Streaming Services

No HBO Max Free Trial, But There Are Ways to Watch For Free

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HBO Max doesn’t offer a free trial, but some consumers may find they can watch for free for a limited time depending on their other subscriptions or devices. While being unable to test the service out before paying is an inconvenience, it is becoming the norm for many popular services.

HBO Max is the home of a variety of popular shows and movies, and while it was previously an expensive streaming service at $14.99 per month, that’s now changed. HBO Max also now offers an ad-supported plan which drops the monthly cost down to just $9.99 per month. In spite of the actual cost, the ability to watch for free for either 7, 14 or 30 days is a great way to check if a subscription is worth it before having to make the first payment.

Unfortunately, HBO Max does not offer a free trial. Previously, HBO Max did allow new subscribers to watch for seven days for free, but the 7-day free trial came to and in 2020. Since then, HBO Max has required all new customers to sign up and pay for a subscription before they can stream the wide selection of shows and movies. HBO Max is not the only service to remove the option of a free trial, with both Netflix and Disney+ also no longer providing new customers with a way to test out the service.

None of this is to say that HBO Max won’t occasionally run a promotion where new customers can watch for free for a limited time, it is just there’s currently no longer an ongoing free trial option. However, it is always worth checking the HBO Max website to see if any limited-time free trials or promotions are available. Even if there’s not, that doesn’t mean consumers cannot test the service out before having to make the first payment.

HBO Max free trial options

Although HBO Max no longer offers a free trial, there are options. To begin with, HBO Max does provide the ability for consumers to watch select episodes for free. Consumers can either head over to or download the HBO Max app on a supported device and watch pilot episodes for free. The list of which episodes are available change regularly, but do tend to be popular original HBO and HBO Max shows.

For those that want the ability to watch what they want, then the help of another service is needed. For example, while HBO Max doesn’t offer a free trial directly, both Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV offer the option to bundle HBO Max with a live TV plan. If already subscribing to either of these live TV services then this will be one of the easiest way to watch HBO Max for free. It’s worth noting that the Hulu route doesn’t even require a live TV plan. For any individuals who just have a basic Hulu subscription, they can still bundle HBO Max with their basic Hulu. Considering Hulu also offers a 30-day free trial for its own streaming service, even non-Hulu subscribers can sign up for basic Hulu for 30 days for free and sign up to HBO Max for seven days for free as well.

If none of a consumer’s services offer the option to bundle HBO Max and take advantage of a free trial, their devices might. For example, Roku currently offers those who buy and activate a new Roku device a 30-day HBO Max free trial. This is not a permanent offer as it is due to expire on January 14, 2022. Likewise, the 30-day HBO Max free trial through Roku is not available to existing device owners. However, it is an example of the type of promotion that’s offered by device manufacturers and why it is worth checking the respective app store of a device to see if any HBO Max free trial promotions are currently available.

HBO Max free trial summary

Unfortunately, HBO Max doesn’t offer new subscribers a free trial. The streaming service did previously provide new customers with a 7-day free trial, but that option came to an end in 2020. Since then, consumers do have to sign up to either the $9.99 ad-supported or $14.99 ad-free plan to watch HBO Max shows and movies. However, that’s not to say there aren’t options.

HBO Max does allow those without a subscription to watch pilot episodes of select shows. An account is not needed for these episodes and the titles available do change over time. Alternatively, some other subscription services do still offer an HBO Max free trial when bundling HBO Max with their own plans. Both Hulu and YouTube TV are prime example of this. Lastly, it may be worth checking the app store on a device, as some device makers do occasionally offer an HBO Max free trial. The most recent of which was the ability to watch HBO Max for free for 30 days after purchasing and activating a new Roku player.

John Finn
John Finn

By John Finn

John Finn is the Founder and Editor of Streaming Better, a platform created in 2019 to help consumers navigate the complicated live TV streaming and subscription service market.

John has been covering technology for various online publications since 2014. After originally covering the wider tech industry as a writer and editor, John now spends his time focusing on the emerging video-streaming market, including live TV streaming, SVOD, AVOD, FAST, and TVOD services.

In a bid to keep up to date on the industry, John actively subscribes to multiple streaming services at the same time. However, John continues to advocate that the best approach for consumers is to rotate between streaming services as needed.

A Psychology graduate from England, who now lives in the US, John previously worked in the aviation industry as an airline reviewer. While reviewing airlines isn't quite the same as reviewing devices and streaming services, John brings the same analytical eye to all of his reviews and industry analysis, along with a special emphasis on what's best for the consumer.

Connect with John
X: @J_Finns

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