Saturday, October 25, 2014

How to beat the impending CitiBike membership hike

Since it's now all but certain that CitiBike annual membership fees will increase (from $95/year to possibly $145), there is a way to dodge the price hike.

When CitiBike announces that Alta has been bought by REQX Ventures, and that the annual membership fee will increase, they can either make the price hike effective immediately or, more fairly, set a future date for the increase like Amazon did when it announced that Amazon Prime's fee would go up 5 weeks hence.

Just in case CitiBike makes a membership hike effective immediately, you are better off renewing now. Doing so isn't that difficult but it may not be obvious how to do so.

Here is how to renew your CitiBike membership now:

1. Log into Citibike by going to their website,

2. After you log in, it should take you to your Member Profile:

3. I believe by default, your membership is set to Automatic Renewal, which CitiBike defines as "Your plan will automatically renew near its expiration date to the Annual Membership plan."  You don't want this, because unless your membership is up in the next few days, the higher fee will be in place well before your membership auto-renews.  

Beside "Renewal Type", click "Change Setting".

4. Click "Switch to Manual Renewal"

5. Once you are back on the main profile page, in the Membership Information section, click Renew.

6. Confirm payment details and you're good for another year at the current $95/year rate!  It might be possible to renew repeatedly for multiple years, but I didn't bother try try that.  If anyone does, please let me know if it works.

7. In case you don't want to accidentally miss a renewal in 12+ months time, consider changing your Membership Renewal Type back to Automatic.

Enjoy another $95 year of CitiBike!

And next time you talk to a CitiBike rebalancer, dispatcher, any CitiBike representative or Jonathan Schulhof, please ask them to stock more bikes in Hell's Kitchen, especially the W54th and 9th Ave. station.

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