Try not to panic, but Amazon is raising the price of Prime for the first time in four years, from $99 per year to $119. The change goes into effect on May 11 for new members, and June 16 for renewing members. This is obviously disappointing, if not surprising given all the benefits Amazon’s added since 2014. But if your renewal date is after June 16, there is (probably) a way to get another year at the old price.
The trick is to buy an Amazon Prime gift subscription now, and then redeem it on your account once it comes time to renew. The fine print on gift memberships says that redeeming them with an existing Prime account will net a gift card for the amount you paid, rather than an additional year of Prime, so you’ll need to remember to cancel your membership before you redeem the gift. Luckily, if you go into your account settings, there’s an option to receive a reminder three days before your account is set to auto-renew.
Let me be clear, while this trick worked the last time Amazon raised the price of Prime, it’s entirely possible it won’t this time. Amazon would be in its rights to not allow people to redeem $99 Prime gift memberships after the price goes up. But I feel pretty confident that, in the worst case scenario, they’d at least give you a gift card for whatever you paid, so you wouldn’t really be out any money. It’s a small risk, but could be worth it to save $20.
Note: If you have an old Prime account with grandfathered family sharing benefits, you could lose them with this trick.