Free trial periods are a handy way to test out whether you really want to pay for a streaming service — or to simply binge-watch every season of a particular show and then bail.
Many standalone streaming services like Netflix offer free 30-day trials, but it’s possible to double (or even triple) the life of this free period if you really want to avoid paying for a subscription. Even Amazon’s 30-day Prime trial can be extended with a little bit of effort.
There’s no tried-and-true strategy that applies to every service other than creating a new account with a different email and billing info (more on that in a minute), but you may be able to finagle a longer free trial simply by asking for one.
For example, you can reach out to customer service at Netflix or Amazon and say that you didn’t get to take full advantage of your trial period, and could they offer you another one? They want your business, so they may say yes. This has reportedly worked for some users, but don’t count on it happening every time.
Another option is to cancel your account before your free trial ends and wait for the company to reach out to you. Again, they want your business, and some users have been offered second or third trial periods in the days and months after they cancelled their memberships. Be on the lookout for these trial offers in your email inbox.
The last, most reliable and slightly shady way to force a free trial extension is to simply create a new account. Amazon, for example, only requires a new email to qualify for a Prime trial. If you’re willing to go through the hassle of making a new account and entering your billing information all over again, you could extend your free trial indefinitely. Just don’t forget to cancel before you get charged for a paid membership.
Again, this is a… less savoury way to extend your free trial, but it works.
If your multiple trial periods come to an end and you still haven’t watched everything you wanted to, try sharing a streaming account with a friend or family member. This brings the cost down to very little or free (depending on the generosity of the friend in question) — and depending on the service, you may be able to create a separate viewer profile so you basically have your own account.
This piece was originally published in November 2017 and updated on June 16, 2020 by Emily Long. We rewrote the piece to reflect current advice, added new resource links and switched the lead image.