1/23/15 Update: Tomorrow only (Sat 1/23/15), you'll get a second shot at a discounted extra year of Prime, this time for $72! See our post here for more information. On a side note, my own "gift subscription" from March 2014 was delivered this morning and it worked like a charm.
3/20/14 Update: It looks like Amazon has raised the price of a gift membership to $99, so this deal is now dead. Congrats to all who got it while it was good!
3/19/14 Update: Repeat Step 3 as many times as you like to lock in the $79 rate for as many years as you like! Amazon Prime Gift Memberships have no expiration date and can be converted back into an Amazon gift card at any time after delivery by clicking on the activation link before your current membership expires.
Yesterday we covered Amazon's decision to raise the price of its popular Amazon Prime service from $79 to $99 beginning next month. For many current subscribers, the $99 rate won't take effect until sometime in 2015 or 2016.
However, I've uncovered a way to extend your $79 Prime membership by an additional year. Our team tested this Amazon Prime hack this morning and I'm happy to report that it works beautifully. If you were planning to cancel at your next renewal date, this is a quick and easy way to keep your Prime benefits for a bit longer.
Important Note: This hack will expire after 3/20/14, when the price of a new membership goes up to $99.
Once you're logged in to Amazon, click on "My Prime", then "Manage Your Prime Membership" to arrive at this page. Look for and click on the "End Membership" link in the left column, indicated below with the red arrow.
First, you'll be presented with an "Are you sure?" screen and three choices: Continue, Remind Me Later, and End Membership. Click on "End Membership".
Next, you'll be presented with a choice to cancel your membership now or to end it later, keeping your Prime benefits until your renewal date. In my example, the membership would continue until January 22, 2015. Make a note of your end date and choose "End Later". You may be asked to reenter your password.
The next step is to buy yourself an Amazon Prime Gift Membership. Gift memberships are still just $79 through March 20, 2014. Add it to your cart and proceed to checkout.
Delivery can be scheduled for delivery up to a year in advance. Schedule it to arrive the day after your Prime membership expires. In my example, the membership expires on January 22, 2015, so I've set the gift membership to be delivered on January 23, 2015.
If you have any Amazon gift cards languishing about, you can certainly use them up here, but I'd rather put it on a rewards card to get some points or miles out of it. My personal favorite is the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card, which allows point transfers to most major airlines and a 5,000 point bonus on transfers of 20,000 points or more.
The Amazon Prime account I tested this on will now get Prime benefits at the $79 rate through January 23, 2016. Not too bad for 5 minutes of work!
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