How to Save Money on Streaming Subscriptions

how to save money on streaming subscriptions

You wallet may already be feeling the pinch now that streaming services seem to be getting more expensive every month.

In recent years, major streaming platforms such as Netflix, Apple TV, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ have been battling each other to secure the rights to popular shows and movies. This heightened competition has resulted in a steady increase in subscription fees. What was once an affordable alternative to cable or satellite TV has gradually become a significant financial burden for many families.

The situation can be particularly challenging if you are subscribing to multiple platforms, or that you are living on a budget. Good news is that there are alternatives and strategies to counter the impact of escalating costs. In this blog, we will share some useful tips to help you reduce the expense on streaming services while still being able to enjoy your favorite shows and movies.

Look for discounts and deals

Similar to other services or products, TV streaming services offer discounts and bundling services from time to time. Keep an eye out for such promotional offers will help you save more money.

An easy way to do that is to search for streaming discounts or bundles online. Many websites provide such information. For example, Starz, where you can find shows like Power and Hightown now offers a six-month streaming service for only $20. Or if you would like to subscribe multiple services, try the Disney Bundle, which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for just $14.99 per month.

Some services provide reduced rates or free streaming services for students. Students with an Apple Music subscription service can enjoy free Apple TV+. Amazon also offers six-month free trial to Amazon Prime Students.

You can also save on certain platforms by opting for annual subscriptions. Check out different packages provided across platforms to choose the most suitable plan.

use cash back credit cards

Use cash back credit cards

Many credit cards give you cashback rewards for purchasing streaming services. Taking advantage of these cards can help cut costs and allow you to enjoy your favorite shows at a discounted price.

Some cards specifically cater to entertainment needs and offer higher cashback rates for streaming subscriptions across multiple platforms, giving you the flexibility to choose from a wide range of options. This is particularly beneficial if you subscribe to multiple platforms or frequently switch between them. For example, you can get 6% cash back for money spend on most streaming services or gifts cards for such services with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

There are also cards that offer high rewards for one specific platform. If you are a dedicated user of a particular streaming platform, such credit cards can be an excellent option. One of such cards, the Prime Visa allows cardholders to enjoy 5% cash back for Amazon subscriptions. Similarly, the Apple Card offers 3% cash back for each dollar spend on Apple streaming services, including Apple Music and Apple TV+.

Share subscriptions with friends and family

If you have friends or family members who are interested in the same streaming services, sharing the cost by splitting the subscription fees will be a great way to reduce the monthly cost.

While more streaming services are rolling out new account rules that forbid password sharing among friends and families, there are still platforms that allow you to save money by sharing subscriptions.

Max now still supports the use of one account in the same household, allowing up to five profiles and three simultaneous streams from different devices. Amazon Prime Video allows you share one account with up to five users by inviting others to join your Amazon Household. You and your family can also watch shows together with Apple TV‘s family-sharing feature. This feature allows others to use your Apple TV account while keeping password and payment separately.

take advantage of free streaming options

Take advantage of free streaming options

Take advantage of free streaming options

Additionally, exploring free or lower-cost alternatives such as free trials or library services. Many local libraries provide free access to streaming platforms with a library card. These services may not have the latest releases, but they often have a decent selection of various content.

Almost every major streaming platforms offer a free trial. If you plan wisely, there is a way to enjoy a season or two without paying a dime. Do remember to mark your calendar and cancel the service before your trial expires.

In addition, you can try free streaming services such as YouTube, Sling and Tubi. Tubi, the so-called free Netflix, has a large amount of TV and movies and has become one of the most popular free platform. There are also free live TV service, such as Pluto TV,  which carries 200 channels.

Put your money where your phone is

Phone carriers often offer complimentary streaming services as a perk to attract and retain customers. They may bundle such perks with specific mobile plans or offer them as add-ons to existing plans.

If you’re a T-Mobile customer, for example, you may get Hulu at no cost. The phone carrier’s Go5G Next Plan offers streaming perks that include Apple TV+, Netflix, Hulu and MLB.TV

Alternatively, try free/discounted mobile plan to free up funds for streaming services! If you qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) or the Lifeline Program, you can enjoy extra benefits by applying directly with providers such as EASY Wireless. Residents living in specific states may even score a FREE smartphone! Here’s what the EASY Wireless Unlimited Plan includes:

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Temporarily pause your subscriptions

If your income fluctuates each month, or you are simply not ready to cut any of your subscription services, you can choose to put your subscription on pause for a while, giving your wallet a break. For example, Amazon and Hulu both offer you the option to pause your subscription for a specific period of time.

However, it’s important to note that not all players offer this option. Platforms like Netflix, Apple TV+ and Disney+ do not allow you to pause your membership temporarily. You can only cancel the streaming service before you would like to subscribe again. Such arrangements are less convenient and you may lose personalized settings when you sign up later.

downgrade your plan

Downgrade your plan

If you don’t mind watching commercials or reducing the number of streams covered in your package, you can consider switching to a lower tier plan. These ad-supported versions can save you a few bucks each month.

For example, the monthly fee of Hulu’s ad-supported plan is almost half of the ad-free plan, saving you $7 per month. Paramount+ offers a $5 discount for plans that have ads interspersed throughout your shows.

Review and prioritize platforms you need most

If you still can not make ends meet despite taking all the measures mentioned above, it may be time to go through your credit card bills and re-assess services that you’ve subscribed to. It’s common for people to forget about the number of services they’re paying for and lose track of the expenses accumulated over time.

Carefully review your credit card statements to prioritize your subscriptions, cancelling platforms that your rarely use. This can help you reduce unnecessary spending.

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