There are tons of streaming services out there, and each one has something they do best. Hulu is known as the place to go to watch new episodes of your favorite TV shows (usually the day after they broadcast on traditional channels).
If you’re not sure whether you should add Hulu to your streaming library, there are ways you can get big discounts on your Hulu subscription, get a Hulu free trial without a credit card, or even get Hulu straight-up free.
1. Watch TV for 30 days with a Hulu free trial — you can cancel afterward if you want.
Unlike, say, Netflix, Hulu offers a free trial on all of their subscriptions. All you have to do is sign up for Hulu and enter in a payment form via a credit card, PayPal, or Hulu gift card. (See Tip 4 if you want to avoid giving a credit card.) Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use the free trial if you cancel before the 30 days are up.
You’ll get a 30-day free trial with a Hulu or Hulu Premium account and a 7-day free trial for Hulu Live TV. As soon as the trial ends, here’s what you can expect the Hulu cost to be:
- Hulu (with ads): $6.99 per month
- Hulu Premium (ad-free): $12.99 per month
- Hulu Live TV (with ads) cost: $69.99 per month
- Hulu Live TV (ad-free): $75.99 per month
2. Stream Hulu on 2 devices a time, no matter what kind of account you have.
No matter what kind of account you have, you can have up to 6 profiles and only 2 devices streaming at the same time unless you get the Unlimited Screens Bundle (reg. $9.99) which will allow you to stream as much inside one home network — which is every device linked to one router — and 3 devices outside the home network.
3. Save 10% when you get Hulu Live TV — and cut the cable cord.
So, before you get sticker-shocked by Hulu Live TV’s $69.99/month price tag, you have to think about what comes with it:
- Hulu: reg. $6.99/month (with ads; it’s another $6/month to remove commercials)
- Disney Plus: reg. $7.99/month
- ESPN Plus: reg. $6.99/month
- 75 live TV channels: For roughly the same number of channels, Sling TV charges $55/month
Total value: $76.97/month
You’d have to pay extra for premium add-ons like HBO Max ($14.99), Cinemax ($9.99), Showtime ($10.99), and Starz ($8.99).
4. Use a Hulu gift card to get the free trial without a credit card.
If you don’t like the idea of giving out your credit card information, you can use a Hulu gift card to get the Hulu free trial without a credit card. It does mean that you’re going to commit to however many months you pay for, but you can get a 5% discount when you buy your Hulu gift card using Target RedCard.
If you have a Swagbucks account, you can get a free $25 Hulu gift card if you accumulate 2,300 Swagbucks. It’ll take you about 2.5 months to earn that amount by watching videos or taking surveys (depending on how diligent you are on the site), but that’s more than 3 months of Hulu you can get for free.
TIP: Even though Disney bought Hulu, you can’t use Disney gift cards to pay for your Hulu subscription. Same goes for the Disney Plus bundle. However, you can use Disney Plus cards to pay for your Hulu subscription and the Disney Plus bundle.
5. If you can wait until Black Friday, you can get your Hulu subscription for as low as $1/month.
By far, the best time to get a Hulu subscription is during Black Friday. In 2021, they offered a year subscription for only $0.99/month — saving you a whopping $72 for the entire year. Here’s what they have done on previous Black Fridays:
- Black Friday 2020: $1.99/month deal (71.5% savings, save $60.00)
- Black Friday 2019: $1.99/ month deal (71.5% savings, save $60.00)
- Black Friday 2018: $0.99/month deal (85.8% savings, save $72.00)
You’ll have to prepay for the entire year, and these prices are only available to new Hulu subscribers, so if you already have an account, you won’t be eligible for these deals.
6. If you’re a student, get Hulu free with a Spotify premium subscription.
If you’re a college student, there are lots of student freebies and discounts available to you, and one of the best is the Spotify Student Discount.
You’ll only have to pay $4.99 per month, and you’ll get Spotify Premium (reg. $9.99), Hulu (reg. $6.99), and Showtime (reg. $10.99) for only $4.99 — that’s an 82.1% discount compared to paying for all those services separately.
Of course, if you’re ONLY interested in Hulu, you can get it for just $1.99 per month (71.5% off) using their student discount.
7. Save $8/month with the Disney Plus bundle.
Disney owns Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus, and they’ve bundled those together in one easy-to-manage subscription designed to save you money.
Instead of paying $22/month for all three, you get Hulu, Disney Plus, and ESPN Plus for $13.99 (or $18.99 for the ad-free version). That’s 36.3% cheaper than buying them separately.
8. Get free Hulu with Sprint Unlimited plans.
If you want to upgrade to a Premium plan or want any add-ons, it’ll cost you the difference.
9. Get free Hulu with a Verizon Unlimited plan via the Disney Plus bundle.
You can get the Disney Plus Bundle for free — which includes Hulu and ESPN Plus — if you have either a 5G Get More or 5G Play More plan from Verizon for $45 – $55 per month per line.
10. Pause your Hulu subscription while you’re on vacation to save money.
If you’re going to go on vacation or know that you’re not going to watch Hulu for a while, you can suspend your Hulu account for up to 12 weeks at a time. Just go to “Accounts” and find the “Your Subscription” button to find the “Pause your Subscription” option. You’ll only be able to pause starting from the end of that billing period, and you can’t pause sequentially or else it’ll block that option for you in the future.
Once you set your duration, you won’t get charged for the time you’re away, but as soon as the time expires, it will automatically change your billing period start date and start charging you.
11. Download the Hulu app to use your smartphone as a remote.
If you have a Google Chromecast or Apple TV, you can cast right to your TV, using the Hulu app as a remote. All you have to do is hit the Cast or AirPlay button on your Hulu app and select the device you want to watch on.
You can also watch Hulu through many different devices:
- Smartphones via the Hulu app
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Fire Sticks
- LG TVs
- Gaming Systems (Nintendo Switch, Playstation, Xbox)
- Samsung TV
- VIZIO SmarCast TVs
- Xfinity TV boxes
12. Watch Hulu offline with the Hulu Premium subscription.
Watching Hulu offline is an option only available to those who have a Hulu Premium subscription (reg. $12.99). You can download 25 shows at a time and have 30 days to watch them before they get deleted from your device.
Unfortunately, not everything can be downloaded, so if you want to filter out which shows you want to download, there is a search filter that will show you the shows that you can download to your device.
TIP: If you’re using a device with a mobile data plan, make sure you connect to wifi before you download Hulu shows so you don’t max out your data.
13. Use Hulu Watch Party to watch Hulu with friends and family.
Hulu Watch Party is an option that Hulu offers so you can watch Hulu with your friends and family. Up to 8 people can watch through Hulu Watch Party, and you can use it within a single Hulu subscription. Not every show or movie can be used with Hulu Watch Party. You’ll need to look out for the Watch Party icon.
TIP: You can also use the Teleparty plug-in (formerly known as Netflix Party), which can support up to 50 people in one lobby, but everyone will need to have their own Hulu account.
14. Create a Kids Profile to show only the Hulu Kids Movies & TV.
Parents have the ability to set up Kids Profiles, which let the little ones see only the Hulu Kids Movies and TV shows. These profiles filter out content (even ads) that might not be appropriate for little ones.
That way, they’ll just watch Adventure Time, Steven Universe, and We Bare Bears.
You can also lock content behind a PIN number so you can access the account through their profile if necessary.
15. Customize your Hulu subtitles and ads while you watch.
Did you know that you can customize your Hulu subtitles at any time? All you have to do is go to the “Subtitles & Captions” option in the settings bar to change the color, style, and background of your subtitles.
While you are watching Hulu with ads, they’ll occasionally ask you which ad out of three you would like to watch. After you pick one, it’ll show you the ad and remember which one you preferred for next time.
TIP: There is also a “dark mode” feature in the settings menu.
16. You can cancel a Hulu subscription at any time.
You can cancel your Hulu subscription anytime, and you’ll still have access to Hulu content until the end of the latest billing period. All you need to do is go to “Accounts” and select the option to cancel. They’ll ask if you want to suspend your account instead, but if you’re done with Hulu, click “Continue to cancel” to finalize your cancellation.
Unfortunately, if you want to cancel right away and be reimbursed for the remainder of the billing period, Hulu won’t reimburse you or cancel before the billing period.
TIP: If you got your Hulu subscription through a third-party promotion from Spotify, Apple, Amazon, or phone promotion, you’ll need to contact that third party in order to cancel your account.