What’s the Cheapest Way to Go for HBO?
For those who don’t have HBO®, the internet can be a dangerous place. You can’t go anywhere online without the next episode of your favorite show—be it Barry, Succession, or Avenue 5—getting ruined for you.
But if HBO isn’t in your cable package, paying extra money for just a single channel seems silly. And if you’re a cord-cutter, you’re stuck biding your time until the next season hits DVD or Netflix.
Is there a better (translation: cheaper) way to catch the HBO programming you’ve been missing?
Yes. In fact, there are quite a few promotions out there to get HBO at a cheaper price. For example, cord-cutters can find streaming-only options direct from HBO. And if you still can’t justify the cost, there’s even a way to get HBO along with some extra perks through Amazon Prime. There is hope for the HBO-deprived among us!
Keep reading for the best ways to get HBO without breaking the bank.
1. Get an HBO subscription included for life with an AT&T Wireless plan.
According to a recent Pew survey, 95% of Americans own a cellphone and 77% own a smartphone. Since you’re probably already paying for cell service, why not get an included HBO subscription too?
If you aren’t tied to a provider, switch to a qualifying AT&T plan to get included HBO for life. While there are some restrictions on which plan you can choose, all the available options with HBO include unlimited talk, text, and (most importantly) data—perfect for streaming your new HBO subscription.
If unlimited data and included HBO sound like what you’re looking for, find an AT&T Wireless plan that works for you.
2. Get HBO with an add-on subscription.
Nearly every cable television provider allows customers to add on HBO to existing packages. This is probably the easiest way for most people to pick up HBO. Some providers also offer promotional pricing or special deals to get HBO free for a certain period (usually a few months). Others offer HBO with upper-tier packages with no extra fee required.
For most people, adding on HBO to your existing package is the best way to get it. It’s simple to add it on to a package, you don’t have to worry about a separate bill, and it’s generally less of a hassle than other options.
Get an HBO subscription with AT&T TV
- HBO Promotional Price: Free for 12 months
- HBO Regular Price: $15.00 per month after promotional period
- Recommended Package: AT&T TV Entertainment (160+ channels for $49.99 per month)
Get an HBO subscription with DIRECTV
- HBO Promotional Price: Free for the first three months
- HBO Regular Price: $17.99 per month after promotional period
- Recommended Package: DIRECTV ULTIMATE (245+ channels for $60.00 per month)
Get an HBO subscription with Frontier
- HBO Promotional Price: Free for one year for new FiOS and Vantage TV subscribers
- HBO Regular Price: $19.99 per month after promotional period
- Recommended Package: FiOS TV Extreme HD (375+ channels for $86.99 per month)
Get an HBO subscription with Mediacom
- HBO Promotional Price: None
- HBO Regular Price: $18.95 per month
- Recommended Package: FamilyTV + Internet 60 + HBO add-on (225+ channels and 60 Mbps internet for $79.98 per month + $18.95 per month for HBO)
Get an HBO subscription with RCN
- HBO Promotional Price: None
- HBO Regular Price: $15.95 per month
- Recommended Package: RCN Signature TV + HBO add-on (295+ channels for $64.99 per month + $15.95 per month for HBO)
To see if any of these offers are available in your area, enter your zip code below.
3. Get HBO Max for à la carte HBO.
If you’re a cord-cutter or your cable company doesn’t offer HBO, HBO Max is a good, cheap option for getting all of HBO’s awesome content. Plus, as a major bonus, the service also includes movies and shows from Warner Brothers, Turner, CNN, crunchy roll, Cartoon Network, adult swim, DC, and TNT.
That all adds up to around 10,000 hours of TV, with favorites like The Big Bang Theory, Wonder Woman, and Friends joining the already rich HBO landscape alongside Watchman and Westworld. And it’s all for $14.99 a month, with no contracts.
What’s the difference between HBO Max and HBO NOW?
You may have heard of HBO NOW, and now you’re wondering what the difference is between it and this new kid, HBO Max.
Well, HBO NOW is essentially HBO Max’s predecessor. It’s started as HBO’s first stand-alone streaming service costing $14.99 a month (the same as HBO Max will be) with a seven-day free trial, but with that price comes only HBO content—none of the sweet extra network content that HBO Max will carry.
Fortunately, HBO recognizes how much of a better deal HBO Max will be than HBO NOW, so all HBO NOW members will automatically get access to HBO Max once it launches.
How much internet speed do you need to stream HBO Max or HBO NOW?
You’ll need about 15–20 Mbps internet speed to stream HBO Max content in HD (the same goes for HBO NOW). The New America Foundation indicates the average price for 15–20 Mbps internet speed is about $41.95 per month. So a streaming service like HBO Max or HBO NOW is a better buy if you already have high-speed internet access.
If your internet connection is on the slower end (think DSL), you might find that either HBO Max or HBO NOX will end up costing you more than $14.99 per month because you’ll need to upgrade your internet service to get a good streaming experience.
What devices will the HBO Max app be available on?
HBO has confirmed HBO Max will be available on many popular devices, including phones, tablets, and streaming set-top boxes. But, it’s neglected to say which ones exactly until launch. We’d suggest not worrying about it too much. It’s likely you won’t have to buy a new device just to enjoy HBO Max.
What devices run the HBO NOW app?
Fortunately, we do know what devices already support HBO NOW, and it’s a good indicator of what you’ll be able to watch HBO Max on, too.
Here’s a list of the most common devices that work with the HBO NOW app:
- Windows or Mac computer (with the latest version of either Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Internet Explorer 10)
- iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (running iOS 8 or later)
- Android phone or tablet (running Android 4.1 or later)
- Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick
- Apple TV (second generation or later)
- PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4
- Roku (second generation or later)
- Xbox One or Xbox 360
Unfortunately, although it’s a common request, it’s currently not possible to stream HBO on connected Blu-ray players—maybe one day.
Check out the complete list of compatible HBO NOW devices.
4. Get a discount on an HBO subscription through Amazon Prime.
- Free Two-Day Shipping (and heavily discounted Next-Day Shipping) on tons of items—If you buy a lot from Amazon, Prime shipping can make up the cost of Prime on its own.
- Movie and TV streaming with Prime Video—You can access both a library of free offerings and purchase programming to watch on any device.
- Unlimited ad-free music streaming from the Prime catalog
- Unlimited photo storage in the Amazon Cloud
- Early access to Amazon Lightning Deals and other special offers
- Access to hundreds of thousands of free e-books
Amazon Prime is available for $99.99 per year or $12.99 per month. You can also subscribe to just Prime Video for $8.99 per month. Prime Video is a great service in its own right, with quite a few original series, like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Fleabag. It can be streamed on most of the same devices as HBO.
Say Goodbye to the Fear of Spoilers
Getting HBO in your life doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think it’ll be. There are several great ways to get HBO at a more affordable price, depending on whether you need a lot of other cable channels or none at all. Examine the options available, weigh the extras you want, and then sit back and enjoy some of the best programming on TV. Just don’t wait too long if you want to keep up on Westworld.
You don’t have to keep missing out on the hottest shows on TV. Enter your zip code below to find the providers available in your area that offer the cheapest HBO packages.