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One thing you must know before you renew your Amazon Prime membership

It really pays to have Amazon Prime — if you shop online a lot. Free two-day shipping could actually cost you more in the end with a $119 Prime membership if you don’t make regular purchases.

Granted, Prime comes with perks like Prime Video and a large Amazon Music selection. Tap or click here to learn about 9 Prime perks you may not be using. But does that really justify the Prime price tag? What are your options if you find it too expensive?

We’re here to tell you there are ways to spend a lot less on a Prime membership. Did you know there are different payment methods? You can reduce the cost significantly if you know where to look. Start with changing up your payment plan.

Save big with a new payment plan

You know you can pay for one year of Prime all at once, but what you might not know is you can also pay for Prime by the month. Tap or click here for ways to save money while shopping on Amazon.

Yes, Amazon Prime monthly memberships exist. You can sign up for a month at a time, only paying for Prime when you need it, rather than paying a lot upfront for something you’ll rarely use.

If you like to buy in bulk, and therefore only shop a few times per year, this could be the perfect payment plan for you. Let yourself accumulate a few large-quantity orders, then sign up for one month of Prime.

So long as they’re Prime eligible, all of your purchases will arrive in only two days, without extra shipping costs regardless of weight. Monthly Prime is particularly useful around the holidays, or birthday-heavy months.

For $12.99, you can get fast deliveries on most items, so you’ll be able to get last-minute gifts and avoid extra shipping costs. But of course, this is assuming you shop infrequently on Amazon. If you want Prime year-round, but still want to save money on the membership, check out the next section.

Another option: share Prime

Maybe you shop on Amazon quite a bit and enjoy the perks of Prime — like having a specified day for weekly deliveries, or Amazon Key deliveries — where Amazon can leave packages inside of your home, garage or car to avoid porch pirates.

The only problem? Prime is just too expensive. Or, at least, it’s too expensive for just you. Amazon Prime has a function called Household, which allows users to add up to two adults, four teenagers and four children to one account. Everyone in the Household receives Prime’s perks, all for one price.

This means if you and a roommate, or you and your spouse, or even you and a friend in another city want to split a Prime account, you can. The catch is you have to agree to share payment methods. You’ll have access to each other’s credit cards, but if you trust the other person, it’s worth it.

When adding others as teens or children, there are account limits for them. Teens have to have their purchases approved, and children can really only access media. For those in your life who just want perks like Amazon First Reads and videos, this system could work — so long as you can really trust them not to abuse your credit card.

Unsure whether you’d rather share a Prime account or try a monthly plan? Let’s go over the exact costs of each, which might help you make the final decision.

Comparing the rates

We’ve broken down the exact costs of having your own Prime account, splitting the cost with a trusted loved one and paying for it monthly. We’ve talked about why you might want each above, but if you’re still uncertain, let the final costs below help you decide.  

Remember, the more people on the Household account, the less everyone pays. Plus, there are discounts for people on Medicaid or who have EBT cards, and for students as well.

Here are the prices for different Prime memberships held for different lengths of time:

  • Prime Monthly, single user: $12.99/month
  • Prime Student Membership, single user: First six months free, then $6.49/month.
  • Prime Monthly for those with an EBT or Medicaid card, single user: $5.99/month.
  • Prime Annual, single user: $119/year.

Now, if you share an account with one other person, here’s how much each person pays:

  • Prime Monthly, two users: ~$6.50/month.
  • Prime Student Membership, two users: First six months free, then ~$3.25/month.
  • Prime Monthly for those with an EBT or Medicaid card, two users: ~$3/month.
  • Prime Annual, two users: $59.50/year.

As you can see, you save the most money by sharing a Prime account — particularly with someone who is a student (or if you’re a student yourself).

When broken down, the monthly membership always costs more than the regular Prime account. So even though Prime is expensive, you’re still getting a better deal than paying a monthly fee.

The bottom line is monthly is more affordable if you only need it only a few months each year. For example, if you pay for nine months on the Monthly plan, you’ll pay about the same as Prime for a full year ($117 vs. $119, respectively).

Amazon Prime has some really great perks. Tap or click here to learn more about them. It can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be if you add people or adjust your plan. Commit to one of those plans in 2020, and save on Amazon Prime for the rest of the year.

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