How to Keep Amazon Prime for Cheap, Plus Other Options

Amazon Prime is increasing to $99. We’ll tell you how you can lock in a lower rate now or find an alternative way to shop.

The price for the two-day shipping, Kindle lending library and endless video streaming that Amazon Prime members know and love is about to go up by $20.

If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the current $79 membership for as long as possible, or want alternatives to Amazon Prime, we might be able to help.

Maybe you just need to get a little creative – and think outside the smiley-face Amazon box.

Amazon announced Thursday it will increase the Prime membership price from $79 to $99. Prime for Students is going from $39 to $49.

Brad Tuttle at Time says there are a few alternatives you might want to consider to extend the $79 Prime membership as long as you can.

  • Become a Prime member now. If you’re not currently with Prime, you can lock in the current $79 price by signing up before March 19, when the price goes up.
  • Get the gift that keeps giving. You can purchase a Prime gift membership now for $79 by clicking here, specify the starting date of the membership as the day after your current membership expires, then “gift” it to yourself by using your email address. Make sure you turn off the auto-renew on your Prime membership. I did this today for my membership, which will now end Jan. 4, 2016. It was quick and easy and will end up saving me $20.
  • Free Prime with credit card. Some American Express cards offer free Prime membership for one year for new members, Tuttle says.

You could also say to heck with the Prime membership and instead enjoy Amazon’s Free Super Saver Shipping, which kicks in for orders of $35 or more. Sure, it’s not Amazon’s speedy two-day delivery, but Tuttle says orders should arrive within eight business days, and it really is free shipping.

Or if you want to ditch Amazon and go somewhere else, you may want to consider ShopRunner, Amazon’s main shipping service competitor.

GeekWire says ShopRunner is offering disgruntled Amazon Prime customers free one-year memberships to its site, which offers free two-day shipping across dozens of online stores, including Neiman Marcus, Babies R Us, Kenneth Cole, GNC and PetSmart. Memberships at ShopRunner are $79 annually. Amazon Prime members can click here to sign up for free.

Are you a Prime customer? Do you plan to pony up an extra $20 when it comes time to renew your membership? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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  • bigpinch

    Yep. I intend to pay the extra $20 in August when my first year expires. I don’t have a Kindle but I may get one for my wife. The gas I save, living 20 miles from town and using the 2-day free shipping more than makes it worth the extra bucks. I like streaming video, too.

  • beachbaby

    Even at $99, I believe Prime is a phenomenal deal. The money I save during the holidays alone is enough to cover the membership and then some. Since this is the first increase they have had since 2005, I can’t understand why people are complaining. Shame on you MoneyTalks News for telling people how to get over on the price increase. You could have written about what a value Prime really is and how it pays for itself after “x” amount of free shipping or streaming videos.

    • Absolutely agree with you. And Amazon has excellent customer service, not to mention much of what I buy would be exorbitant or unavailable locally. I think a lot of this is media generated outrage porn.

  • Tom

    This went down exactly as I thought it would with Amazon increasing the price by far less than many feared. At $99 still a heck of a good deal even if you don’t use all of Prime’s benefits. Just used the gift membership option to save myself $20. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • John Allen

    I can’t figure out how to turn off the auto renew function as mentioned in the article. The closest I can come to it is to select End Membership and then Remind Me 3 days Before end of membership.

    • I.Popoff

      They must have recognized the “gift membership” ploy and are trying to circumvent it.

    • Disqusted33

      Yeah, they make it very confusing. You just have to click on the End Membership button and take it all the way. Your current membership will still continue until the end but it just won’t auto-renew.

  • KevC

    I think Amazon has jacked up the fee’s by 25% in one swoop and it will hurt them. While at $79 for borrowing a monthly book for free, watching some streaming video and 2 day shipping may have been worth it, I don’t think the extra $20 is going to be worth it. Plus now they are also charging sales tax, so now the brick and mortar store are able to compete. Amazon is doing a lot of what Wal-Mart is doing with Wayfair , having more and more 3rd party vendors that overcharge anyway and build in the shipping into their pricing

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