How to Avoid Amazon Prime’s Big Price Increase – Lock In Current Rates Indefinitely

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On May 11 Amazon is raising the cost of Prime from $99 to $119 — a 20% hike on their 100 million members. Amazon Prime comes with,

  1. Free shipping with no minimum purchase. Plus same day delivery on certain items headed to a residential address over $35 plus two hour delivery in certain cities. They’re also rolling out delivery from Whole Foods.

  2. Streaming video, music, and games.

  3. eBooks borrowing and a 6 month trial subscription to the Washington Post.

  4. Additional benefits like Prime Live Events, photo storage, discounts on premium cable movie channels, and audio books.

I get value out of it at $10 a month, but I’d rather pay less. There are several discount programs – and a way to lock in current pricing indefinitely, too. Here are the discounts:

  • Household accounts. Not nearly as generous as it used to be when you could add anyone you wanted, you can still add one other adult (spouse, partner, roommate) plus 4 teens and 4 kids for no extra cost.

  • Student discount. Students with a .edu email address get prime for $59 (previously $49) after a six month trial.

  • Income-based discounts. Amazon gives those on certain government programs Prime for $5.99 per month.

If you aren’t a member already Top Cash Back will give you a $15 Amazon gift card for signing up at the current lower $99 price.

Existing Prime subscriptions renewing June 16 and later will see the higher price. However Doctor of Credit covers a way that anyone can lock in current pricing, and even do so indefinitely.

You can give Amazon Prime as a gift.

  • Pay the current $99 price
  • Apply the gift later
  • Buy as many as you like and use them in future years even
  • If you wish you can use Amazon gift cards to buy Prime this way (which you cannot do if paying directly)
  • Prime members can trade the Prime gift back into an Amazon gift card later if you change your mind

You can cancel your Prime membership (which really just cancels renewal), buy the gift of Prime, then save the gift email and use it when your subscription lapses.

One warning is that if you have a grandfathered account that allows 5 household account members, letting your Prime membership lapse will cause you to lose this benefit. Those folks will want to just absorb the price hike.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. No guarantee this loophole will work forever. I’d caution people not to buy too many years worth for themselves.

  2. @Amazon sucks – it has to do with what I’m interested in, which is precisely the subject of this blog, so what’s your point?

  3. I have a home in Mexico and we have Prime here–$29 (usd eqivalent) a year. Spotify $4.75 a month. Costco membership $25 usd. I guess it’s what the market will bear.

  4. Prime has been $99 for a while, so the $20 increase isn’t wildly out of line. Would it be worth a little effort to save twenty bucks? Sure. Is it worth the cash outlay now, time, effort, and the possibility that it might not work later for that $20? Not for me.

  5. I’m pretty sure this doesn’t work. When you buy and Amazon Prime Gift Certificate you are asked when you want to have it activate and the limit is one year out.

    Gary, have you actually tried doing this or just assuming it’s possible?

  6. Thanks for the info. I love Prime and use it several times a month. Its a good deal even with the price increase but saving a few bucks is always a bonus. Keep the good info coming. I have enjoyed many discounts and freebies since I started following you several years ago. And true to your advice, the credit card churn has not hurt my credit score.

  7. Steve, with the limitation you mention (one year out), it should still work for the next year/fee cycle – not for subsequent years though.

  8. How about you read Doctor of Credit’s full post and take note of this wording at the bottom? “Thanks to Dansdeals for making us aware of this method”…DansDeals should get the real credit for this tip…

  9. Can anyone buy Prime from Amazon’s foreign locations (eg, Mexico mentioned above, but I am sure there are many others)?

    I don’t recall Amazon verifying your address when you sign up.

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