To PRIME or NOT TO PRIME? The question really is how I dodge the price increase. We should have seen it coming.  Amazon announced it's Prime membership is increasing for the first time since 2014. Come May 11th, you will see your rate go from $99 to $119 annually. While they are promising a load of new features, there are still some ways that you can get around the extra fees!

1. Shop Local.

This should be obvious but there are plenty of ways to get great deals right here in Rochester. Target in Rochester now offers curb-side pickup. Just order from the app and they will bring it out to you. Hy-Vee offers pickup or local delivery, simply order online. Walmart is set to roll out same day delivery hopefully in our area soon within hours of being placed.  Check out the KROC Story.

2. Share with a friend or family member.

Amazon Prime users can share their memberships with one other adult through the company’s Household feature, which allows family members and roommates to tap into a number of Prime benefits, including Prime Photos and album sharing, streaming videos and free books through Amazon First Reads. But there’s a catch! Users must agree to share payment methods, including credit cards and gift cards. Each Household account can accommodate two adults, as well as four teenagers and four children.

3. Save as a student. 

If you are a current student with email address, you are eligible for a half-price student membership for up to four years. This Prime Student Membership will cost $59  (up from the current $49) and includes special discounts on items such as snacks and school supplies. SCORE! Students also have access to a free six-month trial.

4. Pay month to month. 

Most of us know about the annual program but Amazon also offers a monthly membership for those who don’t need — or want — Prime year-round. Monthly memberships will continue to cost $12.99 (that’s $156 a year), while students pay $6.49 (or $78 a year). This is for the non-commital or those that are trying to pretend they don't love Prime!

5. See if you qualify for discounted rates. 

If you are certain types of government assistance programs like Medicaid or WIC, you may qualify for a discounted monthly rate of $5.99 or just $72 a year which is untouched by the increase. You can check your eligibility by uploading a photo of your Medicaid or EBT card. Amazon notes on its website that funds on EBT cards cannot be used to pay for Prime memberships.

Amazon can surely offer a lot and give the appearance of the best deal all the way around but remember it's always good to actually check prices and benefits when making purchases!

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