Before August 1st, you could share the cheap shipping benefits of Amazon Prime with up to four other adults. Now, the company will limit sharing Prime benefits to two adults and four children—unless you already signed up—in a new feature called Amazon Household that shares all Prime benefits, and even payment methods.
The new feature, dubbed Amazon Household, seems to be aimed at treating Prime as a family service, rather than a communal pool of benefits. In other words, you and your three best friends can’t pitch in to split it, but you and your spouse can. The two adults will share all benefits, including cheaper shipping, Instant Video, Kindle Lending Library, and more. The four children (who don’t need their own accounts) will only be able to use non-purchase related features, like streaming movies or sharing books.
One crucial change here is that, now, when two adults share a Household account, they will also be allowed to copy each other’s credit and debit cards. Presumably this is not something you’d want to do with your roommate or coworker. In fact, it might not even be something you’d want to set up with your partner depending on your relationship. Frankly, it’s a little weird that Amazon is making it a requirement for the Household features.
The good news is, if you were sharing Amazon accounts before, you won’t be affected by the change unless you specifically opt-in. So, if you were sharing your Prime shipping benefits with a roommate or partner, that arrangement will still be in place, and they won’t suddenly have access to your credit cards.
However, any future sharing will use this new system. So, if you were planning to add someone to your plan, keep in mind that sharing your Prime benefits now is a much different affair than it was a week ago. Additionally, do not remove anyone from your account unless you want their benefits gone forever, as you won’t be able to add them back under the old system.
Photo by PublicResource.org.
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