How Much Is Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime is $99 for the first year, or you can opt to pay $10.99 per month. But there are several ways to pay less than full price.
Here's How to Get Amazon Prime for Free (or Cheap)
Since Amazon Prime launched in 2005 with free 2-day shipping, plenty of perks have been added to the service — including free eBooks, early access to Lightning Deals, and even 1-hour delivery from local restaurants. But you're looking to save even more.
Here's how to get free Amazon Prime if you qualify, and how to save on your subscription if you don't.
Everyone Gets 30 Days Free
When you first sign up for Prime, you'll get a free 30-day trial of the service. You can cancel at no cost if you do so before the trial ends — go to the Manage Prime Membership page and click "do not continue."
If you keep it after the free trial, Amazon Prime costs $8.25 per month if you opt for the $99 per-year plan. That's obviously a better bet than those $10.99 monthly installments.
Students Get 6 Months Free
If you're a college or university student with a valid .edu email address, you can get a Prime Student account, which has a 6-month free trial. After that lapses, you'll pay just $49 per year for four years (or until you graduate, whatever happens first). After signing up, a verification email is sent to your .edu account, but the email address on your Amazon account can be a personal one.
During the free student trial, you get many of the Prime perks, including the following:
- Free 2-day shipping
- Early access to Lightning Deals
- Prime Video access to shows and movies
- Unlimited Prime Photos storage
You also get Prime College deals, as well as Twitch Prime — which comes with game freebies, a free Twitch channel subscription every month, discounts on box game preorders and new releases, and ad-free viewing.
After the free trial, you're eligible for most Prime benefits. You can also receive a $10 credit if you refer someone who then signs up for Prime Student. If you already have a Prime membership, it's possible to switch from a regular Prime account to Prime Student.
When does Amazon Prime go on sale?
Amazon has historically cut its Prime membership prices in response to big company events. For example, Amazon offered a discounted $73 membership after its series Mozart in the Jungle garnered wins at the 2016 Golden Globe Awards. The company has done the same after Emmy wins, so many discount-watchers were surprised when that Emmy discount didn't happen in 2016.
However, in November, Amazon took $20 off a yearlong membership to promote The Grand Tour, one of its original series. So far in 2017, there have been no discount days, so it seems like Amazon is looking to become less predictable about its Prime discount promotions.
Free Amazon Prime for Current Members
If you're a member and your package arrives after the guaranteed delivery time — even if it's a matter of hours — you can request a 1-month extension for free. For example, if you have a yearlong membership lasting through June, your membership would be extended through July at no cost.
Some restrictions exist, such as those pertaining to inclement weather or certain shipping preferences being checked, but Amazon will usually extend membership. Don't believe it? DealNews staff (and some readers) have confirmed this perk.
Snag More Free Trials
Signing up for services from companies such as AT&T, Sprint Mobile, and Frontier Communications can get you a year of free Prime membership.
And according to at least one Amazon rep, if you don't renew your Prime membership, Amazon also offers another 30-day trial after a period of time. (Really, though, this seems like asking for some bad karma.)
Find a Generous Family Member or Roommate
Fans of the sharing economy, this one's for you! Prime members can create a household and add one adult and up to four children to a single Prime account, provided you have the same address. You can split the membership cost, deduct from allowances — or even hope the other person foots the bill!
There's just one thing to keep in mind, should an acrimonious breakup suddenly make your Prime sharing more awkward: Adults that leave a Prime household cannot join another for 180 days.
Prime Student accounts are only eligible for Twitch benefit sharing, and student members can't create households to share benefits. (That roommate is okay to play video games with, but do you really want to share payment info with someone who subsists on cold pizza?)
Amazon Prime Is Cheaper for Cardholders
Prime members who sign up for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card get $70 in Amazon gift card credit, so that pays for a good portion of the $99 yearly membership fee. Prime members also get 5% back from Amazon purchases. Those without a Prime membership can still apply for the credit card, and are eligible for 3% cash back on Amazon purchases.
Don't Forget About the Unlimited Trials!
Before beginning a Prime trial, you can also check out some of the Unlimited trials, such as those for Amazon Music Unlimited or Kindle Unlimited. The music and reading selections included for free in Prime alone are — you guessed it — more limited, so trying out these premium paid services is definitely worth your time.
Readers, do you have any additional tips on how to get Amazon Prime for free? Share them in the comments below!