Having multiple Amazon accounts can get expensive if you pay for Prime multiple times, buy the same movies, etc. Fortunately, Amazon Household makes it easy to share free shipping, shopping, and other benefits across multiple accounts in your household.
Why would you want to do this?
Amazon Household is, as the name implies, designed for families that share the same residence and in a somewhat traditional family structure (two adults and up to four children).
The two adults in the household have access to free Prime shipping, Amazon’s Prime video streaming service, an unlimited Prime Photos account (each household member has their own account with private photos and albums), access to Prime Reading (what’s wrong with it Thousands of books) and, of particular interest to those with young children, easy management of all child profiles attached to the main account.
Plus, household members share purchased content between accounts: If you bought a ton of books and your spouse bought a ton of books, those books are no longer held hostage in their separate accounts. You can share them with each other without having to buy them again. The same goes for audiobooks, movies, TV shows, apps, and games.
In short, if you already have an Amazon Prime account, there’s really no good reason not to take advantage of Amazon Household and share the benefits with your family.
What you need and special considerations
Of course, you’ll need an Amazon Prime account to share your access to Amazon Prime. However, the fine print means that access to Amazon Household is not available to those of you with discounted Student Prime accounts (you’ll need to pay the full Prime rate to get Amazon Household). Sharing is also not available if you are a guest on someone else’s Prime account and not the primary account holder; no wonder, you can’t share what isn’t yours.
The other adult member of your household will also need their own Amazon username and password if they don’t already have one (this username doesn’t need to be Prime-enabled, of course). You do not need separate logins for children, as Amazon handles children’s accounts as sub-accounts based on the parent’s account profile.
Finally, there’s one big consideration that really highlights how this is a service for families and not friends, roommates, or distant relatives: When you link another adult’s account to your Prime account through Amazon Household, you’re also linking all their information. billing and payment options. – the other adult in your Amazon household will have unlimited access to any and all credit cards associated with the account. As such, it’s really only a viable option for spouses or others with a shared financial situation.
A little note before we continue: In addition to the whole shared credit card thing, there’s also a time restriction on creating and joining households. Amazon is serious about making Amazon Household truly for households (and not casually shared among friends). When you add or remove a person from your household, neither you (the Prime account holder) nor they (the previous Household member) can create or join another household for 180 days.
How to enable Amazon Home
The first step in setting up your Amazon home is to sign in to your Amazon account. If you don’t know the username and password of the secondary household member (for example, your spouse), you’ll want to get it, as you’ll need that information shortly. You won’t need any kids present, as all child profiles are linked to the parent’s account (unless you’ve forgotten their birthday, in which case you’ll have to awkwardly call them too).
add an adult
Go to the Manage Your Amazon Household page. Find the “Add an Adult” button and click it.
Note: If you used the old Amazon Prime sharing (the shipping-only option that preceded Amazon Home), your spouse may already be the other adult in your Amazon Home and you won’t be able to add them. Instead of clicking “Add an Adult,” click the “Manage Your Amazon Home” link. This will take you directly to the admin panel that the rest of us won’t see for a few steps in this tutorial.
After selecting “Add an Adult”, you will be prompted to enter your name and email address, as seen below.
You will receive a message to verify that you want to share your Prime benefits after you submit your information. Click “Accept and continue”.
On the next page, you will be asked to turn certain sharing categories on or off. We’re not exactly sure what kind of situation someone would feel comfortable sharing their credit card details with another person, but not their purchases, but hey, that’s your business. If she doesn’t want her husband to see that she’s bought an audiobook titled “38 Simple Ways To Dispose Of Her Husband’s Dead Body,” then now would be the time to turn off “audiobook” sharing, we guess.
In the next step, you will be asked to send the person an invitation. Enter your name and email address again, then hit “Send Invitation.”
You will receive a confirmation dialog confirming that your email invitation has been sent. The invitee will receive an email similar to the following. Click “Get Prime Benefits.”
The link takes you to the Amazon website and repeats the information in the email: someone invited you to Amazon Household to share your Prime benefits with you. Just click “Continue”.
you will be taken to other, last confirmation page. Amazon put a bunch of confirmation screens into this process, but it makes sense, since letting someone access your credit card is pretty serious. Click “Agree and continue” and you are almost done.
In the next step, you will be asked to set up a default credit or debit card for each adult. You can select from your current set of payment options or add a new card. This step is specifically related to Amazon Prime Video sharing rules: you can’t use instant streaming or sharing without selecting a default card. You can actually skip this step if you want (but you’ll be prompted to come back and complete it later to share video between the two accounts).
Once you’ve set up your default payment, click Next and you’ll be taken to the main Amazon Household admin page below.
On the left side, you can review the members of your household, including the profiles of the second adult and the teen or child. On the right side, you can review your Prime sharing benefits, manage your family library (which are just the toggles we looked at two steps ago), and then move on to the content and device management page and the payment management page. Family Library function in a moment.
Add a teen profile
The adolescent profile is, unexpectedly, halfway between a child profile and an adult profile. They can make their own purchases using your card, but only with your supervision. Open the Home Manager page, then click “Add a Teen.”
Fill in your name and month of birth, then click continue.
You must select how much control you have over your purchases. You can allow your teen unlimited access to your card, unlimited access below a certain value, or you can require manual approval for each and every purchase.
Note: You will always be notified by exhibit purchases they make, regardless of how much spending discretion you give them.
After doing that, you’re faced with the usual requirements: you need to select a payment method you want them to use and the address you want your orders delivered to. Then just enter your phone number and send an invite.
They will receive a text notification that you have invited them to share your account; all they have to do is click the link and create an account and they are ready to go.
You can edit the settings for your teen at any time through Home Manager if you find your initial options are not enough.
Add a child profile
To add a child profile to your Amazon account, use the same control panel we just entered. At the bottom of the left menu, select “Add a child.”
Enter the child’s name, date of birth (relevant for age-based content), and select an icon for their profile. Click Save”.
The child’s profile will now appear in the sidebar.
Although you can click to change basic profile settings, the real power is in the “Family Library”. Let’s end the tutorial by highlighting how to use the family library feature to share content with your children.
How to share content in Family Library
In the previous section, we enabled content sharing between the two adults using general toggles: all audiobooks, all ebooks, etc. Content management for child profiles is much more granular, and you must explicitly approve each title in your media library for each child to have access.
To do this, go to the Manage Your Amazon Content and Devices page. Click the “Content” tab at the top, then select the type of digital content you want to share.
After making your library visible, select any movie you want to share by checking the box next to it. You can select as many movies at one time as you like. Once you’ve marked the books you want to share, click “Add to Library.” Alternatively, you can click “Manage Library” next to each individual movie.
Here you can select which person in your household you want to share the movie with. With this mechanism, you can selectively share age-appropriate content with your children.
While this kind of granular sharing is really useful (and welcome), Amazon Kids Profiles really shine with the addition of a FreeTime Unlimited subscription. For just a few dollars a month, it turns your child’s Fire tablet or Kindle into a super device with access to an unlimited amount of curated, age-appropriate content. If you have a child under the age of 12, we recommend that you review it. You can even set it up on your Amazon Fire TV to lock your child into kid-safe curated video content.
That’s it: As long as you have members of your household available to help you with setup, it’s an easy process that pools your collective Amazon resources.