Instant gratification, anyone? The thought of actually having to wait a week or so for an order might send some people into a tailspin. Amazon Prime has come to the rescue.
Prime's original annual price of $79 wasn't raised until 2014, when the company bumped up the cost to $99 each year. That price hike didn't seem to hurt them. With more than 100 million subscribers, Prime is a full-fledged powerhouse.
Now, 4 years later, Amazon is again adding $20 onto the price of Prime membership. And it's piling on the perks in hopes you won't mind the new $119 annual price.
The biggest benefit is that fast, free-shipping. Locations close to Amazon’s fulfillment centers can even get same-day shipping. Other perks include streaming movies and TV shows, Prime Reading, Prime PC games, and more.
You can also listen to music ad-free, much like you would with Spotify. If you’re not ready to shell out $119 annual fee, check out these 10 ways to save money and still enjoy the benefits of Prime.
1. 30-Day Free Trial
Like most online services, Amazon offers a 30-day free trial to test the waters and see if it is the right fit for you. The offer is posted on Amazon’s website. To be eligible, you must enter your credit card and billing information. If you choose not to buy Prime after the trial period, be sure to cancel your credit card or you will be charged $119 for the year. Click here for your 30-day free trial.
2. Students get 6 months free
If you’re an undergraduate or graduate student you’re eligible for 6 months of Prime for free. To qualify, you must provide a valid .edu email address. After the 6-month free trial, it’s just $49 a year, but will be going up to $59 soon. So, make sure to spread the word to all of the students you know! Click here to get Student Prime now!
3. Use this app and get $20 off
Ibotta is a mobile app that helps you earn money each time you make a purchase. When you sign up for the app, you will receive a $20 Amazon gift card. This means the price will drop from $119 to $99. Not bad!
4. Short-term benefits with Prime
Prime offers a short-term plan to members. This month to month option is perfect for someone who wants to spice up their TV offerings for a few months. Or, for binge-watching the latest season of a TV show you are dying to see. For this plan, the price is $12.99 per month. Similar to the 30-day free trial, you’ll need to cancel your credit card to avoid charges.
5. Link your accounts with a generous family member or roommate
If you and a friend, significant other or a parent have an Amazon account, you can link your accounts under Amazon Household. This option allows you to share Prime benefits. But, you will also split the payment method. So, make sure to use this service with someone you trust. You can stream video and take advantage of the free shipping.
6. Amazon Prime goes on sale!
As it has in the past, Amazon will lower Prime’s membership to promote its most popular TV shows. For instance, Amazon lowered the price for its Golden Globe-nominated show, Mozart in the Jungle. It did this a second time to attract eyes to the show “The Grand Tour.” You can often wait for the discount on Prime Day too.
7. Open a credit card and get Prime free
Credit card companies like American Express often throw in Amazon Prime as a free perk for new customers. American Express also lets you earn Membership Rewards Points on Amazon.com. This feature lets you split the payment. You can choose to pay half with your points and use your card to complete the purchase. Amazon's own Visa also offers reward points for purchases. With 5 percent cash back, if you shop enough, that can end up paying your yearly membership in full. Click here to apply for Amazon's Visa reward card.
8. Government assistance discounts are available
If you are enrolled in certain government assistance programs, Amazon offers a discount for Prime. To apply, you need a valid EBT number. You will need to re-apply every 12 months. But, the offer is available to use for 48 months. Click here to apply.
9. SwagBucks offers a Prime discount
Like Ibotta, Swagbucks is another way to earn money online. With SwagBucks you can take surveys, and receive cash back from online shopping. One promotion they have is to give you a $15 Amazon Gift Card when you sign up for a 1-year membership with Prime.
10. Free Amazon Prime for current members
Amazon Prime's main perk is the fast, free shipping. But did you know if you're a member and your item doesn't get to you in time you can request a 1-month extension for free. For example, if your annual membership ends in September, it would be extended through October at no cost. There are some restrictions (mostly pertaining to mother nature). Click here for details on how to claim your extension.
Bonus: Look for more free trials
Companies like AT&T, Sprint Mobile, and Frontier Communications often offer a year of free Prime membership when you sign up for their services. Also, it's worth noting that the 30 day free trial can be used more than once.
From the looks of things, Prime is poised to keep growing. Amazon is always adding new perks for Prime members, including this new one: 10 percent off of already discounted products at Whole Foods stores.
The new $119 annual Prime membership price took effect on May 11, 2018! The price increase will apply to Prime renewals beginning June 16.
Everything you need to know about Amazon Prime Wardrobe
Amazon wants to dress you. It wants your home to be a fitting room. The new Prime Wardrobe perk is a major Amazon foray into fashion retailing meant to change the way you buy clothes. Click here to learn more about this fashion forward perk.