How to avoid the Amazon Prime price increase and keep paying $99 a year

Amazon has announced that the annual price of Prime membership will increase from $99 to $119 on May 11th for new members and on June 16th for existing members. If you’re willing to pre-pay your membership dues, there is a way to ensure you pay the current $99 for Prime, instead of the new $119 price.

To avoid the Prime price increase, you can purchase a Gift of Prime for yourself now and apply it to your account the day your current membership expires. If you redeem the Prime gift while your Prime membership is still active, the $99 you paid will simply be credited to your account and your Prime membership will not be extended, so you have to wait until your Prime membership expires before redeeming the Prime gift. If you are not a current Prime member, you can still purchase a Gift of Prime for yourself now and redeem it whenever you want in the future, even after the price increases.

If you let your Prime membership expire and redeem the Prime gift within a few days of your existing membership expiring, nothing about your Prime account will change. You will not lose any playlists, watch lists, or other Prime-specific configurations. Your Amazon account will even continue to display that you’ve had Prime since whatever date it currently lists. The gift of Prime never expires, so you could even purchase multiple gift memberships for yourself to redeem multiple years from now. I’ve read that people who used this trick prior to 2014, before the increase from $79 to $99, to purchase Prime gifts for $79 are still able to apply the gifts to their account today without any issues.

How to keep paying $99 for Amazon Prime

  1. Go to the Manage Prime Membership page and note the date listed under “Next Payment” in the left-hand column. This is the date your Prime membership will expire and this is the date that you will redeem the Prime gift membership. You should mark this date on a calendar, although, I’m sure Amazon will email you about it.
  2. Go to the Edit Membership page and select the “End My Benefits” button at the bottom. Don’t worry, this step just cancels the automatic Prime renewal. You will still have all of your Prime benefits until the date in step 1.
  3. Purchase a one-year Gift of Prime voucher for yourself. You can purchase as many as you would like and apply them multiple years in a row as your Prime membership expires. If you ever change your mind and want to go back to auto-renewing, you can redeem the voucher(s) and the full $99 that you paid will be applied to your account as Amazon Credit.

The only negative to this method is that if you are still using the grandfathered system for sharing Prime membership, which permits you to share your membership with 4 people, you will lose that grandfathered benefit when you allow your account to expire for a day.

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15 comments
  1. Joe says:

    How to keep paying $99 for Prime Membership:
    Step 1) Have a million dollars…
    ?
    Step 3) Profit.

    Just kidding, good idea for those who can take that route.

  2. Charlie says:

    Good idea. What is the last date we can buy the gift for 99.00?

  3. Charlie says:

    The only negative to this method is that if you are still using the grandfathered system for sharing Prime membership, which permits you to share your membership with 4 people, you will lose that grandfathered benefit when you allow your account to expire for a day.

    Why wouldn’t you just cash in the gift a day or two before expiration date, but I guess you are indicating that date, because you already know you can’t cash it in until your membership expires.

  4. Big John says:

    I know that when my Prime membership automagically renews, the fee is charged to my credit card even if I have a credit balance in my Amazon account. If I buy a Gift of Prime, do you know if I can pay for it with my Amazon account balance? Or is it also charged to my credit card?

    Great idea about prepaying next year’s Prime. Thanks.

    • Big John says:

      Replying to myself: I just went through the process of buying a Gift of Prime up to the Place Your Order screen. There is an option to pay with your gift card account balance. That’s great! Now to decide how many to buy. ;)

  5. Rob says:

    Does anyone know if the student pricing of $49 is going up?

  6. ben says:

    does the $99 dollars charge right away or when you redeem it

  7. Len Mullen says:

    Thanks for posting this. Hope it helps people. I appreciate all the links. I used the “End My Benefits” pointer. If we re-up for Prime, it will be on my kid’s college id. Not even sure about that.

  8. Mark says:

    No longer works. I cannot buy one.

  9. Mike says:

    Yeah, I think they closed this loophole.

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