We love streaming — but no one loves balancing streaming fees, especially when prices unexpectedly go up. If you’re tired of seeing those monthly fees show up on your account over and over, there are strategies you can use to reduce streaming costs. Here are the most effective options we’ve found for lowering those bills while still getting that sweet streaming content.
1. Cut down on resolution
Many streaming services offer a variety of tiers set at different prices, so you can often save money by sacrificing a bit of quality and dropping down a tier or two. Netflix is an excellent example: The Standard tier ($13.99) adds HD resolution, and the Premium tier ($17.99) offers Ultra HD — but if you primarily watch on mobile devices or don’t care about resolution (which can also eat into internet data caps), then you can save several dollars a month by dropping down to the Basic tier ($8.99).
Other services may work in similar ways, offering higher tiers with better resolution, more content, or family plans. If that’s not necessary in your streaming life, drop down to a lower-cost plan to save!
2. Choose the ad-based tiers of service
Also look for streaming plans that will cut your plan price if you choose an ad version. Hulu, for example, offers to get rid of ads for a higher price, but it’s not necessary to enjoy any of Hulu’s content, so this is an effective way to save when choosing plans. Apps like NBC’s Peacock TV even offer streaming for free if you are willing to accept periodic ad breaks.
3. Skip live TV
Avoid paying for extras like live TV, or look for services that allow you to pay on demand for live events that you are specifically interested in. Live TV is rarely a necessity on
4. Consolidate into bundles
For example, Disney owns Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+, so it offers an excellent deal for getting all three at $14 per month. Apple TV+ offers a major discount if you are also picking up CBS All Access and Showtime. Amazon Prime allows you to pay a discounted rate if you want to add Cinemax or HBO Max. Just want HBO Max and
5. Look for student discounts
Did you know that a wide variety of
6. Find a carrier deal
Don’t forget to check AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and other major carriers to see if they have any current deals for getting
7. Leapfrog between free trials
The downside is that this doesn’t work if you can’t binge, isn’t a very friendly strategy for watching with loved ones, and doesn’t work if new episodes are released on a weekly basis. But if you don’t mind the time management, you may be able to watch everything you want without paying at all!
8. Use a bill tracker app like Truebill
Payment monitoring apps like Truebill (available on iOS and on Android) help you manage spending and track all your subscriptions. They can also watch for any subscriptions that you may be unknowingly paying from your account or unexpected increases in subscription fees. If you’ve managed a lot of streaming apps over the years, it may be worthwhile to get a bill tracker app and make sure you aren’t paying any surprise fees unnecessarily.
9. Find the right credit card
Credit cards offer a number of different savings options for spending on specific things, like gas, groceries, or Apple devices. There are also a number of cards that will give you cash back for streaming service fees, like American Express’s Blue Cash Preferred Card or the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card.
Plenty of conditions apply to these cards, so it’s important to do your research and compare the savings of any current credit cards you are using to what you could get with a new card (plus associated cancellation fees, etc.). But in the right situation, this could be an effective way to save on your subscriptions over time.
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