Get lost mom and dad! Amazon lets teens shop on their own

Ben Fox Rubin  CNET

Ben Fox Rubin CNET

They can approve the purchase through text or their account.

The new Prime Student plan grants subscribers the same benefits as your normal Amazon Prime subscription, but will cost students a more manageable $5.49 per month-or $49 per year-after a six month free trial. Teens can also be assigned pre-set spending limits per order as an alternative to having orders reviewed.

The online retailer will allow teenagers to set up Amazon accounts linked to those of a parent, giving the adult veto power over specific purchases and the ability to set spending caps. However, the orders won't go through until they've been approved by the parents who run the household account.

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The system works by giving each teen his or her own login and password to use on Amazon's app. Teens will then send an invitation to their parent through either SMS or via email and "the parent" will choose the payment method and shipping addresses their teen can use when placing order. That means teens can order from over 50 million items that ship for free in two days, and they can take advantage of other Prime benefits like Prime Video and the gaming perks with Twitch Prime.

On this page, there's now a new option to add a teen, as well as configure the settings associated with their account. "So we're not going to try to make decisions for them", Michael Carr, vice president of Amazon Households, told the Wall Street Journal. And from a customer data perspective, Prime Student memberships will open up a world of possibilities in terms of targeted ads, product promotion, and more.

To get the ball rolling, parents must enter their kids' contact information, and indicate which of their payment cards is to be used for purchases.

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