Amazon has restricted Prime sharing
This is significant.
In the past, you could share Prime shipping benefits with four adults not on your account. I described it this way in 2014:
“You can share Prime shipping benefits with other people living at your same address. So, if you have, let’s say, an adult kid living with you with their own Amazon account, they can share your shipping benefit at no additional cost. You can have four additional people (not on your account…everybody on your account gets it automatically) under your shipping benefits.”
—What can you do with Amazon Prime?
That’s not the case any more.
According to the
you can now only share shipping with one other adult not on your account…and that’s by forming an “Amazon Household”.
You do get to share some things besides shipping:
- “The following Prime benefits can be shared in an Amazon Household: shipping benefits, Prime Instant Video (streaming only), Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, Prime Early Access, and Prime Exclusive Deals.”
For more information about Amazon Households, see this:
One of the things is that you have to agree to share payment methods…if Pat forms a household with Kris, Kris can use Pat’s credit/debit cards (which are on Pat’s Amazon account) to make Amazon purchases on Kris’ account.
The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is borrowing up to one book a calendar month…that’s the one new Kindle specific benefit.
All of this only matters if you want to maintain separate Amazon accounts.
That, to me, is generally the simple solution…be on the same account.
If two people are on the same account, they can freely share Kindle books…no limitations (except for how many devices can have that book at the same time…it’s usually six). They both have the shipping benefits. There are limitations as to how many devices can stream a video at the same time, but they both have access to the videos.
The disadvantage of being on the same account?
Well, again, you are sharing payment methods…but not everybody needs to know the information. I’ve written quite a bit about “Kindle Klubs”. There are what I call “Managers”, who have the sign-in credentials and do things at
There are also “Users” who don’t have the information.
That can work very well: although it’s hard to hide gifts you buy from someone on the account. 🙂
Is this a reduction in benefits?
Yes, I think that’s fair to say.
There is some compensation in new sharing options…but certainly, some people who have been sharing Prime shipping benefits will feel a loss.
I don’t think it will hurt Amazon…I don’t think very many people have Prime just to share the shipping benefits.
Some people will now get their own Prime accounts who didn’t have them…which ultimately helps Amazon. Now that you can
I think Amazon will see that happen quite a bit more with this, with someone who has more money in the family buying Prime for someone who doesn’t.
Again, I would look at having people on the same account…even if there are also additional accounts for private purchases. There is no limit as to the number of people who can be on an account, but you can not do it for commercial purposes.
One more thing: it looks like current accounts will maintain the old rules…until they come up for renewal.
If you paid for Prime planning to share it the shipping benefits with four people, you will still get that for which you paid. It’s just that the next time you would pay (if you chose to do that), the rules would be different and you would re-evaluate the choice.
I think, though, that most people would renew.
What do you think? Does this impact your feelings about Prime membership? Have you been sharing your shipping benefits with more than one other adult not on your account? Is this part of Amazon phase two? Is there a reason that you don’t have loved ones on your account, but that they have their own separate account? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.