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.

Stacy Johnson

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