Netflix is the de-facto pick for TV and movie streaming, even with the abundance of choices now available to viewers. If you have ever wondered where the company’s name originated, it is derived by the combination of the word “net” and “flix.” Net in this case means “internet” with “flix” being a commonly recognized abbreviation for a film or movie. It is aptly named as it, of course, is an immensely popular streaming service that uses the internet to deliver flicks or in this case “flix”.
The Scope of Netflix Today And It’s Inception
Having the 167 million globally subscribed users Netflix boasts today was likely just a pipedream at the time of its inception. After launching in 1997 as a DVD rental company, Netflix eventually evolved into the world’s most used streaming service it is today. Netflix now has 60 million subscribers in the United States alone.
Netflix stands alone in the gold medal position for most used and recognized streaming service available, no questions asked. As such, you likely want to be one of the many Americans who enjoy accessing the 3,781 movies, 1,940 TV shows and over 100,000 titles in the on-demand library offered by the popular streaming service. These titles range from old to new content and cover basically all genres of entertainment from crime TV drama to comedy, reality shows and more.
While the many choices the award-winning service offers is desirable, paying for said service might not be as welcome. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to get around the cost aspect of the service by using a few money-saving hacks. Use these tips to enjoy Netflix either completely free or at a reduced rate. Before we get into that, though, let’s take a look back at what you can expect to pay for Netflix services if you go the traditional route and pay for your own subscription:
How Much is a Netflix Subscription?
There are three main tiers of service currently offered by Netflix. They are basic, standard and premium. Here is a breakdown of what you get with each tier:
- Basic: Monthly Cost: $8.99 Annual Cost: $107.88.
You can use one screen at a time and do not have HD or Ultra HD streaming capabilities.
- Standard: Monthly Cost: $12.99 Annual Cost $155.88
You can use two screens at once and will get HD streaming but not Ultra HD streaming.
- Premium: Monthly Cost: $15.99 Annual Cost: $191.88
You can use up to four screens at once and have both Ultra HD and HD streaming.
Although this monthly cost can seem minimal, when you think about the premium tier, you are actually spending $191.88 yearly for the service. Therefore, wouldn’t it be great to learn how to get this awesome service for free? If you answered yes, keep reading:
How to Get Netflix For Free
1. Take Advantage of The Free Trial Offer
The easiest way to access Netflix streaming services for free is to take advantage of their free 30-day trial offer. Keep in mind, since Netflix does hold your credit card on file, make sure you cancel the service prior to the 30 days or you will be charged. Once you cancel your trial period, be on the lookout for another free trial to come your way. That’s right, Netflix will usually offer you an additional free month of services, obviously designed to get you hooked.
Check your email inbox regularly for offers. Some people have been sent as many as three different trial offers a year. This means you could go from trial to trial and just cancel after the 30 days and have Netflix to enjoy at least for part of the year. However, keep in mind, you can cancel Netflix at any time, so once you reach the end of your trial period, if you want to keep enjoying Netflix, you can pay for one month and then cancel at any point without being charged a cancellation or disconnection fee.
2. Use The Trial Offer With Multiple Emails
Although the free trial offer was already mentioned, this tip goes a step further, and don’t worry, it’s legal. Whether or not it’s worth the hassle though is up to you. With this tip, you create new email accounts and enter new credit card credentials each time in order to sign up with Netflix like a new user. In other words, after your trial ends the first time, you would cancel it, uninstall everything from your computer, clear the browser cache, etc. Then, you log back into Netflix and sign up as if you are a brand new customer, only this time you will enter a different email address and credit card number. Admittedly, this is only doable if you have several credit cards and don’t mind creating several emails. Some people just don’t find it worthwhile to go through all the trouble of setting up an account over and over with different credentials, but it is a way you can keep enjoying a free trial for as many months as you have credit cards.
3. Ask a Friend or Family Member to Share
Virtually everyone knows someone with a current Netflix subscription. Therefore, if you are comfortable enough with a family member or friend who has a current subscription, ask them to share their login information. It’s important to go into this inquiry with an understanding you might get a no. Your family member or friend might not want to share their email or password with you and that’s their right. You could suggest an alternative if you get a no, though, and offer to pay for part of their subscription for the ability to use it when you want. This won’t mean you get free access, but it will be cheaper. In addition, if you share a premium subscription plan, you basically pay the same amount you would for the lowest tier service but get the best service offered.
4. Check Out Mobile Carrier Offers
This tip will vary based on what’s available at the time. Currently, at the time of publishing this article, T-Mobile is offering a free Netflix subscription as part of their Magenta and Magenta Military and Magenta Plus or ONE plus plans. They call the incentive their Netflix on Us plan. The Magenta and Magenta Military plans come with a complementary Basic Netflix subscription, which is a $8.99 monthly value. The Magenta Plus and ONE plus plans come with a standard Netflix subscription, which is a $12.99 value.
With this tip, obviously, you have to determine if switching mobile carriers is worthwhile. For example, it doesn’t make sense to pay more with T-Mobile to gain access to even the standard Netflix subscription if doing so would increase your mobile bill by more than the $12.99 subscription cost. However, if you can save money on your mobile bill and get the added bonus of a Netflix subscription, then it might be a wise move to make.
5. Try Netflix Alternatives
In order to get Netflix free, cancel your service. Wait, you might wonder, how is cancelling your subscription a good idea? Well, it’s pretty simple. With Netflix, there are no commitments, contracts or obligations, so if you aren’t watching it often enough or what you consider enough to make the subscription cost worthwhile, simply cancel and find some alternatives. For example, you can likely rent TV shows and movies from your local library and some TV channels allow you to stream their content as well if you have certain cable or satellite services. You can also watch the free shows, movies and channels on streaming devices like Roku, or try options like Vudu, Crackle and Pluto TV. When it comes to Roku, after your initial investment in purchasing the device itself, you can enjoy many shows and movies completely free of charge. In addition, if there is a Netflix show you just have to see, such as “Stranger Things,” you can always reactivate your subscription just long enough to binge watch the latest season and then cancel it once again. Thankfully, Netflix makes it pretty simple for users to turn their subscriptions on and off as desired.
6. Rotate Between Service Options
While Netflix is the king of the streaming services, it isn’t the only option. If you want to enjoy your Netflix, without a monthly monetary investment, you can rotate between streaming sites. By doing this, you essentially play a game of moving from one trial or non-contractual service to the other, round robin style. For your convenience, we have listed some of the best non-Netflix options and how you can ensure they are as affordable as possible:
- Hulu: Currently, Hulu is part of Sprint’s unlimited plan. However, if you aren’t a Sprint customer and don’t want to change providers, you can access Hulu with Spotify. If you are currently a student, you can access Hulu’s Showtime series and ad-supported plan through Hulu at no cost. If you aren’t a student, you can expect to pay $4.99 monthly for that access.
- HBO Now: There are several free options with HBO, which are typically relegated to premiere episodes. However, if you have certain types of satellite providers or cable, you might qualify for unlimited access to HBO Go. HBO Now is a streaming service that is separate from HBO Go. You can try HBO Go for free as part of a seven-day trial offer.
- Amazon Video: If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you already have access to Amazon Video. This streaming service gives you access to thousands of TV shows and movies as well as Amazon originals as part of your Prime subscription.
- Disney +: If you are currently a Verizon customer and opt for either the 5G Home Internet or Verizon Fios, you qualify for a year of Disney + access, free of charge. If you do have to pay for the service, it runs $6.99 a month.
- Tubi Tv: This streaming service that features a library of more than 15,000 TV shows and movies currently boasts 20 million active users. It is a free service and stays that way by allowing ads. Therefore, in order to enjoy this free content, you will have to endure a few ads. Tubi TV negotiated deals with both Warner Bros and MGM to gain access to popular movies and shows.
How to Reduce Your Netflix Bill
Hopefully, one of the tips listed above on how to get free access to Netflix will work for you, but if it doesn’t, there are still some ways to at least reduce your monthly subscription costs. For example, the following are all easy ways to reduce the amount you pay monthly for your Netflix subscription:
1. Buy Discounted Netflix Cards
Netflix doesn’t sell gift cards themselves, but you can find them on various sites like Target, Amazon and Walmart. Obviously, buying a full-priced Netflix card won’t do you much good as you are simply paying the store you bought the card from instead of Netflix directly. However, you can tell your friends and family to “gift” you Netflix cards instead of giving you a birthday gift or Christmas present. If you get a handful of Netflix cards, you can get through most of the year without paying for Netflix yourself or at least reduce your subscription cost.
If you aren’t having any luck getting your family members or friends to purchase Netflix cards for you, you can purchase discounted cards on sites like Raise.com. At this site, users buy and sell their discounted gift cards. This means you can buy someone’s unused or only partially used Netflix gift card at a significant discount. Once you have the card, go to Netflix.com/redeem and enter the pin code on the card and you are in business. Keep in mind, Raise also features discounted Google Play and iTunes cards, which is applicable if your Netflix account is tied in some way to your Google Play or iTunes account.
2. Share a Subscription With Housemates
This was briefly mentioned above as part of the sharing a subscription tip. However, it’s worth highlighting here too. If you live with a family member or friend, it makes sense to share a Netflix subscription among the household. Consider your Netflix subscription another utility to split evenly among your housemates. If keeping up with who owes what or getting money from one person to the other is a problem, you can always use money apps like PayPal or Venmo to simplify the process.
3. Use a Netflix Promo Code
You can find discounted promo codes for Netflix on popular discount sites like RetailMeNot. Coupons.com and Slick Deals also sometimes have Netflix coupon offers. Not only do these sites give you access to helpful discount codes and coupons, they let you know if a discount is valid before you bother trying to redeem it.
There is no denying Netflix is the best when it comes to streaming services. While the cost has risen, which has caused some subscribers to second guess their commitment to the service, overall, it’s still a pretty good value if you watch it enough. However, what’s even better than enjoying a great subscription service like Netflix is doing so for free or at a reduced cost. Hopefully, through implementing some of this tips listed above, you can enjoy Netflix either free or at a reduced cost.