Amazon Hack: Get Around the New Amazon Prime Price Increase

Posted in Deals

Bad news for Amazon Prime fans: since 2014, you’ve been paying $99 a year for Prime but that price is about to jump to $119. That means you’ll be paying an extra twenty bucks for the same Prime services starting in the very near future. As of May 11th, new Prime members will be paying the increased fee. When the calendar hits June 16th, existing Prime members have to pay the higher rate. There’s a way around paying the extra bucks, though, and if you act quickly you can keep your price at $99 for at least the next year.

Here’s How You Save Money

There’s a loophole in the system. While you can’t change your renewal date or renew early, you CAN gift yourself Amazon Prime at the current price of $99/year. Amazon lets you set the date the gift will be sent and it doesn’t appear to be breaking any rules to gift Prime membership to yourself. So here’s what you do:

Click here and Give the Gift of Amazon Prime to yourself.

Check your renewal date by clicking “Accounts & Orders” then “Your Account” then the rectangle that says “Prime.” On the Amazon Prime screen, The renewal date is where it says “Next Payment” below:

Go back to the gifting page and go through the purchasing process for the full year membership at $99. Set the date the email will send to a day or two before your renewal date (make sure to turn off auto-renew or it’ll renew at the higher rate!).

Purchase the gift membership and wait until it’s time to renew and then redeem your gift.

Can You Do This Forever?

My guess is that you won’t be able to do this indefinitely. Right now, though, it does appear that you can send yourself a gift membership from any time now until the end of 2019. Since my renewal date is in October, that means I can do one $99 renewal in 2018 and another in 2019. That means I’m saving myself $40 by paying for the renewals right now. Not bad, right?

I actually went through this back in 2014 when the price jumped from $79 to $99 and it worked perfectly. Hopefully you’ll find the same success!

Also, just FYI, I get a referral credit when you click on my Amazon link, so thank you very much for that! Happy Priming, friends!

Comments

  1. Some fine print:

    “If the recipient is already a Prime member, the gift can be exchanged for an Amazon.com Gift Card in the value of the original gift purchase price plus any applicable sales taxes paid. The gift membership does not automatically renew and is not eligible for promotional offers.”

    Sounds like it won’t work this year?

    • I think you may be misreading it. As far as I can tell, it means that if you buy the gift membership for someone that already has Prime and doesn’t need to renew, they can just use the funds for something else. In this case, you’re buying it for someone (yourself) who does needs to renew their membership, which means that you would use those gift funds as intended and wouldn’t want/need to convert it to a standard gift card. It’s Amazon’s way of saying, “don’t worry when you send this gift, because even if they can’t use it for Prime, the gift won’t go to waste.” In this case, the language is largely irrelevant.

      As far as auto renew and promotions, it’s just letting you know that you won’t be on the hook to pay for someone else’s renewal if you sent it as a gift to them and that they can’t take advantage of any bonuses that may come with signing up for Prime.

      Does that make sense?

  2. Credit to Dealnews: You’ll apparently need to turn off auto-renew in order to make this trick work, and apply the gift membership no sooner than one day after your current membership expires. Otherwise, the price could be applied to your account as a merchandise credit. Since gift memberships don’t expire, you could theoretically stockpile several for the next few years.

  3. I just contacted Amazon about the renewal. After June 16, the annual fee that you see for October 10, 2018 will update from $99 to $119. So you would only be saving $20 not $40. Just wanted to let you know!

    • The $40 I’m referencing is if you buy two gift memberships before the price goes up. Since you can set the date until the end of 2019, you can technically double stack this and buy two renewals at once.

      • I’m a little confused. How could you buy two memberships on a single account? Amazon only allows you to buy one prime membership.

        • You would buy two separate gift memberships. You’d send the first to yourself on this year’s renewal date (assuming it hasn’t already passed) and then another to deliver in 2019 on next year’s renewal date.

          • You’re absolutely right. I was having trouble buying two earlier but now it works. My mistake. Very great and detailed article!

  4. I just tried this and will not let me use the date of 2019 – tells “Please specify a date between today and one year from now” Let me do one as my expiration date is 12/31/2018.

  5. I just tried to send myself a second year gift membership on 11/19/2019 and got the error message “Please specify a date between today and one year from today”.

    Can send myself a gift membership for 4/28/2019 and sit on the gift membership email until 11/19/2019 to activate my second year?

    • I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t think there’s any harm in trying. If you aren’t able to use it as a gift membership, it will just convert to an Amazon credit for the amount you paid including tax so it’s not like you’d lose anything for giving it a shot.

  6. I haven’t been able to find any option to allow me to turn off auto renewal. Must I cancel Prime the day before it renews? If I do that, will all of my Prime-based subscriptions also terminate?

    • Hi Bob,

      I did some digging and it looks like Amazon adjusted this so you can’t technically turn off the renewal without going the “End Membership” route. Instead, they offer the opportunity to send yourself an email reminder just before renewal. Go ahead and set the reminder for a day or two ahead of your renewal and then cash in the Gift Membership then.

      • I did the “End Membership” route and was given an option to end it at the end of the subscription period, so that’s what I did. My subscription page now says:

        “Next Payment:
        On November 18, 2018, your card will not be charged and your membership will end. “

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