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HBO Max is a relatively new entry in the streaming wars, debuting in May 2020. When you subscribe, you aren’t just getting access to HBO mainstays such as “Game of Thrones” and “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.” You’re also getting older shows that originally aired elsewhere, including “Friends” and “Doctor Who,” as well as original content exclusive to HBO Max. Is HBO Max available for free? It is, and we’ll give you all the details. Read on to find out how to sign up for an HBO Max free trial, how long the HBO Max free trial lasts, and how much you’ll pay after your trial expires.
Does HBO Max have a free trial? It sounds like a simple question, but the answer is slightly complicated. Whether HBO Max has a free trial depends on how you sign up.
The service itself does not offer a free trial, so signing up through the HBO Max app means paying the regular cost of HBO Max. But if you add HBO Max to certain other streaming services, it’s a different story. As of this writing, HBO Max offers a free trial only through Hulu. To get it, go to Hulu and scroll down to the Premium and Partner Add-Ons section. When you see HBO Max, you’ll be able to add a free week of the service to your existing Hulu subscription.
The HBO Max free trial lasts one week, or seven days. While HBO touts itself as a pioneer in programming with mottos like “It’s Not TV. It’s HBO,” the length of their free trial is pretty familiar to us: One-week trials are pretty much the industry standard for streaming services. Most of our favorite services offer seven free days, and that includes HBO Max.
Yes, HBO Max bills you automatically. When you sign up for HBO Max’s free trial, you’ll have to fork over your credit card information. HBO Max will tell you the date that you’ll be charged for a full month of the service. So if you cancel, you’ll need to do it before that day (one or two days before, if you want to be safe) to avoid paying for a month of a service you don’t want.
You will occasionally see a service that doesn’t require you to provide credit card information right away, but most places want to get your payment information as soon as possible. They want it to be convenient for you to stick around — and this also means that they can make money if you just forget to cancel. So stay organized and mark your calendar, just in case you decide that you don’t want HBO Max after all.
After your seven free days are up, you’ll pay $14.99 a month for HBO Max’s standard plan or $9.99 a month for a more basic plan that includes ads. The standard price is higher than a lot of other streaming services, but HBO Max clearly feels it has the catalog to back it up. We were impressed by HBO Max in our review, so we think you should give it a chance — you may find that the free trial convinces you to stick around. For more on the differences between the two plans, see the last section below.
Nope, you won’t have to worry about contracts with your free trial. You’re not locked into a year-long term or anything like that; you can cancel at any time.
That doesn’t mean you’ll get refunded for any part of the month that you don’t use, however. Let’s say your subscription is up on the 15th of the month, but you cancel on the 1st. You’ll still have access to HBO Max until the 15th. This is common in the world of streaming, and for the most part, it offers a lot more flexibility than old-school cable contracts.
Luckily, canceling HBO Max is pretty easy if you know where to look. Check out our page on How to Cancel HBO Max for more details.
HBO Max now has two subscription tiers: the standard plan for $14.99 that gets you access to everything on HBO Max and, as of June 2021, a $9.99 plan that includes ads. HBO says there won’t be more than four minutes of commercials per hour of content, but you also won’t be able to get the 2021 same-day premieres of movies such as “In the Heights” and “Space Jam: A New Legacy” without the ad-free plan. Those movies will be on the cheaper tier eventually, but not on the same day they show up in theaters. The $9.99 plan also won’t let you download titles to watch offline.