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You can get an HBO subscription through your cable provider, via many streaming services or directly from the source with HBO Now. However, the monthly cost of $14.99 means subscription fees will add up fast.
Here are all the places where you can find an HBO free trial, free content and discounted subscriptions — as well as everything you need to know to get started.
Navigating free trials
It’s a little complicated to hop from one HBO free trial to another while you try to keep up with your favorite shows. Before you sign up for any trial account, you should take these things into consideration:
- You’ll have to provide a credit card number. You’ll need to cancel before the end of your trial period to avoid being charged.
- HBO free trials are mostly limited to new subscribers. However, in certain cases, returning subscribers can take advantage of an offer. You can sometimes sidestep this requirement with a new email address.
Now that you’ve got the basics, you’re ready to sign up.
8 ways to watch HBO for free, or for less
1. Sign up for an HBO free trial on Hulu
Hulu is one of a number of streaming services that offer HBO as an add-on.
If you’re already a Hulu subscriber, this could be more convenient than creating an HBO account. You’ll only get a one-week trial, though, so this one is better if you’re primarily interested in Hulu. After the trial, you’ll pay $14.99 per month (on top of your Hulu subscription).
2. Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime
Prime Video offers a full back catalog of HBO shows.
There had been talk that HBO wouldn’t renew the deal after it ended in mid-2018. However, as of this writing, HBO shows are still available on Amazon Prime. But it’s good to be aware that this relationship might end in the near future.
If you want current HBO shows and movies, HBO content is available as an add-on — and you can sign up for an HBO free trial via Amazon, though it’s a scant seven days. After the trial, you’ll pay the standard $14.99 per month for an Amazon HBO subscription, in addition to your Prime subscription.
3. Sign up for a free PlayStation Vue trial
Sony’s PlayStation Vue is yet another streaming service that offers HBO as an add-on (and despite the name, you don’t need a PlayStation to use it).
Three of the four available Vue plans offer free trials, but they don’t include HBO. While you can stack an HBO free trial with a Vue trial, know that the HBO trial is only seven days long. That’s long enough to get in some decent binge-watching, though.
After the trial, you’ll pay $15 per month in addition to the cost of your PlayStation Vue subscription.
If you’re a heavy TV watcher, you may appreciate Vue’s Ultra plan for $79.99 per month, which includes over 90 channels — including HBO and Showtime.
4. Call your cable provider
Are you still a cable customer? Then you may be able to work out a sweet deal by giving your provider a call. If your service (or a competitor) is offering free HBO to new subscribers, you may be able to talk them into giving you the same deal.
If you aren’t opposed to stretching the truth a bit, saying your cable package is too expensive or that you’re thinking about switching providers can help you get freebies.
You’ll often find cable deals that let you get free HBO for up to three months. What’s more, you can stream HBO to all your devices via HBO Go, just like you would if you signed up through a streaming service.
So how much is HBO Go and HBO via cable? After the trial, you’ll typically pay around $15 per month plus the cost of cable, though some services offer packages that cut the price.
5. Watch free episodes on HBO
HBO offers a ton of content for free on its website. This is typically limited to premiere episodes, so you’ll get hooked. That said, it’s a good way to get a taste of what HBO has before signing up for a full-fledged subscription (or trial).
6. Watch free clips on YouTube
Although the selection of available content is pretty limited, HBO posts a lot of show clips to YouTube.
Along with trailers and previews, this is an especially great way to watch HBO’s talk shows without paying a dime. Both “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” and “Real Time With Bill Maher” post segments to YouTube. They aren’t full episodes, but they do tend to catch the best moments.
7. Use select AT&T unlimited plans
AT&T wireless customers on the Unlimited &More Premium plan can receive HBO as a free perk. Plus, certain retired AT&T unlimited plans include HBO.
While streaming with AT&T can be confusing, if you’re looking to upgrade to the Unlimited &More Premium plan or are already using one of the eligible retired plans, it’s a nice bonus.
8. Find HBO discounts via DirecTV Now
HBO doesn’t offer many discounts. But if the free offerings above don’t work for you (or your free trial has run out), you can pay a little less through AT&T’s DirecTV Now streaming service, which offers HBO for $5 per month.
The service itself will tack on an extra $40 to $75 per month, depending on how many channels you want, but the base package with HBO costs $45 per month for 65-plus channels. You can give it a test run with a free trial, but that won’t include HBO.
More from DealNews:
- “Netflix Is Raising Prices (Again)“
- “The Ultimate Guide to Buying a TV“
- “Which Live TV Streaming Service Is Right for You?“
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