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Amazon Prime price is going up, here’s how to pay the lower fee

Published Feb 5th, 2022 8:47AM EST
Amazon in orange glowing text with an arrow on dark background
Image: Hepta/Adobe

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Having an active Amazon Prime subscription can come in handy, especially if you’re buying more goods online during the pandemic. Amazon Prime doesn’t offer you just faster shipping for online orders; it also includes access to exclusive deals and sales. On top of that, Amazon’s video and music streaming services are included in the subscription. And you’ll want to have Amazon Prime enabled on your accounts during the Prime Day and Black Friday shopping events. That’s to say, you get a lot of value from Amazon Prime when you factor in all the perks. But that doesn’t make Amazon Prime price hike any less annoying when it happens.

It so happens that Amazon raised the price subscription on Thursday by $20 a year, or $2 a month, depending on how you like to pay for Prime. The bad news is that you can’t escape the price increase. The good news is that you can delay it.

You can sign up for Amazon Prime before February 18th

On February 18th, 2022 the brand new Prime subscription price goes to $139/year. If you sign up before then, with a free trial, and then a yearly membership, you only would have to pay the lower $119 pricing.

Amazon Prime members see price increases on March 25, 2022. But, if you’re one of the existing members, there’s a trick to pay only $119 vs the $139 yearly membership fee. Here’s how you do it.

The Amazon earnings report

Amazon snuck the Prime price hike into its earnings report that it released this week, burying it in the Amazon Prime section that appears early in the press release:

With the continued expansion of Prime member benefits as well as the rise in wages and transportation costs, Amazon will increase the price of a Prime membership in the US, with the monthly fee going from $12.99 to $14.99, and the annual membership from $119 to $139. This is the first time Amazon has raised the price of Prime since 2018. For new Prime members, the price change will go into effect on February 18, 2022, and for current Prime members, the new price will apply after March 25, 2022, on the date of their next renewal.

The Amazon Prime price change isn’t surprising in a worldwide economy that’s been dealing with massive inflation. The cost of manufacturing and shipping goods has increased, so price increases are the new norm.

But Amazon thrived during the pandemic. The company reported a net sales increase of 22% in 2021 compared to the previous year. Net income rose to $33.4 billion for the period, compared to $21.3 billion in 2020. People are shopping for more goods online during the pandemic, despite the inflation.

On the other hand, profits for the final quarter of 2021 dropped to $3.5 billion from $6.9 billion a year earlier. That’s the second quarter in a row that Amazon saw profits decrease.

How to delay the Amazon Prime price hike

Amazon is only changing the Amazon Prime subscription price in the US. That means all US customers will have to pay either $14.99 per month or $139 per year to get all the Prime perks. The extra $2/month or $20/year makes sense if you buy a lot of goods from Amazon and if you already enjoy all the other freebies that come with the subscription.

But if you want to delay the price increase, you should ensure you subscribe to Amazon Prime before February 18th. That way, you’ll get to keep the current rate of $119/year rate in place for one more year. After that, you’ll be moved automatically to the new price.

Gift yourself a year of Amazon Prime now

Better yet, you can buy yourself the “Gift of Prime” to lock in the current $119 rate. Just list yourself or someone in your household as the recipient, and make sure you set your current Prime membership so that it doesn’t auto-renew. Then, once it’s time to re-up your Prime subscription, use your “Gift of Prime” and you’ll avoid the price hike for another year!

It’s critical that you subscribe for a full year of Amazon Prime to take advantage of the price savings. If you’re currently paying for a monthly subscription, you’d better switch to an annual one. This will let you save the full $20 over a year, compared to just a couple of dollars for the monthly subscription.

On the same note, you should renew prime before March 25th, if that’s a possibility for you. If your current subscription is set to renew after that date, you’ll be moved to the new Amazon Prime price tier.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.