How to Save Money on HBO Max: Student Discounts and Other Tips

HBO Max is a streaming platform that offers a wide variety of content, including movies, TV shows, and original programming. The platform recently launched in May 2020 and is available in the US plus specific countries in Europe and the Caribbean.

While the service is indubitably excellent, it can also be quite expensive. The base price for HBO Max is $14,99 per month, and there are no free trials currently offered.

In a world like the current one, where many people are cutting back on their spending, finding ways to save money is more important than ever. But services like HBO Max keep us entertained, and that’s important too.

Students used to get a discounted price on their HBO Max subscription, priced at $9.99, but that deal isn’t available anymore, unless you already have a student subscription in place.

There are, however, other ways to save money on your subscription. In this article, you are going to learn which are the best ways to do so.

Saving on Your HBO Max Subscription

When money is tight, the first place people look to cut back on their spending is with their streaming services. And while it may be tempting to cancel your HBO Max subscription, there are other ways to save that don’t involve giving up your favorite shows.

Here they are:

  • Share your account — If you have friends or family members who also want to watch HBO Max, you can share your account with them. This way, you’ll only be paying for one subscription instead of multiples. You can have up to 5 different profile with one subscription. However, note that the number of simultaneous streams that can happen across linked devices is limited for security reasons.
  • Take advantage of free trials — If you’re a new customer, you can sign up for a free trial. This is a great way to try out the service before you commit to a paid subscription. Just be sure to cancel before the trial period ends, or you’ll be charged for the full month. If you only care about 1 or 2 shows, start a free trial and download the shows/episodes you’re interested in.
  • Look for discounts — There are often discounts and promotions offered by HBO Max or its partners. For example, you could get a free HBO Max account if you got an AT&T Unlimited Premium subscription. Check out their website for the most current offers.
  • Buy a yearly account — Paying for 12 months in advance lets you save 16% on your purchase. Basically, you get 2 months free if you buy yearly. You’ll pay $149.99 for a full year of an ad-free account, which is the equivalent of 10 months if you go by a monthly plan. The same goes for the account with ads, that will cost you $99.99 per year.
  • Use a different payment method — You may be able to get a discount if you pay with a certain type of credit card. For example, some cards offer cash back or points that can be redeemed for gift cards or other rewards.
  • Pick the right plan — If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, you can save money by choosing the right plan. The HBO Max ad-free plan is $14.99 per month, but if you don’t mind watching ads, you can get the same content for $9.99 per month.
  • Wait for special discounts — The platform itself offers special promotions every now and then. For example, you could get a free month if you refer a friend, or there might be a discount if you sign up for a yearly plan in a certain timeframe.

There are plenty of ways to save on your HBO Max subscription, but of course most of those come with some strings attached. Usually, it’s just a matter of waiting for the right offer.

HBO Max Free Subscriptions

Sounds too good to be true? Think again. Some universities offer free HBO Max subscriptions to their students as part of their on-campus amenities.

Now, we aren’t saying you should attend a college just because they offer HBO Max. But, if you’re attending one of these colleges, you might as well take advantage of this sweet, free perk.

The catch? You’ll need to be a current student and have a valid .edu email address. If you fit those criteria, then congrats! Your school is probably already paying for your HBO Max subscription. All you need to do is sign up using your school email address and you’re good to go.

Here’s a list of some of the colleges that offer this benefit:

  • New York University
  • Manhattan College
  • Adelphi University
  • University of Miami

If your school is not on this list, don’t worry. This is just a small sampling of the schools that offer this perk. HBO Max has a partnership with many colleges and universities, so it’s definitely worth checking to see if your school is one of them.

Editor’s note: To see if your school offers a free HBO Max subscription, check out this list of participating universities.

Why Buy an HBO Max Subscription?

Even with all of the ways to save money on your subscription, you may be wondering if it’s worth it. After all, there are other streaming platforms out there that offer similar content for a lower price. So what sets HBO Max apart?

Here are a few reasons:

  • HBO Max has a lot of exclusive content: In addition to all of the great content that’s available on HBO, you’ll also have access to shows and movies from other Warner Bros. brands like DC, Cartoon Network, and Adult Swim.
  • HBO Max has a growing library: The platform is constantly adding new content, so there’s always something new to watch.
  • You can download shows and movies to watch them offline: With HBO Max, you can download shows and movies to watch offline. This is great for when you’re traveling or if you have a spotty internet connection.

But, naturally, none of these matters if the shows you like aren’t on HBO Max. Check out their catalog before committing to your purchase.

Do your research and take advantage of free trials and discounts to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your HBO Max subscription. And remember, you can always cancel if you’re not satisfied.

Alternative Streaming Services with Student Discounts

There is no shortage of amazing streaming services out there, and plenty of them offer discounts to university students. So, if you don’t particularly care about HBO Max’s catalog, these are fine alternatives.

  • Hulu — Hulu is home to tons of great shows, movies, and original content. They offer a discounted rate of $1.99/month for 12 months for eligible students. That’s a $5 discount, per month!
  • Paramount plus — Paramount plus is another great platform with a student discount. You can get it for $59.99/year, which is 20% off the regular price of $79.99/year.
  • Apple TV+ — Students enrolled in degree-granting universities and colleges can join Apple Music at a discounted monthly rate for up to 48 months. And if you have an Apple Music student subscription, you also get Apple TV+ for a limited time. The price is still $4.99, but you’re only paying for Apple Music while also getting Apple TV+ for free.
  • Amazon Prime Video — Amazon Prime offers a six-month free trial for students, and then it’s only 7.49$ per month after that, which is half the price of a regular Prime subscription, which is normally $14.99. So, you not only gain access to the entire Amazon Video library, but also get all of the other perks of the Prime membership, like free shipping on Amazon orders.
  • Discovery Plus — Discovery plus is a new streaming service that’s packed with content from networks like HGTV, Food Network, and TLC. Students can get the subscription with ads for just $2.99 instead of $4.99. That’s a 40% savings.

Students get a lot of benefits, because schools realize that studying is expensive. So, they try to lure in students with lower prices, to then hopefully turn them into long-term customers. Once they’ve graduated and start working, they’ll have more disposable income to pay for a full subscription. And that’s where the money is for these platforms.


It’s a shame that students don’t get a discount on their HBO Max subscription anymore. It helped with stress relief and mental health and was a much-needed break from schoolwork.

But there are still ways to save money on your subscription. Account sharing, waiting for special discounts, and taking advantage of free trials are all great ways to save. And even switching to a different service with better prices for students.

The first thing to look at, however, is the platform’s catalog. It’s understandable that someone would be upset after finding out that their favorite show is on a different service. And if your favorite series are all on HBO Max, then the best you can do is wait for a special deal or bite the bullet and pay the full price.

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