Sharing an Amazon Prime Membership? Not So Fast

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Amazon has tightened its policies on Prime, making it tougher for adults to share a membership, CBS News reports.

A feature called “Amazon Households” allows households to share certain Prime benefits, like free two-day shipping and access to free streaming video. But Amazon defines a household as no more than two adults and four children:

Eligible Prime benefits can only be shared between the two adults in a household. Customers who are Amazon Student Prime members (free trial or paid) or invited guests of other Prime members can’t share their benefits.

Previously, four adults could join one Prime account, whether they were family, friends or roommates, according to CBS.

Another addition to the Prime policy requires the sharing of credit and debit cards by the adult household members. According to Amazon:

In order to share content, Prime benefits, and Amazon Mom benefits, both adult account holders need to authorize each other to use credit and debit cards associated with their Amazon accounts for purchases on Amazon. This will not affect either of their current payment settings, but each adult will be able to copy the credit and debit cards of the other account to his or her Amazon account and use them for purchases with Amazon.

There is one bit of good news for Amazon customers who already share a Prime account with others, however: The new changes went into effect Aug. 1 and do not affect people who already had been sharing accounts before that time unless those customers specifically opt in, LifeHacker reports.

Amazon stands to gain revenue from tightening the rules for sharing Prime, as each membership costs $99 per year.

Earlier this year, an analysis by research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners found that Amazon customers who have Prime spend about $1,100 per year. Amazon customers without Prime spend an average of $700 annually. (See “You Won’t Believe How Much Amazon Is Raking in on Prime.”)

Do you agree with Amazon’s new restrictions for sharing Prime benefits? Let us know what you think below or on our Facebook page.

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