HBO Max offers the option to sign up for an annual plan and taking advantage of the yearly subscription could be a good way to save on the cost. However, there are some points to be aware of with annual subscriptions, as although they tend to work out cheaper, they might not be the best option for all individuals and households.
HBO Max continues to be a popular destination for streaming which is not surprising considering the content vaults the service can pull from. Of course, HBO Max is more than just classic shows and movie franchises, as the service also gets plenty of new movie releases first, as well as a variety of HBO Max originals and exclusives. All of which can make HBO Max a good option to add to an existing subscription setup, and for the whole family.
The problem many might face is the cost considering HBO Max is not exactly competitive on price. The standard subscription costs $14.99 per month and results in ad-free access to all of the content available. For those looking to save some money each month, there is also the $9.99 plan. However, while this one does reduce the monthly cost, it does include ads, removes the ability to download shows and movies to watch offline, and doesn’t include the option to watch in 4K.
It’s worth considering an annual HBO Max plan
For those that want to save even more, there is the option to sign up for an annual plan, with the typical saving totaling 16 percent. The HBO Max annual ad-free plan costs $149.99 for the full year. In comparison, paying $14.99 per month for twelve months would cost $179.88, resulting in a yearly saving of $29.89. With the annual plan, the monthly cost averages out to $12.49. Another way of looking at this is the annual plan offers 12 months of HBO while the subscriber only pays for 10 months.
The same is also the case with the cheaper, ad-supported plan. While the monthly subscription costs $9.99, the annual plan is priced at $99.99 for the full year of HBO Max streaming. Considering the total for 12 months at the normal monthly rate comes to $119.98, signing up to the annual plan results in a saving of $19.99. Once again, this equates to $8.33 each month, or watching HBO Max shows and movies for 12 months but only paying for 10 months.
It is also worth noting that these are the absolute most a subscriber will pay for the annual plans, and it is possible that some subscribers may actually be able to sign up for the year at an even cheaper rate. For example, HBO Max has already offered limited-time promotions that reduce the cost of the annual subscriptions even further. Not to mention, opting for a longer subscription that’s paid in advance can also help protect against any price rises that might take effect during the year ahead.
What to consider before signing up to an annual plan
Although the lower price is absolutely a reason to consider signing up to an HBO Max annual subscription, there are some other factors that are worth considering as well. The first is, of course, the higher payment to begin with. While those on the monthly plan can budget the $10 or $15 into their monthly outgoings, the annual subscriptions do require the individual or household to pay the full cost of the year up front. If that’s a concern right now, then it may be worth going with the monthly option or waiting until the higher cost won’t be so much of an issue.
Another effect of the annual plan is that subscribers do give up some element of control. One of the major benefits of steaming is that consumers can simply cancel their subscription at any time and without having to pay any fees. However, that luxury is removed with an annual plan. While subscribers can still cancel their subscription, it will remain active for the remainder of the year. What’s more, services like HBO Max tend not to offer any refunds for canceling early, so subscribers will have paid the yearly amount even if they don’t actually use the service for the full year.
Another reason why it might be worth cautioning against one of HBO Max’s annual plans is sales. Like many services, HBO Max tends to offer various discounts throughout the year which can actually reduce the cost of a subscription without having to commit to a full year. In some cases, this is simply a reduction in the cost for a select number of months, while other deals have offered a cheaper rate for signing up and pre-paying for more than one month. Signing up during one of these promotional periods can help to reduce the cost while maintaining a greater level of control.
HBO Max annual plan summary
HBO Max does offer the option to sign up to an annual plan and consumers can save roughly 16 percent in the process. The annual subscriptions are available for both the ad-free and ad-supported HBO Max plans, reducing the monthly cost to as low as $12.49 and $8.33 per month, respectively. An alternative way of looking at the cost savings, is the ability to watch HBO Max for twelve months while only paying for ten. For those that are sure they will remain subscribed for a full year, then the annual plans make sense and are worth considering.
However, the HBO Max annual plans may not suit everyone. For those who want to retain an element of control over their subscription with the ability to cancel at any time, then the monthly plans remain a better option. In addition, HBO Max does not offer refunds for annual plans that are canceled before the end of the paid year. Furthermore, HBO Max does routinely offer additional discounts and deals that could actually make the price each month cheaper, without having to sign up and pay for the full year in advance.