Amazon recently dropped some important news for cord cutters using their popular Prime service. CFO Brian Olsavsky announced an Amazon Prime cost increase of 20%. The annual subscription price will rise from $99 to $119. If you’re one of millions who use Amazon Prime, you’re probably asking yourself many questions:
- “When does this take effect?”
- “Will they charge me more if I’ve already paid?”
- “How can I avoid this price increase?”
Check below for the answers to all these questions and more!
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When Will Amazon Prime Cost Increase?
For new users, the price for Amazon Prime service will increase on May 11th. So if you don’t use Prime but would like to do so, sign up before this date and you’ll still pay $99 for the first year.
Current subscribers have until June 16th before the new cost will apply to their renewals. So, if your annual subscription is set to expire before June 16th, your next year will cost $99. However, if you renew on or after this date, the price increase will affect your account.
At the same time, Amazon will be increasing the annual cost for Prime student memberships from $49 to $59.
Why Will Amazon Prime Cost Increase?
Amazon says the Prime cost rise reflects an increase in the value that its services and content provide. It’s no secret that Amazon Prime has grown a lot over the last few years. Now, the company feels it must adapt to continue offering special shipping options and online benefits.
Earlier this year, the monthly Amazon Prime cost rose from $10.99 to $12.99. The last time Amazon increased the annual cost of Prime was in 2014.
Possible Consumer Backlash to Amazon Prime Cost Increase
An article on the Forbes site by the Vice-President and Principal Analyst at Atherton Research statezs this very clearly. Atherton Research reported nearly 60% of the 1,000 U.S. Amazon customers they surveyed recently said they’ll not renew their Prime memberships once they expire.
This consumer backlash comes no surprise. The revenue losses for Amazon if this prediction holds true could come to around $5 billion per year. With “only” $1.6 billion in net profits last year, this could come as a significant blow to the giant. That’s with a record $51 billion in sales for the year.
How can I avoid the Amazon Prime Cost Increase?
Sadly, once Amazon implements its new price, you’ll have to pay the extra $20 if you would like to continue using Prime. However, if you act fast, there are still a few options to get around the increase.
If you’re not an active Prime subscriber, joining before May 11th will give you the current $99 annual fee. Likewise, if you’re a member but your subscription renews before June 16th, you’re good to go.
Amazon Prime Cost Increase Workaround
But what should you do if you are a subscriber and must renew after the price increase? Well, there is a workaround. Follow the steps below to avoid Prime’s price increase and save your money:
- Buy a one-year Gift of Prime voucher on Amazon’s website. You can purchase the Gift of Prime before May 11th and avoid the price hike altogether.
- Go to Manage Prime Membership and take note of the date listed in the left-hand column under “Next Payment.” This is the date that your current Prime membership will expire and automatically renew. The key here is to cancel automated renewal so that you can instead apply the cheaper Gift of Prime to your own account after this date.
- Go to Edit Membership, then click on End My Benefits at the bottom of the page. It’s okay! This will only cancel the automatic renewal. Your current subscription and Prime benefits will remain active until the date in Step 2.
- Wait until just after the date that your Prime would have renewed on. Then, redeem the Gift of Prime for your own account. Congratulations! You just avoided Prime’s price increase and saved your bank account $20. Go grab a Venti Caramel Macchiato for yourself and three friends every year on the anniversary of your savings!
Note that you can buy as many Gift of Prime vouchers as you would like. You can then apply them multiple years in a row. You could effectively have Amazon Prime at $99 per year for the rest of your life if you purchase enough of them before its too late. Members who used this method before the last price increase in 2014 say that they still redeem their gift vouchers each year with no problem. So, unless Amazon changes their policy, this trick should work for years to come. If you are not currently subscribed to Prime, you can still use this trick. Buy your $99 Gift of Prime before May 11th and redeem it at any time!
There is one drawback to this trick for some subscribers. If you are using the feature for sharing Prime membership with 4 people, it has expired for new subscriptions. You will sadly lose this benefit if you prevent your account from renewing.
Does Amazon Prime Cost Too Much?
If you don’t want to or can’t afford Amazon’s price hikes, there are many free alternatives to a Prime subscription. Check the My True Media front page to keep up with the latest news for cord cutters and streaming video lovers of all kinds. A couple examples are shown below.
Amazon Prime Cost Increase Alternative 1: Kodi
Kodi is the most popular open-source video streaming software on the internet. Totally free to download and use, Kodi gives you access to all the latest movies and TV shows. Kodi works with just about any device you want to install it on. Kodi also supports addons for any type of streaming video or music you would like to access. Check out our roundup of all the best Kodi addons available today! The IPVanish VPN app (necessary to safely use Kodi) costs far less than Amazon Prime while providing far more movies, TV shows, and even live sports!
Amazon Prime Cost Increase Alternative 2: Terrarium TV
Terrarium TV is a free video streaming software for movies and TV shows. An up-and-coming alternative to Kodi, Terrarium TV streamlines the process by working without the help of addons. Terrarium TV is a great way to stream all your favorite movies and TV shows. At this point, Terrarium TV is developed for Android only, although there are workarounds to this limitation. Again, you will find IPVanish VPN far less expensive than Amazon Prime. You’ll definitely want it to protect your identity, location, and activities when streaming anything you want fro free with Terrarium TV.
Other Options to Amazon Prime
There are many other options and apps to help you access streaming video content. You’ll find many of them written about right here on My True Media.