You may want to do a trial run to see which are right for you.
- Streaming services can be a less expensive alternative to cable.
- A number of well-known streaming services let you try out their content for free.
These days, a lot of people are trying to cut back on spending in the wake of rampant inflation. And for some, that means ditting cable and signing up for streaming services instead.
Streaming services can be less expensive than cable, while offering up more relevant content. But before you commit to a higher credit card tab, you may want to take advantage of the option to try out different services for free. Here are a few options for snagging a no-cost trial.
1. YouTube TV
YouTube TV’s base plan gives you access to more than 85 channels, unlimited DVR space, and six accounts to share with your household. And if you’re not sure if it’s right for you, you can sign up for a free two-week trial and check it out.
Once your free trial ends, the cost of YouTube is $64.99 a month. But right now, you can actually pay just $54.99 for your first three months as part of a limited-time offer.
Hulu is one of the most affordable streaming services, and if you’re new to it, you can enjoy a free 30-day trial before committing. From there, Hulu’s basic plan costs $6.99 a month, but that’s for ad-supported content. If you don’t want to be interrupted by ads, you’ll spend $12.99 on Hulu.
That $12.99 will give you access to a decent level of content. But if you want more, you may want to consider the Hulu + Live TV bundle. For $69.99 a month, you’ll enjoy access to over 75 live channels, plus access to Disney+ and ESPN+. That plan, however, does come with ads. Its ad-free counterpart is $75.99 a month.
3. Amazon Prime Video
Those who sign up for Amazon Prime automatically get access to Prime Video at no added cost. Otherwise, you can pay for a Prime Video membership alone, and the cost is $8.99 a month.
Not sure you want to go that route? You can sign up for a free 30-day Amazon Prime trial, which will include complete access to digital content. From there, you can decide whether you want to keep the full Prime package or Prime Video only.
Keep in mind that a monthly Prime membership is $14.99 a month, which isn’t that much more expensive than $8.99. And with that, you get perks like unlimited free two-day shipping. Plus, if you pay for a year at a time, Prime costs just $139.
Love movies but don’t want to pay for cable? Showtime’s streaming service could be your answer.
Right now, you can sign up for a 30-day free Showtime trial, and from there, you’ll pay just $3.99 a month for your first three months if you decide to continue with the service. Once that promotional rate expires, the cost of Showtime is $10.99 a month, or $99 a year.
It pays to try before you buy
You might think you’ll enjoy a given streaming service, only to realize you don’t use it as much as anticipated. That’s why it really pays to go the free trial route.
Remember, too, that streaming services generally don’t lock you into a contract, so if you pay monthly, you can cancel at any time. That’s a great way to build some flexibility into your budget in the course of staying entertained.
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