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How to Get One Extra Month of Amazon Prime for Free

If your Prime delivery is late, you're entitled to a free extension of the membership service. It's worked for us and our readers!
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Amazon Prime

Amazon has a pretty sweet, semi-secret perk for Prime members: If your package isn't delivered by the "guaranteed delivery date," even if it's late by just a few minutes, you can request a free one-month extension to your membership. Sounds too good to be true, but that's what one Redditor discovered simply by reading the fine print most of us just overlook.

In fact, you can request a Prime extension up to 12 times a year. So if you order a lot and your deliveries are frequently late, then you could end up receiving a full year of Amazon Prime for free, simply by asking! There are restrictions, of course, but most of them simply require the order meet some obvious stipulations, and almost all regular orders are eligible for this courtesy.

We know what you're thinking: "Yeah, but will Amazon really honor it?" or "How hard is it to actually get?!"

DealNews Tested and Confirmed — Twice

Well, it just so happens that right after we heard about this policy, our order of Spider-Man Printed Duct Tape didn't arrive on time. (What? Why are you chortling?)

We decided to do some hands-on investigating! We sent this email to customer service:

"Hello! My order, #XXX-XXXXXXX-XXXXXXX, was scheduled for delivery on the 18th, however, it has not arrived. I saw that Amazon will extend a Prime membership by a month if a package misses its delivery date. Am I eligible for that extension for this order not arriving on time?"

SEE ALSO: Amazon Prime Benefits You May Not Know About

You can probably tell by our phrasing that we felt a little bit guilty about asking for this extension. Why would Amazon give us a free month over something as silly as Spider-Man Duct Tape?! And furthermore, when we sent that email, the delivery was only late by an hour and a half. (We wanted to see how closely Amazon stuck to that "promised delivery date.") But lo and behold, the very next morning, this email was waiting for us in our inbox:

"Hello, I'm sorry to hear your 'Duck Brand 280905 Spider-Man Printed Duct Tape' didn't arrive by the estimated delivery date of December 18, 2013. This usually doesn't happen. To help make up for the inconvenience, I've extended your Amazon Prime membership by one month. The membership will now renew on September 2, 2014.

"In my experience, late packages arrive not long after the date listed. Please wait a little longer, until December 20, 2013, before requesting a refund or replacement. Otherwise, you might have to return a package. We hope to see you again soon."

Well, Amazon, you will see us again... and again and again — for an extra month!

And to prove it was no fluke, mere days after the above incident, another package of ours arrived late and we decided to push our luck by requesting the extension again. And again, it was granted! Two delayed packages, two one-month Prime extensions!

If you're not an Amazon Prime member, you're not completely out of luck. Using the same policy, you can have your shipping fees refunded for the tardy item. It's not a month of free shipping, but it's not a bad apology for a late item, either.

(Mostly) Success for DealNews Readers

The last time we published this information, several DealNews readers commented to tell us they have received an extension of Prime because of a delivery delay, and some used the exact wording suggested here when contacting Amazon. In fact, user stvmtchll got an apology and one-month extension just four minutes after emailing customer service.

A few readers did not get a free extension. In those cases, however, they were still compensated.

A few readers did not get a free extension. In those cases, however, they were still compensated. User runchadrun received a refund of the delivery fee, and reader vrsick was offered a $15 promotional certificate or 20% off the Prime membership price; vrsick opted for the $15 certificate.

What about when the delivery goes through the U.S. Postal Service and gets to the post office by the delivery date, but not to your home? User sas300zx talked about often getting later deliveries when the post office is involved. Though Amazon usually grants the extra month, "On the rare occasion when the customer service rep doesn't offer the extension, I point out that delivering to the PO is not delivering to me, and that does the trick," sas300zx noted.

Beware "Prime Abuse"

It seems that Amazon might be cutting back on this perk as it becomes more well known. There's not exactly a consensus, but we've received mixed reports from users who were denied their extra month of Prime — and some who even had their accounts suspended for requesting too many extensions.

SEE ALSO: Some Shoppers Claim That Amazon Has Accused Them of 'Prime Abuse'

What about now, readers? Have any of you tried to request an extra month of Prime recently? Did you have a different experience? Do you feel guilty asking for the extension even though it's well within your rights — and Amazon's policy — to ask for it? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.


User Experience Researcher

Jeff Somogyi is the DealNews User Experience Researcher. Since working here he's written deals, features, promotional and newsletter copy, blog posts, as well as scripts for our videos. Follow him on Google+, Twitter at @sommerjam or his blog.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Unless marked as a "Sponsored Deal," the opinions expressed here are those of the author and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the companies mentioned. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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14 comments
humanoid
I didn't ask for an extension, but did get refunded for the item, a knit cap though, after it arrived a day later than advertised.
kerriroos2@gmail.com
Well I'm not sure if this counts but I wwas suppose to have received my husbands other half of his Christmas present by the 22nd of December 2016 and it had been delivered to someone
else's house one street over. So if what you say is true then lo and behold i am entitled to a free month. Maybe my husband would like to take advantage of this wonderful deal. Thank for the info. Mrs Kerri Ann Roos
Lindsay Sakraida (DealNews)
@MacsAre1 Do you ever have issues with some retailers not shipping to Hawaii?
MacsAre1
I live in Hawaii so not eligible for free 2 day shipping and stuff is later than scheduled all the time. So far I've gotten a few items free out of that so haven't worried about free months of Prime.
thestyerclaus
Amazon's definition of "2-days" is quite odd, is it not? I receivd a package once 3 days later and they tried to justify it. Why pay $99 a year for 2-day shipping when it comes in 3 days instead? Definitely use that CHAT OPTION as each and every time the rep should give you an extra month for free :) .
sirmakoto
why are some of you guys calling or emailing amazon? the easiest and 95% success rate for me is via chat. i have received many prime extensions and or $10+ courtesy credits in the past. just ask the rep behind the chat nicely to get an extension, 1 month max.
dt
I have been a Prime member for over 6 years. It happened only once to me the package arrived later than the two-day in 2015. I called Amazon. After Amazon explained to me it was not Amazon's fault, the lady issued me a $10 credit for future purchase.
Bash
I got a free month of Prime once when I ordered a Prime item and the guaranteed delivery date changed once I received the shipping confirmation.
CinciShopper
I recently called because of a late prime delivery and wasn't offered a free month. Order date was the 22nd and didn't receive until the 27th. The person who I spoke to suggested that it was the carriers fault and not Amazons.
dealnewsgrub
Well, I've also done this many times but in October Amazon said we've already got to the limit of how many free months they're willing to give (no definition, just the statement) and we won't get extensions for late packages until the New Year... so, we've been getting many late packages with no compensation at all... mainly the USPS' fault, but that shouldn't be our problem...
derp
I received 6 additional months this past year due to late delivery of Prime items. However, during a recent late delivery episode I had to escalate my complaint to a supervisor before receiving the extension. You must "complain" via an email or call as they certainly won't extend the membership automatically. It's not gaming the system...you pay for two day shipping and if you don't get it there should be, and is- some compensation. And yes, in some cases it may be a 10% reduction in the purchase price.
moosebs09
I do this for every package that is not received on time. I had gone an entire year for free on my prime account. I have learned along the way that you need to ask for it and confirm what the new date is; as I have had times that they told me i would receive it and it would not show up on my account. In those instances a simple follow up usually helps correct it. I have not had any issues as it is written in their policy.
arkansan4ever
After about 4 late packages in a row, I finally asked for and received a 'free' month of Prime just last week. Of course Amazon knows we're probably not going to cancel so it only means deferring my payment for a month. But I have complained previously and gotten as much as 10% off my order. And, BTW, I contacted Amazon about 8:30 PM for an order that hadn't arrived by 8 and was given the extra month.
Bigtrout
I just got an extension the other day b/c of a late prime delivery.
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