How to save money on Netflix
Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Sex Education... We all love Netflix, but we don't love paying premium prices. Here's how to get a cheaper subscription and still enjoy your TV favourites.
Netflix scratches that procrastination itch like no other. The streaming site is always there to provide the series that we never knew we needed.
But with the prices of Netflix accounts for UK subscribers rising all the time (or, at least, what feels like all the time), it's always worth double-checking that you're not paying more than you need to.
To help, we're here with our best hacks to save you money on your Netflix account.
5 hacks to get cheap Netflix
Here's how to get cheaper Netflix:
Share your account
Check how many people are currently paying for a Netflix subscription in your household. The standard plan lets you watch on two separate screens at once. So you can enjoy some House of Cards while your housemate digs into Peep Show.
How much does it cost to split a Netflix account?
If you split the cost of a Standard subscription two ways, you'll pay around £5.50 a month each. That's around £66 for the year, compared to just under £84 for 12 months on a Basic subscription (which only lets one user watch Netflix at a time). You'd both save just under £18 and can watch your favourite films and series in HD.
If you live with three other people, you could split the cost of the Netflix Premium account, which lets you stream on up to four different devices at once. Split between four people, that comes to about £4 a month each, or £48 for the whole year. If there are three of you, the same account comes to around £5.30 each, or £64 for 12 months.
Or, if you and your housemates have very different schedules and won't be watching at the same time, you could always opt for the Basic (£6.99 a month) or even Basic with ads (£4.99 a month) tier.
Three people sharing a Basic account works out at £2.33 a month (about £28 a year), while doing the same for Basic with ads is just £1.66 a month (just under £20 a year).
These are by far the cheapest accounts we've seen. But just beware that the Basic with ads tier doesn't give you access to all content on Netflix – some TV shows and films will be locked.
Use your parents' Netflix account
However, Netflix isn't against people from the same household sharing a plan. In theory, students are able to use their family's account while they're at uni. Here's what they told Digital Spy back in 2016:
We expect that Netflix is a household-level purchase and that sharing with members of the household is a reasonable thing to do.
When the kids go off to college, are they going to use that login? Well, that's probably OK. But when the kids go off and form their own household, they want the control of having their own account, so eventually, that turns into a new revenue stream for us there as well.
Neil Hunt, Chief Product Manager at Netflix
Netflix's strategy here is that they expect you to sign up for your own subscription once you've graduated...Did you know that streaming in SD instead of HD produces eight times fewer emissions? Doing so is an easy way to cut your carbon footprint.
Pay for your subscription using discount gift cards
This hack is a bit more left-field and requires a tad more research than the others, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Effectively, Netflix subscriptions can be paid for via gift cards that are available at various different retailers. Sites like CDKeys.com sell discounted Netflix for slightly less than their actual worth, but generally, only a couple of quid get knocked off.
Also, remember that Netflix subscriptions can be purchased via iTunes and Google Play (this only works for current subscribers as new customers can no longer sign up to Netflix via iTunes or Google Play). So, if you can get some discounted iTunes or Google Play gift cards, you can pay for your Netflix account using those.
The amount the gift card is worth will be added to your Apple or Google account, which you can then use to purchase your subscription.
You can also complete paid surveys to earn Google Play credit via the Google Play Rewards app which can be used to pay for your Netflix account. We've earned over £100 by completing (very quick) surveys priced at around 20p each.
Use cashback websites
It's always worth checking whether there's cashback to be earned on websites like Quidco and TopCashback for Apple Music. You could then use this to pay for your Netflix subscription if you're already an Apple-billed customer.
The cashback may only be a small percentage, but it all adds up. And if you've got a student cashback credit card, you could buy your gift card through a cashback website via your credit card to maximise the rewards.
Unfortunately, Google Play doesn't do cashback. However, you can still use cashback sites to shop at CDKeys to earn additional discounts on Google Play (and iTunes!) gift cards.
Try cheaper alternative streaming services
This final tip is less of a solution and more of an alternative. But you can combine other streaming services, some of which are completely free.
If you have a TV Licence you're free to stream BBC iPlayer. In fact, you may not even need a TV Licence at all. Check out our guide to the TV Licencing loophole for more info.
You also won't need a TV Licence to use other streaming services as long as you're not watching live TV. We've made a list of the prices of online streaming services and what they each include so you can decide which one suits you best.
Best Netflix alternatives
|Service||Monthly price||What it includes|
|All 4||Free||Films and Channel 4 shows|
|Amazon Prime||Free for 6 months, then £4.49/month (or £47.49/year) (students)||Films, TV shows and student offers|
|BBC iPlayer||Free with TV Licence||Films and BBC shows|
|Britbox||£5.99||TV programmes made by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5|
|Disney +||£7.99 (or £79.90/year)||Films made by Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and National Geographic|
|ITV Hub||Free||Films and ITV shows|
|NOW||£9.99||Films and TV shows|
|My5||Free||Films and TV shows made by Channel 5|
How much does Netflix cost?
There are four different types of Netflix accounts that vary in price depending on the perks.
The cheapest option is the Basic subscription with ads, which costs £4.99/month. Keep in mind that with this subscription, not all TV shows and movies will be available to you.
After that, you have the regular Basic plan at £6.99/month, the Standard plan which costs £10.99/month and the Premium plan which sets you back £15.99/month.
Just to remind you what each plan includes, we've drawn up a table with the benefits along with how much each Netflix plan costs.
Netflix subscription plans
|Basic account with ads||Basic account||Standard account||Premium account|
|Access to all content||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Number of screens you can watch on at the same time||1||1||2||4|
|Watch on your laptop, TV, phone, tablet||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Unlimited films and TV||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
For more hacks, check out our complete guide to the best streaming sites in the UK.