Too broke for the price of HBO Max? All the ways to get a free account
Even before Warner Bros. set the world on fire with the news they would release their entire 2021 theatrical slate directly onto HBO Max, interest in the streaming service was significant. HBO Max was, after all, the only place to get access to TV shows like Doom Patrol & The Flight Attendant as well as upcoming events like the Friends reunion and the release of the Justice League Snyder Cut.
Warner Bros., however, upped the ante considerably earlier this month. The studio’s announcement effectively did away with the theatrical window most major studio releases take part in. Instead, all Warner Bros. releases starting with Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas day and all the way through 2021 will open in theaters and play on HBO Max at the same time (for a month).
This means HBO Max subscribers will get to watch major feature films like The Matrix 4, Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune remake, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, The Suicide Squad and the Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark, all on the same day they open in theaters, but in the comfort of their own home. The monthly $14.99 price tag for HBO Max suddenly doesn’t seem too high.
That said, not everybody can afford to add an extra $15 to their monthly entertainment budget, especially in these times of COVID-19 layoffs. And even if you can afford it, you might just feel more comfortable taking HBO Max for a free ride before committing to paying full price for it. That’s where we come in, ready to help you out.
The first thing you need to know is HBO (and by extension, HBO Max) is part of the WarnerMedia family, which in turn is owned by AT&T. That family tree is the reason almost all the different ways to get HBO Max for free are gatekept by AT&T.
The second thing you need to know is if you don’t want to mess with AT&T, your only other option to try HBO Max for free is to sign up for Hulu’s seven-day trial. It’s only one week, but if you time it well (say, right around that holiday vacation) you should be able to binge a few shows and catch a few major releases.
While HBO Max is a service separate from the original HBO, many cable services will automatically upgrade you to HBO Max if you’re already paying for HBO through them. Check with your cable provider! All you may need to do to access HBO Max is download the app on your phone or smart TV.
If your current cable provider won’t upgrade you to HBO Max for free, perhaps it’s time to find a new cable provider. With that in mind, signing up for one of AT&T’s TV packages could solve that problem and also give you some of that sweet HBO Max goodness. New customers of AT&T TV Choice, Xtra, Ultimate, Premiere, and Optimo Más packages get free HBO Max for a year.
Already set up with one of those packages? Current customers can still get free HBO Max, but only for three months instead of the twelve months new customers get.
Worth mentioning: if you’re one of the remaining AT&T Uverse users (AT&T discontinued new Uverse subscriptions) you’re automatically grandfathered into free HBO Max . . . forever! Or at least for as long as you keep your Uverse account.
Let’s say you like your cable provider too much to switch to AT&T. How are you feeling about your internet provider?
If you live in an area where the AT&T Internet 1000 plan is available, that’s an easy way to get HBO for free. The price of the internet plan itself is seventy dollars a month for a minimum of twelve months.
Ok, Ok, Ok. You’re happy with your current cable situation. You have no problems with your current internet provider. But what about your cell phone service?
The fancy AT&T Unlimited Elite wireless plan includes HBO Max at no additional cost. The plan’s price is $85 a month for one line but you can add extra lines and get discounts, down to $45 a line for five lines. And you don’t have to feel guilty about sharing your HBO Max login info with the other four users!
As you can see, in most cases, the real price you pay for free HBO Max is pleading allegiance to our AT&T overlords. If you’re fine with that, then you have a fair number of options at your disposal when it comes to enjoying the entire Warner Bros.’s 2021 theatrical slate at home.