If you want to play your XBox online against other players you need an ID, called a Gamertag, to sign up for an XBox Live Gold Account.  It costs $50 per year.

Your ID is associated with your skill level so that you are placed fairly in games to play against others.

If you have a family, say the Brady Bunch, and each kid wants their their own ID, you cannot have a family gold account.  Yep, Microsoft makes you pay $50 per year per account (per child), so this will set you back a few hundred dollars quick.

Multiple gamertags mean multiple XBox Live Gold Accounts which means multiple credit card payments to Microsoft.

Not surprisingly, you won’t find this tidbit on the Microsoft XBox website.

Microsoft XBox Live Gotcha – Multiple Gamertag Payment
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