Amazon Launches Prime Student Program with No Annual Commitment

Amazon now lets teenagers shop via separate logins attached to their parents' accounts

The company announced today that kids ages 13-17 will be able to use an Amazon Household account to shop Amazon's online marketplace - with limited independence, of course.

In addition, it gives Amazon a way to addict a whole new crop of shoppers to its larger Prime platform, which is made available to teens through the service, if parents are Prime members.

Under Amazon's new program, teenagers can log into the site using their own credentials. The parent will choose a payment method and shipping addresses their teen can use when placing orders. This will send parents a message with details of the order.

Without an annual commitment, you have full access to more than 50 million items and Prime Video, which features unlimited streaming on thousands of movies and TV shows.

Parents can sign up to either pre-approve each order via text or email (the default), set a spending limit for each order or to automatically approve all purchases. "We've listened to families and have built a great experience for both teens and parents", said Michael Carr, vice president, Amazon Households.

Parents can set up the teen accounts in two ways. The accounts will allow them to search and shop for items, but there are some restrictions so that parents don't have to worry about their bank accounts.

This codifies a process that was already taking place unofficially: For as long as it's been possible to buy things online, kids have logged into their parents' accounts to do so. Though many college students may come from households that share a Prime Membership, the option for a reduced-price Prime Student membership could be an attractive one for students living on their own.

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