Amazon Price Hike: Gift of Prime Membership Still $99

amazon200Amazon Prime has announced the following price increases to $119 per year:

  • Starting May 11, 2018, new members will be charged $119/year for an annual Prime membership and $59/year for an annual Prime Student membership.
  • Starting June 16, 2018, existing Prime members with an annual membership will renew at a rate of $119/year. Prime Student members with an annual membership will renew at a rate of $59/year.

You can still buy a Gift of Prime Membership for $99 (plus applicable taxes). I assume this will also go up in price as of May 11th, but I’d buy it sooner rather than later. I debated for a while whether it was worth the trouble, but since I had 5 minutes this weekend I decided to save 20 bucks. Here’s the rundown.

  • You can cancel the auto-renewal of your Amazon Prime membership in your account. You’ll have to go through a lot of “Are you sure?” prompts. They make it feel like you’re canceling your membership right then and there, but again you’re just canceling your auto-renewal. Your Prime membership will still continue through your anniversary date. Mine was in October 2018.
  • Buy a Gift of Prime Membership for $99 (plus applicable taxes) and send it to yourself or alternative e-mail. Note that if you try to apply the Amazon Gift of Prime when you have an active membership, it won’t work. You just get the exact value paid (including any taxes) in the form of an Amazon gift card. The goods news it that you don’t lose any value.
  • Set a calendar reminder of when your Amazon Prime year expires, and keep that e-mail with the gift membership link (perhaps in a special folder). If you apply the Amazon Gift of Prime the day after your current membership expires, then it will renew you with one year of Amazon Prime. You don’t need to start a new Amazon account or change your e-mail, everything will carry over from before. You’ll simply not have Prime for a day or less. Easy.

az_gift

Note that if you have an older grandfathered Amazon Prime that lets you have 5 household members share the benefits, you may not want that to expire.

Amazon Prime has a bunch of features beyond the faster shipping that are useful to me, as I don’t pay for Netflix video or Spotify radio subscriptions and use the Amazon Video and Amazon Music apps instead. There are also Prime-only deals throughout the year that save me money.

Comments

  1. Patricia Cockerill says:

    Personally, I’m debating whether to keep Amazon Prime after it expires next year. I seldom really need 2 day shipping; they no longer are the best price on many items, counterfeit products are pervasive and other retailers are giving Amazon a run for the money on quick delivery and cheap shipping. As to Prime Video, in a household without kids, Netflix has a much better lineup. I’m considering adding Acorn or Britbox instead of Prime Video as we watch a lot of British TV.

  2. They announced this price increase the same day they announced record profits which tells me that they aren’t expecting much pushback. I decided to turn off my auto-renewal. I thought that a little pushback was better than none. I agree with a previous commenter (Patricia) that the value is just not what it used to be. Prices are often better somewhere else.

  3. Does anyone know what the Prime deal is for shopping at Whole Foods, if any? I asked one of the cashiers today and they said “there is if you have the app” which didn’t quite fully answer my question.

  4. Does similar deal available for Amazon Prime Student Membership?

  5. Thanks for this! I wanted my membership to end this year at renewal but was afraid to choose ‘end membership’ because I thought that would stop my membership immediately. I just followed your instructions so I won’t be charged in September.

    Amazon has cheaper prices on some health supplements but I read an article a few months back about concerns over mislabeling. I’ve decided that it’s not worth the risk for things I’m going to eat.

  6. Any reason we can’t do this n times? For example, do it 5 times for 5 yrs.

    • Justjoeguy says:

      I signed up for Prime last year. Amazon said it would be $99 but I got charged $107. I asked about it. They didn’t even answer the email. I cancelled after a year. I didn’t get that many parcels so it wasn’t worth it to me. Didn’t use any of the other services.

      • Amazon Prime is a “service” and thus they charge applicable sales taxes as required by your state. Gift cards are not charged sales tax. If you redeem as a gift card later, you’ll get the full value back ($107 in your case).

        • Justjoeguy says:

          There is no tax on services in my state. I didn’t get it as a gift. I signed up for it. I think $119 is too high.

    • You can. You’ll have to buy them individually, one-by-one, and put the e-mails somewhere where you won’t lose them. They shouldn’t expire and at the worst you should get your money back as a gift card balance. “Treat them like cash.” I guess at the 5 year mark you could worry about inflation, ha.

  7. Under your prime membership, which is under your account on Amazon, you can request a reminder three days before your prime membership renews. I am also considering terminating Amazon Prime, because of it total dominance of the retail space.

  8. My membership renews on May 6th BEFORE the price increase.

    “Next Payment: On May 06, 2018, you will be charged $99.00 for a year of Prime.”

    I’m guessing I’ll be good until May 2019 without a price increase. Maybe buy the gift membership and use that for next year as well? What do you think?

    • You should be good at your next renewal. Up to you as to whether to buy a gift membership to extend. I would, as I fully expect to renew (and there is no downside as it just turns into a gift card otherwise).

      • Mine says the same thing:
        Next Payment:
        On October 14, 2018, you will be charged $99.00 for a year of Prime.

        I contacted Amazon Help and they said it’ll {the price} be corrected over the summer. Sounds like they didn’t think this one entirely thru.

  9. Joshua Katt says:

    Thank you for this, I just did. This is quite the whopping increase all at once (20%).

  10. Joshua Katt says:

    Thank you for this, I just did. This is quite the whopping increase all at once (20%). They certainly aren’t losing money on this when reporting records profits.

  11. Joshua Katt says:

    Sorry for the duplication above. One final thought is a little known fact that if your Prime delivery is late (does happen from time to time), a quick email to CS and they will extend the Prime expiration term by 1 month, every time it happens. Now worth $10 per month so nothing to sneeze at.

  12. Patricia says:

    Thanks Joshua, I will keep an eye on the deliveries from now on.

  13. Thank you for the tip. But today when I tried to cancel auto renew for my account, the web showed another option: switch to pay $99.00 annually on the “renew” date. I chose the “switch”. I think it has same value with “Gift of Prime Membership Still $99” and doesn’t need to change email login.

    • Thanks for your comment. Just a quick correction that you don’t need to change e-mail login with the method above. You just go off Prime for a day, and then you go back on Prime the next day. Same e-mail, same order history, same app preferences, same everything.

  14. Success! Everything worked as expected. Membership now ends on May 6, 2019 w/o auto renewal and I have my gift membership in place for next year. Rewards from the Amazon Card will recover most of the sales tax charged for the membership.

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