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Save money on Netflix, HBO Max, and more with one brilliant streaming trick

Published Apr 6th, 2022 2:22PM EDT
cash register with money overflowing
Image: Netflix

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Like a lot of you, I find myself at the moment paying significantly more each month for the various streaming services I’m signed up for than I ever did for cable. At least $135 a month, in fact, which encompasses Netflix; Hulu with the live TV add-on option; YouTube Premium; HBO Max; Apple TV Plus; and Disney Plus. Luckily, for people like me, there’s a pretty simple and brilliant way to save money when you’re loaded up with streaming subscriptions like these.

My list, by the way, also doesn’t count Amazon Prime Video, since I don’t pay for it on a monthly basis. And also because of the fact that the service is included in an overall Amazon Prime membership, which is what I’m really paying for.

Below, meanwhile, we’ll talk about a trick you can utilize to get a handle on all these streaming video subscriptions that many of you might be well-served to keep in your back pocket.

How to save money on Netflix

As detailed in the Reddit post below, the trick is to basically disabuse yourself of the notion that you have to pay for these streamers regularly. For pretty much all of them, canceling is just a matter of clicking a button.

It’s certainly not like the old days of cable. Back when you had to call the company and beg them to cancel your service. Then listen to their pleas and offers of a discount to stick around. And then continue prodding them to cancel you.

A good way to save money in the streaming age, meanwhile, is to cancel all your services right now. Literally today, in one fell swoop. Then, add back the ones that have a show or movie you’re super into right now.

To be honest, they all don’t have something you’re watching right now. I’m certainly not watching content on Netflix, plus Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, and HBO Max every day, seven days a week.

And then keep mixing and matching. If Netflix is a bit dry for you during one particular month? Cancel it, and add back Disney Plus. Keeping dipping out, and dipping back in. Your wallet will thank you.

Another workaround people are trying: Password-sharing

paris hilton and demi lovato
(L to R) Paris Hilton and Demi Lovato in the Netflix series “Cooking with Paris.” Image source: Kit Karzen/Netflix

Another workaround some people are trying, to avoid the subscription hell of multiple monthly bills, is to do things like borrow/mooch/freeload a Netflix password off of someone else.

There’s evidence, in fact, that a significant number of people do that in the US. That’s based on new data from Leichtman Research Group. It found that around one-third of Netflix subscribers in the US share their login credentials with someone else.

Netflix password sharing has, in fact, become such an issue that the streamer has launched a pilot project to address the problem. The goal? To see if it can squeeze money out of as many of the moochers as possible.

This pilot project, of course, also drew significant ire from many Netflix subscribers worried that a password-sharing crackdown is coming in the US. That’s because the streamer is testing a plan to make users in three countries (Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru) pay up. If, that is, they’re using the credentials of someone who doesn’t live in their house.

All of which is to say: The days of using a friend’s Netflix password to save money on your streaming services? It looks like they may indeed be coming to a close.

More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out our coverage of the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.