Time is running out to lock in a lower price on an Amazon Prime membership before prices go up.
Starting Friday, February 18, the annual membership for new members will increase by $20 from $119 to $139 and the monthly fee will increase by $2 from $12.99 to $14.99, the company said in early February.
Amazon officials said the price of Prime is rising with “the continued expansion of Prime member benefits, as well as rising wages and transportation costs.”
For current Prime members, the new price will apply after March 25 on your next renewal date.
But what if your renewal is after that date? Is it possible to avoid the increase?
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Yes, it is possible, but a word of warning that this could take time and leave you wondering if saving $20 is worth the effort. It’s also not as simple as adding to an existing membership.
Amazon did not respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment, but here’s what reporters learned from talking with customer service representatives and reading help topics on the website.
Buy an Amazon Prime Gift Membership
time to treat yourself or a friend Go amazon website and visit the Prime gifting page before Friday, February 18. Choose between a one-year membership for $119 or a 3-month plan for $39.
Choose your annual membership and add it to the cart. After proceeding with the payment, write the recipient’s email address (which could be yours if you get it for yourself) and the delivery date. Save the gift option, then follow the instructions on the screen. Amazon also says that if you enter your email address, you have the option to resend the gift subscription.
Once you redeem your membership, you’ll get another year of Prime at the current price. Note that this only gives you an additional year to avoid the price increase, but you can buy multiple gift memberships if you don’t mind spending money.
Cancel current Prime membership for possible credit
There is an option to cancel your membership without involving customer service. You will need to go to “Manage Membership” within the Prime Account dropdown menu and select “Upgrade, Cancel & More” and follow the on-screen instructions.
USA TODAY wanted more information, so a reporter who had until April 24 before the renewal chatted on Amazon’s site with customer service after purchasing the gift membership. He was offered a $28 credit for the remaining two months of chat membership so he could activate the gift membership sooner.
While this seemed easy, the account was not canceled properly and a second customer service rep said the information provided was incorrect. After a transfer to a supervisor, the matter was handled: The account was canceled and a $28 refund was issued “as an exception,” the supervisor said.
Shopping Tip: Remember to save the chats so you have documentation. Chats can also be reviewed by customer service representatives and supervisors, but it’s good practice to always save chats with stores and businesses.
Activate Prime Gift Membership
This is the easy part. You can usually just click a button in the email from Amazon with your gift subscription that says “Start enjoying Prime.” (If the button doesn’t work, there is a link in the email to copy and paste into your browser or click.)
You will then sign in with an existing Amazon account or create a new account. Your Prime membership will start immediately.
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Exchange a Prime Gift Membership for an Amazon Gift Card
If you purchased or receive an additional membership, you may be able to get a gift card instead. This can also ensure that you don’t run out of money if you’re having trouble redeeming a gift membership.
According to Amazon Help TopicsIf you receive a Prime Gift Membership but are already an Amazon Prime or Prime Student Member, or do not want to activate the Prime Gift Membership, you can exchange the Prime Gift Membership for an Amazon Gift Card.
To exchange your Prime gift membership:
- Select Already a Prime member? in your gift notification email.
- Then select “Get your Amazon.com Gift Card.”
Amazon Prime benefits: Prime Video, free delivery, Whole Foods discount
Amazon said that US Prime members received more than 6 billion free deliveries in 2021, while more than 200 million members worldwide watched shows and movies.
These are some of the main benefits:
- Free two-day delivery on millions of items
- Free one-day delivery on over 10 million items
- Free same day delivery in select areas on orders of $35 or more
- Streaming and digital benefits with Prime Video, Amazon Music
- Prime Member Deals at Whole Foods Market
When does the price of Amazon Prime increase?
For new members, the price increases from February 18 from $119 to $139 and the monthly fee will increase by $2 from $12.99 to $14.99. For current Prime members, the new price will apply after March 25 on your next renewal date.
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