Subscribers reported hearing different things based on their renewal dates, and for some consumers (like yours truly), the membership page and the e-mail from Amazon said two different things.
We reached out to Amazon for clarification, and a PR rep for the company told us: “Starting March 20, new Prime members will pay $99 per year. Beginning April 17, existing Prime members will pay the new fee on their subsequent annual renewal date.”
The rep added that customers who sign up for the free trial before March 20 will be locked in for their first year at the $79 rate.
Some folks online are suggesting that people should buy gift Prime subscriptions before March 20, for $79, then give themselves that gift when it comes time to renew, thereby sneaking in an extra year. We have no idea if that actually works, and are checking with Amazon.
So if your Prime membership renews between now and April 16, you get to keep the old price for one year longer. Everyone with renewal dates of April 17 and later, sorry.