Gone are the days when cutting the cord would save you money on your TV watching habits! There are gobs of fragmented streaming services now, and oh-so-many of them charge a monthly subscription fee. If you’re not careful (and you don’t know about the cheapest streaming services), you could end up paying more for streaming services than you did for your cable package back in the day.
But the good news is that streaming services can be pieced together, unlike the cable packages of yore. That means if you apply a little strategy, you can still save a ton of money while watching all your favorite shows as they air.
Today, we’ll go over some of the cheapest streaming services — from those that are always 100% free to the ones you’re used to paying for. There are some really good deals on services like Hulu right now, for example, and if you have the right cell phone carrier or a Target Circle account, you may be able to access some of the bigger platforms like Disney Plus, Netflix, or Apple TV Plus free of charge, too.
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What are the cheapest streaming services right now?
There’s no shortage of free streaming services out there, and if you know your shows you can hack them to save you on subscription fees! For example, I’ve been loving the show Ghosts on CBS, but instead of paying for Paramount Plus, I did a little research and found out I can watch it for free on Pluto TV.
… Which is great because I definitely overstayed my 7-day free Paramount+ trial.
Here are some of the best current deals on streaming services, whether they’re always free or there’s a way to get them for ultra cheap with an introductory or partner offer:
Do streaming free trials come with commitments?
Nope! Usually if you cancel your subscription before the end of a free trial, you’ll be able to avoid paying any additional fees. You’ll lose access to the service, but you’ll also keep money in your wallet.
Are there coupons and promo codes for first-time subscribers?
Not usually. But there are common ways to access free or cheap streaming services, and the best deals are typically available to first-time subscribers.
Always-free streaming services usually have ads.
There are a ton of streaming services that are always free. Usually these services have ads, but not all of them do.
Examples of always-free streaming services (or streaming services that have a free tier available) include:
- Amazon Freevee
- Pluto TV
- Roku channel
- Samsung TV Plus (you don’t have to have a Samsung TV to use it anymore)
You can access some popular streaming services for free through partner offers.
This is super common for cell phone carriers — and sometimes even Target! You can get free subscriptions to major, normally-paid streaming services through these partner offers, though they may not be permanent.
Here are some examples:
- Free HBO Max (AT&T and Cricket customers)
- Free Netflix (T-Mobile and Metro customers)
- Free Disney Plus for six months (Verizon customers)
- Free Apple TV Plus for three months with Target Circle Offer
Many streaming services regularly offer free trials.
Usually, free trials are just 7 days, with the notable exception of Nick Jr.’s Noggin – which gives you 30 days for free.
Other services that regularly provide free, week-long trials include:
Although you can’t watch Peacock TV for free or get a free trial, for $4.99 a month, it’s one of the cheapest streaming channels available.
MORE: We’ve got a massive list of streaming services with free trials or free access, if you’re thirsty for more.