Final Hours! Amazon Prime Going Up To $119 Per Year, But Here’s How You Can Lock In The $99 Rate For Future Years!

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Update: There are just hours left to lock in $99 Prime via buying a Prime Gift Membership before the price goes up tonight!

Originally posted on 4/26:

In 2014 Amazon was charging $79 for Prime membership and said that they believed they could charge up to $119 per year. At the time they only raised it to $99, but effective 5/11/18 the cost of Prime membership for new members will climb to $119 per year.

Existing members will be able to renew until 6/15, but renewals on 6/16 will also go up to $119 per year.

The student rate will go up from $49 to $59. There’s no word on whether the Medicaid/EBT cardholder rates will increase from $5.99/month of $71.88/year. One caveat is that  Amazon Student Prime, Medicaid and EBT Prime members can’t share benefits with household members. Regular Amazon Prime members can share the full Prime benefits with another household member. A nice benefit of that is that when there is a Prime member exclusive deal that is limited to just one per account, you and someone else in your household can take advantage of the deal.

Monthly Prime members will continue to pay $12.99 per month, which comes out to $155.88 per year if you don’t want to pay in advance. Monthly Prime Student members continue to pay $6.49 per month, which comes out to $77.88 per year if you don’t want to pay in advance.

You can join Amazon Prime now for $99 here with a free trial.

Want to lock in $99 Prime membership for future years?

I locked in several years of $79 Prime membership back in 2014 and they continue to work perfectly. This method provides also provides a hedge even if Amazon decides to raise the price of Prime again in the future. Here’s how to do it:

You can buy $99 Prime Gift Memberships here. You can buy as many as you’d like, but you’ll have to buy them one at a time.

Tax on Amazon Prime Memberships is collected based on whether your default address is in one of these states. You can buy Prime Gift Memberships with Amazon gift cards, so if you have Amazon gift cards and have an address in a state without tax on a Prime Membership (such as Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, or Virginia) you can use that as your default address for an Amazon Prime Gift Membership and avoid paying tax on the membership.

You can use your Chase Ink Cash card and get 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent by buying Amazon gift cards at Office Max/Depot or Staples. Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other business travel cards! You should have until 5/10 to buy Amazon gift cards and lock in Prime Gift Memberships at the $99 rate. Of course you don’t need to use a gift card to lock this in, but that way you’ll earn 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent and can avoid paying taxes on Prime membership.

You can have Prime Gift Memberships emailed to you or a friend. Just select to have it sent now and you can file the gift memberships away in a folder in your email. There is no limit to how many Prime Gift Memberships that you can buy. They will always be good for a full year of Prime, no matter what the price for Prime is when they are used, and they will never expire!

When you send yourself a gift year of Prime you will get an email with a special link that instantly gives a year of Prime to whatever account opens the special link. If you click on the link and have an active Prime membership it will ask you if you want to convert the membership into a gift card for the amount paid for the Prime gift membership. If you paid tax for the Prime Gift then you will also get the tax back as a gift card.

You need to click on the link after your Prime membership expires in order to use it for another year of Prime.

A regular Prime membership is set to auto-renew. To use the Prime Gift Membership, you will need to set your Prime not to auto-renew.

To do so, click on this link and select “Do not continue” or select “End Membership and Benefits”


You will be asked if you want to end your Prime benefits. Select “End My Benefits.”


Click on “continue to cancel:”

Confirm that you want to end your benefits at the end of your membership that you have already paid for:


You will get a confirmation that your Prime membership will end on a future date:

After that date, just click on the Prime Gift Membership link in your email to enroll in another year of Prime at the $99 price that you locked in!


Decide that you no longer want Prime? You can convert the amount you paid back into an Amazon gift card by scrolling to the bottom of the email and locating the link in this paragraph:

You can buy as many gifts of Prime as you want. You can use it for yourself or give it as a gift in the future to anyone else.

If you have gift card funds locked in one Amazon account and you want to transfer the funds to someone else you can buy Prime gift subscriptions with your gift cards and send them the gift to another Prime account! That other account can then turn the gift membership back into gift cards in their account.

Note that if you are grandfathered into the old Prime sharing system you can’t use this workaround as it requires letting your old Prime expire before enrolling again. Under new Prime sharing rules you can only share Prime with 1 other person and payment details are shared as well between those accounts. Though under the new system Prime benefits like Amazon Family and Prime Video are usable by both accounts.

Amazon Prime member benefits include:

How many years of $99 Prime membership will you lock in?

Amazon offers free shipping with $25+ orders or get free 1 day shipping on all orders with a free trial of Amazon Prime. A prime trial is also free with Amazon Family (which also gets you up to 20% off diapers among other benefits) or Amazon Student. EBT/Medicaid Cardholders can save on Prime Membership here.

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188 Comments On "Final Hours! Amazon Prime Going Up To $119 Per Year, But Here’s How You Can Lock In The $99 Rate For Future Years!"

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My prime is set to auto-renew on 6/21, but it says for $99 per year. Can I screenshot that and get them to honor it?


FWIW and to confirm that the screenshot will not help: I just called about my own account and the rep told me that what it shows on my screen today (will auto-renew for $99 on July 24) will not be accurate after the date of the price hike. On July 24 I WILL be charged the new rate of $119. BUT, to help offset the extra cost, she applied a $20 promo to my account for future purchases, so that was a bonus! 🙂
I think I will still cancel my auto-renewal and do it Dan’s way.


@Dan, what states do not charge tax on the membership?


Is it really worth it to spend hundreds of dollars in order to save $20 over the course of a year?


Not only I save $20/yr but I also earn 5x Chase UR points per year. I’ve never thought about paying prime membership using Amazon gift card bought at OD using my ink business plus. It doesn’t require a lot of brain power to do this. I’m gonna lock at least 5 yr.


If I end my membership then use the gift membership same email and all will it have all my old orders and what not?


so just to be clear, if I want to buy 5 yrs worth of prime, ill be laying out $495 + applicable taxes?


Off topic, but I heard that chase wants to discontinue freedom unlimited transfer to UR?


What’s ur?


Chase Ultimate Rewards


I called Amazon and they said that purchasing this is not good, I need to call back just before the 15th and they will cancel my membership and provide a new one for $99.


You never call and ask the company about a loophole. Then they close the deal to everyone.


My Student Prime membership expired June 3rd.
Is there a way to buy more years of the student version?


They’ve changed the cancelation prompts so they look a bit different (and seem more like they’re going to go ahead and cancel without giving you the option to keep the annual plan up to your renewal date). It instead seems to talk about switching you to the monthly plan. Has anyone gone through the “new” prompts and successfully kept their current annual membership but just ending auto-renew? (I’m wondering if they made a change to ward off people doing the multi-year prepay described above.) Thanks!


I see different prompts from the screenshots, too. Mine does not have the link “Do not continue”.

Donna Karmel

I have.

Friedman Fay

Can I buy it now on my wife’s email my prime expires on July 15 so I’ll and just stop mine and start using hers than

Five Townsyid

EBT/MEDICAID RATE: At sign-up, and every twelve months thereafter, you must qualify to receive this price. You are only eligible to receive this price for four years from the date you first sign-up.


What is the price for those who are grandfathered into the old sharing method?


Oh, how I wish they’d have a cheaper version of Prime, exclusive to shipping and savings benefits. All these Prime Whatevers… are totally unnecessary, and are only here to justify the outrageous prices/price hikes.


Outrageous price hikes? You mean, the first hike in four years? You can always skip using Prime and do free shipping with the higher mins or slower deliv times, but then you wouldn’t be able to be such a complainer, ammirite?


I agree! I tried Prime for a but just for the 2 day shipping and found it was no way worth it for the amount you pay subscription. Wish there was a $50 option without all the other prime fringe elements




Amazon won’t offer an a la carte version of Prime because the point of the add-ons is to keep you in their ecosystem. They want you to use as many services as are available because it keeps you away from the others and increases the likelihood for further up-sells.


If you let your Prime account expire before renewing will Amazon delete photos you have stored with them? One of the Prime benefits I use.


It won’t let me add more than one Amazon Prime (One year Membership). How to I add 4 or 5?


From another site:

You used to be able to do this, but we just tried and it seems like Amazon is now essentially having you gift the current value of a Prime membership as a gift card instead of a pre-paid membership for existing Prime members. So if you try to redeem your gifted Prime membership after the price hike, it’s unclear whether you will have to pay the additional $20 or if you will have a year of Prime. You can gift a Prime membership”

I guess that there is no risk. Worse comes to worse you still have $99 on Amazon credit


Dan, are you aware of any advantage to not letting a Prime membership expire? I have been a prime member for several years, and I am thinking that perhaps Amazon can see my many years of continuous membership, and now or in future they value it in one way or another.

Also, are you absolutely sure that photos on Prime Photos will not be lost by expiration of Prime Membership. I am asking it because T&C of Prime Photos does not guarantee that files and photos will be kept after the expiration of Prime Membership.


We have an HBO subscription through Amazon. They once made an error with my prime renewal and to fix it they cancelled our prime membership and the HBO subscription cancelled automatically. They had to sign us back up for HBO after reinstating our prime. I can understand why you’d be worried if that is the only place you have those photos stored. Maybe just back them up to be safe.


I also dont have the option of not renewing after my renewal date They tell me that they will send me a reminder 3 days before Do you think this is because i have credit cards on file And this is on a desktop


If I was smart I would had bought 50 fire phones when they were selling for $150 or so with a stackable prime and flipped them for a profit plus be set for the next 50 years of prime. I did only several.

But buying 5 years or even 1 year of prime gift membership concerns me. Because things get hacked and things glitch out. I still get anxiety about losing or forgetting my gift card balances. And even when you bank them like with Groupon or Amazon, at the whim of the retailer they can close it and send you begging for your balance.


Is it too late to buy Amazon stock?


ummm r u nuts ?

go short amazon, apple, google and facebook and you will lose it all in 2 years..

rule # 1 never short good companies !

nasdaq peak

@d do u mean SELL amzn stock? never a good idea to buy at the top. wonderful opportunity to sell short tho. With a PE ratio in the stratosphere it’s probably one of the best stocks to short. these opportunities are rarer than their prime price hikes. My guess is below $1000 by yr end. anyone else shorting it at the moment?


I say sell or short at $2000.


Thanks for letting us know about this! I have a prime student membership that expires in July but I can renew it for the next 2 years. Do you know of any way to lock in the student $49 price or buy a gift card for prime student membership?

Ten Bucks a Week

I don’t find the need for prime. You get free shipping on decent sized orders. If I’m dying for one of their shows I’ll get a month.


Hey Dan, if employing the Chase Ink Cash strat, are you able to specifically purchase one-year $99 Amazon Prime gift cards in Staples free of tax? Or you must buy regular Amazon gift cards and purchase online?


Anybody else realize that when you don’t have prime Amazon will wait 5 days before shipping your order? Do they do this on purpose? So you should get Prime


Yes absolutely I just gave up my prime membership and ordered something and it took forever to ship! So ridiculous!


Guess it’s done on purpose, even if and when you need something quicker you just pay few dollars extra for faster delivery still might not add up to the annual charge of $119 plus tax


Thanks for the post.
It’s not taking tax off for me.
I am trying to pay using GC balance so there is no billing address, when I switch it to CC I can put a DE address but when switching again to GC it adds the tax.


How does cancelling and restarting the next day effect photos stored under amazon cloud ?account?


Dan, using an address for a state that you aren’t a bona fide resident of, in an attempt to circumvent taxes, is considered tax fraud. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is still illegal. I’m a bit surprised that your blog would encourage people to engage in illegal activity.


Good tip on the exclusive deals being used for multiple members. Along that same line, can another member on the same Prime account apply for the Chase Amazon card and still get the 5% back? Or would they need their own separate Prime account?


Thanks, Dan – You’re the man!

I still have 9 Audible credits, so I’m wondering if you are aware as to whether they will be canceled/forfeited, should I cancel my Amazon Prime account and pre-pay for 5 years of memberships? I know that I tried to cancel my Audible membership the other day and it said that it would cancel my 9 remaining credits, so I’m wondering if you have any data on this?

Thanks for all that you do!


Thanks Dan, when you posted about this during the last price hike it all worked as described, except one thing. It seemed like by using the prime gift subscription, I would lose my grandfathered account that allows me to share free delivery with family. So I never went through with it and converted the gift subscriptions back to gift cards. Any thoughts on whether one would lose that grandfathered benefit?


Can someone explain if the Gift is to be used on the day of “your account of Prime will end on xx/xx/2019” or the day after ?

Also what happens to our 5% Chase Amazon card ? Does it also die and get resurrected next day ?


I tried this, but the email I received to confirm the cancellation did not have a link for a gift membership. I just cancelled the cancellation and kept my membership.


Do people get shutdown for repeatedly opening new accounts every 30 days for a free trial?


Soooo, I recently (finally) got the business ink card and would like to buy Amazon cards to do this at an office supply store. I’ve spent about a hour on the Staples and Office Depot websites and cannot find any Amazon gift cards — what am I doing wrong? I did a “search” and also manually searched through every gift card listed! Not a single Amazon card. Thanks for everything Dan!!

Elki H

I just got a call from Amazon if I made these purchases of Amazon Prime and why I bought 3? Just letting you know they are monitoring


This post did not really answer, what happens to an existing Chase Amazon Visa account, the card receives a 5 % cash bonus for all Amazon and Whole Foods shopping. AFAIK, once the Prime membership expires, that old Chase Amazon Visa card is cancelled. Will Chase really reactivate Visa 24-48 hours later on a cancelled account ? If they send a new card, that means the physical card will be in the mail for another 7-10 days.


Amazon changed how many you can buy at one time. It is only one now. It makes wonder if they will delete your library in the future if you renew with gift memberships?


Dan, thanks for the info.
My question is, if I want to get the $99 gift membership for myself do I need to pre-pay for all future years. In other words, if I have a january renewal and want to pay $99 for my upcoming year (2019) I would buy the gift membership now (before 6/20) and if I would want it for 2020 I would also need to buy it now?
It would seem to be alot to lay out if I want to have a ten year rate of $99…


“Existing members will be able to renew until 6/15“

Can I renew early? Mine runs out a few days after 6/15.

frank J

I tried and didn’t carry through as I had to think about the nasty sales tax added on to the gift of prime in my shopping cart… California resident if that means anything.


Just to be clear:
If I want to buy 2 years of the Prime Gift Membership and my membership expires in January I should
1 – buy the 2 Gifts now
2 – cancel my auto-renewal now
3 – click on Gift link #1 in Jan 2019 (after expiration date)
4 – click on Gift link #2 in Jan 2020 (after expiration date)

Or am I able to put those gifts on my account now?


Hello, could not find the Gift Card in Staples and or/Office Depot, could you tell me where to find it please?


“Of course you don’t need to use a gift card to lock this in, but that way you’ll earn 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent and can avoid paying taxes on Prime membership.”
Why are you only avoiding taxes by using gift cards as opposed to a cc?


Because unless you have a credit card with a billing address in one of those tax free states it will charge you tax based on the billing address of the credit card used


So….if I don’t do anything, I’ll b able to renew and still b able to share it with another family member (for 119$). ?


Can you give instructions on how to do this with the student prime membership?


HI. I am grandfathered with an old account. So I will likely not take advantage of this. I noticed that I have two other people at the moment who are on my old account. One at different address. As well as another who never accepted invite at another address. As a side question to all this, I don’t see where I can add someone, do I still get up to four without sharing credit card information if I have an old account? Or did they lock however many I have when the change occurred? Thanks


Guess what Amazon your not worth $119 to get packages in 2 days (and I don’t need all those extra music/movies etc. garbage) I can wait few more days, walmart has 2 day free shipping $35 up with no steep annual fee.


I agree!


Just to be clear, if I’m grandfathered into the old Prime where I can share with members outside my home, I can’t lock in this lower rate correct?


Correct because if you allow it to expire you will lose your grandfathered sharing


So I got the email that has a button that says “starts enjoying prime ” I just want to clarify am I supposed to wait and click on it only after my prime membership expires or am I supposed to do it now??. Thanks


@Dan you don’t mention prime benefit of 5% cashback for the amazon chase card i think its a great perk

Aaron Hauptman

Dan- Thanks for all your great info and help. Important question: I currently have an Amazon Prime membership which has me, my wife, our 21 year old son who lives with us, and my married son and daughter-in-law who live in Florida, on the account. My Membership is due to auto-renew on 5/10/18. Will my sons and
daughter-in-law continue to be on my renewed Prime membership account for the next year? If they will also be covered with future auto-renewals, wouldn’t it also be worth it to continue to auto-renew, even at the $119/year rate instead of purchasing separate gift subscriptions for them and me? Thanks for your advice!


Btw, I have a delivery address in Alaska. I tried switching it to my default address and then using your link to purchase the Prime gift membership, but Amazon is still charging me Texas sales tax. I assume it is because my credit card billing address is still in Texas, which I can’t change.


Does this work even if you delay delivery of gift email, for example, until date of expirarion?


So Amazon now locked my account after I sent myself a second gift card saying someone hacked my account. I reset the password, turned on 2 factor authentication with LastPass authenticatior, got back in, ordered another gift membership and go shut down again with the same fraud message….


Problem with locking account solved with Amazon Tier 2 support being on the line with me when purchasing the card and noting in the account it’s me, as well as the addition of the Authenticator app usage to my account


What do I do if I have 2 more years with the student discount, if I hit “do not continue” will I lose my discount or can I continue the next 2 years when I’d like?


When setting my address as Orlando it charged me $1.80 tax


does the new prime rules allow you to share with another person (sep. address)


When is the last chance to do this?


as you said in info that like Aug 18 2018 our Prime membership will end my q is if till that date i may buy with my old prime account ? will any order i make on my old ( canceled) prime account affect the gift prime way?

You will get a confirmation that your Prime membership will end on a future date: aug 18 2018


Is the 5/11 deadline only for new Prime memberships or also for current members. According to this post, existing members have till 6/15 to buy $99 gc membership. However, according to a article, it seems that 5/11 is deadline for both new & existing members.
Any insight?



How do you have time to answer the same questions again, again and again?


I didn’t do this because i was worried that the step of letting the current subscription expire would cause all my saved tracks (not bought on Amazon – the ones i uploaded in the past) to be dropped irrevocably. In fact, I think that would happen in that Amazon is no longer allowing this for more than 250 tracks – but they allowed a one time opt in exception for existing folks with that drive feature.


My wife has the prime account. If I buy a gift prime for her and the email with the link goes to her, when does she have to set her account to to renew (i.e., MUST she do it tonight), and does she has to wait to click the link(s) in renewal emails until each succeeding year ends?


Can you load up your gift card balance on your Amazon account with credit card with no tax and then buy prime membership with the balance on your account if you have an address in non tax state?


Not sure if its a DP or just a glitch but I’m not being charged sales tax in TX- I am using an Amazon gc to pay for the gift of prime.

Honest Abe

Dan, just curious…How many years did you lock in at the $99 rate now? I bought 7 years worth back when it was $79….and still have 4 or 5 years left …so I didn’t buy any now…




For what it’s worth, I’m a financial advisor and hold countless advanced financial professional designations including an MBA. I know a good opportunity when I see it, and this was a risk free option to lock in a needed service which is increasing in price faster than inflation. I had $4000 credit on account with Amazon (all bought at a discount) and purchased 30 memberships with this method. I can liquidate easily or sell to others. Very low opportunity cost. A no-brainer to not buy at least a few years worth. Dan is the man!

In response to those who say “it’s only $20”, I think there is value in regularly taking advantage of small deals. It keeps me in what I call “The Millionaire Mindset”, always thinking of creative ways to leverage and replicate money making opportunities. It’s really true that the first million is the hardest. Many people never achieve critical mass in wealth creation because they have a small minded attitude. Need to start somewhere and keep the ball rolling. Just my two cents.


+1, well said JIM!


Or you can do what I do and work for Amazon and pay the special employee pricing rate

Honest Abe

I honestly believe this is the most they will charge for membership for at least the next 5 years. And what happens if the government steps in and decides to break down the Monopoly that is Amazon? Then you are stuck having to dump the 30 years worth of membership fees or use it as cash. Again. my opinion…to those of us with mortgages and school tuitions…not to mention putting food in our kids mouths …$20 for some future what-ifs is not amazing. If you got the cash laying around and can afford it…kol hakovod…If not…It isn’t an amazing savings….However, Back when I got it for $79…now that was a deal….this isn’t.

Besides…every once in a while Amazon gets all nostalgic and decides to offer membership for a limited time run for around $79 or $99…It will happen again..mark my words. It may even happen on Prime Day in July.


if they come out with a cheaper option, you can always cash these out and buy that one then ( i did it, by cashing out $79 ones and buying $72 ones when they ran a special)


Dear Prime member,

Thank you for being a valued member of Amazon Prime. We are writing to you about an upcoming change to your membership.

The price of the annual Prime membership increased from $99 to $119 on May 12018. Your renewal on August 15, 2018 will be at $99. The new price will apply to your renewals starting August 15, 2019.


We got this email language from Amazon today. It sure sounds like the next renewal will still be at 99, and that the ones I bought yesterday not need to be used until 2019 and beyond…
Dear Prime Member,

Thank you for being a valued member of Amazon Prime. We are writing to you about an upcoming change to your membership.

The price of the annual Prime membership increased from $99 to $119 on May 11, 2018. Your renewal on June 8, 2018 will be at $99. The new price will apply to your renewals starting June 8, 2019.



Looks like I’m too late to buy the $99 prime membership gift cards? They’re showing up as $119 now.


It’s over!! Increased to $119. Glad I bought two gift memberships at $99!

Karen Lee [PJP-88029]

My Prime Renewal annual date is mid-Jan. 2019 at the new $120 price. I am going to cancel /not renew it, then reactivate it for one month on, one or two month(s) off beginning March 1st. This will provide me with a few benefits such as…

1. Payments of $13/month for only 6 months a year, maximum, so there’s a savings of at least $55/a year.
2. Will cut way down on impulse buying, just because I want something today, but by next week, I will realize that I really didn’t want it “that much”! Will put things on their “Add to a List” feature, and reevaluate my “need vs. want” during an “on month” during a monthly subscription time. I am do this already with Kindle Digital books I want to read that aren’t free or less than $2. Then I just use my Digital Local Library card (via Overdrive) and check out or request books through it, there is nothing that I “need to read” immediately.

I also plan to never buy one of their krappity 2% rewards by renewing gift cards (for myself) that they offer if you purchase one with a bank debit card. I purchased a total of $1,000 of these this year and it was just Too Easy to shop at because, essentially, I had already paid for it by having spending money on hand available. For the $20 they “rewarded me” with by refilling my gift card balance a few times ($200, $300, and $500), I probably wouldn’t have ordered half of the stuff that I did. It’s quite the creative marketing trick they have going on with this particular offer.

I will catch up with Prime Videos free offerings during my “on months”, if my $8/month HULU subscription has nothing new to offer. Prime Video sure ain’t Netflix, HBO or Showtime, but they do have the feature of being able to download shows over a few minutes of using my AT&T 22GB/month mobile Hotspot data plan, to be able to watch the show offline without burning up 1 GB/Hour of data with concurrent streaming and viewing.

I don’t know if this “Save $55/year” in subscription fees (plus probably about $500 with No More Gift Card Refilling” idea of mine will actually work…
if Amazon will allow me to turn on/off my membership per my desires (I have seen nobody else post this type of strategy online and Amazon’s ToS do not mention anything like this) but I am going to try.

Wish me luck.
Note: I do at least 80% of my “wants and needs” shopping online, not just at Amazon, because I live in a Very rural area of the country where the only 3 stores within 100 miles is a small family owned Grocery store, Tractor Supply and Wal-Mart.
So pretty much everything other than perishable groceries and pet food is ordered online. Without the ability to do this, I would be very limited on the price products available to buy… and come to think of it; I’d probably be blooming wealthy !!!


Data point: This trick no longer works _ I had purchased a year’s worth of prime last year, at old price. I applied it just today — I got charged ‘the difference’ to my credit card on file.