How to use an Xbox Live Gold code if you have a family account

Since I occasionally need to test XNA networking with more than 1 gold account I upgraded to a family plan last year. Worked out great! J can have her own gold account and I can have 4 'testers' if I need. All for the cost of just 2 accounts.

A couple of days ago Amazon had a great deal on 12 month gold cards. So I got one. When I converted to family you get your gold months converted 2:1 - seems fair since a family plan costs twice a single gold account. I mistakenly assumed that a 12 month code would add 6 months to my family plan.

On Xbox.com you get the error "An error has occurred during the transaction. Please try again later". A totally useless error because no matter when or how you try it always says the same thing.

On the xbox itself it says "You cannot buy this membership while your current Xbox live membership remains active"

However I found a sneaky way around this that might help if you have less than the current maximum 4 gold accounts

  1. Make a brand new live and xbox live account using hotmail or some throwaway address
  2. Use the code to make the new account Gold
  3. Make sure the profile is on the same Xbox as your family plan
  4. Add the new account to your family plan

It will tell you that you get 6 months added to the family plan!!!

I've not tried yet but I believe I can remove that person at any time... there's limits on how many you can add or remove each year and how many months the account can transfer in but it just saved me $40 so I figured I should share the tip.

Oh and happy 2012

Published 04 January 2012 08:52 PM by zman

Comments

# Cullen said on 05 January, 2012 02:06 AM

You don't need to use a new account for this.  If you use one of your existing accoutns, though, you have to wait 5 days in there.

Boot account B, wait 5 days, redeem the code on that account, and then add them back to the family.

There's a faq on xbox.com somewhere that has this, too

# Michael C. Neel said on 05 January, 2012 10:14 AM

MF!? This is what I get for asking @XboxSupport if I could use the gold cards on my family account (https://twitter.com/#!/XboxSupport3/status/151381215902048256)

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