their monthly rental rates for new and existing customers.   Inflation is a real bitch isn’t it?

Netflix is now offering two new plans, a one DVD and two DVD plan minus streaming for $7.99 and $11.99 respectively.  However, if you want streaming added to the plan, look to tack on an additional $7.99 for access to a bunch of movies that you probably don’t want to watch anyway.

Secondly, there will no longer be unlimited DVD plans with unlimited streaming included with the plan.  Upon checking out the options, for my plan I personally pay $19.47 a month (2-BluRays out at a time, plus unlimited) and on September 1st my new plan rate will be $22.98.  Not a life changing price increase, but this is on the heals of a previous rate increase just last year.

The new prices go into effect immediately for new customers, with existing customers getting until September 1st until they have to lube up and take it.

Is Netflix still a pretty good bargain?  Probably.  For example I watch between 8-12 discs a month.  If I was going to rent those it would probably be over what I am paying.  Add in that I watch another 8-10 movies a month on the instant side, and I am still ahead.  But the “free” streaming part of the plan was such a good selling point for Netflix, and now the warm and fuzzy feeling has turned more into a stinging, burning sensation.

More than likely, Netflix has such a strong hold on the market that they will be able to do this and not have much effect on subscription numbers.  But it surely will push people to explore other streaming options like Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Red box’s upcoming foray into the streaming business as well.

More on the announcement here.