Trying to understand any advantage of a single Personal Families plan vs. multiple Personal Premium plans

Let’s say my family has four people and I want them all to have the features of Premium plans (such as TOTP). I’m not clear if there is an advantage to buying the Families plan for $40 vs. buying a Personal Premium plan for each of the 4 people for a total of $40. (For a moment, let’s ignore the fact that the Families plan provides premium features for 6 users). Would I, as the person buying the Personal Families plan, have some type of “ownership” or administration abilities of the individual accounts in the plan? I’m not clear on whether there are additional advantages to the Personal Families plan beyond getting the 6 users for the price of 4.

Hello, and Welcome to the community!

Although I don’t use the family plan, but I understand that the main selling point of a family plan is to share account credentials, etc. From

Start a Families organization to share private data between you and five friends or family members. Families organizations include all premium features for all six users and unlimited secure data sharing within the families organization.

You can create collections with different permissions (User Types and Access Control | Bitwarden Help Center), and then share passwords between different individuals in your “family.” Say, you have a password that you want you and your wife to R/W, but your kids to R only. BW primarily shares credentials (and other things) this way (beyond the Send feature.)

The other feature is probably the family (organization) storage, beyond the file attachments allowed for each member.

Like @Neuron5569, I also don’t use the Family plan, but my understanding is that the plan owner/administrator does not control the other family members’ individual accounts/vaults, but does have full control over the organization vault (which is where you store any vault items that need to be shared between two or more family members).

I would make an educated guess that the only control you have over the individual accounts is that you would have the power to expel them from organization membership, in which case their individual vaults would revert to Free personal plans (and lose all access to shared organization credentials).

With 4 premium accounts you would be paying the same as with a families organization. However, with a families organization you can share multiple collections with all the other members of the org (each collection with its own permissions).

With 4 premium accounts your sharing options are limited to a single organization with 2 members and 2 collections maximum.

And the items in that organization vault do not have any premium features (for example: they can not have attachments and you can not use the TOTP functionality with them).

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Just a follow up on this topic with another question.

I probably won’t try to share any credentials to start with because it might confuse my other family members. But am I understanding correctly that all the members of my family plan will be able to use TOTP in their own personal vaults/accounts? That is the premium feature that I most want my family members to have access to.

The “premium plan” ($10/yr) is what gives you TOTP functionality. The “Families Plan” includes 6 “premium plan” accounts, in addition to additional sharing options.

Check out the comparison table.

Yes, all members of the Family organization will get Premium privileges for their individual vaults (and for items stored in the shared org vault, if you end up using that feature in the future).

What is the procedure for upgrading from Personal Premium to Families? When I login to the website with my account, the only choice under Subscription is to “Cancel”. Do I need to cancel before upgrading? Do I lose my TOTP items during this upgrade?

The process is described here:

Basically, you upgrade first, and then cancel your individual subscription. If your individual Premium plan is less than 30 days old, you can request a refund.

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Just keep in my if your free account had an organisation with items in it, this isnt the organisation you will use to upgrade your subscription.
Because upgrading asks for a NEW organisation.
And although items can be moved from personal to org vaults, they cant be moved from one org vault to the another.