8 Ways to Watch HBO for Free (or Get It for Less)

Get your premium cable fix without splurging on a cable subscription. All you need is a few free trials and a little patience.
Get HBO for Free

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.

Sign Up for an HBO Free Trial on Hulu

Hulu is one of a number of streaming services that offers 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 1-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).

SEE ALSO: What Is Vudu?

Sign Up for a Free Trial of Amazon Prime

Prime Video offers a full back catalog of HBO shows. Last year, there was a lot of talk that HBO wouldn't renew the deal after it ends 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.

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 plans offer short trials, but they don't include HBO. While you should be able to stack an HBO free trial with a Vue trial, doing so results in a more meager period than Amazon's at just five days. However, if you're already subscribed to a PlayStation Vue plan, the good news is you can test out HBO for seven days, rather than just five.

That's long enough to get in some decent binge-watching. 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.

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.

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.

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).

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 and Real Time with Bill Maher post segments to YouTube — they aren't full episodes, but they do tend to catch the best moments.

SEE ALSO: 15 Must-Have Apps to Take Your Streaming to the Next Level

Find Discounts on HBO

HBO doesn't offer many discounts. But if the free offerings above don't work for you (or your free trial has run out), there are a couple of ways you can pay a little less.

  • AT&T's DirecTV Now streaming service 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 60-plus channels. (You can give it a test run with a free trial, but that won't include HBO.)
  • AT&T wireless customers on the Unlimited & More Premium plan will receive HBO as a free perk. While streaming with AT&T can be confusing, if you're looking to upgrade your plan or already a member, it's a nice bonus.

Readers, how do you save on premium movie channels? Let us know in the comments below!

Contributing Writer

Originally working in IT, Elizabeth now writes on tech, gaming, and general consumer issues. Her articles have appeared in USA Today, Time, AOL, PriceGrabber, and more. She has been one of DealNews' most regular contributors since 2013, researching everything from vacuums to renters insurance to help consumers.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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