Can You Share Amazon Prime?

Amazon makes it easy for families to share benefits, but friends and roommates face more hurdles.
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Though Amazon's Prime program offers a number of benefits, not everyone can — or wants to — pay for it. The mega-retailer used to have very relaxed rules about Prime sharing, but Amazon revamped the program in 2015 to focus more on families. Add to that the recent Prime price increase, and even more customers may be questioning whether it's worth it.

Still, if you'd rather not gift an entire Prime subscription, you can definitely share Prime benefits. Just know that doing so comes with a few caveats. Check out our guide to sharing Amazon Prime below.

Can You Share Amazon Prime?

Yes, you can share Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime members have the ability to set up an Amazon Household, which makes it easy to share Amazon Prime with family. While you can set up a Household with friends or roommates, as well, this might not be the easiest thing to manage. (More on that below.)

3 Drawbacks of an Amazon Household

Setting up an Amazon Household with friends or roommates can quickly get complicated, especially if more than two people are involved. Technically, 10 people can be part of a Household, but only six of them will have access to a variety of Prime benefits.

The complications don't end there. Below, we've listed three more Prime-sharing drawbacks.

1. Amazon Households Can Only Have Two 'Adults'

A Household can be made up of two "adult" accounts, up to four "teen" accounts, and up to four "children." Those classifications all carry different privileges. The two adults can make purchases whenever they want, but those with child profiles can't use the various Prime benefits. Instead, they're limited to accessing approved digital content.

'Adult' accounts in Amazon Households have to approve Prime orders made by 'teen' accounts.

Further, any teen accounts must get purchases approved by one of the adults. Granted, Amazon says teen orders can be approved with a simple text, but that's still an awkward step to take for a friend or roommate in that position.

2. You Have to Share Payment Methods

Even if everyone in your Household adds a separate card or checking account for their own orders, you still have to trust them to only use their own payment methods. (There's one consolation: Amazon will notify you if another adult in your Household moves your card to their wallet.) That feels like a bigger deal than simply sharing your Netflix or HBO password.

3. There's a Long Waiting Period if You Leave

If an adult leaves your Amazon Household for any reason, they have to wait 180 days before they can join another Household. And you can't join another Household for the same amount of time. (The adult who left should be able to rejoin the same Household at any time.)

What Can You Share in an Amazon Household?

Ready to share Prime? As we indicated above, only the two 'adults' in an Amazon Household have access to most Prime benefits.

Prime Benefits You Can Share

Note that Prime members can share free photo storage with up to five people via the Family Vault feature.

Prime members can also share the benefits of Prime Gaming. These include access to free games and in-game loot.

SEE ALSO: Is Amazon Prime Worth It Now That the Price Is Going Up?

Prime Benefits for Teens

Are you going to have to classify some friends as "teens" in your Household? In that case, the adults in a Household can share the following benefits with teen logins:

  • Prime shipping benefits
  • Amazon Elements for Prime
  • Early access to deals
  • Prime Video
  • Prime Gaming
  • Wickedly Prime
  • Unlimited photo storage with Amazon Photos

What CAN'T You Share via Amazon Prime?

For all the Prime benefits you can share, there are a few that aren't included. You can't share Prime Music or paid Prime Video content with teen logins, for instance. Plus, teen logins don't work for either Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh delivery.

Who Can't Share Prime Benefits at All?

Select types of Prime members can't share their benefits at all. These groups include:

  • Prime Student members
  • Customers who receive shipping benefits from another member
  • Prime Video members
  • Members with certain discounted Prime offers

Prime benefits also can't be shared with "child" accounts in your Household, regardless of whether they're actually children.

If you're ready to start sharing Amazon Prime, check out our step-by-step instructions for setting up an Amazon Household.

Julie Ramhold
Senior Staff Writer/Consumer Analyst

Julie's work has been featured on CNBC, GoBankingRates, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, Money, The New York Times, Real Simple, US News, WaPo, WSJ, Yahoo!, and more. She's extolled the virtues of DealNews in interviews with Cheddar TV, GMA, various podcasts, and affiliates across the United States, plus one in Canada.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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