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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,
- 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.
- Streaming video, music, and games.
- eBooks borrowing and a 6 month trial subscription to the Washington Post.
- 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.