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:
Get the cheapest Netflix plan with adverts
If you don't mind watching occasional adverts on Netflix, you can save £6 a month on the Standard plan. The plan without ads costs £10.99 per month, whereas the plan with ads costs just £4.99 per month.
Granted, it is a shame to have to watch any adverts when paying for the streaming service. It depends on how keen you are to watch Netflix shows and films, and whether you think it's worth it to watch them with ads.
Also, beware that the Standard plan with ads doesn't give you access to all content on Netflix – some TV shows and films will be locked.
Our Head of Editorial, Laura Brown, has tried this Netflix plan. Here's her review:
In my house, we decided to try the Standard Netflix plan with ads to save money. I'm really glad we did.
When signing up, we knew that we could always upgrade to the plan without ads later on if we didn't like the cheapest plan. But so far, we've been happy with it so haven't felt the need to upgrade!
I personally find that the ads on this plan aren't too long or frequent, so I don't see them as much of an issue. I definitely wouldn't want to spend £6 more a month just to get rid of them.
Luckily, everything we have wanted to watch on Netflix since getting this plan has been available, so I also don't see it as too much of a problem that some shows and films aren't included in the plan.
Having said that, though, if there's anything in particular you're keen to watch on Netflix, it's worth checking that it is included in the cheapest plan before signing up.
As we explain in the next point, you can save more money on this Netflix subscription if you split the cost with a housemate.
Share your account
Check how many people are currently paying for a Netflix subscription in your household. The Standard plans let you watch on two separate screens at once.
So if you share your Netflix account with your household, you can enjoy some House of Cards while your housemate watches Stranger Things.
How much does it cost to split a Netflix account?
The Netflix Standard with ads plan is by far the cheapest option. If you and your housemate don't mind the odd advert interruption, you can split this plan and pay around £2.50 a month each. That's just £30 for the year!
However, if you're not a fan of being interrupted when you're fully immersed in the latest episode of Black Mirror, you can split the cost of a Standard subscription two ways and pay around £5.50 a month each. That's about £66 for the year.
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 £4.50 a month each, or £54 for the whole year.
If there are three of you and you're all averse to adverts, your cheapest option is to add an 'extra member' to the Standard subscription for an extra £4.99 a month. That way you'll be paying around £5.33 each, or roughly £64 for 12 months.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. Generally, only a couple of quid gets knocked off, but this is better than nothing.
Also, remember that Netflix subscriptions can potentially be paid for via iTunes. However, this only works for current subscribers as new customers can no longer sign up for Netflix via iTunes.
So, if you pay for Netflix with Apple billing, you could look for discounted iTunes gift cards and pay for your Netflix account using those.
The amount the gift card is worth will be added to your Apple account, which you can then use to purchase your subscription.
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 may then be able to use this to pay for your Netflix subscription if you're already an Apple-billed customer.
The cashback might only be a small percentage, but it all adds up. And if you have a student cashback credit card, you could buy your gift card through a cashback website via that card to maximise the rewards.
You can also use cashback sites to shop at CDKeys to earn additional discounts on 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 Licensing 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 ITVX Premium £5.99 (or £59.99/year) Ad-free films and ITV shows plus BritBox classics 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 Channel 5 films and TV shows
How much does Netflix cost?
There are three different types of Netflix accounts that vary in price depending on the perks.
The cheapest option is the Standard 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 Standard plan which costs £10.99/month and the Premium plan which sets you back £17.99/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
|Standard account with ads||Standard account||Premium account|
|Access to all content||No||Yes||Yes|
|Number of screens you can watch on at the same time||2||2||4|
|Watch on your laptop, TV, phone, tablet||Yes||Yes||Yes|
For more hacks, check out our complete guide to the best streaming sites in the UK.