(NEXSTAR) – Amazon recently announced it is raising its Prime membership fee this year. This is its first price hike since 2018, but there are some ways to get around it.
The annual cost is going from $119 to $139 and the monthly rate will shift from $12.99 to $14.99. According to Amazon, the change won’t take effect until after March 25, 2022, on the date of your next renewal. If you’re a new subscriber, the higher price starts Feb. 18.
If the new Prime price is a dealbreaker for you, there are other more affordable options.
T-Mobile, for example, offers a wireless plan that includes Amazon Prime.
If you aren’t already a Prime member but you’re considering joining, do it before Feb. 18. This will allow you to lock in the current $119 rate for a year until it renews at the higher price.
Students enrolled in two- or four-year colleges can snag a discount on Amazon Prime. The plan, Prime Student, offers a free six-month trial followed by Prime at $6.49 a month, or $59 a year. When the membership increase takes effect, Prime Student’s membership will move to $7.49 a month or $69 a year, an Amazon spokesperson told Nexstar.
Prime is currently available for $5.99 a month for those with Medicaid, EBT, or other government assistance. To get the discount, you’ll need to verify your eligibility. Other accepted programs can be found here. The monthly price will change to $6.99 later this month, a spokesperson tells Nexstar. According to Amazon, if you reverify your eligibility every 12 months, you can receive the discount for up to four years.
If you sign up for either the Prime Student or the discounted membership now, you’ll receive the current pricing. When your membership renews next year, the price will move to the increased rates. If you already have either of the memberships, your price will increase on your next renewal date, starting after March 25, 2022.
For those who don’t need all the bells and whistles Amazon Prime includes, but still want free shipping, you don’t need a membership. Shipping is free as long as you order at least $25 of eligible items. Those items are denoted with “FREE Shipping” on the product page, according to Amazon. You won’t get unlimited free two-day shipping like Prime members, but your items may still arrive in a timely matter.
There is a separate membership for Prime Video, as well. Amazon is currently offering a 30-day free trial of Prime Video. Once your trial is up, it’ll cost you $8.99 a month.
If you primarily use Amazon to order the same items, a Subscribe & Save membership may be a better value than Prime. With this membership, you can schedule regular deliveries of items and save up to 15% if you receive five or more products in one auto-delivery. What you can order is limited to specific household items, though.
Amazon wasn’t the only service to increase its subscription fee this year. Netflix rolled out price hikes for all three of its subscription plans in early January.