Amazon’s first step in its plan for world domination seems to be making sure that every single person alive is a shopper with an Amazon Prime account. But if you live with a partner or roommate and you’re both separately paying for Prime, you’re just wasting money. There’s a simple way to make your Prime benefits—including the free shipping on Amazon purchases—available to another person living under the same roof.
You could always share the username and password for one account, but that isn’t exactly ideal; the person you’re sharing with would gain access to your entire purchase history, and it’s better to keep that between you and the warehouse workers that you’ve ordered yet another human-shaped companion pillow. A better method is to take advantage of one of Prime’s least-well-known perks.
Amazon Household lets you link another account to your own, extending your Prime benefits to them, and vice versa. Sign someone else up and they can share access to Amazon’s media services, as well as free Prime delivery. That means you can share purchased media like videos, music, Kindle books, and Audible audiobooks.
It’s worth noting that Prime Music, which comes free with a Prime membership, differs from Amazon’s Music Unlimited streaming service. The former gives you access to a narrower library of songs. The Spotify-esque Unlimited has a much more robust selection and costs $8 per month. If you want to try Unlimited, there is a family plan option that lets you connect up to six accounts.
Stuff You Should Know
There are a few important caveats. First, Amazon Household only lets you add one other “adult” to your account—someone who is not dependent on you, basically. You can add another four “teen” accounts and four “child” accounts, but those don’t get access to everything. Teen accounts can place orders, but the purchase only goes through if you approve it. Children can’t shop at all, but they can watch any videos you’ve allowed to live on their devices.
Also, when you add another adult to the Household, some of your payment methods are shared. This could be no big deal if you’re in a relationship, but you should still make sure you’re sharing with someone you trust.
If you want to take someone off your shared Household, you can do so immediately, but you’ll have to wait about six months before you’re able to add anyone again. Plan your breakups accordingly.
How to Set Up Amazon Household
On a desktop, go to your account page. Then in the Shopping and Rentals section, choose Amazon Household. From there, click “Add Adult” and then enter the email address associated with the other person’s Amazon account. Once they accept the invitation, they’re in.
Amazon is all about efficiency, even when it comes at a steep cost.
You might have to complete an extra step to access each other’s purchased Audible books. First, go to Your Content and Devices. Then click Devices. You should see a list of all the devices your Audible app is enabled on. Click the three dots next to the device name you want, and there will be a little check box that says “Show [other person’s] content.” Click the box and you’re good to go. If you need more help, Audible has a help page for Amazon Household here. (Also, only one person needs to have an active Audible subscription for both of you to be able to access the audiobooks.)
That’s pretty much it. Once you have a Household set up, both individuals can access whatever media the other adult account can access. If you don’t automatically see any media being shared—for example, if the other person’s Kindle purchases aren’t appearing on your Kindle as books you can download—go to Manage Content and Devices in your account settings and select the items to be delivered to your different devices.