7 Ways to Save Money on Streaming Service Subscriptions
illustration of streaming services on TV

7 Ways to Save Money on Streaming Service Subscriptions

“Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.”

Once upon a time, the idea of streaming television and movie content was not only novel but was mostly limited to just a few services — including some free ones. Well, that’s definitely changed in recent years as nearly every major media conglomerate has launched its own streaming platform. And, while you’d think that the increased competition would mean lower rates, the financial realities of the medium are starting to catch up with these companies, leading to rising prices.

Luckily, even with these trends, there are still ways that consumers can save money on streaming services. How? Let’s take a look at a few options, tips, and tricks.

Saving Money on Streaming Services: 7 Tips to Try

Look for coupons and offers

Just as shopping online these days means at least doing a quick Google to see if you can find a coupon code, the same goes when signing up for streaming services. Oftentimes, just by poking around, you may be able to find yourself a discount on at least your first month of service.

Additionally, there are times when streamers may roll out special offers. An obvious example here is Black Friday but National Streaming Day (on May 20th) may be another opportunity to lock in a decent deal. Because you may not know when a good deal is going to come, if you don’t absolutely need to sign up for a service right away, you might want to to hold off until the right offer comes along.

Claim cashback

On top the deals and coupons you might find, there’s a chance you could also score some cash back. Using portals such as Rakuten, you could earn money back on your initial purchase. For example, via Rakuten, you can currently earn up to $12.50 back when signing up for Disney+ (the cash back amount varies by what package and purchase option you pick).

Of course, with these portals, you’ll want to make sure you use the correct link so that your purchase is properly credited. Also, pay close attention to the terms as there may be restrictions.

Deal with ads

Sadly, while streaming may have once been a respite from the world of ad-supported entertainment, that is no longer the case. Well, at least it’s not if you want to save money. Recently, more streaming platforms have begun offering ad-supported tiers that are a little less pricey than their ad-free counterparts. Last year, Disney+ added such an option and the updated Max is set to introduce an ad tier when it rolls out.

Even though interrupting your favorite shows and (especially) movies can be annoying, the savings you get in exchange may be worth it. In fact, during a recent earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger noted that the company planned to push more users toward the ad-supported option by hiking the price of the ad-free tier and growing the cost difference between them. In other words, soon enough, the premium you pay for the luxury of escaping ad breaks will be even greater — so you might want to get used to the commercial experience.

Bundle with other services (even non-streaming ones)

Thanks to some strong marketing pushes, I’m willing to bet that you’re aware of a few popular streamers that offer a combined bundle. However, did you know that some streaming platforms may be bundled with seemingly unrelated services?

One of the most recent examples of this comes from Walmart+, which now includes a base membership to Paramount+. Elsewhere, for years, telecoms such as Verizon and T-Mobile have offered wireless plans that include subscriptions (or extended free trials) of certain streaming services. Of course, there’s also Apple, which includes free months of its Apple TV+ service with certain purchases of new iPhones, Macs, etc.

Ultimately, these bundle offers may make sense, assuming that you plan on using the main service anyway. Heck, even if the streamer included wouldn’t be your top pick, it could help fill a gap in your entertainment needs and save you money overall.

Earn credit card rewards

Given the growing popularity of streaming, it only makes sense that credit card issuers would begin offering it as a specific rewards category. Some of the credit cards that currently feature streaming service categories include:

  • Capital One Savor: 4%
  • Capital One SavorOne: 3%
  • Wells Fargo Autograph: 3%
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: 3x
  • American Express Blue Cash Preferred: 6%
  • U.S. Bank Cash+: 5%
  • Citi Custom Cash: 5%
  • and more
Find the Best Rewards Credit Cards

Looking for a new rewards credit card but not sure which one is right for you? Check out all of the benefits of each card and apply in minutes. Click the button below to get started.

Best Rewards Credit Cards

Be aware that, in some cases, these credit card options may carry annual fees. Additionally, others may include streaming services as a category option you’ll need to specifically choose. Lastly, keep in mind that, even if you do have several streaming services, the amount you spend may not compare to other categories that might be better picks for cashback.

I should also mention that there’s at least one card that goes a step further in providing rewards for streaming services: The American Express Platinum Card. One of the features of the updated Platinum card is a $240 ($20 per month) Digital Entertainment Credit. This can be used to cover purchases from streaming services Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, or Peacock as well other services including Audible, SiriusXM, and the New York Times. Now I also have to point out that the Platinum card does carry a $695 annual fee… but, if you make use of the card’s numerous other perks, then this $240 credit could actually still save you money.

Share accounts (ethically)

Let’s face it: we’ve all shared our streaming passwords with friends. In fact, this practice was so ubiquitous that it was not only joked about by comedians and late night talk show hosts but, on occasion, the streamers themselves. Unfortunately, as the streaming wars have continued to heat up, some services are changing their tune.

Most notably, Netflix has announced plans to roll out a “paid sharing” option instead. Although this upset many users and will add a cost to the subscription, it does mean that customers who do want to share can still save money and feel more ethical about their account-splitting ways.

Of course, until other services roll out similar options, I won’t judge you too hard if you do want to share accounts to save money. After all, they have device limits for a reason, right?

Come and go

Last but not least, as streamers start to realize that they can’t just burn money forever, the cadence of new content has begun to slow down. In turn, there’s a good chance that you may be waiting around for something you really want to see to come around. Well, in most cases, there’s nothing that says you can’t just cancel your account and fire it back up when that new show or movie does debut. It might be a bit of a pain to go back and forth, but it should definitely save you some money.

By the way, although many special offers and coupons do exclude returning customers, there are occasions where that’s not the case. So, when you do head back, it can’t hurt to start back at the top of this article and see if you can save even more.


Even if individual platforms may be experiencing some struggles right now, the streaming medium only continues to grow. Unfortunately, with the sheer number of services raising prices, this also means that the average American is spending more on streaming entertainment overall. Despite that, that are a few ways you can save some money when signing-up for these services. From short-term solutions, such as coupons and special offers to longer term discounts like credit card rewards or (sadly) opting for ad tiers, you can get all of the entertainment you want while cutting costs as much as possible.

Fioney has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Fioney.com and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.” (Note: advertising relationships do not have any influence on editorial content. Advertising compensation allows Fioney.com to provide quality content for free. All editorial opinions are those of the individual author and/or Fioney staff.)

Author

Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Fioney's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Card

Chase Updates Marriott Bonvoy Bold Co-Branded Credit Card

Chase and Marriott Bonvoy have revealed updates to one of their co-branded offerings — alongside a best-ever welcome bonus for the card. About the updated card: The no-annual-fee Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card has received a fresh update. First, the card will gain a variety of new rewards categories. Bonvoy Bold cardholders can now earn 2x points at grocery stores, 2x on rideshare services, 2x on select food delivery, 2x...
Repair Scrabble tiles with a model home and tools

Lessons From a First-Time Home Buyer: A Warning on "Interest-Free" Home Repair Financing

The unfortunate fact about being a homeowner is that, at some point, you're going to have to pay to repair/replace some expensive items in your house. And while you should try to be as prepared for that as possible, in reality, there are times when an unexpected repair may mean needing to request financing. That way, you can pay off the purchase over time rather than shelling it all out...
"Image displaying the CNBC and Statista logos, featuring a globe highlighting financial data and statistics."

CNBC Names Top 250 FinTech Companies for 2024

The popular financial network CNBC has released its latest list highlighting the top 250 FinTech companies in the world. About the list: To compile this list, CNBC partnered with Statista. Although the companies were nominated by themselves via an application — which included sharing 2023 revenues, year-on-year sales growth rate, and total employee count — Statista conducted analysis on each and considered their key performance indicators (KPIs). Specifically, overarching KPIs...
The "Email" field is empty, you must enter some text to proceed.The text you entered in the "Email" field appears to be invalid, please edit it and try again
Get the Latest News Delivered to Your Inbox

A Guide to Building Credit and Increasing Your Credit Scores

When it comes to credit, there’s some good news. The average credit score in the United States has been steadily rising in recent years, coming in at 715 in 2023. That may be because, today, consumers not only have more ways to access their credit reports and scores than ever before but also because there are an increasing number of options that Americans have for building credit in the first...

2024 SoFi Checking and Savings Review

Ever since I started taking an interest in the FinTech sector, one company whose name I’ve seen pop up over and over again is SoFi. Lately it seems as though that theme has been sent into overdrive as the company has not only become a household name thanks to its stadium naming rights deal but also because of the company’s continued product expansions. The most interesting development in my mind...
Brim logo

Brim Financial Raises $85 Million as It Eyes Global Expansion

Toronto-based FinTech infrastructure startup Brim Financial has announced a new funding round. About the round: Brim has revealed an $85 million round. The Series C was led by EDC Investments while new investor Vistara Growth and returning investors White Owl Group, Epic Ventures, and Zions Bank also participated. To date, the company has now raised $110 million including a Series B in 2021. According to Brim, the latest funding will...
Chase Freedom Flex card

Chase Reveals Q2 2024 Freedom 5%(+) Bonus Categories

Chase has announced its bonus category picks for the second quarter of 2024 — including some interesting twists. About the categories: As April approaches, Chase has revealed what categories Freedom and Freedom Flex cardholders can earn bonuses on. From April 1st through June 30th, customers can earn 5% (or more) in three categories: Amazon.com, Hotels, and Restaurants. Similar to how Chase embraced a "New Year, New Me" theme last quarter,...
Rent Day

Bilt Announces Home Collection Deal for May 2024 Rent Day

For May's Rent Day, Bilt is offering a deal that will allow members to decrease their rent bill while also adding to their home decor. About the Home Collection offer: Bilt has crafted a unique Rent Day offer for May 2024. Through the 1st, when Bilt members redeem their points toward rent payments, they'll receive the same number of points to be used toward Bilt Home Collection items. To take...