Having multiple Amazon accounts can get expensive if you’re paying for Prime multiple times, buying the same movies, and so on. Luckily, Amazon Household makes it super easy to share free shipping, purchases, and other benefits across multiple accounts in your household.
Why would I want to do this?
Amazon Household is, as the name suggests, intended for families sharing the same residence and in a somewhat traditional family structure (two adults and up to four children).
Two adults in the household each get access to free Prime shipping, Amazon Prime Video streaming, an unlimited Prime Photos account (every member of the household gets their own account with private photos and albums), access to Prime Reading (which has thousand books) and especially for those with young children, easy management of all children’s profiles connected to the primary account.
Plus, household members share purchased content across accounts: if you bought a ton of books and your spouse bought a ton of books, those books are no longer held hostage to your 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 access to Amazon Prime. However, the fine print means that Amazon Household access isn’t available to those of you with discounted Student Prime accounts (you’ll have to pay the full Prime rate to get Amazon Household). Sharing is also not available if you’re a guest on someone else’s Prime account and you’re not the primary account owner — unsurprisingly, you can’t share what’s not yours.
The other adult member of your household will also need their own Amazon login and password if they don’t already have one (this login doesn’t need to be Prime enabled, of course). You don’t need separate logins for children because Amazon treats child accounts as sub-accounts based on the parent’s account profile.
Finally, there’s one big consideration that really emphasizes that this is a service for families and not for friends, roommates, distant relatives: when you link another adult’s account to your Prime account through Amazon Household, you also link all of your billing information and options payments. — the second adult in your Amazon household will have unlimited access to 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.
One small note before continuing: in addition to the whole shared credit card thing, there is also a time limit on creating and joining households. Amazon is really serious about making Amazon Household truly for households (and not random sharing between 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 activate Amazon Household
The first step in setting up your Amazon home is to sign in to your Amazon account. If you don’t know the login and password of a secondary household member (eg your spouse), you’ll want to get them because you’ll need this information soon. You won’t need any children, as all children’s profiles are linked to the parent’s account (unless you’ve forgotten their birthday, in which case you’ll have to awkwardly call them).
Adding an adult
Go to the Amazon Household Manage Your Household page. Look for the “Add Adult” button and click it.
Note: If you used the old Amazon Prime sharing (the option to send only with the previous Amazon household), your spouse may already be the second adult in your Amazon household and you will not be able to add them. Instead of clicking “Add an adult,” click the “Manage your Amazon household” link. This will take you directly to the admin panel, which the rest of us won’t see after a few steps in this tutorial.
After selecting “Add Adult” you will be prompted to enter a name and email address as seen below.
After submitting their information, you’ll be prompted to verify that you want to share your Prime benefits. Click “I agree and continue”.
On the next page, you’ll be prompted to turn certain categories of sharing on or off. We’re not sure in what situation someone would be comfortable sharing their credit card information with someone but not their purchases, but that’s up to you. If you don’t want your spouse to see that you’ve purchased an audiobook titled “38 Easy Ways to Dispose of Your Husband’s Dead Body,” we guess now is a good time to turn off “Audiobook” sharing.
In the next step, you will be prompted to actually send the invitation to the person. Re-enter their name and email address, then click “Send Invitation”.
A confirmation dialog will appear confirming that your email invitation has been sent. The invited user will receive an email that looks like the one below. Click on “Get Main Benefits”.
The link takes you to Amazon’s website and repeats the information in the email – someone has invited you to an Amazon Household to share their Prime benefits with you. Just click “Continue”.
You will be transported to next, the final confirmation page. Amazon has thrown a lot of confirmation screens into the process, but it makes sense because giving someone access to your credit card is pretty serious. Click “I agree and continue” and you’re almost done.
The next step will prompt you to set a default credit or debit card for each adult. You can choose from existing stable payment options or add a new card. This step is specifically related to Amazon’s rules for sharing Prime Video – you can’t use instant streaming or sharing without a default card selected. You can skip this step if you want (but you’ll need to come back and complete it later to share the video between the two accounts).
Once you’ve set up your default payment, click Next and you’ll be redirected to the main Amazon Household management page below.
On the left side, you can view the members of your household, including the second adult, and the profiles of teenagers or children. On the right, you can view your Prime Sharing benefits, manage your family library (which are just the toggles we looked at two steps ago), and then go to the content and device management page and the payment management page – more on Family Library features below a while
Adding a teen profile
The profile of the teenager is unexpectedly in the middle between the profile of the child and the profile of the adult. They can make their own purchases using your card, but only under your supervision. Open the Household Manager page and click “Add Teen”.
Fill in their name and month of birth and click Continue.
You get to choose how much control you have over their 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 purchase.
Note: You will always be alerted to All purchases they will make, no matter how big a spending rate you give them.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll be faced with the usual requirements – you need to select the payment method you want them to use and the address you want your orders delivered to. Then just enter their phone number and send the invitation.
They’ll get a text notification that you’ve invited them to share your account – just click the link to create an account and get started.
You can always adjust your teen’s settings through Household Manager if you find that your initial choices don’t affect them.
Adding a child’s profile
To add a child profile to your Amazon account, use the same control panel we were just on. At the bottom of the menu on the left, select “Add 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 found in the “Family Library”. We’ll end the tutorial by highlighting how to use the Family Library feature to share content with your kids.
How to share content in a family library
In the previous section, we enabled content sharing between two adults using blanket switches: all audiobooks, all e-books, etc. Content management for children’s profiles is much more detailed, and you must explicitly approve access to each title in your media library. from each individual child.
To do so, go to Amazon’s Manage Content and Devices page. Click the “Content” tab at the top, then select the type of digital content you want to share.
Once your library is visible, select any movie you want to share by checking the box next to it. You can select as many movies as you want at once. Once you’ve checked the books you want to share, click “Add to Library”. Alternatively, you can click “Manage Library” next to each individual movie.
Here you can choose which person in your household you want to share the movie with. Using 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 shines with the addition of a FreeTime Unlimited subscription. For a few bucks a month, it turns your kid’s Fire or Kindle tablet into a super device with access to unlimited age-appropriate content. If you have a child under 12, we highly recommend checking it out. You can even set it up on your Amazon Fire TV to lock your child into safe, kid-friendly video content.
That’s it: if you have household members on hand to help you set up, it’s an easy process to bring your collective Amazon resources together.