Is it possible to get a free Netflix streaming subscription legitimately?
The short answer is yes, although it is more challenging than previously.
Netflix remains the most prominent streaming company despite facing significant competition.
Netflix’s roots began in 1997, initially selling and delivering DVDs by mail, and continues to do the latter to some diehard fans. They competed with leader Blockbuster, who has since bitten the dust.
Netflix Still On Top Despite Losing Subscribers In 2022
Netflix is a video streaming service with 220.7 million subscribers worldwide in 2Q2022, including about 73.3 million in the US and Canada. According to Statista, Netflix remains on top, generating 765 million global monthly visits in April 2022, though down 33% from a year ago due to higher competition, interrupted service in Russia, and normalized from increased usage during the pandemic.
They lost a net of 200,000 subscribers in 1Q2022 (compared to company expectations to add 2.5 million subscribers. Netflix faces intense competition from several streaming companies, including DisneyPlus, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, ApplePlus, Peacock, Paramount, YouTube, and free movie and TV show competitors like Crackle.
They offer lots of content, including various movies, award-winning Netflix originals, documentaries, anime, and TV series that receive accolades and prestigious awards from shows like Stranger Things, Squid Game, The Queen’s Gambit, and Ozark.
Once you have a Netflix account, you have the flexibility to watch from any internet-connected device you own or download content when you’re traveling without an internet connection.
As good as Netflix’s streaming services are, its membership fees keep rising and could be out of reach for many as households face higher costs from the highest inflation in four decades. In past recessions, Netflix’s subscribers seemed immune to price increases. However, it seems less so today with the high inflation, competition, and the return to pre-pandemic habits. A free Netflix subscription (or a cheaper one) would be helpful to those wanting to save money. Read on for how to do so.
Netflix’s Four-Tier Pricing
The company has steadily been raising its prices in the last few years. Netflix’s recent price hike was at the beginning of 2022. They introduced an ad-supported tier in November 2022 for $6.99 monthly, 55% below their most popular plan for those seeking a more frugal option.
Here are their traditional three plans:
Netflix’s primary service is $9.99 monthly, allowing only one screen to watch their content and a smartphone or tablet.
The standard plan is $15.49 per month, allowing two screens to watch Netflix content simultaneously with two smartphones or tablets.
Netflix’s premium plan is $19.99 monthly, with four screens that can watch content simultaneously and four smartphones or tablets. The ultra HD is only available with the premium plan.
How To Connect To Netflix Streaming Service
Smart TVs have been around for the past decade and enable Netflix watching with either a dedicated Netflix button on the remote or preferably a control on the smart TV itself, allowing to access streaming apps. These days, you can watch Netflix in many ways. You can watch Netflix on nearly any internet-connected computer, smartphone, tablet, Smart TV, streaming device, Blue-ray player, or video game console.
If you don’t have a smart TV, download the Netflix app, and you can connect to a specialized streaming device such as Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV Stick, or Apple TV to your TV, or game consoles like PlayStation or Xbox. If you want to use your phone to access Netflix, go to the Apple Store or GooglePlay to download the Netflix app.
8 Legitimate Ways To Get Free Netflix (Or Cheaper)
1. Sharing Your Netflix Accounts With Family and Friends
Many households have Netflix accounts for standard or premium services that simultaneously allow watching more than one movie or show on more than one device. College students often use their parents’ passwords when they are away from home and share them with their roommates.
Account sharing has become common practice. Netflix estimates that about 100 million households worldwide access their service through someone else’s password. The company may have inadvertently encouraged the trend. In 2017, they wrote on a Twitter thread promoting its original series Love, “Love is sharing a password.”
With slower subscriber growth, Netflix frowns on the practice. It may begin to “monetize multi-household sharing” sometime in 2023, based on favorable response to a pilot program they are running in several South American markets, introducing a “paid sharing offering” fee. That may mean households will continue sharing their passwords but may accrue a small charge.
2. Switch Cellphone Service to T-Mobile And Get Free Netflix
If you are willing to switch your cellphone service to T-Mobile, they have two plans, Magenta and Magenta MAX, that provide free Netflix subscriptions. Most Magenta and Magenta MAX plans on T-Mobile include a free Netflix subscription at no additional cost.
When Netflix raised its prices earlier this year, T-Mobile kept its Netflix on Us benefit. Customers will continue to get Netflix on Us included in their Magenta family plans (including Business plans), and Magenta MAX plans. The included use for each one is as follows:
- Plans with Netflix Basic included: Magenta (2+ lines), Magenta MAX (single line), Business Unlimited Ultimate (single line), Business Unlimited Advanced (2+lines)
- Plans with Netflix Standard included: Magenta MAX / Plus (2+lines), ONE Plus (2+lines), Business Unlimited Ultimate (2+lines)
To opt-in, log into your T-Mobile account and add Netflix on Us via manage add-ons. On the T-Mobile app, select Account and manage data & Add-ons.
3. Switch to Comcast Xfinity Plan And Get Free Netflix
Like switching to T-Mobile, you can switch to Comcast Xfinity packages to get free streaming service from Netflix. It may only be available in select markets at this time. You’ll need to check the details.
To Connect from the Apps menu:
- Press the XFINITY button on your remote.
- Scroll to and select Apps or Networks.
- Locate the Netflix app, then press OK.
- Once in the Netflix app, select Sign In. If you are not yet a member, follow the signup prompts or set up your membership online.
4. Get A High Quality VPN For Privacy Purposes And Get Free Netflix Content
The original content of Netflix is available worldwide, but the full lineup of movies and shows varies across countries. Some US and Canadian subscribers may want to access different content worldwide. For example, one of our favorite series, Peaky Blinders, was released in the UK months before it was available in the US and other countries. We resisted getting Netflix for years but enjoy their original content and, increasingly, its foreign movies and TV shows.
By using a virtual private network (VPN), subscribers can change their virtual location to watch content wherever they are. VPNs can improve download speeds, streaming, and cloud backup service. Non-premium VPNs may cause malware problems. Choose a premium VPN to encrypt your online activities and security purposes.
The best VPNs, such as Express VPN or Nord VPN, can help users watch more content worldwide without being detected by others, including Netflix, and may allow them to avoid subscription costs. Netflix may frown on this, but the better VPNs eliminate Netflix buffering, an added plus. Premium VPNs charge monthly fees, but they run free trials (up to three months) and offer attractive pricing if you buy six to twelve-month packages.
Is This Illegal?
While using a VPN is legal in the US and elsewhere, you want to read Netflix’s terms and conditions as a subscriber. In Section 4.3 of Netflix’s terms page, you may view Netflix content primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we have offered our service. You won’t be playing by the rules if you stream shows outside your region. In 2016, there were reports that Netflix blocked VPNs, but in recent years, they were more likely to show only titles to those subscribers from the region.
While not illegal to use VPNs, a significant issue is whether it is unethical to use VPNs or account sharing with others. There are some gray areas regarding whether your college kids can use your Netflix login information when traveling, at school, or abroad. Another gray area may be that you are paying for a premium VPN service because you have more buffering than you’d like from Netflix. Still, if you live in an area where broadband service is less stable, so why can’t you get some content beyond your region?
5. Give Netflix Subscription As A Gift
You can give someone a free Netflix membership by buying a Netflix gift card from these retailers:
6. Redeem Discounted Netflix Gift Cards
You can redeem Netflix gift cards to pay for its streaming service purchased at various retail locations, from another country, or online. They no longer sell Netflix DVD gift cards, but they are redeemable.
There are many ways to get free money, including Netflix gift cards that add up to a year’s subscription membership. You can use gift cards to get a subscription for your household partner or a friend. Gift cards don’t expire.
Many companies will pay you with various gift cards, promo codes, or coupons to play free games, complete online surveys, and do other tasks. Look for free Netflix gift cards from Online survey companies and retail companies such as:
- Prize Rebel
- Survey Junkie
- Inbox Dollars
- Branded Surveys
- Survey Roundtable
7. Buy Discounted Netflix Gift Cards
Instead of paying the total price for a Netflix membership, shop around for discounted gift cards from companies like Raise.com or CardCash. From time to time, Costco offers discounted Netflix memberships through gift cards.
8. Promotions: Promo Codes And Coupons
To reduce your membership costs, shop around for promo codes and coupons from:
- Slick Deals
You No Longer Can Get Free Netflix Through 30-Day Trials With Exceptions
Recently, Netflix eliminated the free 30-day trials and limited the ability to watch a specific series for free to entice new members. They offer a free monthly trial for those who live in countries where they initiate service in new countries, such as Kenya, South Korea, and Vietnam, for a limited time.
Their rationale for ending free trials is that subscribers can watch as much as they want without ads and cancel at any time without penalties that typically come with contracts. Netflix membership is month-to-month, and you are free to go any time.
Though it faces more competition, Netflix remains the top video streaming service company worldwide. With continuous price hikes, it can be a costly proposition, putting some out of reach. There are several ways to get free Netflix or to get the service at a discount.
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With a passion for investing and personal finance, I began The Cents of Money to help and teach others. My experience as an equity analyst, professor, and mom provide me with unique insights about money and wealth creation and a desire to share with you.