How to get HBO Max for free if you already have HBO

Key Points
  • HBO Max launched in the U.S. on Wednesday.
  • It costs $14.99 per month but some AT&T customers and some people who already pay for regular HBO through cable will get access to the more premium HBO Max service for no additional cost.
  • Here's how to login to HBO Max with your cable subcription.
HBO Max on iPhone
Todd Haselton | CNBC

AT&T WarnerMedia's new online streaming service HBO Max launched on Wednesday. For most people, it costs $14.99 per month.

But it's also available at no cost for some people who already pay for HBO through a cable or online TV subscription, and for some AT&T subscribers.

Think of it as a free upgrade.

HBO Max includes more movies than what you get through HBO on TV, some original content, and TV shows like "Friends" you can't find on other competing platforms like Disney+, Netflix or Hulu.

HBO Max also has offline downloads, so you can store movies to watch when you don't have a cellular or Wi-Fi connection -- that feature is not available in the regular HBO Go app, which is free for people who pay for HBO through a cable subscriber.

More than 70 cable networks and online TV services seem to have made deals with WarnerMedia and offer free access to HBO Max if you already pay for HBO, including AT&T, Verizon, Spectrum, Optimum, Disney's Hulu TV, Google's YouTube TV,  Apple TV, Altice One, Comcast and more.

Here's how to see if you can get HBO Max through the HBO subscription you already pay for.

Log-in with your cable subscriber.
Todd Haselton | CNBC
  • Choose "Sign in" next to "Already subscribed?"
  • Select "Sign in through TV or mobile provider."
  • Choose your cable or wireless provider. If it's not listed, you'll need to pay for HBO Max separately.
  • If your cable company is listed, tap your provider and enter in your email and password.
Choose your cable provider.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

That's it. Now you're be logged in to HBO Max and can access the additional movies and TV shows it offers without having to pay a new HBO subscription.

Again, this doesn't apply to everyone. I am a Comcast subscriber, for example, and can't access it. But, since I also pay for HBO through Apple TV, I was able to use that log-in for access to HBO Max.

Disclaimer: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, which is the parent company of both Peacock and CNBC.

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