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What’s the Cheapest Way to Go for HBO?

See if HBO Max or your TV plan is the cheapest way to get HBO.



Price: $9.99–$15.99/mo. or $99.99–$149.99/yr.

Simultaneous streams: 3

Video: 1080p, 4K

Free trial: None

Two months free


HBO add-on price: $15.00/mo.

TV plans: $64.99–$154.99/mo.

Channels: 165–340+

DVR storage: 200 hrs.

Cheapest cable TV plans


HBO add-on price: $15.00/mo.

TV plans: Begin at $59.99/mo.

Channels: 125+

DVR storage: Varies

Bundle with STARZ and SHOWTIME


HBO add-on price: $14.99/mo.

TV plans: $30.00–$115.00/mo.

Channels: 50–420+

DVR storage: 25–150 hrs.

Best user experience


HBO add-on price: $15.00/mo.

TV plans:$20.00–$80.00/mo.

Channels: 10–185+

DVR storage: 150 hrs.

Is there a cheaper way to get HBO?

The cheapest way to get HBO is through HBO Max. Its ad-supported plan starts at just $9.99 per month, or you could save 16% by paying $99.99 for the whole year.

Cheapest HBO

  • HBO Max ($15.99/mo. or $9.99/mo. with ads)—cheapest HBO on demand
  • Optimum ($14.99/mo.)—cheapest HBO add-on

For most folks, we recommend HBO’s streaming HBO Max because it’s relatively cheap, has a month-to-month contract, and features more than just HBO Originals.

If you prefer to keep things simple with a single cable plan and live TV channels, you’d be okay bundling with Optimum, Spectrum, DIRECTV, DISH, or Xfinity. Luckily, you’ll still be able to log into HBO Max with your cable credentials.

But we get it: the devil is in the details. Keep reading for the best ways to get HBO without breaking the bank.

Price: $15.99/mo. or $159.99/yr

Price with ads: $9.99/mo. or $99.99/yr

HBO Max for cheap HBO on demand

If you’re a cord-cutter or looking for the cheapest HBO option, HBO Max is a good, cheap option for getting all of HBO’s awesome content and more.

For the time being, HBO Max also includes movies and shows from Warner Brothers, Turner, CNN, 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. The cheapest way to get HBO Max is to pay $9.99 per month for the ad-supported plan, but you’ll have to pay an extra $5.00 to go ad-free.

The only drawback of this option is you don’t get any of the live HBO TV channels, but you’ll still get access to all of HBO’s content on demand at the moment it premieres, so does it really matter?

Watch HBO Max series free (with ads)

You can now stream some HBO Max series free on Tubi or the Roku Channel.

Cheap HBO with cable

Nearly every cable TV provider allows customers to add on HBO to existing packages. However, the only advantage of doing so is dealing with fewer monthly bills⁠—most add-ons cost $15 or more, which makes an annual HBO Max subscription the cheaper option.

Unfortunately, you won’t find any cable TV options cheaper than HBO Max, but some providers offer short-term promotional pricing or a free trial to sweeten the deal. Others will include the price of HBO with upper-tier packages.

For a lot of folks, adding on HBO to your existing package is the easiest 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 you’ll have access to live HBO channels.

Here’s the breakdown of each provider with prices and the packages we recommend to get the most bang for your buck.

  • HBO promo price: Free HBO Max for 2 mos., 3 mos. for new customers
  • HBO regular price: $15.00/mo.

Free HBO Max with DIRECTV STREAM or DIRECTV satellite

DIRECTV isn’t a bad way to go for HBO. The biggest TV package, Premier ($154.99/mo.) includes HBO Max, SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, and Cinemax® in the price. That’s along with 150+ cable channels. Also, new customers ordering most packages get three months of each of those services for free.

When adding just HBO Max to an existing plan, you get two months of HBO Max free. Although, if you’re keeping score, that’s the same discount you’d get if you subscribed to HBO Max through annual billing.

Just watch out for when the billing kicks in after the second month. AT&T and DIRECTV love doing that.

  • HBO promo price: None
  • HBO regular price: $16.00/mo.

HBO with Cox Cable

We’re unimpressed with Cox’s HBO bundle. It’s more expensive than most providers, but at least you’ll get access to live HBO channels on TV.

In general, we’re fans of Cox internet plans, which are pretty good for the price. If you have Cox or want to switch, we suggest bundling internet and TV and then adding on your HBO.

  • HBO promo price: None
  • HBO regular price: $15.00/mo.


DISH’s HBO add-on is $15 per month, which is about the same as its competitors. You’d save more money in the long run by subscribing annually for $149.99 through HBO Max.

But if you’re looking to combine some of your monthly bills together, you could do worse than adding HBO to your DISH plan.

  • HBO promo price: None
  • HBO regular price: $18.95/mo.

HBO with Mediacom

Unfortunately, Mediacom doesn’t offer any HBO promos, and its HBO add-on is pricier than other cable providers.

That’s why we recommend just getting HBO Max as a standalone service if you’re a Mediacom customer.

  • HBO promo price: None
  • HBO regular price: $14.99/mo.

HBO with Optimum

Optimum does not currently offer any special HBO deals, although some Suddenlink customers were given a full year of free HBO Max when the company merged. For everyone else, Optimum’s HBO add-on costs $14.99 per month. Or you could get HBO bundled into the Premier TV plan, which includes Starz and SHOWTIME, for $115.00 per month.

If you want live HBO through Optimum, you won’t be overcharged. But you could always just subscribe to HBO Max for the same price if you’re cool with streaming on demand.

  • HBO promo price: None
  • HBO regular price: $15.95/mo.

HBO with Astound Broadband

Internet and TV from Astound Broadband are the cheapest around, but the cable provider will charge you a dollar extra per month for HBO.

Again, if you’re down with on-demand HBO, we say just sign up for HBO Max instead of adding regular HBO to your Astound Broadband cable plan.

  • HBO promo price: None
  • HBO regular price: $15.00/mo.

HBO with Spectrum

Spectrum’s Select TV package comes with over 125 channels, and you can add HBO (and HBO Max) to your plan for $15 per month. You might as well just subscribe through HBO Max directly unless you have your heart set on bundling it with cable.

  • HBO promo price: None
  • HBO regular price: $15.00/mo.

Included HBO with Xfinity

Like most cable and streaming services, Xfinity doesn’t offer a discount on HBO. But you can get HBO included when you sign up for the Digital Premier package for $104.99 per month.

Again, unless you’re a diehard HBO fan that loves watching live premieres, we recommend just going with HBO Max on demand.

To see if any of these offers are available in your area, enter your zip code below.

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Get cheap HBO that’s right for you

Getting HBO in your life doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think it’ll be. Overall, we recommend signing up for a standalone HBO Max subscription or getting HBO through your cable provider (as long as it’s about $15 per month).

You don’t have to keep missing out on the hottest shows on TV. Enter your zip code below to find TV providers available in your area that offer the cheapest HBO packages.

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Does HBO offer a student discount?

HBO doesn’t currently offer any student discounts.

How much is HBO on Amazon Prime?

Amazon no longer carries HBO or HBO Max in its Prime Video Channels.

How much is HBO on Hulu?

You can add HBO Max, HBO’s streaming-only service, to your Hulu account for $15 a month. This give you access to all HBO content, as well as additional shows and movies available only through HBO Max. You can also try out HBO Max for free for seven days through Hulu, a trial period HBO Max doesn’t offer directly.

Is HBO Max cheaper with Hulu?

HBO Max costs the same through Hulu as it does as a standalone subscription: $15 a month.

What is the cheapest way to get HBO?

At $99.99 per year, subscribing annually to HBO Max with ads is the cheapest way to watch HBO content. The next-cheapest option is to pay $9.99 monthly, or $14.99 monthly/$149.99 yearly for the ad-free plan.

Is HBO Max free?

No, HBO Max isn’t free, but the streaming service does offer seven-day free trial periods when subscribing through other services like Hulu and YouTube TV.

What’s the difference between HBO Max and HBO NOW?

HBO NOW no longer exists. It was HBO’s first standalone streaming service and cost $14.99 a month (the same as HBO Max). The main difference is that HBO NOW had only HBO content—none of the sweet extra network content that HBO Max carries.

How much internet speed do you need to stream HBO Max?

You’ll need about 15–25 Mbps internet speed to stream HBO Max content in HD. The New America Foundation indicates the average price for 15–20 Mbps internet speed is about $41.95 per month.

If your internet connection is on the slower end (think DSL), you might find that HBO Max 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.

Curious about internet speeds in your area?

Enter your zip code below to see internet plans and speeds in your neighborhood.

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Our money-saving experts have scoured the web to bring you the best deals to save you money on TV and streaming services. For more on our research process, head over to How We Rank.

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