5 Ways to Avoid Paying $139 for Amazon Prime – PCMag
Amazon just increased the annual price of Prime by $20 to $139. Here’s how to lock in a lower rate.
Amazon’s Prime subscription service has seen a few price hikes over the years, from $79 to $99 per year in 2014, again to $119 in 2018, and now to $139.
Prime is free to join for 30 days(Opens in a new window), so you can try it without making a year-long commitment. Sign up at the holidays to get free shipping on gift purchases and then cancel, for example. (You can only do that once.) There’s also the option to sign up for a monthly Prime subscription at $14.99, though if you plan to use it for any length of time, an annual fee is a better deal.
The main Prime perk is free, two-day shipping, but Prime members also get Prime Video streaming, Prime Music, Prime Reading, and Amazon Photos. If you’re a regular Amazon user, Prime is a pretty good deal. But perhaps you’re on a budget and are looking for ways to pay less than $139 for Amazon Prime free shipping and other perks. Here are some options.
Students still get a discounted Amazon Prime rate when they join Prime Student(Opens in a new window).
Those who sign up get a six-month trial that includes free, two-day shipping on Prime items, free same-day delivery in certain areas, and two-hour grocery delivery, as well as access to Prime Video, Prime Music, Amazon Photos, Prime Reading, and Amazon Photos. Once the six-month trial is up, Amazon charges $59 per year or $6.49 per month for four years or until graduation, whatever comes first. To qualify, you’ll need a .edu email address.
If you have a valid Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) or Medicaid card, you can sign up for Amazon Prime for $5.99 per month(Opens in a new window) for up to four years. After Amazon verifies your accounts, you’re eligible for free, two-day shipping, Prime Video, Amazon Photos, and more. EBT/Medicaid status will have to be verified every 12 months; Amazon will email you to re-verify.
If free shipping is your game, Amazon offers free shipping on orders of $25 or more(Opens in a new window) for those without Prime, with delivery in 5-8 business days. With millions of items, it’s not hard to rack up enough items to hit the $25 mark. Some items are not eligible; look for “FREE Shipping” messaging on the product detail page to see if your item qualifies. You can get free, one-day shipping when buying gift cards, but they don’t apply to the $25 total, Amazon says. If you’re just shy of $25, select a cheap, add-on item(Opens in a new window).
Similarly, shoppers who tend to buy the same things should look into a Subscribe & Save Membership(Opens in a new window). Although it does not cover everything on the site, members can save up to 15% on orders and receive free shipping on every Subscribe & Save order. Members must select eligible items, and choose a delivery schedule to subscribe. While it’s not as expansive(Opens in a new window) as an Amazon Prime membership, it is convenient and worth a look.
Amazon isn’t the only shipping giant with a subscription service; Walmart+ debuted in 2020 and at $98 per year, it’s now more than $40 cheaper than Amazon Prime. There are similar perks, like free shipping and early access to special deals, plus prescription and gas discounts. There’s no free video-streaming service, though. And express delivery options are not as robust as those found on Amazon, so double-check that Walmart has a presence in your area if something like grocery delivery is a priority.
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Chloe has led PCMag’s news coverage for more than 10 years, editing and writing stories about the innovations that have shaped the last decade and the companies behind them. She also oversees the site’s how-to coverage. Before joining PCMag.com, Chloe was a reporter covering tech policy on Capitol Hill for The National Journal’s Technology Daily and financial IT for Incisive Media in NYC. She’s held internships at NBC’s Meet the Press, washingtonpost.com, the Tate Gallery press office in London, Roll Call, and Congressional Quarterly. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from American University in Washington, D.C.
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May 14, 2022 at 08:00PM